Atmos 561 by Marc Newson
Perpetual motion reinvented
The Watch Quote™ - May 23rd, 2008
Two designers motivated by passion
Since its invention, the Atmos
has embodied the passion of its creator, Jean Leon Reutter
. The Atmos 561 by Marc Newson
also illustrates the creativity of its designer, who has never stopped travelling the world to use his talent in designing the objects that shape our daily lives.
Born in Australia, 44-year-old Marc Newson has tackled all areas of design, ranging from furniture through bicycles and interior design for private residences, businesses and restaurants to the implements used in daily living. He worked on various continents during his already long career before settling in his London studio for the past several years. Examples of his work, defined by the harmonious and bold curves of their lines, are now counted among prestigious private collections and the world’s most famous museums. It was Marc Newson himself, long attracted to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s
legendary clock, who one day contacted the Grande Maison
and offered a design for it. This suggestion was greeted with immediate enthusiasm: Jaeger- LeCoultre accepted his offer. In the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson
, the inventor of the famous Orgone Strecht Lounge
chair has managed to capture, in the staggering innovative power of his interpretation, the very essence of the Atmos clock, which for eighty years has symbolised the dream of quasi perpetual motion.
A limited series of 888
In this day and age, where the time is displayed everywhere – on each wrist, on cell phone screens and on every other electronic device – the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson
restores all the dignity to the age-old gesture of checking the time. Only a designer in perfect command of the language of forms could reinvent the Atmos clock and rewrite the essential characteristics of this fascinating object, which has become the official gift of the Swiss Confederation
, into a work of art that immediately fascinates the eye by its originality and simplicity.
A work of art that revisits the design’s source
With the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson, the designer returns to the first golden age of industrial design, the 1950s, when the rapid addition of novel manufacturing processes was opening new horizons to artists who worked at the intersection of form and function. At that time, the development of synthetic materials and innovative technologies was providing a concrete means of expressing the desire to give ordinary objects new forms, after the difficult years that had followed the end of WWII. Mass production was also drastically changing consumption habits, and manufactured products gradually took on an emotive and cultural dimension. From then on, an implement, a piece of furniture or an appliance no longer met utilitarian criteria alone, but became a work of art that added an essential aesthetic value to its functional aspect.
For this project, Marc Newson went back to the sources of the design. So, while keeping the timeless classicism that has appealed to so many, the Atmos 561 by Marc Newson also exhibits a refined and novel aesthetic of which the transparency and modernity are just as absolute as its quasi perpetual motion. A true work of art signed by an important contemporary artist, the legendary clock – its operation still mysterious – has thus become an element of interior decoration in its own right.
The designer’s balanced creation, marked by profound sensitivity, lends a special charm to reading its displays. The hours and minutes can be read from a transparent dial, while the two additional functions are on rotating disks: the disk in the centre gives the current month, while the second disk at six o’clock displays the moon phase and is embellished with the number of the new calibre that drives the clock: 561. The process of developing this exceptional work required that some elements of the movement be redesigned so that it would fit comfortably into the splendid crystal bubble, specially made by the famous Baccarat