More than nine decades after it first appearance, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Atmos remains unique in the world of horology. This table clock, the brainchild of Jean-León Reutter, is famous for its clever winding mechanism that generates energy from the slightest temperature differences. Some people actually compare it to a perpetuum mobile. A genuine masterpiece both from a technical and design standpoint, the latest release, the Atmos Infinite, offers an unobstructed view from all sides and every angle onto its infamous mechanism.
The secret of the Atmos Infinite lies in a hermetically sealed, gas-filled capsule, which is connected to the clock’s drive spring by a membrane. The slightest temperature variation changes the volume of the gas, causing the membrane to “breathe” like the bellows of an accordion, and wind the spring. According to Jaeger-LeCoultre, its energy consumption is so minor that it would take 60 million Atmos clocks to consume the same amount of energy as a single 15-watt incandescent light bulb. A temperature fluctuation of just one degree Celsius provides the clock with an operating autonomy of about two days, enabling it to run “perpetually” under normal everyday conditions.
This mechanism that needs no winding, batteries or external intervention is held in place by glass supports, designed to be virtually invisible. From every angle, this allows an unrestricted view of the entire mechanism, with the bellows, chains and gears that keep the clock moving. It goes without saying that the calibre 570 is finished to the highest standards, including brushed surfaces, polished edges and Côtes de Genève stripes.
The cylindrical glass cabinet (215mm x 253mm) is a reinterpretation of the timeless elegance of the classical Art Deco “glass box” cabinets.
The black lacquered dial is composed of two concentric circles with polished baton-shaped indexes and complemented by hands that match the silvery rhodium finish of the mechanism. On a metal outer ring, the minutes are marked by tiny indented dots. Their form echoes the round indentations on the annular balance, which spins back and forth in its slow and mesmerising rhythm beneath the body of the movement.
The Atmos Infinite retails for approximately $16,000 when converted to USD.
To learn more, visit Jaeger-LeCoultre, here.