The present lot is a fine example of the combination of artistry, workmanship and science. The case itself is beautifully crafted, and adorned with marquetry panels on either side that open revealing allegories of both day and night in the Belle Époque style. The marquetry was completed by two eminent master cabinet makers, Jérôme Boutteçon and Philippe Monti. The entire piece celebrates the vast longevity realised by the Atmos Clock, and beneath the movement is placed a secret draw containing cylinders representing each century the timepiece will live through. Within these cylinders are concealed parchments on which the multiple owners can record significant moments of their life. It does then, to some extent, become more than simply an instrument that measures time in seconds and minute and hours, emphasising also the significance and effect of the relationship between the passing of time and human experience.
The concept of perpetual motion is one that has entered the thoughts of many great minds since some believe as early as the 5th century. And, the idea that there might be a possibility of creating a machine that requires no energy to produce energy, while now known to be futile, has occupied perhaps the thoughts of many more.