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, for example:
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 about $1,500.
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 clocks!
Adam Michael Sacks, Esq.