Histo­ry of the watch—model seri­es at a glance

The Atmos clock

The fol­lowing is an over­view of the evo­lu­ti­on of the Atmos clock. Sin­ce its inven­ti­on in 1928, the legen­da­ry Atmos clock from Jae­ger-LeCoult­re has been rede­si­gned again and again. Its spe­cial fea­ture: an almost “eter­nal move­ment“ that is powe­red by the breath of the world. It has always been a dream of watch­ma­king to con­struct a clock that requi­res no exter­nal for­ces to run—a per­pe­tu­al moti­on machi­ne, so to speak. The trick: a her­me­ti­cal­ly sea­led capsule—the so-cal­led pres­su­re box—reacts to tem­pe­ra­tu­re fluc­tua­tions and thus winds the watch—without human inter­ven­ti­on. The very deli­ca­te move­ment, which is desi­gned to be extre­me­ly effi­ci­ent, can thus run for many deca­des. A tem­pe­ra­tu­re fluc­tua­ti­on of just one degree Cel­si­us is enough to keep the watch run­ning for 48 hours. A mas­ter­pie­ce of engi­nee­ring! In the fol­lowing, we will try to take up the histo­ry of the models and go into the tech­ni­cal dif­fe­ren­ces as well as the aes­the­ti­cal­ly timeless com­bi­na­ti­on of clas­sic and modern. I hope you enjoy get­ting to know and explo­ring the dif­fe­rent cali­bers and variations… 

Die Atmos Uhr Geschichte der Atmos
1929–1932
1929–1932
The Reut­ter Clock

Atmos I

In 1930 the pro­duc­tion of the first Reut­ter wat­ches star­ted, the forerun­ners of the Atmos watch. The­re were about 24 dif­fe­rent models from 1932–34, the first Reut­ter wat­ches were still equip­ped with the “Clu­ses“ movement—with only 4 rubies, the rest of the pivots were steel. From 1932/33 on, a new move­ment cali­ber 30′‘A was used, equip­ped with 15 rubies. Howe­ver, the main dif­fe­rence from the later Atmos watch was main­ly the mer­cu­ry-based motor, which trans­mit­ted the tem­pe­ra­tu­re fluc­tua­tions of the atmo­s­phe­re to the main­spring bar­rel. From 1936, deve­lo­p­ment began on a new motor princip­le, as the dan­gers of mer­cu­ry beca­me known and the motor con­struct was very fra­gi­le, the­re­fo­re dif­fi­cult to transport.
Die Atmos Uhr Geschichte der Atmos
1939–1950
1939–1950

ATMOS II

The first “real“ Atmos clock, powe­red by a gas-fil­led metal bel­low, was deve­lo­ped in 1935–38. The move­ment was fur­ther deve­lo­ped and a new case with glass discs was desi­gned. The typi­cal design, which remai­ned until the ear­ly 1990s, was crea­ted. Over the years, the­re were minor chan­ges to the design, such as the adjus­t­ment knob which points back­wards to the pres­su­re box, or for­wards, towards the dial. The pla­te shows the Gene­va finish, which is still com­mon today. The Atmos II was sold from 1939 on and went into seri­al pro­duc­tion for the first time. The myth of the per­pe­tu­al moti­on machi­ne was created.
Die Atmos Uhr Geschichte der Atmos
1948–1955
1948–1955
Cali­ber 519

ATMOS III

With the cali­ber 519, fur­ther minor chan­ges were made. The fine adjus­t­ment was revi­sed and pla­ced cen­tral­ly at the front over the dial, the pla­te width is redu­ced and the con­struc­tion of the case is some­what simplified—overall, the watch beco­mes more sui­ta­ble for mass pro­duc­tion. The move­ment remains most­ly unch­an­ged. The num­ber of wat­ches pro­du­ced incre­a­sed from 2,000 in 1948 to 10,000 by 1951.
Atmos Kaliber 522 von Jaeger-LeCoultre vergoldet und Umbau vernickelt
1953–1966
1953–1966
Cali­ber 522 and 532

Spe­cial seri­es ATMOS IV

The cali­ber 522 and 532 were spe­cial models that were pro­du­ced only brief­ly and are con­si­de­red inter­me­dia­te models. Today, the cali­ber 522 is often cal­led “Tuxe­do“ becau­se of the pro­mi­nent front door, which is deco­ra­ted with the striking Gene­va cut. The cali­ber 532 dif­fers only slight­ly from the cali­ber 526, here the case front was rein­ter­pre­ted and given a new design. This model was pro­du­ced only in small numbers.
Die Atmos Uhr Geschichte der Atmos
1955–1984
1955–1984
Cali­ber 526

