Luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre is honoring artist Gustav Klimt’s famous “The Kiss” with the Atmos Marqueterie clock. In 1904, Klimt was commissioned by a Belgian financier to create mural mosaics at a mansion in Brussels; among the pieces the artist created was “The Kiss”, the gilded painting which became the highlight of his “Golden Period”. Over a century later, Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating Klimt’s work with the ten-piece limited edition Atmos Marqueterie clock.
The clock is housed in a cabinet comprised of over 1,400 tiny pieces of wood, individually cut and gilded with gold leaf in the same manner used by Klimt, before being glued together to create a hand-made marquetry motif. Various gold colors, ranging from yellow to pink, recreate the painting and its famous shimmering glow. Only the most precious varieties of wood were used, including amboyna burl, camassari boxwood, ceylon lemonwood, paolo amarela and madrona burl.
A button concealed within the motif opens to the cabinet to reveal the clock, housed within a protective rhodiumed crystal glass. The natural mother-of-pearl dials are decorated by the unique displays of the hours, minutes, month and moon-phase indications. At the 60 minutes mark, a cushion-cut yellow sapphire marks the celestial zenith, while lozenge-shaped petrified wood decorates the hour-markers. A golden moon in a petrified wood disc is set with brilliant-cut diamonds, while the month wheel tops a silvertoned brass crown. Blue varnished hands complete the dial.
At the heart of this clock beats a Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 582 perpetual mechanism, driven exclusively by tiny thermal changes in temperature. An hermetically sealed capsule containing a gaseous mixture (originally mercury, before its poisonous effects became known) dilates when the temperature rises and contracts when it drops. Associated with the clock’s mainspring, the capsule or “concertina” works like a mechanical lung breathing in and out to wind the barrel in step with atmospheric fluctuations. Even the smallest variations in temperature drive the mechanism, guaranteeing an additional 48-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, its ring-type or annular balance oscillates just twice a minute, using less energy than even a wristwatch. As a result, this is a truly environmentally friendly clock – according to Jaeger-LeCoultre, it would take 60 million Atmos clocks to match the consumption of a standard 15-watt light bulb!
The Atmos Marqueterie clock is reference Q554 33 02. Source and photos courtesy Jaeger-LeCoultre. Additional photo of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”: photo credit.