In 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre opens a fresh chapter in the story of this fascinating clock, with an entirely new design: the Atmos Infinite. Invented in 1928, the Atmos seems to defy the laws of physics: running independently of any human intervention, it draws its energy from infinitesimal variations in the ambient air temperature. The secret lies in a hermetically sealed, gas-filled capsule, which is connected to the clock’s drive spring by a membrane. The slightest temperature variation changes the volume of the gas, causing the membrane to ‘breathe’ like the bellows of an accordion, and wind the spring. Its energy consumption is so slight that it would take 60 million Atmos clocks to consume the same amount of energy as a single 15-watt incandescent light bulb. A temperature fluctuation of just one degree Celsius provides the clock with an operating autonomy of about two days, enabling it to run perpetually under normal everyday conditions.
An ode to transparency and minimalism, the new design is an object of startling purity and modernism yet remains true to the intrinsic identity of the Atmos. Reinterpreting the timeless elegance of the classical Art Deco “glass box” cabinet for the 21st century, the cylindrical glass cabinet of the Atmos Infinite also makes subtle allusion to the rounded glass domes of the very earliest models.
‘The aesthetic of the Atmos is defined by the distinctive shape of its movement. With its complete absence of visual distraction, the seamless glass cabinet gives full value to the Atmos mechanism, which appears to float freely within it.’ explains Lionel Favre, Jaeger-LeCoultre Design Director.
The Atmos mechanism is held in place by glass supports, designed to be virtually invisible. From every angle, this allows an unrestricted view of the entire mechanism, with the bellows, chains and gears that keep the clock moving.
The minimalistic approach extends to the clock’s functions: Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 570 is an hours-and-minutes movement. Its construction, too, is pared back to the essentials, yet fine watchmaking finishes abound, including brushed surfaces, polished edges and Côtes de Genève stripes.
The black lacquered dial is composed of two concentric circles onto which polished baton-shaped indexes have been applied, and is complemented by hands that match the silvery rhodium finish of the mechanism. On a metal outer ring, the minutes are marked by tiny indented dots. Their form echoes the round indentations on the annular balance, which spins back and forth in its slow and mesmerising rhythm beneath the body of the movement.
By capturing the singular spirit of the Atmos and reinterpreting all of its essential features in contemporary style, the Atmos Infinite is destined to become a modern classic.
Dimensions: 215mm diameter x 253mm height
Calibre: perpetual Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 570
Frequency: annular balance with 60-second oscillation
Functions: hours, minutes
Cabinet: cylindrical glass