Antique Clock Collecting: Foreign & Unique Clocks : Antique Clock Collecting: Atmos Clocks

An interesting variation of the four-hundred
day or anniversary clock is what’s called the Atmos clock. These were made by the LeCoulture
Company in Switzerland. We could’ve talked about this as a Swiss clock, too. These have
the torsion spring, the pendulum which oscillates very slowly back and forth. But these….sometimes
even by the company, are called perpetual motion clocks. You don’t have to wind Atmos
clocks, and the reason for that is that there’s a bellows in the back that’s similar to a
barometer, and very slight movements of that bellows in and out, with changes of temperature
and pressure, are enough to wind the clock. Of course, it has to be a very fine clock
mechanism to run on such low power as is generated by that bellows going in and out. But in this
case, the Atmos design, which goes back to the nineteen-thirties, was a successful one
with a highly jeweled movement. Very low friction, and very slow oscillation of the pendulum
which allows you to have a….have almost a perpetual motion clock as long as you live
somewhere where the temperature and the barometric pressure changes regularly, and virtually
every place on the earth does that. They calculate that one degree centigrade change in temperature
is enough to wind the clock for forty-eight hours worth of running. So, almost everywhere
in the earth we live, this clock is going to stay wound, and really going to stay keeping
pretty accurate time. This is an early, rare version, as are many of the ones I’ve shown
you, because this has a low serial number, indicating it was made very early in the range,
and it’s also in a chrome case. Virtually all of these were in brass or gold cases,
this one’s in chrome. They still make Atmos clocks, you can still buy them. They’re very
expensive to repair, so if you buy a used one, you need to be very certain that it’s
working, or you’re going to spend a minimum of five hundred dollars having it fixed.

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