The function of the apparatus is to create a wormhole which opens portals 33 years into the past and future from the present time, allowing for time travel between the three points in time. Jonas Kahnwald believed the apparatus could also close the original wormhole created in Winden Caves by the incident in the summer of 1986 at the Winden Nuclear Power Plant.
When activated, the apparatus generates a Higgs field, increasing the mass of the Cesium placed in it. An electromagnetic pulse, such as from a smartphone, causes it to implode into a black hole. This is similar to what happened in the incident to create the original wormhole in Winden Caves. 
The apparatus was designed from Claudia Tiedemann's blueprints. The clockwork device is made of copper and brass with several cogs and bolts. Three cylinders with a total of nine small switches in front of them.
The apparatus is a refined version of the bunker chair. Technical drawings for it and a prototype with big copper coils similar to the chair's ones can be found in the headquarters of Sic Mundus Creatus Est.
Coming from the future, the elderly Claudia Tiedemann brought clockmaker H.G. Tannhaus the blueprints to the apparatus in 1953 and asked him to build it for her.  Tannhaus completed it in 1986, but could not activate it.
Jonas Kahnwald visited Tannhaus from the future in 1986 with his own broken version of the apparatus, which he asked Tannhaus to repair. Jonas explained that the apparatus can create a wormhole, but that he intended to use it to close the current one.  Tannhaus discovered that he could activate a part of the device using Ulrich Nielsen's smartphone, which was left in his shop in 1953, and Jonas placed the radioactive isotope Cs-137 in a container in the device.
Jonas takes the original apparatus created by H.G. Tannhaus and activates it in the Winden Caves, causing a black hole to open above the town. At the same time, Katharina Nielsen called Ulrich's phone, the effect of which (if any) is unknown. An apparent mixing of the points in time occurred, with a Raider commercial from 1986 showing on the TV in 2019. A physical hole opened in the bunker above the caves, between Helge in 1953 and the young Jonas in 1986. When their hands touched, Helge was transported to 1986 and Jonas to 2052.