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HAC, HAU, Pfeilkreuz, Junghans...oh my!

jimpascale

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Sep 5, 2017
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I tried to ID a clock I purchased off the internet, I really did! Unfortunately, my research amassed so much information, but nothing definitive, leaving me with a migraine! :)
My guess is the clock was either made by Junghans or HAU/HAC.
Here's what I know;
Inside the cabinet, it has the pfeilkreuz "crossed arrows" mark on the clock mechanism. Does this mean the clock mechanisim itself was made by a company called Pfeilkreuz?
The clock mechanism is also stamped:
183/40
92
anyone know what this means?
Finally, on the bottom of the wooden case it's stamped:
50533-?5-12-1 (can't make out one digit)
Any thoughts on this number?
Photos of all attached.
If anyone can help fill-in-the blanks I would greatly appreciate it.
I'm going to start a separate thread on the chimes - they work but they sound horrible.....
Thanks in advance.
Jim 315289.jpg 315290.jpg 315291.jpg 315292.jpg 315293.jpg
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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'Pfeilkreuz' is just the German word for Arrow Cross, the name of the logo used by the Hamburg-Amerikanische Uhrenfabrik (HAU) or Hamburg America Clock Co. (HAC); it is not the name of a company. HAU/HAC was taken over by Junghans in 1930, although the two companies had had a close relationship before then. Junghans used the HAC crossed arrow mark for some time after they took the company over.

183 means the number of beats per minute. 40 may be the escape wheel tooth count, but I am not sure about that. 92 is likely the pendulum length in mm.

The stamp on the base may be the date code [19]33 or [1935].

Hope this helps.

JTD
 

Steven Thornberry

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"Pfeilkreuz" in German means "crossed arrows." The crossed arrows are the logo of HAC/HAU.

"183/40" are probably 183 beats per minute and 40 teeth on the escape wheel. The "92" would be the pendulum length in mm.

The 1930's would be a good date range for this art deco style clock. Perhaps "50533" is for May 5, 1933. But I have no confidence in that reading. And I cannot decipher the "?5-12-1," unless it be December 1, 19X5. The suggested dates are all speculative.

I see that John was a few steps ahead of me, but fortunately we seem to have agreed on most particulars.
 

jimpascale

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Sep 5, 2017
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Thanks JTD & Steve for navigating me through all the facts. I think I've got it right now.
Regards,
Jim
 

MikClock

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Jan 20, 2022
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Hi, did you ever manage to confirm the codes on your clock about date manufactured, etc.?
I know this is an old thread but the image came up in a search and this is a real gem of a clock.

I have been studying the Junghans catalogues and some of their associated resellers/mfrs and it appears that through the 1930s, they generally used the format: Group - Case style - Month - Year in a stamp on the back or bottom of the case.
The groups were 1, 2 or 3 digits (as required), case styles 1, 2 or 3 digits (as required), and then a one or two-digit month (no 0 preceding a single-digit month) and two-digit year.
The fact that they did not use leading zeroes for consistent numbering leaves one to guessing where the numbers start and stop. If you know the product line, however, it becomes obvious.

I say "generally" because I am only working from samples of things I have and have seen. The stamps are mostly in ink but I have seen at least one that seems to have no ink stamp but a small depression stamp that coincides with a two-digit year for that 1935 clock.

I looked and looked for your clock and it is not one of the Junghans main product line so it must have originated from the HAU unit. I can only find a few HAU catalogues but it is not there. If you follow the style approach through the years, I would say this clock fits better in the early '30s. Stair-stepping details are pretty much out of the picture by the latter half of the 1930s.

But the HAU numbering format is the same as Junghans in the years I can compare.
So yours could be:
Group 50 (I am fairly certain they were not up to 505 groups by that time.)
Style 533
That next number does appear garbled but 35 is a good year to start looking.
Maybe the 12 is the month.
These numbers, however, are reversed from the month/year sequence I have found.

Anyway, if you have or do find out more about this coding, I would appreciate anything you can share.
The more people post what they learn, eventually the collective data should solve these little mysteries!

Cheers!
- Chris
 

MikClock

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Jan 20, 2022
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I spoke too soon. Another clock has disproven the idea that the month-year is stamped on the cases. (At least for some period.)

I will have to get more clocks to confirm but my current theory is:
Group - Case style - and then a code for more details like what pendulum or wood finishes/glass/etc. OR a simple sequence number. Like it is the 129th case they built in that style.

Genda, I could not pull up any of those photo attachments.
 
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Genda

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Jan 26, 2022
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I spoke too soon. Another clock has disproven the idea that the month-year is stamped on the cases. (At least for some period.)

I will have to get more clocks to confirm but my current theory is:
Group - Case style - and then a code for more details like what pendulum or wood finishes/glass/etc. OR a simple sequence number. Like it is the 129th case they built in that style.

Genda, I could not pull up any of those photo attachments.
l haven’t more information, only this photo
 

new2clocks

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Apr 25, 2005
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I spoke too soon. Another clock has disproven the idea that the month-year is stamped on the cases. (At least for some period.)
It is a common misconception that a movement maker made the complete clock but, at least with German clocks, this is rarely the case (no pun intended).

Some movement makers did make the case. However ...

Movement makers contracted with the case maker down the road to supply cases. The same case maker also supplied cases to other movement makers.

German movement makers also sold loose movements, both marked and unmarked, to the trade - case makers, wholesalers, retailers, etc.

Below is an example -- just one -- from a 1915 wholesaler's catalogue. You could get that particular case in walnut or oak, and a movement by "Adler" (Mauthe) and one of their gongs or a "Flügelrad" movement (Kienzle) or one from "GB" (VFU/Gustav Becker). And all with a choice of glasses and dial, weight shells and bob.

1643215307378.png

Junghans advertised the sale of loose movements to the trade.

The Junghans trade ad from 1881 (below) is of this type. The last line notes that they have 8-day regulator movements (their emphasis) which will fit the cases made by regulator-case makers in Silesia (as e.g. above, the list for Freiburg).

1643215484284.png

Courtesy Doug Stevenson.

The reality is we are rarely sure who actually made the case (or the dial or the hands).

When attempting to date a clock by the information applied to the case, it is probably best to consider this information as that of the case maker (whomever that is) and that this information was most likely internal controls of the case maker that may or may not be what we are hoping it will be.

I am not stating that your observations are incorrect, but that that the above should not be ignored. :)

Regards.
 
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MikClock

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Jan 20, 2022
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new2clocks: All good points, agreed.
I just happened to be focusing on the clock/case configurations sold directly from Junghans' catalogues. I did a bunch of research around one I just purchased and in the process of confirming its origins compared to others I could find on-line, I could start to see patterns develop in their identifications.
Thanks for "chiming" in and good luck on Genda's clock. That one is from an era I am not very familiar with anyway so best be handled by others.
Regards,
Chris
 
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