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Directory:Atmos, the Clock Powered by Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure Changes
Page first featured March 31, 2010
Compiled by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Atmos is the brand name of a mechanical clock that has been manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre in Switzerland since 1935 which doesn't need to be wound and which keeps very accurate time. It gets the energy it needs to run from small temperature changes and atmospheric pressure changes in the environment, and can run for years without human intervention.
This gave rise to the endearing name: "The Perpetual Motion Clock," though the energy source is clearly from the environment. It is no more "perpetual" than a tide or ocean wave energy harvesting device.
Its power source is a hermetically sealed capsule containing a mixture of gas and liquid ethyl chloride, which expands into an expansion chamber as the temperature rises, compressing a spiral spring. With a fall in temperature the gas condenses and the spring slackens. This motion constantly winds the mainspring. A temperature variation of only one degree in the range between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius, or a pressure variation of 3 mmHg, is sufficient for two days' operation.
In order to run the clock on this small amount of energy, everything inside the Atmos has to work in as friction-free a manner as possible. For timekeeping it uses a torsion pendulum, which consumes less energy than an ordinary pendulum. The torsion pendulum executes only two torsional oscillations per minute, which is 1/60th the rate of the pendulum in a conventional clock. No oil is ever needed due to the smooth and slow rotation of the pendulum disc; and no measureable wear occurs.
While these devices clearly work, based on long-established science, they are terribly expensive, at several thousand dollars each – just a conversation piece for the rich.
We feature this device here in hopes that it might inspire something more monumental and practical using some of these same principles.
Dealers / Repair
- http://www.atmosclocks.com – specializes in the repair and restoration of all Atmos Clock models
Quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmos_clock
The first clock powered by changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature was invented by Cornelis Drebbel in the early seventeenth century. Drebbel built as many as 18 of these, the two most notable being for King James VI & I of Britain, and Rudolf II of Bohemia. The King James clock was known as the Eltham Perpetuum, and was famous throughout Europe.
Experimental clocks powered by atmospheric pressure and temperature changes were next made during the Age of Enlightenment. Early examples are a clock developed by Pierre de Rivaz in 1740, and Cox's timepiece, a clock developed in the 1760s by James Cox and John Joseph Merlin. The oldest predecessor still running today is the 1864 Beverly Clock.
The first Atmos clock was designed by Jean-Léon Reutter, an engineer in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1928. This noncommercial prototype, which predated the Atmos name but is now known unofficially as Atmos 0, was driven by a mercury-in-glass expansion device. The mechanism operated on temperature changes alone.
On June 1, 1929, Compagnie Générale de Radio (CGR) in France began manufacturing the first commercial model, Atmos 1, which used a mercury and ammonia bellows power source. On July 27, 1935 Jaeger-LeCoultre took over production of Atmos 1 while it developed a second design which used the present ethyl chloride power source. This model, later named the Atmos 2, was announced January 15, 1936, but problems delayed full production until mid 1939. Subsequent models were based on this design. To date, over 500,000 Atmos clocks have been produced.
- http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Atmos-Pros/ - A group of horological professionals, who routinely overhaul the Atmos. We focus on the proper overhauling, dating, information exchange, and research on the Reutter and LeCoultre Atmos clocks.
- Mike's Clock Clinic - Clock repairer specializes in Atmos; much info on models, part supply, history.
- Wireless Sensor Networks: Architectures and Protocols. pp. 157–158 touch on the Atmos clock. (Callaway, Edgar H. (2003); US: CRC Press. ISBN 9780849318238.)
- ATMOS -'THE PERPETUAL MOTION CLOCK' (GoAntiques.com)
Jaeger-LeCoultre, the current manufactures of the Atmos
After Sales Service
111 Eight Avenue, Suite # 500
New York City, NY 10011
1-800-552-4230; Fax: 1-917-606-7096
Manufacture Jaeger LeCoultre SA
Rue de la Golisse 8
CH-1347 Le Sentier
+41-21-845-02-02 or Fax +41-21-845-05-50