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Identification of French Wall Clock

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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While living in France about 10 years ago, my I bought a wall clock at a brocante(flea market). It is in a box, possible made of oak. The face has the words, "Vabo" and "Veritable Westminster" on it. There are 3 places to wind the clock on the face - for the pendulum; for the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 hours chimes; and for the hourly chimes. The inside movement has the number "1" stamped on it with the word "Westminster". It works fine, except that the hourly chime has the Westminster chimes out of sequence.

I am wondering if someone can tell me the approximate age of the clock, as well as the meaning of the "Vabo" on the face. Pictures are attached.

Thanks
 

Attachments

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
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Looks the same as a "Jura" clock. Not much known about this maker, but they made many of these French "Box" clocks throughout the 1930's and later.

They are good quality and quite similar to "Odo" (another French maker) clocks.
 

soaringjoy

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Feb 12, 2009
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Smersa, welcome to the Message Board.
CCF has already said it in short.
The most common clocks of this type were made by ODO and Vedette with
rugged and distinctive movements.
The Germans were on that playing field in the 1930s too and some appearingly
French clocks actually had German made movements; in fact the "Westminster"
cast into the gong mount was very often used by Urgos -
Uhren- und Gongfabrik Haller, Jauch & Papst, Schwenningen.
To have any chance of getting an ID to the movement, we'll have to see it and
if possible, both front and rear.
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies. I will see if I can get some more pictures of the movement. I had searched the internet for the word "Vabo" with no success, but did see several other similar box-type clocks.

end/schmersa
 

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
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Hi
The French seem to like the pin pallets. I like having the separate back plates.
I suspect that makes it easier to work on if one just needs to replace one
main spring.
As for the sequence on the quarter chimes, look for a set screw or C clip
around the chime drum someplace. ( I'm assuming it just plays the wrong
tune at the wrong time. If it is playing the wrong length, that is a different
problem. )
Tinker Dwight
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks again everyone for the informative replies. I will look for the set screw or C clip around the chime drum. It is strange - it plays the right sequence, with increasing length for the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 hours. On the hour, it plays the longest sequence and that is where it plays some of the tune out of sequence. The number of chimes on the hours is correct, as to 1, 2, 3,4, etc.

end/schmersa
 

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
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Hi
At the first 1/4, it should play the four chimes in sequence from highest to lowest.
If it does that, the rest should be correct.
Tinker Dwight
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
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And indeed, I do know!

The maker is still "Jura", as I mentioned earlier they made clocks very similar to Odo but not quite the same. I've personally debated if "Jura" was a separate entity or a brand name used by Odo, but I've found no conclusive evidence they were 100% the same. The most common models are like yours, almost always using that gong block shape. While they usually have the Jura trademark below the "Veritable Westminster" signature, not all of them do.

the "Westminster"
cast into the gong mount was very often used by Urgos -
Uhren- und Gongfabrik Haller, Jauch & Papst, Schwenningen.
The Urgos block is much larger than this, however it is to be noted many makers cast "Westminster", or some deviant of such, into the gong blocks. Not only German, but French as well.

The only difference from a typical "Jura" is your clock has two bars on the movement to keep the hammers back, most examples I've seen don't have those.
 

schmersa

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Feb 24, 2012
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Yes, I noticed the bars. I can put either of both in place and it just functions as a clock, with no chimes. The numbered gongs on the hours are contolled by the left lever and the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and hour Westminster tune is controlled by the right lever.
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Yes, the levers are interesting. I discovered through trial and error that I can stop the Westminster tunes with the right lever and the hourly gongs with the left lever. With both levers enabled, it functions as a clock with no sounds.
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Yes, the levers are interesting. I discovered through trial and error that I can stop the Westminster tunes with the right lever and the hourly gongs with the left lever. With both levers enabled, it functions as a clock with no sounds.
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks all. Through trial and error I found that the two levers stop either the hourly gongs or the Westminster chimes, or both. With both levers pulled, there is no sound, just the clock. Has anyone ever seen the "Vabo" before that is on the face?
 

schmersa

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Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks all. Through trial and error I found that the two levers stop either the hourly gongs or the Westminster chimes, or both. With both levers pulled, there is no sound, just the clock. Has anyone ever seen the "Vabo" before that is on the face?
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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I was thinking Odo as well, like the movement i have shown here before.Nice clock i really think these clocks are the best of the European clocks up there with Gustav Becker.
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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Nice to see it is all French and a nicely made movement. I quite like these and prefer them to the usual box wall clocks of this period, they just seem to have more style.
 

soaringjoy

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Feb 12, 2009
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CCF is right, of course, concerning the gong base. ;)
The reference to Urgos was obsolete, as soon as the movement was posted.
Right. A whole lot of gongs used the Westminster term, but often, we don't know,
who actually made them.
 

schmersa

New User
Feb 24, 2012
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Hi all,

Sorry about the duplicate posts - I couldn't see the 2nd page of posts and thought they were going into the "ether"! I really appreciate all the great information you have given me. I know a lot more about this clock (and other French clocks) than I did before. The only thing I am still wondering about is the "Vabo" on the face with the "Veritable Westminster". I assume it is a company or person. I guess I will keep on searching the internet.

Thanks again for all the help!

end/schmersa
 

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