ON THE CLOCK: Hermès and Jaeger-LeCoultre have unveiled their first joint project in more than three decades, rekindling a historic partnership in fine watchmaking.
The two luxury brands have created an Atmos clock with a hand-blown and carved enamel and crystal casing produced by Cristalleries the Saint-Louis, a subsidiary of Hermès.
Craftsmen were on hand at a presentation in Paris to detail the making of this latest iteration of the Atmos perpetual motion mantle clock, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year.
It functions thanks to a mechanism that contracts and expands with the ambient temperature, so that a variation of 1 degree Centigrade is enough to keep it going for 48 hours.
Produced in a limited edition of 176, corresponding to the number of years since Hermès was founded, the Atmos Hermès clock will retail for 30,000 euros, or $39,100 at current exchange.
Hermès creative director Pierre-Alexis Dumas noted that the two companies had worked together frequently between 1928 and 1972, jointly signing their creations. He added that as a young boy, he inherited his fascination with the Atmos clock from his grandfather Robert Dumas.
“This is retro-futurism,” he said of the new model, a globe that weighs around 10 kg, or around 22 pounds. “We are transported to the study of Captain Nemo on the Nautilus. It’s an object that could easily appear in a Jules Verne novel, and yet, it is truly of 2013.”
Jérôme Lambert, chief executive officer of Jaeger-LeCoultre, said the project was all about longevity. “The Atmos clock is designed to work for 1,000 years, so I hope this Atmos clock that we see here will continue to generate as much emotion and pleasure in 1,000 years,” he said.