Atmos 568 is a clock that lives on air.
The unique piece springs up from the years-long collaboration between Swiss luxury horologer Jaeger-LeCoultre and Australian designer Marc Newson.
Leaning on simplicity, lightness and transparency, the Atmos 568 resides in a crystal rounded cube, manufactured by Baccarat to the exceptional minimal thickness of a mere 13 mm at some places. This remarkable shell highlights the watch’s rarity and cues to its iconic place in the Maison’s legacy. Inside the cube is a timekeeping mechanism that seems to float in the air – a feature that speaks to Newson’s unique creative vision. The movement’s rear, however, reveals four discreet points – instead of the Atmos traditional three – that anchor the watch in place.
Light may unobtrusively illuminate the transparent dial, but it remains easy to read due to its blue transferred Arabic numerals, which always face outwards. Without cluttering the pared-down design, a month circle loops in the middle of the dial. A separate blue-and-white disc, embellished with concentric striations, tracks the entire moon cycle.
Devised by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans and reimagined by Newson, Atmos 568 boasts a modern matte satin-brush finish, sprinkled with spots of shiny relief – a combination that flickers with light. To heighten the piece’s subtle play with the sun’s rays, the balance wheel features a novel design of matte grooves and shiny hollows.
“I was thrilled to have been asked to design an Atmos because it is a timepiece that I have loved since I first saw one when I was in my early teens,” says Newson. “An Atmos for me is a complex and magical object, it seemingly runs on perpetual motion or the closest thing to it and it needs a constant environment to function in. It is as if it is a living thing – you have the feeling that it can sense your presence – which I find strangely comforting.”
The latest in a line of celebrated clocks that stretches back to 1928, Atmos 568, just like its predecessors, runs independently of any human intervention. It relies on a gaseous mixture in a hermetically sealed capsule, which expands and contracts with barely perceivable temperature fluctuations. Linked to Atmos’ drive spring, the capsule winds the clock’s mechanism with its every swell.
Atmos 568 made its debut at this year’s edition of the coveted Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), which is taking place in Geneva from January 16 – 20.