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Biedermeier Runddachluhr, Josef Elsner, Huygens, Silk Thread Suspension

bruce linde

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was finally able to talk my clock mentor into selling me this one... had my eye on it forever.

Huygens winding, silk thread suspension, movement hanging from one hook w/ two spiked feet (!), deadbeat escapement, metal pendulum rod, spike stabilizers lower back. it's fairly identical to one in ortenburger's book, c1835

huygens.jpg movement_right.jpg movement_left.jpg dial_hands.jpg stabilizers.jpg ortenburger.jpg
 

Uhralt

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A beautiful clock! I wonder why the Huygens winding system was used. I'm mostly used to see it in time and strike clocks with a single weight, but this is time only. Is it to provide sustained power?

Uhralt
 

bruce linde

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don't know... i believe the design offers maintaining power as as benefit. i also think the counterweight is not original... looks dutch to me. i'm going to try and come up with one that looks like the one in ortenburger.
 

Ralph

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I don’t think it is Huygens system. The ratchet would not be on the great wheel, if it was… I might be wrong on where the ratcheted wheel is.?? If it is on the great wheel, I don’t believe it will provide maintaining power…

Seeing the movement clearly would clarify it…. And the line route would help.

Very nice clock… congratulations.

Ralph.
 

bruce linde

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the right-most cord is indeed tied off in the lower right movement post... so it is not a true/continuous huygens winding setup.

that said, i found several similar clocks online, all labeled as huygens winding, including this movement breakdown from snclocks... similar great wheel/ratchet setup and identical hands.... attributed to josef elsner (which would make it a little later... ?):


maybe we should call this the poor man's huygens winding setup? :)

note: in a couple of photos of the ones i found you can clearly see one end of the cord tied off... and it would be hard to imagine them making continuous loops of vienna regulator sized winding cord, being so thin.
 

Ralph

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The time only clocks I have seen with the Huygen system, have an auxiliary ratchet mounted on the back of the dial or the front of the front clock plate. The driving pulley would be fixed to the great wheel. Note, I guess the ratchet wheel could be positioned elsewhere. Regardless, in your configuration, I don’t think it has maintaining power, unless it has Harrison’s MP hidden in the great wheel, which may be possible, but I doubt.

BTW, I’m curious about the ratchet wheel. Does it have spikes, or radial grooves, or friction in the V- groove, or something else??.

The Elster clock appears to have a more conventional drum.

Ralph
 

bruce linde

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I’m just going to enjoy it for now… But will of course upload photos when I next service it
 

Chris Radano

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It's like a fine quality bretteluhr in a very desirable case. I'm not a big time Vienna Regulator collector but I wasn't familiar with this type. Very interesting. :thumb:
 

bruce linde

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It's like a fine quality bretteluhr in a very desirable case. I'm not a big time Vienna Regulator collector but I wasn't familiar with this type. Very interesting. :thumb:
isn’t a bretteluhr a board-mounted clock? pretty sure the correct term for this guy is ’runddachluhr‘ (which i think means rounded top, instead of just ‘dachluhr’, which are the ones with the pitched roofs.)
 

Chris Radano

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The movement drive with a weight and counterweight, and the method of mounting the movement on the back board, is reminiscent of a bretteluhr.
Yes, runddachluhr describes the case.
No matter how one sees it, it is unarguably a nice clock.
 

bruce linde

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yes... and just found this which helps confirm pre-1850 dating... same movement mounting method

IMG_7448.jpeg
 

bruce linde

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some movement photos... note that the cords are tied off on both sides of the movement bottom plate... so unless there is an internal spring, as ralph said no maintaining power.

if you want to know why i didn't take apart the great wheel to confirm/deny the presence of maintaining power, it's because i was so terrified of snapping one of the insanely small pivots on this thing. :)

also note the v-groove wheel for the weight(s) cord... just a pressure fit.

gears.jpg cords.jpg motion_works.jpg dial_back.jpg
 

PatH

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Great clock, Bruce! Have you talked with the previous owner to learn his thoughts on the set up and maintaining power? Just wondered if he had ever given it any thought.
 

Chris Radano

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There is a little curvature on those escape wheel teeth.
That's a light and delicate movement, must be a treat for the senses to run.
 

bruce linde

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Great clock, Bruce! Have you talked with the previous owner to learn his thoughts on the set up and maintaining power? Just wondered if he had ever given it any thought.
he also thought it was (full) huygens, since that how the various books and auction houses describe them.

also, after dinner i'm going to head over to his house to pick up a more appropriate counterweight he made... 1 1/4 diameter, 1 1/4 tall.... can't wait, will post an update photo upon my return. :)




There is a little curvature on those escape wheel teeth.
That's a light and delicate movement, must be a treat for the senses to run.
i just love looking at it, and mounted it where it gets seen no matter where you're headed in the house.

i've got another deal in the works for a clock that is kind of the opposite of this one... but you''ll have to wait (teaser alert!) :)
 

Uhralt

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I think the counter weight is only to keep tension on the cord so that it doesn't slip when the main weight pulls on the other end of the cord.

