The result of the collaborative effort of Hermès, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Les Cristalleries de St Louis, this Atmos Hermès crystal clock literally lives on air.
The honeycombed crystal sphere of this 176-piece limited edition table clock houses a unique, almost perpetually moving mechanism developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre. It operates with no battery, no electric current and no winding. It works on air by means of an ingenious principle: a hermetically sealed capsule containing a mixture of gases that expands when the temperature rises and contracts when it drops. Connected to the mainspring of the clock, the capsule acts like a pair of bellows, thereby constantly winding the mechanism. It is so sensitive that a one-degree temperature difference is enough to power it for 48 hours. Its balance oscillates just twice a minute rather than the average 300 times of a classic wristwatch, which consumes 250 times as much energy. This clock needs very little power to operate, but then it must also be placed on a completely stable horizontal support—a chest of drawers, console, etcetera—to ensure optimum conditions.
Credit glassmakers par excellence Les Cristalleries de Saint-Louis for the clock’s astonishing exterior: a crystal globe made with the so-called doublé or double overlay technique, which has one layer of glass coated over another, including a coloured one. The sphere, which is 12 inches in diameter, weighs around 10 kg.
According to its Swiss manufacturer, the components of the Atmos clock are amazingly accurate and dependable. There is no moving part that can easily be worne out. What therefore distinguishes the clock is its long service life. In theory, it can take a licking and still be ticking some 600 years hence.