• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

Four Gustav Becker to catalogue

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 7, 2000
12,291
237
63
The Woodlands, TX
Country
Region
Dieter, thanks very much for posting your clocks. Following is the info I can provide regarding confirmation of date made, back plate info, and other details:

First Clock:
Back Plate 1149, Serial number 676
  • This clock was made in 1926 following the takeover of GB by Gebrüder Junghans. At that time the following happened:

    1) The Gustav Becker circular logo and Medaille d'Or stamp were no longer used, either for the 400-Day or any other GB clock. It appears that in the negotiations with Junghans the only trademarks that were permitted to be carried forward were the name "Gustav Becker" and the GB anchor logo. Those are the only marks I have been able to document on any GB logo clock made after 1925.

    2) The previous GB serial number series which was started about 1850 in the Freiburg factory and applied chronologically to all clocks made by Becker at that factory (except for "American" design movements) was discontinued. The highest number recorded so far in that series is 2508167, likely completed at the end of 1925 or very early 1926. The separate number series that was started for GB clocks made in the Braunau factory was also discontinued.

    3) A new serial number series was started for 400-Day clocks (apparently from serial number "1"), and parallel new number series started for other types of clocks. As of this writing I have found separate series numbers applying to (a) 400-Day Clocks, (b) Westminster Chime clocks, (c) Weight driven wall clocks, (d) Weight driven grandfather clocks. The reason I know this to be fact is that I have documented several duplicate serial numbers between the different type movements.
The lowest serial number documented to date for the 400-Day series made from 1926-1932 is 16, the highest 4990, most likely made just before the Freiburg factory was closed in late 1932 and all Gustav Becker design clock movement production stopped. After this happened, all production was moved to Schramburg and GB logos were applied to movement designs from Junghans and HAC; however no more 400-Day clocks were made.

Second Clock:
Back Plate 1199, Serial number 2205654
  • Based on the serial number this clock would have been made about mid-1911. However, GB introduced pallet inspection holes in early 1909 and by mid-1909 no more clocks with Plate 1199 have been found, at least until now. Starting from serial number 2107726 every clock in my data until now has the pallet inspection holes. I suspect the serial number on your clock may have been transposed, as it falls in the middle of a series of Vienna style wall clocks. It will be appreciated if you could verify the number, I suspect it should be something like 2025654 which would have been made in first half 1908.

Third Clock:
Back Plate 1206B, Serial number 2465124
  • This clock was made about mid-1924 based on the serial number. There are several features that bear noting:

    1) The 4-Ball pendulum is the first Becker design introduced in late 1915, very difficult to regulate because you have to loosen a set screw, make the adjustment, re-tighten the screw and the check the timing. A second design was introduced in 1926 that is much easier to regulate.

    2) The base has a brass-plated steel cap over the center. This feature was actually started in the first year of production of GB clocks, and appears on about half of all the glass dome models. The same feature was used by nearly all the other makers of 400-Day clocks from 1903 until the 1930's.

    3) The flared base design and the crown design were first noted in early 1906 and continued to be used until 1932, although not always together on the same clock.

Fourth Clock:
Back Plate 1201(?), Serial number 1910765
  • This is an earlier clock, made about second quarter 1906. I think it has Plate 1199, unless the words "Made in Germany" aren't visible in the photo as would be there for Plate 1201. The features of interest on this clock include:

    1) The crown with cast finials was first noted in 1905 and continued in use until 1912. None have been documented after that year.

    2) The pendulum is the second version of GB's 6-post gallery disc pendulum design. There were a total of seven versions, the first being the "fanciest" and each one following more simple and less expensive to make. The GB disc was used from the beginning of production of their standard size Graham escapement models in 1902 until the end of production in 1932.

    3) The suspension guard that you pointed out is the first version introduced by GB in 1905. This design with the top bent forward continued to be used until 1909, when it was replaced with the more simple one having a rounded top as seen on the other clocks you have posted. This coincided with the introduction of upper suspension bracket No. 7. That bracket did not have adequate space underneath to allow the bent-over top that had been used until that time.
These are very interesting clocks and a nice selection covering the time from early production until after the Junghans takeover. One question: Do the disc pendulums have matching serial numbers on the bottom of the disc? That will be good to know for documentation.
 

