Fre­quent­ly asked questions

Ques­ti­ons & Answers

Here we have coll­ec­ted some ques­ti­ons and ans­wers that we are often asked. Do you have any fur­ther ques­ti­ons? Feel free to cont­act us by mail or call us.

Atmos Kaliber 540 von Jaeger LeCoultre, Logo-Aufnahme
Does an Atmos clock need oil?

Again and again, one encoun­ters the per­sis­tent rumor that an Atmos clock—assuming the right syn­the­tic mira­cle agent—must also be oiled in various places. This is not the case. Unli­ke many other clocks, the Atmos clock is an excep­ti­on: None of the gears or the very fine pivots or rubies need oil. Neither clas­si­cal oils used in lar­ge-sca­le mecha­nics nor modern syn­the­tic oils used in micro­me­cha­nics help the Atmos watch to its graceful swing. Rather, the oppo­si­te is true: even tiny amounts of oil in one of the rubies can lead to seve­re rate inac­cu­ra­ci­es and signi­fi­cant­ly fas­ter ampli­tu­de loss. In the worst case, the watch sim­ply stops.


Oil is used in mecha­nics main­ly whe­re parts move quick­ly and thus, for exam­p­le, a high tem­pe­ra­tu­re is gene­ra­ted or wear is stron­gly influen­ced. Here, clas­sic oils are used (most­ly: claw oil) to achie­ve a lubri­ca­ting effect or, for exam­p­le, to keep high fric­tion tem­pe­ra­tures in check in engi­ne con­s­truc­tion. The major dis­ad­van­ta­ge of clas­sic oils is their rapid wear: after a rela­tively short time, clas­sic oils begin to thi­c­ken and res­i­ni­fy. In the histo­ry of watch­ma­king, peo­p­le have tried to com­bat this wear with various means, e.g. by using anti-aging sta­bi­li­zers that make the oil rela­tively sta­ble to aging. Howe­ver, even the­se sta­bi­li­zers lose their effect over time, and the clas­sic oil runs a pro­gres­si­ve aging cur­ve in the long term.

The deve­lo­p­ment of syn­the­tic oils has ope­ned up a new gate­way for watch­ma­king. Signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her resis­tance to aging is the core pro­per­ty of syn­the­tic oils. By adding addi­ti­ves, the lubri­ci­ty has also been rai­sed to a level that can cope with dif­fi­cult fric­tion conditions.

Howe­ver, even the­se advan­ced oils are not good enough for the Atmos clock. Seve­ral fac­tors account for the fact that the Atmos clock requi­res almost no oils at all. Some­ti­mes the move­ment of the Atmos clock is fre­quent­ly expo­sed to a wide varie­ty of atmo­sphe­ric con­di­ti­ons and fluc­tua­tions for a very long peri­od (some­ti­mes over 30 years at a time). This is whe­re even the best syn­the­tic oils gum up.

On the sur­face, howe­ver, an Atmos clock is “oil-free” for ano­ther, very simp­le reason: it sim­ply does not need any oil. The uni­que run­ning smooth­ness in the watch world, with only 120 half oscil­la­ti­ons per hour (2 half oscil­la­ti­ons per minu­te; this cor­re­sponds to a fre­quen­cy of 0.01666 Hz), allows the fra­gi­le gears to mesh so gent­ly that no wear can be detec­ted, even over many deca­des. This is some­ti­mes one of the main reasons for the com­pa­ra­tively long main­ten­an­ce inter­vals (vary­ing bet­ween 10–25 years, depen­ding on model and con­di­ti­on, in our expe­ri­ence). Thus, the quiet move­ments of the Atmos give the watch not only its ele­gan­ce but also its longevity.

That’s why an Atmos watch alre­a­dy comes from the manu­fac­to­ry as “dry” as pos­si­ble. The indi­vi­du­al gears and pivots are almost cli­ni­cal­ly pure. The only lubri­cant you should find on an Atmos watch is well hid­den in the main­spring bar­rel. The­re sits a spring worm that car­ri­es a wafer-thin film of syn­the­tic oil, which gua­ran­tees that the spring will remain rust-free and able to do its job in the Atmos for years to come.

How do I level my ATMOS wit­hout a bubble level, or if the bubble level does not read correctly?

Many inte­res­ted peo­p­le unde­re­sti­ma­te how important it is that an Atmos clock is pre­cis­e­ly leve­led. The cor­rect adjus­t­ment of the clock influen­ces the accu­ra­cy very much. We have had expe­ri­en­ces with ATMOS enthu­si­asts who­se wat­ches ran too fast for up to 45 minu­tes a day. As it tur­ned out, the pro­blem very often lay in impro­per ali­gnment of the rota­ting pendulum.

In the newer models, all Atmos clocks have a small spi­rit level built into the cen­ter. It is also cal­led a “bubble level”. This makes adjus­ting the Atmos clock very easy. Here you use the two rota­ting feet on the front left and right of the base pla­te to cen­ter the clock.

Many of the bubble levels are unfort­u­na­te­ly not cor­rect­ly installed—or “sunk” with the time—so that they do not always relia­bly indi­ca­te the abso­lu­te hori­zon­tal posi­ti­on of an ATMOS. This leads to the fact, that an ATMOS owner ali­gns his watch with the bubble level, but the good pie­ce does not run, becau­se it is not exact­ly level and plumb.


