Atmos clock

Mikem53

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
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Please forgive me if this is in the wrong forum, I thought it would be relevant to horological types ..
My perpetual Atmos clock has stopped being perpetual :[ it is wound by a metal folding diaphragm with some gas mixture that expands and contracts with temp and atmospheric pressure.. It has been going for several decades and now is only right twice a day...
So I was going to open it up and remove the Back containing the diaphragm, watching vids, etc... sighs.. Was wondering if anyone has done similar, seems to be common issue, otherwise a very reliable device and finely crafted.. I read horror stories about people sending them in for service.. this is something time won’t heal !
Thanks in advance.. 6FA6CB68-D3E7-4DE2-B097-7C38F6FAEC5D.jpeg
 

Mikem53

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
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Mine is from 1956. It got serviced four times by JLC since my mother acquired it. I works flawlessly.

Thanks ! I will follow up on it..
I didn’t catch the JLC acronym when I first replied, but I was in contact with them for a shipping box and some questions before.. but Im going to attempt to fix this myself.. if the diaphragm is broken, I should be able to replace it.. might as well try, I can’t dance...
 
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nickw

Member
Feb 2, 2021
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4
5
I quite like Jaeger-LeCoultre and have had many of their pieces. I am also a horology enthusiast who likes to understand the underling principles and challenges in watch and clock making.

I have not owned an Atmos yet, but I know a little about them. They have undergone an evolution over the years and there are several different generations of them now. They do need to be serviced roughly every 20 years in order to keep functioning. I understand you want to try and repair it yourself, but a service contains more than replacing the bellows. As noted, the bellows are the primary item which needs to be addressed, often rebuilt and recharged rather than replaced. However there are also oils used as a lubricant inside the clock which slowly dry out. The clock will need to be fully disassembled, ultrasonically cleaned, reassembled, lubricated and timing adjusted. This also assumes no additional parts need to be replaced.

Much of the beauty of the Atmos is in its amazing efficiency and ingenious solution for energy collection. They say a temperature fluctuation of one degree celsius provides enough energy to power the clock for 48 hours. This is staggering really, just how little energy it can use. The creation of the Atmos was a notable milestone in watch and clock making. It is perhaps counter intuitive, but the slower the period of oscillation in a mechanical clock, the more difficult it is to create and service. Essentially, the slower the speed in which a clock runs, the greater the tiny details throw its time keeping ability out of whack. A faster running clock which uses more energy allows you get away with certain things which a slow running clock can not.

Respectfully speaking, unless you have training in watch and clock repair, it is not something you will want to do yourself. There is far more to fine watch and clock making than people realize. They look deceptively simple, but I assure you, there is far more than meets the eye.

I would honestly leave this job for JLC service, or an aftermarket watch or clock maker who has specific training and knowledge regarding the Atmos. As noted, shipping them requires care. Any competent Atmos service centre could best advise you on best packing procedures, including how to prep the clock for shipment (for instance, the torsion pendulum needs to be locked down before moving). You have a lovely clock, and with a little service every few decades it should be provide faithful service to your family for centuries to come.

I hope this helps.
Cheers,
Nick
 
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Mikem53

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
359
186
45
I quite like Jaeger-LeCoultre and have had many of their pieces. I am also a horology enthusiast who likes to understand the underling principles and challenges in watch and clock making.

I have not owned an Atmos yet, but I know a little about them. They have undergone an evolution over the years and there are several different generations of them now. They do need to be serviced roughly every 20 years in order to keep functioning. I understand you want to try and repair it yourself, but a service contains more than replacing the bellows. As noted, the bellows are the primary item which needs to be addressed, often rebuilt and recharged rather than replaced. However there are also oils used as a lubricant inside the clock which slowly dry out. The clock will need to be fully disassembled, ultrasonically cleaned, reassembled, lubricated and timing adjusted. This also assumes no additional parts need to be replaced.

