Friday, June 4, 2010

295. THE GOLDEN ATMOSPHERIC CLOCK: JAEGER-LECOULTRE

 An article in the ‘Revolution’ magazine on the Atmospheric Clock in early April this year caught our attention. I never had the prior pleasure of seeing the Atmos what more owning a unit. We did not pursue the matter further because as it is there are already too many clocks in the collections for comfort.

A couple of weeks later we were at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya walking towards one of our favourite Nasi Padang restaurants. As we were casually strolling along to the restaurant, we noticed a gallery displaying all these vintage stuff and some old clocks including one piece that looked very extraordinary. 

We walked into the gallery to be met by a frail looking pleasant gentleman who volunteered to show us around. He happened to be the owner of the gallery.

Lots of antique stuff including unique wall clocks but we were keener to have a thorough look at that mantle piece that caught our eyes and brought us into the gallery. He obliged us by taking out the clock from the display cabinet and show us how the clock worked. According to him, the clock is an Atmospheric clock that runs on atmospheric pressure. It needs no winding or battery. It has no chimes and runs beautifully smooth. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre is the only company that produced the Atmos.

The clock is gold plated including the glass case. The whole workmanship looked very tidy, sophisticated and regal.

We probed for more information including the accuracy and the after sales service. Bear in mind this is not an ordinary clock that we deal every day and needs lots of thick fat dough too to bring it home. He assured us that the clock is in superb working condition after full service upon securing from overseas.

Well, a bit on the Atmos clock technicalities.

The Atmos clock movement devised by French engineer Jean-Leon Reutter is powered by changes in ambient temperature. A hermetically sealed, gas-filled capsule acts as the agent that winds the clock's mainspring by expanding and contracting when the temperature rises and falls respectively, and a shift of a single degree centigrade is all it takes to power the clock for 48 hours.

Its massive balance, a torsion pendulum, oscillates twice every minute, significantly reducing consumption, while energy loss as a result of friction is also minimised, thanks to its gear construction which is so perfect that it does not even need lubrication.

What is there more for us then to ask since looking for this one unit is like searching for a needle in a hay stack.

Just buy and pay...

Upon paying the normal 10% deposit, took the necessary paper and off we went back to Ipoh.

Back home, we asked some reliable friends in the horology business. Most of them discouraged us  pursuing further with the clock. According to them, no one in Ipoh is capable of servicing the clock in case of any eventuality.

Took two long weeks to ponder on the pros and cons of continuing with the purchase.

In the end, we decided to proceed with the purchase. Last Friday we decided to take the clock home, after all, it’s an Atmos!

We were very fortunate to have Irhomdeys to accompany us to the gallery to inspect the clock before collection as he was just as curious to have a look at this real beau. When comes to vintage clocks and watches, I must say, he is the most knowledgeable and authoritative of all the Malaysian watch and clock bloggers

...and I reckon owning a piece of Atmos is the pinnacle of any serious watch and clock collections.

Thank you Habib...your presence was very assuring.

 

2 comments:

Zhentan said...

sangat indah

Anglo Wax said...

This is an art. Clock maker puts their soul making it. May I know where can I repair or service this clock?

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