1928 ATO 'Skyscraper' Art Deco Marble Mantel Clock
WHY IS THIS MANTEL CLOCK SPECIAL
This model was created and manufactured in France by Léon Hatot. This particular example houses an original 1928 ATO electric movement movement (Powered with a replacable modern 1,5 volt battery). As a visionary Léon Hatot manufactured the very first electric movements in the horological history. The featured 'Skycraper' model made out of green and amber marble is rare not only because of its design but also in regard of the exceptional original condition.
Born on the 22nd April 1883 at Châtillon Sur Seine, died on the 11th September 1953, Léon Hatot was a student at the School of Horology in Besançon between 1895 and 1898, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Besançon. In 1905, at an early age, he set up his own business specialising in engraving watch cases which grew rapidly into a workshop employing artisans making high quality clocks in precious metals and jewels. He later established himself in Paris where, in 1911, he move in with the firm "Bredillard", while keeping his workshop in Besançon. He was then, and for a while afterwards, one of several creators of artistic clocks and jewellery, supplying the main dealers in the rue de la Paix.
In "La France Horlogère" in 1920 the Council includes, under specialist contributors, «Hatot Industriel et Artiste Bijoutier» or "Hatot, Industrial and Artistic Jeweller".
A questioning and visionary spirit, Léon Hatot interested himself very early on in the subject of electrical horology and, in 1920, founded a separate division for research and development of clocks and watches powered by electric cells. In the same year, his businesses both in Paris and in Besançon were amalgamated as a single company: "Société des Etablissements Léon Hatot". To assist in the research and development of electrical horology, in 1923 he collaborated with Marius Lavet, an engineer in Arts and Crafts at the Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité and who, like himself, was passionately interested in the applications of electricity in horology.
Trading under the name "ATO" from 1923, electric clocks were produced in Besançon in a partially rebuilt factory in the rue de la Rotonde. They were an immediate unprecedented success in the market place. At the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in 1925, Léon Hatot won a Grand Prix for a whole range of electric clocks, housed in marble, chrome, marquetry and fine wood cases, even in some instances in cases of moulded glass from the famous Lalique factories. Léon Hatot was decorated with the Legion of Honour and nominated as a judge in the commercial tribunal in the Seine as well as being a consultant in foreign trade.
In 1929, Léon Hatot made a significant invention with the automatic winding watch "ROLLS". In this device, the movement is wound by the motion of an arm sliding inside the case, guided by balls between two runners. This mechanism had the advantage of working with the minimum of friction and permitted the manufacture of movements of extremely small size, perfectly adapted to rectangular watches which were in fashion at the time - particularly for ladies watches. A contract dated 23rd September 1930 was drawn up between the Hatot company and a Monsieur Blancpain giving exclusive manufacturing rights and sole distribution right within France and Belgium for the autowinding "ROLLS" watches. Despite this invention, crowned by a Medal of Honour by the Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale, it did not yield the success it deserved as its commercial exploitation was affected by the world economic crisis of 1929.
Throughout this time, Léon Hatot maintained his workshop for jewellery and highly decorated watch cases in Paris which, in 1926, he put under the control of Edouard Dietsch who became engaged to his daughter.
The works then found a new period of growth which, helped by the sales of ATO electric clocks, financed the very expensive research into electrical horology which Léon Hatot pursued with his friend Marius Lavet - research which was spectacularly rewarded by the invention of the electric clock "ATO-RADIOLA" which received correcting time signals by radio waves.
In 1929, by extending his export activities into Italy, Belgium and Germany, where he established agreements with Haller & Benzing and HAC (a company eventually taken over by Junghans) for the manufacture and distribution of ATO clocks, Léon Hatot not only saved his business but succeeded in developing it.
His great artistic qualities always made him want to make special pieces. As at the beginning of his career he conceived and realised with his own hands, on behalf of the town of Besançon, a very fine pocket watch which was presented to the French President, Armand Fallières.
Later, he designed and modelled the glass trophy presented each year to the horologist who obtained the best results in the annual competition the "Concours de Chronométrie". He was also a founder member of the French Horological Society.
At the Colonial Exhibition of 1931, Léon Hatot displayed electric clocks of very small proportions which were the origin of a new generation of decorative clocks. In particular, he created a new model, the concept and presentation of which were revolutionary, in which he dispensed with traditional decorated cases and made the movement itself the sole decorative element. This paved the way for a whole new fashion which swept along most makers who adopted this "avant garde" using glass and chrome which blended perfectly with the furniture of the day. His fertile imagination also launched onto the market other original creations such at the "Aquatora" in which the time was shown on the circumference of an illuminated aquarium and the "Maplux" where the time anywhere in the world was shown along the equator of a terrestrial globe.
