Three of the luxury world’s most prestigious Houses have come together on a stunning new collaboration: the Atmos Hermès clock. Created in collaboration between Hermès, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Les Cristalleries de St. Louis, this limited-edition clock is a convergence of transparency, opalescence, crystal, glass, metal and, above all, artistic craftsmanship.
At the heart of this spherical crystal clock is a perpetual movement Atmos mechanism developed by the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre. This movement type, which operates without battery, electric current or winding, has fascinated the watch world since it was first introduced in 1928. The 190 piece movement is driven by an hermetically sealed capsule which contains a mixture of gases that expand when the temperature rises and contract when the temperature drops. The capsule acts like a concertina or bellows connected to the mainspring of the clock, thereby constantly winding the movement. This ultra-efficient movement is so sensitive that a one-degree temperature difference is enough to power the clock for 48 hours
To create the crystal sphere exterior, Hermès worked with the glassmakers at Les Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, who used a doublé (double overlay) technique to coat layers of glass over each other, including a coloured one. This complicated technique requires that the glassblower use his blowpipe or gathering iron to collect the molten white enamel and fashion it so as to create a ball known as a gather. The artisan then blows short puffs of air into this mass, all the while regularly heating it, before shaping it into a glass bubble (parison). Meanwhile, four master glassmakers prepared a light-coloured glass mass using a shaping block and heat it to give it a spherical shape. Then comes the overlay operation: the glassmaker detaches the white enamel parison while another glassmaker pours the light-coloured glass. The two materials are worked together, placed in a mould which is blown to form a sphere, then placed in an annealing oven to allow the creation to cool down without shattering. Once completed, the mechanism is inserted into the perforated sphere, which weighs around ten kilos.
Only 176 pieces of the Atmos Hermès clock will be produced.