Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos XIII Ref. 5907

‘Living on air’, that’s the slogan that comes with such a clock. In the 1920s, a man named Jean-Leon Reutter was developing clocks while searching for the very first, real perpetual movement. Of course, the first ‘automatic’ wristwatches dates back to indeed the 1920s when John Harwood developed the first self-winding watch, but these wind themselves by the moving wrist in combination with gravity. Reutter wanted a clock movement that would keep time without winding it, or even touching it since real clocks don’t really move around. It sounds like a mission impossible to many, definitely at that time. For centuries many scientists had searched and dreamt about the concept of perpetual movement, including Leonardo Da Vinci. Jean-Leon Reutter was the first one to actually achieve this.

His idea was to use the atmosphere, as a power source. To actually make this work, he had to find a substance very reactive to any change in the Atmosphere, mostly temperature and air pressure. The substance he first ended up with was mercury, expanding and shrinking with any change in temperature. This was stored in a glass tube inside a cylinder, connected to the spring. The power gained from the changes in atmosphere is pretty small, therefor Reutter had to design a clock movement with so little resistance throughout the escapement that the changes in Atmosphere had to be enough. And so he did, and the result is what you’re looking at; the one and only Atmos Clock. 309 parts in the movement with the littlest friction imaginable.

In 1936 Jaeger Lecoultre decided to contract Reutter and patent his idea. Since that moment of Jaeger continued to produce these Atmos clocks but then under their own brand name with their logo, this is such a piece. This gold plated Jaeger is one of the most beautiful clocks we’ve seen. The gold-plated ones are rarer and this combined with the dark fading dial makes it a true piece of art.

Year 1933


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Year of production (circa)



Jaeger-LeCoultre, Other brands