studying the design of the 400-Day Anniversary
Clock -which was very popular during that
era - Reutter made significant changes to
that concept, to meet the small input power
requirement he was looking for in his new
of the 400-Day Clock included changes to the
escapement leverage to reduce the arc of the
escapement as well as adding jewels to the
bearings of the movement. His new clock ran
safely and most importantly very reliably.
His new clock design
included a special device that would power
his clock independently, using a substance
that would react to the most sensitive changes
in temperature and atmospheric conditions.
That substance was mercury. He also
designed a special glass tube similar to that
of a thermometer for the mercury and encased
it all inside a metal cylinder, which is now
known as the Bellows.
of Reutters achievement was an ingenious new
clock unlike any other, past or present. A
timepiece that could run independently and
continuously and 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".
Later, due to dangers
in handling and instability, the mercury in
the Bellows that powered the Atmos Clock was
changed to a special more stable saturated
gas, known scientifically as 'Ethyl Chloride'.
The technological concept of the Gas filled
Atmos Bellows is a remarkable one: Inside
a sealed capsule, a mixture of gas and liquid
expands as the temperature rises and contracts
as it falls, moving the capsule back and forth
like a tiny unseen accordion. This motion
is used to constantly wind the mainspring
thus enabling the clock to run and keep perfect
time. A small temperature variation of just
one degree is sufficient for over two day's
operation. Such variation occurs naturally
in normal room temperature and thus without
any additional sources of energy, the Atmos
clock will continue to run if left untouched,
"forever". Hence the term: "Living
Marriage of Atmos and Jaeger-LeCoultre
When Reutters Atmos
was in its initial production in the early
thirties, the lack of enthusiasm from manufactures
in general during that time made production
of the Atmos clock difficult. Reutter Atmos
was in production, but only in small numbers.
Legend has it, while
Reutter struggled with production of his Atmos
Clock, the manager of a famous Swiss watch
making company LeCoultre (a company world
famous for fine Swiss watches located in the
French Valley of Switzerland) was strolling
down a street in Paris one day and noticed
one of Reutters Atmos Clocks sitting in a
shop window for sale. The man was so fascinated
with Reutters Atmos; he walked in and purchased
it from the shop merchant.
Later, after a chance
encounter between LeCoultre and Reutter he
(Reutter) agreed to sell the license and eventually
his Atmos Clock patent to the LeCoultre Watch
At the time of LeCoultres
acquisition of the Atmos patent, LeCoultre
was in fierce competition with another Watch
Company, Ed Jaeger of Paris. Eventually
LeCoultre merged with Jaeger to form the famous
watch making company: Jaeger-LeCoultre.
With the combined
knowledge and expertise of their newly joined
Company, Jaeger & LeCoultre poured
considerable investment collective research
and development into Reutter's Atmos Clock.
Just a few years later, major production of
the newly revamped Atmos Clock was launched
under the Jaeger-LeCoultre name exclusively.
The LeCoultre Atmos
Clock soon became a very fashionable, prestigious
gift in Switzerland and eventually Worldwide.
As the success
of both Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Atmos clock
continued to grow, the company prospered and
in 1979, the 500,000th Atmos Clock left the
Factory in Switzerland with much celebrated
fan-fair, a half a century after the first
Atmos Clock patent was filed.