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A.W & Co Regulator clock

Rudi

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Dec 1, 2010
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Here is another nice clock I wound the other day but not having any luck on details. Clock is still in really good condition and the case just needs a good polish and the movement a decent clean. As is it is actually running very good.

All I can see on the movement is A.W & CO
 

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JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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The mark on your clock is that of A. Willmann & Co., in Freiburg/Schlesien. According to Schmid's 'Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie' the firm was started in 1871 and was amalgamated with Vereinigte Freiburger Uhrenfabriken (formerly G. Becker) in 1899.

Hope this helps.

JTD
 
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Rudi

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Dec 1, 2010
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Thanks JTD, Cant wait to start with it. The veneer on the case is still in excellent condition and it is a beautiful colour. The movement is spot on correct at this stage bit I will be even better once I gave it a good clean and some nice new fresh oil.

Seems like there is not a lot around, or maybe its just me not searching in the right places.

Thanks for the info.
 

JTD

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The history of the firm A. Willmann & Co. is rather complex. As I told you, the firm was founded in 1871 and merged with Vereinigte Freiburger Uhrenfabriken in 1899. However, one of the directors, Paul Kappler, had some disagreement with the board of VFU and left; he then founded his own company (also called A. Willmann & Co.)in 1901. He chose two trade marks, one of them is the mark on your clock. VFU, through their sales company Johann Saiber in Munich, complained to the court about this new registration of the old name (A. Willmann & Co.) as this had been incorporated into VFU 1899 and in 1902 the district court in Schweidnitz upheld their complaint against Paul Kappler.

It appears that the firm of E.R. Schlenker may have taken over Kappler's company in about 1902 because, in the Deutschen Uhrmacherkalendar of 1903, they specifically state that they are the owners of A. Willmann & Co. in Freiburg/Schlesien. However, in 1907 this connection to Willmann was no longer mentioned, so can be assumed the firm of Willmann (No. 2!) was probably no more in existence.

All this information, as well as a great deal more, can be found in Schmid's 'Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie' but I hope this may be of interest to you and help you date your clock fairly exactly. It's a lovely clock and Willmann movements are good quality. They are not rare in Europe but may be harder to find in SA.

JTD
 

John Hubby

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JTD, thanks for posting the history of the Willmann companies. The only point where I differ is in regard to the identification of the stamp found around the strike train fly depthing eccentric as seen on the front plate of Rudi's movement, "Gesetzlich Geschützt A. W. & Co.". Translated to English this says "Legally Protected A. W. & Co.".

I realize this stamp is shown in the Lexikon as a "logo" belonging to Willmann 2, however this is "not" a logo stamp at all. My research shows it is actually a design protection stamp that by its position on the movement appears to cover the strike train fly depthing eccentric design or the fly design itself on weight driven time & strike movements as made by Willmann 1. From actual examples observed it is quite evident this is not a logo stamp, as the only position it has been found is on the front plate of the movements around the fly eccentric while an actual Willmann 1 logo has been stamped on the back plate of nearly all of the documented movements.

I have nine examples with photo documentation, having serial numbers that indicate production between 1880 and 1896. Six of these movements (excluding this one and two others) have registered Willmann 1 logo stamps on their back plates including the two versions of their Crown logo. Not only that, all of these documented movements have identical features that are found on virtually all authentic Willmann 1 movements of this type that include the following:

1) The same special design Willmann 1 hands found to date only on Willmann 1 clocks.

2) The identical pendulum crutch design with a triangular cutout just above the beat adjusting screw.

3) The identical anchor and escapement design.

4) The identical rack strike control mechanism on the front plates.

5) The identical back plate train layout for both the time and strike trains.

I am still in early days of compiling data for Willmann clocks and my serial number dating information is tentative, however based on what I now have Rudi's clock was made by Willmann 1 about 1895. It is unlikely to be a later date but could be earlier pending analysis of the financial difficulties encountered by Willmann 1 in the late 1880's and early 1890's that likely affected production rates.

In brief, I believe Rudi's clock was made by Willmann 1 and not by Willmann 2. There are many examples of Willmann 1 clocks having movements identical to this one, however all of the movements found so far that can be attributed to Willmann 2 or successor E. R. Schlenker are all stamped with the Non Plus Ultra logo registered by Kappler in 1901 and have substantial differences in design. None of them are stamped with the "Gesetzlich Geschützt A. W. & Co." stamp either at the strike train fly eccentric or anywhere else. Lastly, my research to date has not found any actual example of this "logo" being registered by Willmann 2, nor even mentioned in any way in notices and advertisements made while Kappler was still involved or later after it was evident that Schlenker had taken over that business.
 
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JTD

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John,
Many thanks for your excellent research. I was wrong to call the 'Gesetzlich geschützt' mark a logo - it really isn't, as you rightly say. That was sloppy language on my part.

It would be good if it could be definitely established that the 'legal protection' was granted to either Willmann 1 or 2. As you say, it is only used on fly depthing and so presumably covers that part only. I have not so far found out who got this 'protection' - have you seen that it was granted to Willmann 1?

But thank you again for elucidating this matter.

JTD
 
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John Hubby

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JTD, thanks for your comments. I've not yet been able to find a definitive reference that shows the legal protection was granted to Willmann 1. However, the first appearance of this stamp in my database is on a movement that definitively was made by Willmann 1 as it is stamped with Willmann's first "crown" logo that was used from around 1877. The clock movement itself was made in 1880 based on my serial number dating for Willmann 1. We know that this protection was being given even earlier than 1877 based on Doug Stevenson's research that covered landespatents and other legal protection prior to the advent of the German patent system in 1877. We also know this isn't a DGMS-DRGM utility patent as those only started in 1891 and I have a number of Willmann 1 examples stamped with this mark that were most certainly made prior to that year.

I don't know what source was used for this mark to be shown in the Lexikon as belonging to Willmann 2 and not Willmann 1 as it most certainly appears to be from my research. As I mentioned in my earlier post I am completely certain that all the clocks on which I have found this stamp were made by Willmann 1 based on the list of movement and other characteristics provided in that message; six of the nine examples are stamped with a known registered Willmann 1 logo and the other three have movements identical to the ones with the logo stamps.
 

Rudi

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Dec 1, 2010
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Thank you very much for the info John, by looking at my serial number could you maybe give a more accurate date?
 

John Hubby

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Thank you very much for the info John, by looking at my serial number could you maybe give a more accurate date?
Rudi, in my earlier post I mentioned the following regarding your clock:
John Hubby said:
I am still in early days of compiling data for Willmann clocks and my serial number dating information is tentative, however based on what I now have Rudi's clock was made by Willmann 1 about 1895. It is unlikely to be a later date but could be earlier pending analysis of the financial difficulties encountered by Willmann 1 in the late 1880's and early 1890's that likely affected production rates.
The 1895 date is my present best estimate for when your clock was made using the data I have available. As I mentioned, Willmann 1 had financial difficulties in the late 1880's and early 1890's that may have caused their production to be less than I have projected during that period, which in turn would reduce the number of clocks made up to the time they merged with Gustav Becker and others. That would result in your clock being made possibly a year or two earlier in 1893 or 1894, but we will only know if a change is needed when more dated examples are found in the 1880s and early 1890s.

What we "can" say is that your clock is very typical of the better quality German industrial clocks made in the early to mid 1890s, for example by Concordia, Germania, and Becker.
 

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