How to buy an Atmos?

Discussions about Torsion Pendulum Clocks

How to buy an Atmos?

New postby MartyC » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:56 pm

How and where does an Atmos (let alone clock) wannabe safely buy an Atmos?
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Andy Krietzer » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:36 pm

Marty,
I was in the same situation as you. I go to a lot of local estate auctions. Luckily, there was a nice one several years ago that I was able to get for about $260. It is from 1953 according to the serial number #32,067. Before the auction, I checked it all out, making sure the suspension spring was not broken, and saw that it did run some (a few minutes anyway). There was no guarantee at the auction, I only guessed it was going to continue running. I also kept my eye on it before it sold to make sure no one else handled it roughly. I made sure the pendulum was locked so the suspension spring was not damaged.

When I got it home, I set it up and leveled it, then let it get acclimated to the house temperature. It was a cold day when I got it, so I let it set in the house for a few hours before I started it. It has now run for several years only stopping twice.

It may take several years, if ever, for one to show up at a local auction, or one that is in good condition. Also now a lot of people are buying things at local auctions to resell on ebay, so there is more competition. You could shop for them on ebay, but there is a lot more competition, plus you have to worry if it is accurately described as far as condition, and you have to worry about shipping. Some people can't properly pack them for shipping, and may not know how to lock the pendulum. You can see a lot of them on ebay, plus a lot of unusual styles. Most of the ones I have seen locally are the common styles, like the one I got. I also got another one that does not run, but I figured it had a problem when I got it. There was another one that I really wanted, but it kept going higher and higher, so I dropped out. Now I wish I had got it. It was from about 1943 (serial number was #9600 I believe).

If you have to get one repaired, get set for a high repair bill. Nothing is cheap on an Atmos. That is why I recommend buying one that is in running condition and nice condition to begin with.

Andy
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Lagodave » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:00 pm

Marty,
I agree with Andy's comments. I bought my clock last year from Chris Abell.
It dates from the late 60's. I've got other clocks, but I guess it's only when you own
an Atmos and research their history that you begin to realize the marvel that they are. :mrgreen:
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby MartyC » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:29 pm

Thanks for replies Andy & Dave.

I have been looking at ebay, but I'm reluctant to buy there because I don't trust a lot of the sellers - based on years of shopping for watches. Also, I don't use PayPal. I have researched enough to know the calibres and basic differences, but I have no idea of relative reliability between the calibres, or if there is any difference. Dave - who is Chris Abell and where is he?

I live in a desert so there aren't estates or auctions (other than farm equip), or any large cities. Hence, the title of this thread.
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Glyn Meredith » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:43 pm

Chris Abell is our member A Watchmaker and I know that Dave recommends him highly. You can contact him through that link.

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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby John Hubby » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:25 am

If anyone needs info on manufacturing dates, model characteristics, history, or anything else regarding Atmos clock development and history starting with the Atmos prototypes in the late 1920's to present day production I will be happy to help. I have accurate dating info for all Reutter Atmos and all LeCoultre Atmos from the Atmos II through Atmos VIII. I'm also interested in acquiring new info for my Atmos database, including serial numbers and photos.

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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Lagodave » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:54 pm

John,
the serial number of my clock which is shown above is : 286844
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby John Hubby » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:15 am

Dave, thanks for the serial number info. Your clock is a calibre 528 Atmos VIII Classic Model, made about mid-1969. I can't quite make out the year on the presentation at the front base but it looks like 1974. That difference is not unusual, many of these clocks were bought a few dozen at a time and then held in storage for later presentation. I think that's probably what happened with this one.

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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Lagodave » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:21 pm

John,
the date on the base of my clock is 1944. Since it was a 25 year service award
to Homer Rogers from "The Brown Shoe Company" the 1944 date was obviously when
he started with the company. What a great Service Award gift.

NOTE: In case our readers are not aware of the current prices of a brand new Atmos
Clock, they can check them out on Amazon.com where they range from $3689.99
to $6419.00. (These are their discounted prices :shock: )

I don't see any companies giving out service awards like Atmos Clocks these
days. :cry:
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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby John Hubby » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:14 am

Dave, thanks for the additional info. With the 1944 date confirmed, Mr. Rogers' presentation clock was brand new at the time he received it. That's somewhat unusual compared to most of these, where the average gap between manufacture and presentation runs from at least nine months out to a few years. And, you are spot on with your comment that this kind of retirement gift is no longer in vogue. In fact, LeCoultre sales for presentation gift purposes started declining in the mid-late 1980's and has never recovered. Their annual production of Atmos clocks dropped from a peak of over 40,000 clocks to now less than 5000 per year, and they are now focusing on the really high-end market, $10,000 plus. They are making some astounding clocks, but for a very small market.

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Re: How to buy an Atmos?

New postby Lagodave » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:55 pm

John,
Like you I also believe the clock was presented in 1969 to Mr. Rogers
as a 25 year award. I think the 1944 date engraved on the clock represents
the year he started work for the Brown Shoe Company.
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