The Atmos Clock is one of the closest inventions to pure perpetual motion. The power is created by the elements of the room. A one degree temperature variation will cause enough expansion and contraction in a bellow unit, to provide the clock with two days running time. The bellows contain a combination of liquid and gas, that is sensitive to slight changes in temperature. The reliability is perpetual, and the pendulum continues to rotate on the mantle for decades without winding, and without mechanical service.
The Swiss created what is the Mercedes Benz of clocks. Jean-Leon Reutter in 1928 was granted a patent for an invention that harnessed a form of sustainable energy, and made an artistic, scientific, and practical piece of home decor. The mechanical system displays an ability to precisely regulate the release of power though a gear train (called the escapement on a timepiece) and thus display time. Like wind or solar power collected and stored into a battery bank, the action created by the bellows, is collected in a mainspring. This mainspring maintains a wind, and releases a low amount of power through an escapement that gives a mere assist to the twisting and untwisting of a suspension wire. The wire twists and an impulse roller, at the top of the balance tube, enters a pallet fork that triggers the release of a tooth on the escapement of the clock movement. As the mainspring loses it’s wind, a counter spring and ratchet system makes contact with the bellow in back drum that is in contraction and expansion, which pumps and rewinds the mainspring.
Why have an Atmos Clock? Why have a rolex? Sometimes we appreciate the top of the line, and the LeCoultre Atmos is in that category for mantle clocks. The reasons are the above mentioning of their genius design, the elegance of their “eye capturing presence,” and the value of all of the memories of a loved one’s dedication of career. Many companies and businesses use the Atmos Clocks as a service appreciation gift for long time employees. Ironically these qualities make the Atmos Clock a timeless artifact.
The clocks are quite durable, and will pass through a family’s generations with minimal service requirements. Like most mechanical instruments, clocks especially, the clock will require an overhaul, but it is not uncommon for them to run for decades before requiring service.
Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos Clock is the official gift of the Swiss Confederation, a prestigious group of nation states consigned to armed neutrality. Many historical and political leaders have had an Atmos displayed on their bookshelves and desks. The most common calibers of Atmos Clocks are the 519, 522, 526, 528, and 540.
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