Many people ask
me to give a value to their Atmos clock. This is not an easy
task. Many companies gave Atmos clocks to people upon retirement
or as general thanks for long service and people also of course
acquired Atmos clocks through various other means. Thus, many
people are finding Atmos clocks in various conditions among
the things of their parents or at estate sales, etc., and wonder
what they are worth. I am providing this list not as a definitive
explanation of the value of every single Atmos clock ever made,
but instead, to provide some guidelines for people to expect
realistic amounts and to understand that while there are some
Atmos clocks which are very rare, many were made on a mass production
basis and are thus very nice, but certainly not "priceless".
Further, anyone finding
an old Atmos clock must recall that the Atmos should be serviced
every 20 years. Thus, any clock you may just "find"
is likely unserviced and perhaps even non-functional. There
is a great difference between the value of a working clock and
a non-working one. Thus to maximize the value of any clock,
it is wise to first get it up and running. Fortunately, several
very competent individuals exist that do this kind of work,
Andre Walliman of
Antique Clock Repair at (703) 318-6292
Mike Murray of Mike's
Clock Clinic at (310) 828-6707
In general, if you
have an Atmos clock with a serial number lower than 10,000 or
most particularly lower than 5,000, you likely have a very early
"mercury" type Atmos clock. These vary in value depending
upon condition, etc., but may be worth anywhere from $2,000-$40,000.
Atmos clocks with
serial numbers between 10,000 and 25,000 are mainly from the
earliest production runs. These are special clocks to be sure,
but were made with mass production thus are typically worth
Atmos clocks with
serial numbers between 25,000 and 300,000 were made in the 1950's
and 1960's. This is most of what you find floating around. Just
in general condition, perhaps running, these are the ones you
often see selling used for about $800-$1,000. The only serious
problem in purchasing one of these "typical" used
Atmos clocks, is that very often their condition is poor and
getting the clock fixed including the high cost of parts that
may need to be replaced can perhaps cost up to the price you
paid for the clock itself, not a very good bargain.
Atmos clocks with
serial numbers between 300,000 and 550,000 are the 1970's, not
much unlike the 1950's and 1960's models, with some cute variations
like plastic cases with designs, unusual faces, hands, etc.
Their value is similar to the others from this type and have
the same caveats with regard to repairs. Ones that are unique
are worth typically $1,500.
In the early 1980's
the Atmos clock mechanism was radically changed. Some regard
this as a very positive step, others consider the older Atmos
clocks to be better made. Typically an Atmos clock with a serial
number over 600,000 is of the new type, also called the 540.
These are the Atmos clocks you will find today as new clocks.
There are various kinds. The basic one is called the Elysee
which is worth $3,000 new. Others include the China at $13,700,
the Vendome at $5,600, the Fontainebleau at $4,000, the Royale
at $7,100, the Beaubourg at $3,900, the Opera at $5,250, the
Atlantis at $5,950 and the Marqueterie at $59,900. Then there
is the most expensive production Atmos of all, the Joaillerie
Blue Quartz at $169,000.
I have sold many
Atmos clocks to people, both new and used, and I can honestly
say that in my experience with someone new to Atmos clocks,
purchasing a new clock is a very good idea. They come with a
three year world-wide warranty and of course are perfectly mint
new with all the manuals, boxes, etc., that one would expect.
Used clocks seem a good deal since they are often available
pretty cheaply, but unless they have been overhauled and repaired,
the deal may not be as good as it first appears.
Sure hope this helps
everyone and I am always here to answer questions about Atmos