The­re are seve­ral ways to manu­al­ly adjust your watch—depending on the model of the Atmos. Very often, this will ali­gn the watch bet­ter than using a spi­rit level that is only pla­ced on the case. You are ensu­ring that you are not alig­ning the pen­dulum with the case, but that the pen­dulum is plumb with its sus­pen­si­on (the plates).

Some ATMOS models have a cen­tral locking screw under­neath the pen­dulum, loca­ted in the base pla­te. Try to cen­ter the pen­dulum to this locking screw — use the pivot feet as usu­al to do this. If the pen­dulum is cen­te­red over the locking screw, your clock should be cor­rect­ly aligned.

If your clock does not have a locking screw under the pen­dulum, pro­ceed as follows:
View the clock from the side (if pos­si­ble). The goal is to have a clear view of the bot­tom end of the pen­dulum, whe­re it pas­ses through a nar­row ope­ning in the plates.
At the bot­tom end of the pen­dulum, you can see this break-through: the pen­dulum pas­ses through a mil­led ope­ning here. Now try to cen­ter the pen­dulum using this opening—also use the rota­ting feet for this as usu­al. If the small pla­te is cen­te­red just abo­ve the ope­ning, you have adjus­ted your clock correctly.

Time chan­ge on the ATMOS—How do I “chan­ge“ the time on my ATMOS?

The time chan­ge is for many ATMOS owners some­thing unfa­mi­li­ar and the­r­e­fo­re com­pli­ca­ted. You can also real­ly do some­thing serious­ly wrong in the process.

Plea­se note:

  • Never turn the minu­te hand backward!
  • Do not touch the dial with your index fin­ger! The smal­lest sweat par­tic­les lead after years to sta­ins on the dial, which can not be removed.

When chan­ging the time from sum­mer to win­ter time (i.e. the time is set back by one hour) on your Atmos, pro­ceed as follows:
Let the rota­ting pen­dulum move to the right until you reach the rever­sal point—that is, the point whe­re the rota­ting pen­dulum stops short. The­re you lock your clock, i.e. push the locking lever to the right so that the rota­ting pen­dulum can­not run any fur­ther. Now turn the minu­te hand for­ward 11 turns (hours) to set the new time.
Then careful­ly release the locking lever again. Done.

What to look for when buy­ing an Atmos clock? Our tips!

You buy what you see! The­r­e­fo­re, try to inspect the watch its­elf, or pho­tos of the watch very careful­ly. Pay atten­ti­on to the case cor­ners, often the­re are so-cal­led “stress cracks” that are irrepa­ra­ble. The­se occur main­ly in model series such as the cali­ber 528/8 and cali­ber 519, but are also not uncom­mon in other cali­bers and models.

The dial also plays an important role. Often, this shows dis­co­lo­ra­ti­ons or scrat­ches. Take a clo­se look here. The gene­ral con­di­ti­on of the case gil­ding should always cor­re­spond to the age. A watch with too many spots was usual­ly not trea­ted with care.

Ask the sel­ler about the histo­ry of the watch, the­re may be indi­ca­ti­ons of repairs alre­a­dy made.

What should I look for when ship­ping or having an Atmos clock shipped?

The most important thing is always to lock the pen­dulum com­ple­te­ly. Depen­ding on the model, the­re is always a locking lever (under the dial or the base), and often an addi­tio­nal locking screw cen­te­red under the clock. The lever must be moved to the right side when the swi­vel pen­dulum is swung all the way to the right. Make sure that the lever is pushed all the way to the right, the­re is often a litt­le resis­tance at the end that needs to be over­co­me to get the lever to lock firm­ly into place. If you have the addi­tio­nal locking screw cen­te­red under the clock, tigh­ten it by hand. You can find more detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on in our instructions.

Now we recom­mend pack­ing suf­fi­ci­ent­ly soft. The rule of thumb appli­es: always dou­ble pack. For exam­p­le, roll the watch its­elf very thic­k­ly in bubble wrap, then place this packa­ge in a lar­ge card­board box (plea­se always signi­fi­cant­ly over­si­ze, never shoe box­si­ze) and stuff all cor­ners and edges with soft cushio­ning mate­ri­al. The watch must be soft­ly pad­ded, do not use sty­ro­foam. Once the watch is soft­ly packed, you can send the packa­ge on its way.

How do I deter­mi­ne the year and model of my Atmos watch?

The­re is no offi­ci­al list that can be used to deter­mi­ne the year of manu­fac­tu­re of your clock. We fall back on our data, which we have coll­ec­ted over the years. We would be hap­py to help you deter­mi­ne the model and year of manu­fac­tu­re of your clock. Just send us an email with a pic­tu­re of your clock and the seri­al num­ber. This way we can easi­ly deter­mi­ne the year of manu­fac­tu­re of your clock for you. You will find the seri­al num­ber stam­ped in the cen­ter on top of the watch.


Alexander Heeg
Burkarderstraße 36
97082 Würzburg
Tel.: +49 1788170215

Rüdiger Heeg
Wilhelmstraße 59
63741 Aschaffenburg
Tel.: +49 1759371074