VIDEO: Luxury watch sent into space from Derbyshire
A luxury watch that was sent into space from Derbyshire last month has been found.
The Â£1,500 Seiko watch was sent into the stratosphere on July 20 by Jura Watches, part of CWSellors Fine Jewellery.
And it has now been found by a group from South Yorkshire, who spent three days braving the winds and rain to find it, after the organisers announced whoever found the timepiece would be able to keep it.
Lee Holland, 29, David Moffatt, 50, and Jesse Meehan, 12, had used a quad bike and remote-controlled drone in their search, and had almost given up hope on finding it, before they struck gold and discovered the watch.
Lee, step father of Jesse, and step son of David, said: “We had just returned home after hours of searching to have something to eat and then we saw the latest announcement on the Jura Watches’ Facebook page.
“We didn’t even finish our dinner, we just went straight back out in the rain to find it.”
The watch travelled more than 100km, and reached altitudes of approximately 36km above the Earth’s surface – 17km above the Armstrong line which is the commonly accepted gateway to space.
At peak altitude, the balloon burst, which would have caused the watch to fall at over 200mph due to the lack of air pressure or wind resistance.
It eventually re-entered the atmosphere where a parachute was deployed, allowing the watch to drift back down.
The launch took place in Carsington, Derbyshire, where CWSellors has plans to build a new visitor attraction next year to allow people to immerse themselves in the world of jewellery manufacture.
From there, the balloon flew over Matlock, Chesterfield, Sheffield, before bursting above the Peak District, cutting the tracking feed, and falling to its landing spot in a Hooton Pagnell field.
Mr Holland added: “We started to worry that it might be found by somebody who wasn’t even aware of the competition.
“We found it at the right time. It was right at the edge of a corn field that was ready for a farmer to come along with a combine harvester - A few more days and it would have been gone.
“We were over the moon when we found it. We’ll never sell it, we’re all big watch fans.
“I could afford to buy a watch but you can’t buy a watch that’s been into space.”
Steve Ashby, one of the project’s organisers at Jura Watches, said: “We were thrilled and delighted to hear that somebody had found the missing watch.
“It was very exciting news, and we were able to verify the claim on Wednesday and meet the finders to hear their story – they are very worthy and deserving winners.
“Finding the package has also meant that we have been able to view the footage captured by the onboard cameras – and it’s simply stunning.”