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The Atmos is one of the most celebrated clocks in the history of haute horlogerie. First created in the 1920s, its legacy is as rich as that of its manufacturer—the 180-year-old Jaeger-LeCoultre. According to the 2003 book Wireless Sensor Networks: Architectures and Protocols by Edgar H. Callaway, Jr., more than 500,000 Atmos devices had been made till that year. Jaeger, now part of the Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, has come out with the latest version—Atmos 568—in collaboration with Australian designer Marc Newson.
At its heart, the Atmos is a torsion pendulum clock, one that does not need to be wound manually. It runs on the energy it gets from the changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. A one degree Celsius change in the temperature or a pressure variation of 3mmHg is enough to keep the clock running for two days. Here’s the concept: A mix of gases is sealed inside a capsule and is connected to the clock’s drive spring. As it swells like the bellows of an accordion due to the changes in temperature or pressure, it winds the clock’s movement.
The Atmos 568, consisting of 211 parts, is cased inside the extra-clear, almost invisible, Baccarat crystal that lets light pass through it without changing colours. That fluidity of design, along with the use of blue on the glass dial in the lines and the numerals is signature Newson. The extra thick base provides it added stability. The clock has two hands, a month indicator and moonphase.
The back of the movement, the entire mechanism is held in place at four points, rather than three on traditional Atmos clocks, to create symmetry. It also bears the clock’s name along with the designer’s signature.
The clock will be unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, an annual international watch fair, in January and hit retail stores afterwards with a price tag of around €23,000.