In parallel with his production of electric clocks, in 1933 Léon Hatot opened a new department for time distribution systems by means of a "master clock" which controlled several "slave clocks". This was done by taking over the business of Paul Garnier, founded in 1825 which specialised in time distribution at railway stations and public buildings. The transference of the factory at Besançon was at last decided upon, and the different services of the company were regrouped in the premises of Paul Garnier at 9, rue Beudan in Paris.
In 1939, from the beginning of the Second World War, the Hatot company was requisitioned for the production of Sperry gyrocompasses and other instruments for aviation as well as various navigational aids for the French Navy. The surrender in 1940 put an end to these activities as Léon Hatot refused any form of collaboration with the Germans.
The Hatot Company was among the first to embody in their instruments important improvements made possible by the application of transistors in horology. Their first patents were filed on 16th September 1953, but the Hatot Company did not have sufficient funds to exploit their numerous patents worldwide, so they granted licences to several of the principal horological producers in the industrialised countries which is why there exist throughout the world millions of watches and clocks signed L. Leroy & Cie., Ebauches S.A., Junghans, Westclox, Smith & Son, Bulova, Jaz et General Time, all carrying the words "Lic. ATO".
It was the same for the Chronostats I, II and III, electronic marine chronometers which were supplied by L. Leroy & Co. to the French Navy, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and the Institut de Physique du Globe. Chronostat III in particular was used for polar expeditions and was installed in Navy buildings and on the most prestigious vessels including the aircraft carriers "Clémenceau" and "Foch, the helicopter carrier "Jeanne d'Arc", and various submarines of the "Daphné" class. Eventually, following a decision by the Secretary General of the Merchant Navy dated 31st July 1959, the Chronostat III was derestricted and made available for use on liners and merchant ships, not only on the prestigious liner "France" and the splendid "Sovereign of the Sea" but also on numerous oil carriers and container ships of the Shell company.
Léon Hatot died on the 11th September 1953 at the age of 70, following a long illness after a life overflowing with activities in art, where he distinguished himself in the field of horology as one of the Masters of the Art-Deco period, and in science where his creative and visionary spirit gave birth to several inventions which heralded the development of horology in the third quarter of the 20th Century.
- Maker: ATO
- Model: Skyscraper
- Reference: N/A
- Case N°: N/A
- Year: 1928
- Material: Marble and brass
- Dimentions (WxHxT): 49x31x9,5cm
- Caliber: In House ATO 'Type 120' 1,5 Volts electric movement
- Box/Papers: N/A
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
This mantel clock is in extraordinary condition. The marble structure is extremely well preserved without chips or scratches. The unrefinished Two-Tone dial with the impressive art deco numbers is simply stunning. This is a great mantel clock, elegant and rare with a very art deco design, it has a nice size and personality, perfect for any 'design interior' home or office.
1940s Jaeger LeCoultre 8 Days Mantel Clock
A fine Jaeger LeCoultre 8 Days Mantel Clock.
WHY IS THIS MANTEL CLOCK SPECIAL
This model was created and manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre in the 1940s. This particular example houses a 8 days power reserve movement (Only one winding every 8 days) . This brass model is rare, especially in such well preserved condition.
Not all firms in the watchmaking field have been able to stand the test of time quite like Jaeger-leCoultre, also known as the "watchmaker's watchmaker". Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre and originally named only LeCoultre, the company provided watchmaking's top brands, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, the high-grade, unfinished movements with which they completed their watches.
In the early 1900s, Cartier's watch supplier Edmond Jaeger sought out Antoine LeCoultre's help in creating the wotld's thinnest watches. The collaboration resulted in the manufacturing of Cartier's earliest Tank and Santos watches, all housed with LeCoultre movements. The team decided to merge in 1937, and the firm officially became the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand by which collectors know it today. Some of the firm's most significant and important timepieces include the Reverso, the Ados travel clock, the Memovox, the Atmos clock and, among modern watches, their Master Complications.
- Maker: Jaeger LeCoultre
- Model: 8 Days Mantel Clock
- Reference: N/A
- Case N°: N/A
- Year: 1940s
- Material: Brass
- Dimentions (WxHxT): 15x16x4cm
- Caliber: In House JLC 8 days power reserve
- Box/Papers: N/A
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
This Mantel clock is in very good condition. The Brass case is extremely well preserved. The unrefinished dial with the brass indexes separated from the background is simply stunning. The 'Bréguet' hands are typical from the era. This is a great mantel/desk clock, elegant and rare with a very typical design, it has a nice size and personality, perfect for any elegant home or office.