While Jaeger-LeCoultre is arguably better recognised for its wristwatches today (especially its iconic Reverso collection of reversible timepieces), that is not to say they are any less well versed in the clock-making department — and its latest Atmos clock is as good an indication as any.
First invented by engineer Jean-Léon Reutter back in 1928, the Atmos clock is known for its interesting method of drawing energy from changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature to power the mechanism. Here, a hermetically sealed capsule filled with a gaseous mixture (that expands when temperatures rise and contracts when it falls) is connected to the clock’s drive spring. As the capsule inflates and deflates, the clock’s mechanism is wound.
In its newest version of the clock, the Atmos 568, Jaeger-LeCoultre once again partnered with Australian superstar industrial designer Marc Newson to conceptualise its aesthetic. “An Atmos for me is a complex and magical object, it seemingly runs on perpetual motion or the closest thing to it and it needs a constant environment to function in. It is as if it is a living thing — you have the feeling that it can sense your presence — which I find strangely comforting,” remarks Newson.
The result is a sleek, cube-like timekeeper that resembles a sculptural and organic work of art more than a typical clock. Encased within a Baccarat crystal body is the manufacture’s calibre 568, which seems to be dramatically suspended in mid-air. It is in actual fact, affixed to the back of its monobloc crystal cabinet — notably at four points instead of three (as seen in traditional Atmos clocks), to create symmetry.
Designed with easy readability in mind, the dial of this piece is kept simple and blue Arabic numerals are used as hour markers. Positioned in a concentric circle within the dial is a month display. Located directly below it, at the six o’clock position, is a perpetual moon phase indicator.