526-5 Atmos #82,891
Date of Manufacture: 11/16/1955
Owner: Mr. Steven L. Goldblatt
This Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos 526-5 came to the shop in poor shape and deteriorating quality. Upon first look it was already clear that this clock was going to need dedicated time to make this prestigious clock looking its best and working at its finest. With an insurmountable amount of dust collecting not only on the outside of the four panels of glass, but also within the gears and bellow of the clock the cleaning process for this clock will be extremely precise, cleaning every single millimeter on this Atmos 526-5. Looking at the outside of the clock, it was clearly evident that the brass was deteriorating due to a harsh climate, and will need to be restored either with the traditional brass coating or an upgrade to a gold coating. The numerous brown spots throughout the framework of the clock show oxidization. After taking apart the clock for further inspection, it was evident that this clock and its different pieces had many thumbprints and fingerprints on the drum and cover, the gears and the movement plate. The bellow, after being taken out of the drum and cover, was completely flat showing that there has been leaking gas, thus impairing the movement of the clock. Finally, the top glass plate cover was broken and was not with the clock, the only remaining piece of this plate was on one of the top corner edges.
After inspection all parts of the Atmos are taken apart and an air compressor is used to blow of the dust and any other small materials that might be clinging on to the parts. The glass panels are taken off the frame and are rinsed and cleaned, then dried. The movement is then taken off and disassembled, screws also taken off the movement and all the small parts a placed within an ultrasonic cleaner for pristine cleaning. After the ultrasonic cleaner the small parts are then rinsed and dried off.
Once all the parts of the Atmos are cleaned, rinsed and dried, the movement is then put back together, all small parts placed back in their proper positions and the clock starts to run. Careful and close attention is paid to the clock while it runs, watching how the movement works and making sure the Atmos is keeping time properly. It is also at this time that case restoration begins to take place, while the movement is keeping time, the case, base, interior base plate, dial pan, bellow motor and cover of the clock goes through a restoration process. This process starts with the removal of the lacquer finish from the brass on all parts and coats them with a new gold coat.
At the end of this process the Atmos is completely cleaned, running with the outmost perfection after spending two weeks on the workbench carefully keeping time. The old brass coating is stripped and a new gold coating that gleams in the sunlight will be applied. It is at the end of all this time and work that the Atmos clock is truly resurrected to the prestige of its name.
Once the whole process is done, from start to finish, the 526-5 Atmos clock can be shipped back to its owner and Michael Holman and Killashandra Link can relax for the rest of the day, taking some beers to a nearby pool, soaking up the sun. Pictures of the finished Atmos 526-5 will be coming soon. The owner Mr. Goldblatt has opted to have this clock 24kt Gold Plated.
Update Sept. 7th 2015:
The clock has been stripped, and plated in 24kt Gold with clear coat lacquer guard. The pallet fork has needed much attention. I have been reshaping and adjusting the pallet fork to achieve better balance motion. The suspension wire could also be replaced on this clock but I believe I can make it run. I spend more time performing these tasks on the fork because it will save the client money as apposed to simply replacing wire and fork. The clock is very close to keeping time and having adequate motion. This clock had been through it all and it will be in running glorious condition again. Pictures and posts to follow!
Services, parts, and prices: (not a formal invoice)
Clean, Oil, Bellow Test-Flat Bellows: $350
Bellow Refill: $125
Replace Top Glass Panel W/ Original Glass: $125
Case stripping and 24kt Gold Plate with clear coat lacquer guard: $999
Replace Suspension wire: $200
After Case Restoration Photos
SUSPENSION WIRE update 09/22/15
We decided to go ahead and do the complete job and replace the wire. Here is a picture of the wire that came out of the clock. It has 3 twists or kinks in it. After just one kink the wire will never oscillate properly again. So that is why this remains a delicate portion of the clock and is always important to lock the balance and treat it with utmost care.