A rare French art deco nickel reutter patent atmos clock, model P01, circa 1930.
Jean-Léon Reutter presented his first prototype atmos clock in 1928. The ingenious movement that winds itself by means of temperature and atmosferic pressure changes, received much appraisal and admiration. Around 1930 a commercial production was started of these clocks with many different cases. Besides the now known models with glass panels in a metal frame there were more traditional models based on antique clocks. There were also much more avant garde models. Of these ‘model P 01’ might be the most extreme. It basically consists of an atmos movement placed in a small frame and housed under a glass dome. Because the clock lacks any ornament or colour it appears very modern. The version of the P01 is even more rare since it has a black chapter ring.
Atmos pendule perpetuelle
The black lacquered chapter ring has Ararbic numerals. It is inscibed ‘Atmos’ under the 12. Above the numeral 6 is inscibed ‘Pendule perpetuelle’. It means ‘perpetual clock’ a name that Reutter used since the clocks winds itself.
The nickel plated mechanism is suspended in frame, It runs on a spring that is wound by movements of a drum which are caused by changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. Because the movement needs very little energy it can run for 48 hours with a change of temperature of only one degree Centigrade. Since there are always changes in temperature during a day the clock will keep on running. The large balance visible below the movement has a thirty seond oscillation. At the back the frame is numbered 6846 and a plaque is inscribed ‘BREVETS J.L. REUTTER S.G.D.G.’.
The frame which holds the movement is mounted on a rectangular black slate base with rounded corners. It is raised on nickel plated feet and has a sliding lever which can block the balance wheel. The whole is covered by a glass dome.