What inspired the watchmakers at Jaeger-LeCoultre to create the Atmos clock in 1928? How did they come up with the idea of using temperature changes to power it? The Atmos clocks continue to astonish people even today.
The Atmos has remained unique in the world of horology for more than nine decades since its debut. It’s more than a remarkable clock; it’s a true work of art with a strong artistic identity defined by the mechanism’s distinctive form.
An innovation that appears to defy physics, operating for millennia without the use of traditional energy sources or rewinding. Instead, its mechanism is fueled by regular, everyday temperature swings; a one-degree Celsius difference is enough to ensure two days of running time. Since the 1930s, Jaeger-LeCoultre has used the Manufacture’s watchmaking abilities and creative talents to improve what has become a sought-after object d’art.
The Atmos Infinite
In 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces the Atmos Infinite, a completely new design that begins a new chapter in the tale of this incredible clock.
The key is a hermetically sealed, gas-filled capsule connected by a membrane to the clock’s motor spring. The volume of the gas changes as the temperature changes, causing the membrane to ‘breathe’ like an accordion bellows and wind the spring. It uses so little energy that 60 million Atmos clocks would be required to spend the same amount of energy as a single 15-watt incandescent light bulb. The clock has a two-day operational autonomy when the temperature fluctuates by one degree Celsius, allowing it to run indefinitely under regular everyday conditions.
The new design is a tribute to transparency and minimalism, and it is an item of striking purity while remaining loyal to the Atmos’ essential personality. The cylindrical glass cabinet of the Atmos Infinite also evokes the rounded glass domes of the very first models, reinterpreting the eternal elegance of the original Art Deco “glass box” cabinet for the twenty-first century.
The smooth glass cabinet, with its complete lack of visual distraction, maximizes. the value of the extraordinary Atmos mechanism, which appears to float freely within it. In actuality, it is supported in place by glass supports that are almost imperceptible. This offers an unobstructed view of the complete mechanism, including the bellows, chains, and gears that keep the clock ticking, from any aspect.
The simple style is carried through to the functionality of the clock: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 570 is a straightforward hours-and-minutes timepiece that avoids unnecessary complexity. Its design is similarly stripped down to the necessities, yet excellent watchmaking details like brushed surfaces, polished edges, and Côtes de Genève stripes abound.
The black lacquered dial is made up of two concentric rings with polished baton-shaped indexes, and it’s accented by hands that match the mechanism’s silvery rhodium finish. The minutes are indicated by tiny indentation dots on a metal outer ring. Their shape matches the round indentations on the annular balance, which spins back and forth beneath the movement’s body in a steady and mesmerising pattern.
The Atmos Infinite is destined to become a modern classic by capturing the unique essence of the Atmos and reinterpreting all of its core characteristics in current form.