• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 1

    Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine, rare and early chrome-plated Atmos clock


    Price Realised  


    Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine, rare and early chrome-plated Atmos clock
    Signed Brevets J. Reutter, No. 6316, reference RA2 Atmos I “Régulateur” model, circa 1934
    LeCoultre cal. 30A movement wound by changes in the air pressure, silvered matte dial with applied Arabic numerals, moon-style hands, rectangular case with glazed sides and top, mirrored bottom, hinged doors to front and back, balance locking lever in the chrome base, set with a metal plaque inscribed Brevets J.L. Reutter S.G.D.G., numbered 6316
    330 mm. high & 210 mm. wide

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    With Jaeger-LeCoultre Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present Atmos I “Régulateur” clock with almost perpetual winding movement LeCoultre calibre 30A in circa 1934. Furthermore delivered with Jaeger-LeCoultre Repair Guarantee Certificate dated 9 April 2015, copy of the relevant invoice and instructions. Restored in the workshops of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2015, the clock is in excellent overall condition.

    In the late 1920s the young engineer Jean-Léon Reutter experimented with a clock which would not need direct mechanical or electrical intervention to keep it wound, a clock powered only by Perpetual Motion. For centuries, many scientists including Leonardo Da Vinci had experimented with the idea of Perpetual Motion - however, only Reutter eventually succeeded in transforming it into an actual working clock. His vision of a Perpetual Motion timepiece led him to produce a clock with a mechanism designed to consume the smallest possible amount of power to keep it running. His creation included a device powering the movement independently, using a substance which would react to the most sensitive changes in temperature and atmospheric conditions.

    The result was an ingenious new clock unlike any other, past or present, a timepiece that would run independently and continuously, so incredibly sensitive that it could be rewound by the slightest fluctuations in the atmosphere or by the slightest changes in temperature, hence the name: "Atmos Clock". The first models, such as the present, were called Reutter Atmos I. Reutter's system was patented in 1928 and improved by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Since 1935, the company has been producing these highly popular timepieces in different styles.