If you are lucky enough to visit the Jaeger Lecoultre Manufacture, ask your guide to show you the Heritage Gallery. There, you will have a small but impressive " aperçu " of the absolute richness and diversity of the legendary perpetual clock, best known under the name " Atmos ".
The Wall of Atmos:
There are two ways to treat this topic:
- The Atmos is quintessentially an object of Design, which is totally true.
Since 1927, yes, 1927 and probably not 1928 as generally admitted, and the first prototype of Atmos born from Jean Léon Reutter's brilliant brain, we can say that each Atmos is an object of Design, but that would lead me to show you all these clocks, whose list is endless, or almost.
The evidence that the first Atmos prototype was born in 1927: An official document, from the Manufacture, created in 1958, for the Jubilee collection, and dating the prototype in... 1927:
- The second way to treat the topic is to share the Atmos which show Design at its best. The list will be shorter, more subjective, maybe, but at least I can do it, and it will open the discussion on the specimens I didn't include in this list but which would deserve to be shown. I don't have the means nor the ambition to know all of them.
So let's start with three Atmos from the Thirties, as we didn't have to wait till the Atmos Newson to see the first Atmos Design:
- 1932: Made of wood and chromium plated metal:
- 1934: Copper and mirror: One of my favorites:
- 1934 again, stone has been used, this time:
- Another one I cannot precisely date, but I would be on the Thirties, which is in my top three favorite, so Art Deco:
- Or this one, from 1934:
- 1973, another favorite of mine, with its rhodium plated cabinet, and so typical from the Seventies:
And its ad:
Now let's jump in time and some decades, and let's go from Design representing an era or an artistic movement to Design from... Designers.
The first of them, and most probably the most famous, is the Atmos Newson. Here I have to use the plural as Mark Newson collaborate to the creation of three different Atmos, if not four, if we include the Red, from 2006 to 2016.
The first Atmos Newson, 561, in 2006, used a Baccarat Crystal for the cabinet, as well as the two other Atmos from 2010, a blue, limited to 18 pieces, and a white, limited to 48 pieces ). The " 566 " offers, in addition to the " 561 ", a gorgeous sky chart of the Northern Hemisphere + Zodiac Signs, Indication of the Months, and an Equation of Time.
The 561 ( Credit picture: Christies ) :
The 566 Blue and White:
The 568, in 2016, has the Baccarat Crystal cabinet as well, but a glass dial.
This 568 version displays the hours and minutes, of course, and also the months and moon phase which is accurate to one day each 3861 years.
- The Atmos Dunhill, from 2009, has one of the most spectacular design, with its black varnished metallic structure, black stingray leather and tinted glass crystal.
Its moon phase is accurate to one day each 3800 years.
This Atmos Dunhill is limited to 28 pieces.
- The Atmos Hermes, from 2013:
If I said that the Dunhill had one of the most spectacular design, it is because I hesitate between this one and the Hermes.
Made in collaboration between the Manufacture, Hermes and the Cristalleries the Saint Louis, this is a pure product of Design and Art.
This crystal masterpiece is in my top three Atmos, definitely.
Well, as I said, this is a very subjective list, and feel free to add those which impressed you!
I am curious to read your feelings and thoughts on that topic.