Portfolio Stefan Schmidt

Carpenter's work Clock Atmos

Manufactory Jaeger-LeCoultre

Portfolio overview
The cabinet for a clock that breathes
The Atmos clock of the famous Swiss manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre is based on a special principle.

It does not need to be wound manually. It gets the energy to run from temperature and atmospheric pressure changes in the environment, and can run for years without human intervention.

The clock function is organic, the name “Atmos” is ancient Greek – original: ατµσς – which translates to steam, damp or breeze – in short the clock that breathes.

What is more obvious that to cover that clock into a housing that also can breathe? There is only one material that meets that requirement: Wood.
Wood is mirroring the organic function of the clock and is the warm counterpart of the movement made out of cold metal.

As close as the idea may seem, as far is the realization. An R&D engineer ofFrankfurtwho was working at that time for Jaeger-LeCoultre, had the idea to cover the movement with a wooden housing. Detailed plans had been drawn. But who should build it? Highest craftsmanship, precision and meticulousness was asked to bring the paper drawing into a three-dimensional reality.

The engineer asked my father, who at that time had just finished his education as a certified conservator, if he could build that housing. After a careful study and a few sleepless nights, my father accepts the challenge.

He first made the tooling for to build and form the subassemblies of the cabinet. Following that, he creates the cabinet from ebony, maple and rose wood in time-consuming handcraft, including marquetry and a shellac polish finish.

The cabined hassidewingswhich after opening show the globe and was produced in small and exclusive numbers. It was used mostly as a gift for prominent customers or good business partners. The series has been not relaunched again.