French fashion house Hermès has teamed up with luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre and famed glassmakers Les Cristalleries de St.Louis to create a 176-piece limited edition crystal clock named the Atmos Hermès clock.
The mechanism of the Atmos clock has been around since 1928 and has fascinated watchmakers for long because of its exceptional mode of operation with no battery, no electric current and no winding. It functions based on an ingenious principle, by which a hermetically sealed capsule containing a mixture of gases expands when the temperature rises and contracts when it drops.
The capsule, which is connected to the mainspring of the clock, acts like a pair of bellows constantly winding the mechanism. The sensitivity of the mechanism is so precise that even a one-degree temperature difference is enough to power it for 48 hours. A normal wristwatch consumes 250 times more energy than an Atmos clock as it oscillates 300 times per minute as compared to twice a minute in the Atmos clock. The 190 parts that compose this clever construction are precision-assembled within the manufacture.
Hermès, sensing the demand in the hand-crafted approach teamed up with famed glassmakers Les Cristalleries de Saint-Louis to create the exquisite exterior of the clock, a crystal globe made using the double overlay technique, which involves coating layers of glass, including one layer of coloured glass over each other, a skill which only six master glassmakers have mastered.
The Atmos Hermès clock is a spherical transparent crystal globe with white enamel and base diameter of 172 mm and weight of 10 kilograms. The movement is mechanical with perpetual winding, thanks to temperature fluctuations. The exterior of the 15-jewel movement is satin-brushed rhodium polished.
All of the design houses, be it Hermès, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Les Cristalleries de Saint-Louis share the same values – a thirst for innovation, expertise that has been carefully refined over the decades, a philosophy based on high standards and, most importantly, a vision of time inextricably bound up with hand workmanship.