Atmos V

The seri­al pro­duc­tion of the Atmos clock con­ti­nues with the cali­ber 526. The con­struc­tion of a new move­ment allows the pro­duc­tion of 1,500 Atmos clocks per mon­th, the clock is pre­sen­ted in Switz­er­land as a sta­te gift, in the U.S. very often as a cor­po­ra­te gift for employees to cele­bra­te an anni­ver­s­a­ry. The­re­fo­re, this model is also often found engra­ved or with a glued plaque on the front. Abo­ve men­tio­ned cali­ber 519 and 522 are pro­du­ced in par­al­lel and, howe­ver, are in dis­con­ti­nua­tion. The cali­ber 526 its­elf dif­fers main­ly by smal­ler dimen­si­ons, which also gives it the nick­na­me “Baby Atmos“. The case was modi­fied, the pen­du­lum latch is loca­ted insi­de under the dial—no lon­ger under the case back. Fur­ther­mo­re, the clock no lon­ger has a glass cover, which is remova­ble, but a small door, which can be ope­ned with a gold-pla­ted brass but­ton. The move­ment is built into this clas­sic watch case, but also in spe­cial ver­si­ons of the com­ing deca­des. For examp­le, in the model Atmos Ven­do­me and Atmos Ven­do­me Paris.
Atmos
1958–1968
1958–1968
Cali­ber 528

Atmos VI

Here, the lar­ger ori­gi­nal model of the Atmos clock is revi­ved. The suc­cess of the brand leads to the launch of even more models. The old dimen­si­ons are com­bi­ned with the new advan­ced move­ment and slim­mer pla­tes. The watch has initi­al­ly a hood like the Atmos II and Atmos III, which is chan­ged to a front door with a small pusher in the fol­lowing models from Atmos VIII. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, we have no offi­cial infor­ma­ti­on about the pro­duc­tion peri­od, but our records sug­gest that this model was pro­du­ced as ear­ly as 1958.
Atmos Kaliber 528 von Jaeger LeCoultre
1967–1984
1967–1984
Cali­ber 526, 528, 528/1 ff.

Atmos VIII

Par­al­lel to the abo­ve-men­tio­ned cali­bers, the Atmos VIII, cali­ber 528/1 is added to the cata­logs in 1967. First used in the Embas­sy model, the cali­ber beco­mes the new seri­es pro­duc­tion. At first, this model is still sold with a hood (Atmos VI), like the pre­vious vari­ants, later on, it is chan­ged to a front door (Atmos VIII). The case pro­por­ti­ons are again lar­ger, the move­ment can be adjus­ted and regu­la­ted through a remova­ble front dial. Again, the­re are dif­fe­rent dial vari­ants and some spe­cial edi­ti­ons like the Atmos “fan­ta­sy models“ (desi­gned by Lui­gi Cola­ni, in cata­logs 1974/75). It is said that this cali­ber is the most built cali­ber of the Atmos watch until today.
Atmos Prestige
bis 1983
bis 1983
Spe­cial edi­ti­ons until 1983

Limi­ted editions

Spe­cial men­ti­on should be made of various spe­cial edi­ti­ons of the Atmos clock, which have been pro­du­ced again and again in small pro­duc­tion runs, most­ly for various com­pa­ny anni­ver­s­a­ries. The­se inclu­de, for examp­le, the Atmos Jubi­lee, the Atmos Pres­ti­ge (and later the Atmos Ope­ra). Mar­king the fif­tieth anni­ver­s­a­ry of the Atmos clock, con­tem­pora­ry tech­no­lo­gy is here inser­ted into the ori­gi­nal pro­to­ty­pe design of the Reut­ter wat­ches (1930s). In a limi­ted edi­ti­on of 1,500 to 3,000 pie­ces, the­se models con­ti­nue to enjoy gre­at popu­la­ri­ty today. Espe­cial­ly the detail­ed design with face­ted discs and lar­ge screwed balan­ce weights testi­fies to the flair of the past era.
Atmos Kaliber 544 mit Mondphase, vergoldet, von Jaeger-LeCoultre
1983–2000
1983–2000
Cali­ber 540a

