Atmos clock - invented in 1928 by Jean-Léon Reutter, and then perfected and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
It is a clock which does not need to be wound manually. It gets the energy it needs to run from temperature and atmospheric pressure changes in the environment, and can run for years without human intervention.
Its power source is an internal hermetically sealed capsule containing a mixture of gaseous and liquid ethyl chloride, which expands into an expansion chamber as the temperature rises, compressing a spiral spring; with a fall in temperature the gas condenses and the spring slackens. This motion constantly winds the mainspring. A temperature variation of only one degree in the range between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius, or a pressure variation of 3 mmHg, is sufficient for two days' operation.
In order to run the clock on this small amount of energy, everything inside the Atmos has to work in as friction-free a manner as possible. For timekeeping it uses a torsion pendulum, which consumes less energy than an ordinary pendulum. The torsion pendulum executes only two torsional oscillations per minute, which is 1/30th the rate of the pendulum in a grandfather clock.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a luxury swiss watch and clock manufacture based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, that dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century, founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833.
In 1833, following his invention of a machine to cut watch pinions from steel Antoine LeCoultre (1803-1881) founded a small watchmaking workshop in Le Sentier, where he honed his horological skills to create high-quality timepieces. In 1844, he invented the world's most precise measuring instrument at the time, the Millionomètre and in 1847 he created a keyless system to rewind and set watches. Four years later, he was awarded a gold medal for his work on timepiece precision and Mechanization at the first Universal Exhibition in London.
In 1866, at a time when watchmaking skills were divided up among hundreds of small workshops Antoine and his son, Elie LeCoultre (1842-1917), established the Vallée de Joux’s first full-fledged manufacture, LeCoultre & Cie., pooling their employees’ expertise under one roof. Under this set-up, they developed in 1870 the first partially mechanised production processes for complicated movements. By the same year, the Manufacture employed 500 people and was known as the “Grande Maison of the Vallée de Joux”, and by 1900, it had created over 350 different calibres, of which 128 were equipped with chronograph functions and 99 with repeater mechanisms. From 1902 and for the next 30 years, LeCoultre & Cie. produced most of the movement blanks for Patek Philippe of Geneva.
The brand has hundreds of inventions and over a thousand calibres to its name, including the world’s smallest calibre, one of the world’s most complicated wristwatches and a timepiece of near-perpetual movement. Since Jaeger-LeCoultre’s founding, the company has produced over 1,242 different calibres, registered approximately 400 patents and created hundreds of inventions
The company has been a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont since 2000.