In 1904, a Belgian financier, Adolphe Stoclet, commissioned Gustav Klimt to create the mural mosaics of a luxurious mansion he was building in Brussels based on plans by architect Josef Hoffmann. Among the painter’s sketches was the famous painting “The Kiss”, in which he concentrated all his wealth of decorative creativity. Over a century later, Klimt’s work is as vibrantly alive and fascinating as ever.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is dedicating to it a new ten-piece limited edition of the Atmos Marqueterie clock, a perfect embodiment of the Art Nouveau values reinterpreted by the hand craftsmanship traditions of the Manufacture. The cabinet faithfully reproduces “The Kiss” and treats it to the virtuoso skills of rare crafts worthy to match the brilliance of the Austrian symbolist painter.
Over 1,200 tiny pieces of wood, individually cut and either left in their natural state or covered with gold leaf in the manner of Klimt himself, before being glued together, carpet the Atmos cabinet with a splendid entirely hand-made marquetry motif. The concern for detail cherished by the Grande Maison has inspired the artisan to associate various gold colours ranging from yellow to pink, in order to give life to the painting and accentuate its shimmering glow.
Equipped with a discreet mechanical system featuring a button concealed within the motif, the cabinet majestically opens to reveal time, the theme that occupies its every part. Housed within its protective crystal glass surround, the clock steadily marks off the time with unfailing regularity.
The Atmos clock is quite obviously intimately bound up with time. Firstly by its style, which has been finding its way unperturbed through the decades for over 80 years. And secondly by its almost perpetual mechanism, driven exclusively by variations in temperature.