DieteR

Registered User
Sep 18, 2008
139
11
18
Country
Region
Hello John
Thanks for your post

I have considered again the plate of my clock with S No.1910765

The click design corresponds to the Plate 1195A
The S No. doesn't be so far from.
So it seems to be inbetween Plate 1195A and Plate 1201
 

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 7, 2000
12,291
237
63
The Woodlands, TX
Country
Region
Dieter, thanks for the information about the click layout for serial number 1910765. I agree with you that it would be a plate between 1195A and 1201, in fact in my research I have found a large number of these and have designated them to have "Plate 1195A+", meaning the basic train and click layout of Plate 1195A but also having a suspension guard. The first of these I found has serial number 1873519, which is the lowest serial number I have documented with the GB guard. This design continued to be used together with several others including some of the BHA logo plates until the introduction of the pallet inspection holes in 1909, serial number 2086084 having Plate 1207A.

Were you able to confirm the serial number of your second clock? I am curious to know that one.
 

DieteR

Registered User
Sep 18, 2008
139
11
18
Country
Region
Hello John

You are right. Their is an error in the list of my clocks.
The correct S No. is 2005654
 

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 7, 2000
12,291
237
63
The Woodlands, TX
Country
Region
DieteR;500484 said:
Hello John

You are right. Their is an error in the list of my clocks.
The correct S No. is 2005654
Dieter, thanks for the new serial number. That places your clock as being made in 4th quarter 1907. Regarding the back plate, it appears to be essentially the same as for your fourth clock with serial number 1910765. In that case I would identify the second clock as Plate 1195A+ as I mentioned earlier for the fourth one.

The suspension guard for this clock appears to not be original, perhaps made as a replacement. Ordinarily this clock would have the same suspension guard as your fourth clock, with the top part bent forward underneath the upper bracket. Do you see any evidence of it being made by an earlier repair person?

I notice this clock has a brass-plated steel cap over the center of the base. As I mentioned earlier this is not unusual in that these caps were introduced in 1902 and continued throughout the production history of GB.
 

DieteR

Registered User
Sep 18, 2008
139
11
18
Country
Region
Hello John

I am the manufacturer of the suspension guard.
That clock was my first GB I have purchased about three years ago. The suspension guard was missing.
At this time I had nothing more than the sketch in the appendix of the "400 DAY CLOCK REPAIR GUIDE" as a template (Page 212).
The pediment and the pillars of clock five are also self-made. I have made a lot of them for many of my clocks if they were missing.
In the future I will point out if I have something changed or rebuilt so everybody will see.

My intention is more the optic and function than the originality.
This is one reason to make replicas of interesting Pendulums and clocks.
A role model for me is Lindsay Bramall (LIBRA)

Another question
Is this forum the right place to introduce selfmade projects, or is there a special place?
 

antiekeradio

Registered User
Mar 1, 2010
508
1
0
Netherlands
www.clockshop.nl
Country
Region
If your selfmade project concerns torsion clocks, I would say this is the right place.

Otherwise, you might want to start a new thread ("showing my selfmade projects" or something like that) in the general "clocks" forum.
 

John Hubby

Senior Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 7, 2000
12,291
237
63
The Woodlands, TX
Country
Region
Dieter, thanks for the info and also my compliments on the parts you have made. I agree with Antiekeradio, if the parts you are making are for torsion clocks then this Forum is where they should be posted so others here can see how you made them. A new thread for each project would be best.

You mention Lindsay Bramall, I agree his projects have been an inspiration to everyone who knows about them. He had them posted on a private website but when I checked it just now it appears to have been closed. Hopefully he has moved to a new site but I don't know the address, will check with him to find out.
 

514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: 717-684-8261

Contact the Webmaster for perceived copyright infringement (DMCA Registration Number 1010287).

Copyright © National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc (A 501c3 non-profit corporation). All Rights Reserved.

The NAWCC is dedicated to providing association services, promoting interest in and encouraging the collecting of clocks and watches including disseminating knowledge of the same.