I love antique clocks; reading about them, repairing them, listening to them work. Eventually, I will get around to putting pictures of my clocks on this page. Here are just a few. You can also read about antique alarm clocks. If you like clocks, check out the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. The have the best monthly magazine/newsletter I have ever seen. Our local Chapter 71 meets at the Garden Arts Building in McKinley Park approximately every 6 -8 weeks. We also have workshops where folks will help you get that old clock running.
Latest Clocks Acquisitions
1907 Gustav Becker Vienna Regulator
I purchased 2 Vienna regulators at an estate sale in Sacramento in the summer of 2018. Both had reconditioned movements. One of the clocks had a broken support post. The second clock was in great shape, a 1907 Gustav Becker Vienna Regulator. With the help of fellow members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, we were able to date the clock to 1907 based on the serial number stamped on the plate and makers stamp indicating the manufacturing facility and city.
The style of this clock is considered Jugendstil which was a simpler design Vienna Regulator from approximately 1880 to 1920. It is free of any pillars and scrolls or other design elements of earlier periods. The beveled glass design is a nod to the influence of the Art Nouveau design elements that were popular at the turn of the 20th century in Europe. I like the clean simple lines of this antique, but for its time, modern clock. It’s keeping great time.
Howard Miller Model 557
This George Nelson designed clock is affectionately known as the coffin clock. Nelson designed many mid-century modern wall clocks for Howard Miller. This coffin clock, model 557, seems to be strongly influenced by the emerging suburban dark wood themes of the late 1960s and early 70s. It it not particularly handsome and the German movement has a distinct ting-tang to the tick-tock escape release. But I do like how the clock dial seems to float within the coffin of the clock case itself. I purchased off of eBay for $240. You never know what you will get when buying vintage or antique clocks on eBay. This clock was in surprisingly good shape. I think the original owners might have run it for a year and then stuck it in a closet. The movement is in great shape.
Atmos LeCoultre Model 528-8, Serial No. 220650
I picked up this Atmos clock at Fontaine’s Auctions back in Pittsfield, MA, during a 2017 summer visit. As near as I can tell from the serial number sequence the clock was manufactured in 1966. It has a hermetically sealed chambered filled with ethyl chloride. The gas is very sensitive to changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. The chamber expands and contracts in response to temperature and pressure changes that winds the main spring. The rotating pendulum slowly rotates back and forth every 15 seconds. All I did, once I received the clock back in California, was to clean the outside glass and metal frame. I unlocked the pendulum and it started keeping nearly perfect time.
Boston Ship Bell Clock & Barometer
The latest clock I stumbled upon is a Boston ship bell clock and barometer set. Produced by the Chelsea Clock Company, the Boston ship bell clock has a West German platform escapement and movement. Not the really high quality movement in the Chelsea ship clocks. The cases on the clock and barometer look to be yellow brass. The clock works great and strikes ship bells throughout each of the four-hour watches. I estimate the set was produced in the 1980’s, not antique, but very handsome. I found them at an estate sale for the very reasonable price of $160 for the set. So far all I’ve done to them is clean the outside with a paper towel and glass cleaner.
New Haven School House Clock
Another recent acquisition is a 32 inch tall New Haven office clock manufactured around the turn of the 20th century. Click on the image to enlarge.
Pictured above is the remodel of the kitchen. The cabinets are solid bamboo doors and frames of CFC Douglas Fir. Horizontal glass tile back splash with under cabinet fluorescent lighting. Peninsula black concrete counter top with exposed aggregate embedded. Miele dishwasher, oven, stove top and range hood. Cabinets designed by AlterECO in Sausalito, Ca. The blog post on our kitchen remodel after five years of use – Bamboo Kitchen Remodel Five Years Later
Parabola Alarm Clock
A cool clock I found on Ebay is the parabola alarm clock. I had read an article about in the the NAWCC Bulletin by Snowden Taylor. When I say the clock of ‘unknown’ origin I was able to snap it up with out much competition.
The clock was the brain child of Archibald Bannatyne in the late 1880’s. The clock dial, instead of being flat, is more like the of old car head lamps and shaped like a parabola. The entire interior of the dial was coated in a radioactive phosphorescent material that would abosrb sunlight during the day and glow at night to illuminate the clock hands. The parabolic shape was used to increase the surface area of the reflective material and also because of the properties of light rays not being easily reflected out of the parabola.
I removed the thick coating of the phosphorescent material, which would still glow blue in the dark, because I did not know how radioactive the material was. This particular clock dates to about 1907 -1910. The seller said it was his grandfathers who was employed by a railroad company.
I was able to get the clock movement and alarm in working order and painted the dial white. It was a fun project.
My first initiation into clocks was to make this Jeep hubcap clock. It had an 8 day time and strike movement from in India. Never kept good time, but it was fun to make.