It is a happy day in my world when a new Marc Newson Atmos clock arrives, and today is shaping up to be a very nice one indeed. The world-renowned designer has been working with cheap replica Jaeger-LeCoultre since 2008 and has released a number of collaboration Atmos clocks over the years. They’re always a little bit technical, a little bit ethereal, and there’s no way you could ever mistake one for anything else. The latest, the Atmos 568, is very much in the same mold but with enough newness to keep me interested.
We’ll start with the basics. The Atmos 568 is a table clock that tells the time, keeps track of the month, and displays the current phase of the moon. It’s housed in a monumental Baccarat crystal case with the movement suspended in the center – the whole thing is approximately 9.5 in high, 8.2 in wide, and 5.7 in deep, and it weighs almost 20 lbs. The movement is made up of 211 components and is called the Caliber 568. Although it has a new name, the movement is nearly identical to that of the earlier Atmos 561, technically speaking. There are aesthetic and finishing changes, plus a few tweaks to the design of the large balance wheel, but the major systems, gear train, and complications are identical.
The exterior and the styling of the dial are what set the Atmos 568 apart from its predecessors. The case is made entirely from Baccarat crystal that varies wildly in thickness, tapering to just 13mm in certain places. This Atmos’s base is extremely thick, anchoring it to the table with a trio of feet, while the last few sat on pedestals or had uniform cases. It sort of reminds me of an ice sculpture, and in particular the edges and the places where the case starts to thicken are fascinating. As you’d expect, the crystal front provides a bit of magnification, making the mechanism inside appear a little larger than it actually is. It’s not an obvious effect, but you can tell if you start looking closely and from different angles (I say this having seen the other crystal-cased Atmos clocks, not this particular example).
Then there’s the dial – or the series of rings in its place. Seemingly floating in front of the movement is a transparent glass ring with bright blue Arabic numerals at the hours and a collection of correspondingly blue dashes and dots to mark the minutes. Nested inside of that is a brushed steel ring with blue-filled indicators for the months (remember, this is more than a basic time-only clock) and hanging out in front over the six o’clock area is the blue and white moonphase indicator. The moonphase, in case you were wondering, is accurate to one day every 3,861 years.
The hands have an interesting treatment that I haven’t seen before – they’re blue (colored to match the numerals, not flame blued) on the longer sections and brushed steel on the counterweight sections. It’s cool once you get used to it, but a little disorienting at first, with all that’s going on at the center of this clock.
If you’re not familiar with how the Atmos clock works, it’s actually relatively straightforward. There’s a capsule on the back side filled with a proprietary mixture of gases. When the temperature fluctuates, the gases expand and contract. As they do, the capsule presses on the bellows system, which winds the clock. One degree of temperature change gives the clock two days of power, making the clock “virtually perpetual,” to use JLC’s phraseology. The basic mechanism has been around since 1928, and if you’re interested in learning more, Jack took a long look at Atmos production when visiting the exact fake Jaeger-LeCoultre watches manufacture that will give you all the details you could ever want.
Objectivity totally cast to the wind, I love these clocks. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they’re amongst the most beautiful and interesting horological creations of the modern era. Yeah, I think they’re that good. They combine unusual timekeeping technology with seriously rigorous design, manufacturing, and craftsmanship in an almost wholly unique way. I was already smitten when I went hands-on with the unique (RED) Atmos 561 at Jony Ive and Marc Newson’s charity auction back in 2013 (where it sold for $425,000, by the way) and since I’ve been anxiously awaiting new releases. Is the 568 my favorite Newson Atmos? Probably not. I think I’d have to go with the basic Atmos 561, with its split blue hands, narrow pedestal base, and unusual geometry. But the 568 is certainly a nice addition to the collection and one that I can’t wait to see in person.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos 568 by Marc Newson is priced at $28,000 and, unlike some of the earlier versions, it is not a limited edition. For more, visit luxury replica Jaeger-LeCoultre online.