The first mechanical Mars watch
Thanks to a watchmaker in Arkansas, scientists could watch the clock on martian time.
Members of Mars mission teams prior to the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity kept track of time on the Red Planet in various ways: One group used cross-referenced timetables, and another modified a digital watch to run on Mars time by altering the electronics. During the summer of 2003, Jeff Moersch had the idea to present a modified vintage pocket watch, set to Mars time, as a gift to MER's Science Payload Principal Investigator, Steven Squyres. Moersch visited several watchmaker bulletin boards on the Internet and was consistently told the modification could not be done. No one would take on the challenge.