Much of the beauty of the Atmos is in its amazing efficiency and ingenious solution for energy collection. They say a temperature fluctuation of one degree celsius provides enough energy to power the clock for 48 hours. This is staggering really, just how little energy it can use. The creation of the Atmos was a notable milestone in watch and clock making. It is perhaps counter intuitive, but the slower the period of oscillation in a mechanical clock, the more difficult it is to create and service. Essentially, the slower the speed in which a clock runs, the greater the tiny details throw its time keeping ability out of whack. A faster running clock which uses more energy allows you get away with certain things which a slow running clock can not.

Respectfully speaking, unless you have training in watch and clock repair, it is not something you will want to do yourself. There is far more to fine watch and clock making than people realize. They look deceptively simple, but I assure you, there is far more than meets the eye.

I would honestly leave this job for JLC service, or an aftermarket watch or clock maker who has specific training and knowledge regarding the Atmos. As noted, shipping them requires care. Any competent Atmos service centre could best advise you on best packing procedures, including how to prep the clock for shipment (for instance, the torsion pendulum needs to be locked down before moving). You have a lovely clock, and with a little service every few decades it should be provide faithful service to your family for centuries to come.

I hope this helps.
Cheers,
Nick
Thanks Nick, I’m a bit of a horologist myself. I collect pocket watches, mostly American Railroad pocket watches. I enjoy all kinds of time pieces. I don’t believe this clock uses oil for lubrication. Only in the mainspring housing Is oil used. In fact, if oil leaks out of the housing, it will damage the other parts as it uses no oil in the normal places like pivots, gears, etc And never requires external oiling for operation. The clock also locks it’s suspension by moving a lever that secures the wire and suspended parts from moving. Im sure it’s the bellows that needs replacing, which is typically the main issue with these clocks As they are very reliable otherwise but can be damaged by moving them without a lockdown. I plan on sending in my bellows for repair and replacing it myself.
I was actually thinking about buying the chemicals that are used in the bellows to fill and seal it, if there are no tears in the metal bellows.. That looks to be a bit tricky, so I will get the bellows repaired or replaced and then install it. That’s the plan anyway.. Once I can tear myself away from this audio bug that’s got a hold of me..
 

Mikem53

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
359
186
45
Nick, just to clarify, I’m not taking a know it all approach to this. The clock was working fine up to a point to where it just stopped completely. When I go to start it again it runs for a minute or so and stops. The linkage up to the diaphragm and everything is unchanged and looks fine. So this purely seems to be a symptom of a failed Diaphragm. The other thing going for my do it yourself approach is it’s very easy to get to and remove that component separately from the other sensitive parts.
Thanks for your comments. Are you a collector as well ?
I no longer actively collect anymore and have sold off and gifted some of the nicer watches to family and friends. My lastset Cooksey Shugart guide is dated 2003. Audio completely consumes me now...
and I’m retired and have more patience than money.. :)
 

nickw

Member
Feb 2, 2021
8
4
5
Thanks Nick, I’m a bit of a horologist myself. I collect pocket watches, mostly American Railroad pocket watches. I enjoy all kinds of time pieces. I don’t believe this clock uses oil for lubrication. Only in the mainspring housing Is oil used. In fact, if oil leaks out of the housing, it will damage the other parts as it uses no oil in the normal places like pivots, gears, etc And never requires external oiling for operation. The clock also locks it’s suspension by moving a lever that secures the wire and suspended parts from moving. Im sure it’s the bellows that needs replacing, which is typically the main issue with these clocks As they are very reliable otherwise but can be damaged by moving them without a lockdown. I plan on sending in my bellows for repair and replacing it myself.
I was actually thinking about buying the chemicals that are used in the bellows to fill and seal it, if there are no tears in the metal bellows.. That looks to be a bit tricky, so I will get the bellows repaired or replaced and then install it. That’s the plan anyway.. Once I can tear myself away from this audio bug that’s got a hold of me..
It sounds like you have a good handle on things. :) I wasn't sure who was on the other end of this thread, and I feared someone might not know what they are getting themselves into. I certainly don't know it all either. Case in point, I mistakenly thought oil was used throughout the wheel train in addition to the mainspring. After what you shared, I did a little digging and you are correct. I stand corrected.

I also understand the audio bug, as well as the watch bug. I do have a small collection, but they are all for wearing. I haven't yet started to collect for collecting sake. Thus far anyways. :)
 
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