Three prestigious manufacturers of luxury items: Hermes, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Copmagnie des Cristallieries de Saint Louis have collaborated in order to make another exquisite limited edition clock from the Atmos lineage. The series, first launched by Jaeger-LeCoultre in the late 1920s, features the same kind of extraordinary movements from its conception. These remarkable calibers developed and created by JLC do not require winding since they utilize temperature fluctuations as the driving force. Apart from a very special caliber that runs on temperature changes, the product comes in a very special package. Made by the best known brand in the field of glass and crystal work, Saint-Louis, the clock includes a striking crystal dome manufactured with the use of one of the most demanding techniques.
The New Hermes and JLC Collaboration
The new amazing Atmos clock was unveiled last week at the glamorous event held in Paris. Its highlight was naturally the astonishing Atmos clock, the pinnacle of the Hermes association with the famous Atmos lineage which over the years produced several amazing table clocks. Hermes relations with Jaeger-LeCoultre are likewise anything but new. Ever since Hermes has started to sell the timekeepers in the late 1920s, it has been using products with movements supplied by JLC. This practice lasted for nearly a half of a century, up until the early 1970s. On the other hand, JLC used components crafted by Hermes artisans.
Atmos Clocks Driven by Temperature Changes
Even though the collaboration between Hermes and Jeager-LeCoultre is not so uncommon, this time, its result is very impressive since it is a piece from the Atmos line. This is a very exclusive series of finely crafted clocks that, as it has been mentioned, run with the use of clever technology that, in a sense, gives them a perpetual source of power. The movement of the clock utilizes temperature changes for its powering. Even a slight temperature shift of a single centigrade degree (which occurs several times each day) powers the watch for 48 hours. This is achieved via a capsule filled with gas which contracts and expands (acting like a pair of bellows or a concertina) and thus winds the mainspring. Interestingly, the balance oscillates just once per minute (two vibrations). Since it runs at a much slower pace (150 times less than average!), it requires significantly (about 250 times) less energy for its functioning than the usual mechanical movement.
The Atmos series designed by Jean-Leon Reutter was launched in 1928 and the watches from the lineage have been using this kind of technology ever since. The new Hermes Atmos limited edition piece continues this tradition with its precise assembled JLC 560a movement. Consisting of 190 components and integrating 15 jewels, the caliber with an annular balance is satin-brushed and rhodium polished and it enables displays for hours and minutes.
A Tradition Lasting for Nearly Eight Centuries
Moving on to the massive sphere shaped housing of the watch; we see the exquisite work of the third powerhouse involved in the creation of the clock – Compagnie des Cristallieries Saint Louis. The company is the oldest glass manufacturer in France and has its roots in the late 16th century, though it has been working under the current name about two centuries later. Saint Louis is likewise the oldest crystal maker in the entire Europe. Mostly thanks to the glass making firm, three brands involved in the creation of the clock have the combined tradition that spans to nearly eight centuries.
Les Cristallieries de Saint Louis is not a distinguished name in the industry just because of its longevity, but more importantly for the level of the skill of its craftsman. Hermes Atmos clock is the great example of said expertise – its massive housing is a sphere with the diameter of nearly a foot (it is 276mm long, 275mm wide and 272mm thick) which is made in a very demanding technique. The bubble design motif of the large crystal sphere which weighs over 20 pounds (around 10 kg) is made in a double overlay technique and was excruciatingly hard to manufacture, since it requires hand-cut and hand blown components. As a matter a fact, only six master craftsmen employed at Les Cristallieries de Saint Louis have the required expertise for these operations. Overall, this sort of appearance is based on the Hermes Djerba tableware collection. The see-through crystal dome of the clock is lined with white enamel base. It features black dauphine styled hands and hour markers in the same color. The remarkable clock will be offered in the restricted edition of 176 pieces – corresponding to 176 years of existence of Hermes.