Uhralt
 
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bruce linde

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i think it’s more to keep the cord pressed down into the v slot of the great wheel… maybe we’re saying the same thing? i’ve noticed the driving weight can slip down with the counterweight removed.
 
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Betzel

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Makes sense. I dont see a keyhole. Would pulling on it be how the clock is wound as well? I can't really tell. Reminds me of the rip-cord for the "wecker" for wood plate clocks, as well as the small rings on the light end of chains. Though, I would never tug on those rings...

Very nice that it passed from one to another this way. Bruce, I think you're lucky ;-)
 

Uhralt

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i think it’s more to keep the cord pressed down into the v slot of the great wheel… maybe we’re saying the same thing? i’ve noticed the driving weight can slip down with the counterweight removed.
We are saying the same thing.

Uhralt
 
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bruce linde

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more appropriate counterweight...

01_huygens.jpg
 
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WIngraham

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It's been said already, but that is a great clock. Very sleek and refined. I like the new weight, looks good.

What would be the opposite of this? My guess would be a clock you pull up to wind instead of down? Like a ladder (or saw tooth) clock. Maybe?

Will
 

bruce linde

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What would be the opposite of this? My guess would be a clock you pull up to wind instead of down?
still negotiating, but the clues are that this clock is smaller, elegant and simple in design… the one i’m trying to reel in is kind of the opposite. don’t want to jinx things, so you and i will both have to wait and see if it happens. :)
 

Betzel

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While holding my breath to see what's maybe coming next, I'm still trying to appreciate fully how this thing works. Some of you may already know, but I'm still scratching my head. I do not believe these historically significant elements were covered in my first horology course, but will be covered in the more advanced lessons. Can't wait. I found: Thumbnail page #4 Horz 2 train-remontoire --which illustrates two historic designs which both predate this clock, as I understand. So, for those of us who may be wondering, if anyone would care to comment:
  1. Which part(s) of the historic designs (Robin/Huygens) are incorporated into this clock?
  2. Is this fine timekeeper a 30 hour clock, and is it indeed "wound" by pulling on the smaller weight?
  3. During the run, does the larger weight descend until the cord length is fully used, and the train, certainly (?) is not stopped not by weight contact with the fine wood case, but rather a pinch of the small weight at the base of the seatboard or some other elegant stop mechanism?
  4. Is the escapement here actually run from the lighter weight during daily operation (e.g. not influenced by train friction)?
  5. Is that perhaps why the EW teeth are so delicate, as pointed out?
  6. Would one need to carefully take some of the load off the main weight while winding, to be respectful of that?
  7. Will pulling on the small weight, to wind, influence escapement action during the wind? If yes, how?
I had an English tallcase which would actually run backwards during the wind. It was strongly suggested to stop the pendulum during the wind to avoid potential damage, so I could only track its timekeeping over 8 days. Can this "regulator of regulators" (just a speculation) perhaps go much longer?

Curiouser and curiouser...
 

Ralph

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I would say...

  1. Which part(s) of the historic designs (Robin/Huygens) are incorporated into this clock? None
  2. Is this fine timekeeper a 30 hour clock, and is it indeed "wound" by pulling on the smaller weight? It looks like 8 days to me... Guessing ..GW-120T CWP -8T about 15 hours per revolution of GW. The drive pulley, about 1.25" (probably smaller)... maybe 2" drop (probably less) or so per revolution of the GW. You need about 13 revolutions of the great wheel for 8 days. Maybe 25" (maybe, a little less) drop of the weight... check my assumptions.
  3. During the run, does the larger weight descend until the cord length is fully used, and the train, certainly (?) is not stopped not by weight contact with the fine wood case, but rather a pinch of the small weight at the base of the seatboard or some other elegant stop mechanism? I would say the clock stops when the large weight lands on the floor of the case.
  4. Is the escapement here actually run from the lighter weight during daily operation (e.g. not influenced by train friction)? No, the clock is powered by the larger weight.
  5. Is that perhaps why the EW teeth are so delicate, as pointed out? Designer's prerogative.
  6. Would one need to carefully take some of the load off the main weight while winding, to be respectful of that? Personal choice...would probably help.
  7. Will pulling on the small weight, to wind, influence escapement action during the wind? If yes, how? Reverses train.
IMHO, Ralph
 
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bruce linde

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i would differ on point one... slightly. while ralph is technically correct the books and auctions houses do refer to these clocks as huygens winding.... it would probably be better to say 'huygens style' winding, as you get the look and approach, but not the maintaining power.

the driving weight is 2 lb 4 oz. the new counterweight is 2.4 oz... as opposed to the previous one that was 4.4 oz... and the clock clearly runs better with the lighter counterweight.
 
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bruce linde

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also from the ortenburger book… this one has a milk glass dial (and, obviously, arabic numerals)

BE888791-F69E-42F0-A244-E59A43322DC5.jpeg
 

Betzel

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[...] IMHO, Ralph
My low-grade collection comes and goes in a revolving door fashion to gain repair & restoration experience. I live vicariously, so can't always easily understand what's in play. So, many thanks guys!
 

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