The rede­sign of a classic

From 1983, the cali­ber 540, which had been com­ple­te­ly over­hau­led in design, was lis­ted in the cata­logs. The focus was on a slim­mer design and modi­fied pro­por­ti­ons in detail. Tech­ni­cal­ly, the move­ment was com­ple­te­ly rebuilt: The move­ment pla­te, the pen­du­lum sus­pen­si­on, and all gears were com­ple­te­ly rede­si­gned. Also, the main­spring bar­rel was moved and, for the first time, a moon pha­se was possible—and that without an extra gear! This was the first “com­pli­ca­ti­on“ of the Atmos watch, the so-cal­led cali­ber 544—a mile­stone. In the begin­ning, this cali­ber is also equip­ped with a tem­pe­ra­tu­re and hygro­me­ter. Not visi­ble from the out­side, but of gre­at impor­t­ance: The manu­fac­tu­ring pro­cess of the pres­su­re box, the heart of every Atmos clock, was fun­da­ment­al­ly revi­sed. The gas-fil­led metal bel­lows, which react very sen­si­tively to any chan­ge in tem­pe­ra­tu­re, have now been manu­fac­tu­red using an indus­tri­al plas­ma wel­ding pro­cess, which great­ly extends its ser­vice life and thus hel­ps the Atmos watch to last even lon­ger. Dif­fe­rent models, dials, and cali­ber vari­ants were introduced.
Atmos Atlantis, rhodiniert und vergoldet, von Jaeger-LeCoultre
1985–2003
1985–2003
Cali­ber 540ff.

Spe­cial models

In addi­ti­on to various case varia­ti­ons, dif­fe­rent design varia­ti­ons have mana­ged to get a spe­cial place. Dif­fe­rent vari­ants such as the Atmos Ope­ra or the Atmos Fon­taine­bleau in a woo­den case are issued and cau­se a sen­sa­ti­on. First and fore­mo­st, the Atmos Atlantis/3000, desi­gned in 1995 by the desi­gner KOH­LER et REKOW in Paris, was the trend­set­ting design that car­ri­es the Atmos watch in a glass tra­pe­ze on 3 lar­ge poin­ted metal cones. Dif­fe­rent ver­si­ons, in gold or rho­di­um pla­ted, were pro­du­ced in small num­bers. A mas­ter­pie­ce of tech­no­lo­gy and almost uni­que in watch histo­ry is the “Atmos Atlan­tis du Mil­len­aire“ which is equip­ped with a per­pe­tu­al moon, mon­th, and year calen­dar. A snail-shaped dial with a sepa­ra­te hand move­ment shows the years from 2000 AD to 3000 AD. A watch that car­ri­es the thought “until all eternity“.
The­re are also spe­cial edi­ti­ons of this vari­ant, such as the Atmos du Mil­len­aire Mar­que­te­rie (cali­ber 546). A luxu­rious­ly hand­craf­ted wal­nut case with intri­ca­te inlay work unders­cores the spe­cial natu­re of this watch.
Atmos Kaliber 562
2003–Today
2003–Today
Cali­ber 560ff. The new mill­en­ni­um also ushe­red in a new era for the Atmos watch. The cali­ber 540 was dis­con­ti­nued and the cali­ber 560 was lis­ted in dif­fe­rent vari­ants in the cata­logs. Main­ly design adjus­t­ments were made. Howe­ver, the Atmos clock with moon pha­se (form­er­ly cali­ber 544, now cali­ber 562) was equip­ped with ano­t­her com­pli­ca­ti­on: a mon­th­ly calendar–as first seen on the Atmos du Millenaire.
Atmos "Birth Date" von Jaeger LeCoultre, Model: Transparente
2003–Today
2003–Today
Cali­ber 560ff..

Spe­cial variants

Here, too, spe­cial model varia­ti­ons were crea­ted. Par­ti­cu­lar­ly note­wor­thy, for examp­le, is the model Atmos Trans­pa­ren­te, in which the Atmos clock is sus­pen­ded in a glass cube. This model was pro­du­ced in dif­fe­rent ver­si­ons, without/with moon pha­se dis­play, even in a “du Mil­len­aire“ variant—with a 1,000-year calen­dar page.
Atmos Newson, designed by Marc Newson, von Jaeger-LeCoultre
2008–Today
2008–Today
Atmos Marc Newson

Spe­cial variants

A sepa­ra­te room should still get the Atmos clock models around Marc New­son. In 2008, coope­ra­ti­on began bet­ween the desi­gner and Jae­ger-LeCoult­re that con­ti­nues to this day. Only a few dif­fe­rent designs have been rea­li­zed sin­ce then, but all with very dis­tinc­ti­ve designs and extre­me­ly exqui­si­te cases. Ori­gi­nal­ly Marc New­son was com­mis­sio­ned to design an Atmos watch for the 80th anni­ver­s­a­ry of the same, so today in 2022 the­re is alrea­dy the third model desi­gned by New­son to buy.
Atmos-Atelier-Logo

Alexander Heeg
Burkarderstraße 36
97082 Würzburg
Tel.: +49 1788170215
E-Mail: info@atmos-atelier.de

Rüdiger Heeg
Wilhelmstraße 59
63741 Aschaffenburg
Tel.: +49 1759371074
E-Mail: zz-zahnraedchen@hotmail.de