The Marc Newson Atmos clock was created for the 80th Birthday of the Jaeger Le Coutlre
Atmos, the dream of perpetual motion
Baccarat crystal cabinet
Inspired by respect for the tradition of crystal glass working, the bubble-shaped Baccarat crystal cabinet contains a movement that displays hours, minutes, months and the phase of the moon.
Born in Australia, Marc Newson has been involved with all areas of design. His works are characterised by lines with harmonious and daring curves, and are found in prestigious private collections and in the world's leading museums
The designer's balanced creation, marked by deep sensitivity, confers a special charm on the act of reading its displays. The hours and minutes can be read on a transparent dial, while the 2 additional functions are placed on rotating discs, with the month in the centre and the moon phase at 6 o'clock, decorated with the number "561" to designate the new calibre.
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Atmos 561 by Marc Newson
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Clocks Are Back
Jaeger-LeCoultre, the proud creator of the legandary Atmos clock, has marked its 175th anniversary with introducing new interpretations of the Atmos clock, for which the year 2008 is also a milestone year.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clock is famous for two remarkable characteristics - it is easy to maintain and functions in a really extraordinary way. The Atmos requires no battery, electricity and even winding. The clock was born thanks to the genius of Jean-Leon Reutter.
Since he was 14, Jean-Leon Reutter was overwhelmed by the idea to invent a perpetual clock. Having graduated as an engineer from the prestigious Zurich Institute of Technology, in 1928 Jean-Leon developed the principle of a clock with an outstanding ability to keep time for centuries without any external intervention. In 1932, Jean-Leon Reutter met David LeCoultre who was ready to spend all his manufacturing resources on the production of this incredible clock.
The Atmos enjoyed an instant success, with some 750,000 sold to date. Moreover, the clock's mechanism is so environmentally-friendly that it would take 60 million to produce enough energy for lighting a single 15 watt bulb.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Atmos, Jaeger-LeCoultre has launched three totally original models created in close cooperation with leading artists and craftsmen.
The first Atmos has been created by famous designer Marc Newson, who has long been fascinated by the clock. The designer himself contacted Jaeger-LeCoultre and shared his idea about creating a new model. The Australian artist, the designer of the Orgone stretch lounge chair, has enveloped the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson in a Baccarat crystal ice-cube, inspired by the contemporary design principles of pure lines and forms. It took five attempts to come up with the ideally smooth crystal envelope.
The second original Atmos model has nothing to do with contemporary design, tracing back to the 17th century, when Andreas Cellarius drew his star chart. The Atmos Astronomique features a reproduction of a map of the heavens on a glass case. It is equipped with a complicated movement offering an equation of time, the month and showing the constellations of the northern hemisphere.
The third Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos glorifies the exquisite art of marquetry. The case of the clock, which automatically slides open, is a true masterpiece created in a limited edition of ten, being inlaid with hundreds of pieces of precious wood and gold leaf. The painstakingly assembled pieces reproduce the celebrated Portrait of Adele Bloch by Gustav Klimt.
Two designers motivated by passion
Since its invention, the Atmos has embodied the passion of its creator, Jean Leon Reutter. The Atmos 561 by Marc Newson also illustrates the creativity of its designer, who has never stopped travelling the world to use his talent in designing the objects that shape our daily lives.
Born in Australia, 44-year-old Marc Newson has tackled all areas of design, ranging from furniture through bicycles and interior design for private residences, businesses and restaurants to the implements used in daily living. He worked on various continents during his already long career before settling in his London studio for the past several years. Examples of his work, defined by the harmonious and bold curves of their lines, are now counted among prestigious private collections and the world's most famous museums. It was Marc Newson himself, long attracted to Jaeger-LeCoultre's legendary clock, who one day contacted the Grande Maison and offered a design for it. This suggestion was greeted with immediate enthusiasm: Jaeger- LeCoultre accepted his offer. In the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson, the inventor of the famous Orgone Strecht Lounge chair has managed to capture, in the staggering innovative power of his interpretation, the very essence of the Atmos clock, which for eighty years has symbolised the dream of quasi perpetual motion.
In this day and age, where the time is displayed everywhere - on each wrist, on cell phone screens and on every other electronic device - the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson restores all the dignity to the age-old gesture of checking the time. Only a designer in perfect command of the language of forms could reinvent the Atmos clock and rewrite the essential characteristics of this fascinating object, which has become the official gift of the Swiss Confederation, into a work of art that immediately fascinates the eye by its originality and simplicity.
A work of art that revisits the design's source
With the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson, the designer returns to the first golden age of industrial design, the 1950s, when the rapid addition of novel manufacturing processes was opening new horizons to artists who worked at the intersection of form and function. At that time, the development of synthetic materials and innovative technologies was providing a concrete means of expressing the desire to give ordinary objects new forms, after the difficult years that had followed the end of WWII. Mass production was also drastically changing consumption habits, and manufactured products gradually took on an emotive and cultural dimension. From then on, an implement, a piece of furniture or an appliance no longer met utilitarian criteria alone, but became a work of art that added an essential aesthetic value to its functional aspect.
For this project, Marc Newson went back to the sources of the design. So, while keeping the timeless classicism that has appealed to so many, the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson also exhibits a refined and novel aesthetic of which the transparency and modernity are just as absolute as its quasi perpetual motion. A true work of art signed by an important contemporary artist, the legendary clock - its operation still mysterious - has thus become an element of interior decoration in its own right.
The designer's balanced creation, marked by profound sensitivity, lends a special charm to reading its displays. The hours and minutes can be read from a transparent dial, while the two additional functions are on rotating disks: the disk in the centre gives the current month, while the second disk at six o'clock displays the moon phase and is embellished with the number of the new calibre that drives the clock: 561. The process of developing this exceptional work required that some elements of the movement be redesigned so that it would fit comfortably into the splendid crystal bubble, specially made by the famous Baccarat company.