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Manufrance wall clocks - a pictorial guide

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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Here is a guide for the Manufrance wall clocks, built from 1936 onwards.

Manufrance was the trade name of 'Manufacture Francaise d'Armes et Cycles de St. Ettiene'. This guide will focus on the wall clocks they sold.

The clocks were mainly made by Girod and Odo, however unmodified clocks by FFR and HAC were also sold by Manufrance.

The clocks by Odo and Girod often had a 6 note chime, the St. Etienne chime composed by Reynaldo Hahn in 1936, and rarely ever had Westminster.

They were usually built to a box shape lined with chrome around the edges.

The clocks with this chime were not built after the second world war.

They appear to be most popular in France and Vietnam.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VzvXgZl5co"]YouTube - MF carillon pendule[/ame]

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2eWj2Q8UKM"]YouTube - MF gongtrang[/ame]

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqVcuXVeQsQ&feature=related"]YouTube - MF moi[/ame] 83853.jpg 83854.jpg 83855.jpg 83856.jpg 83857.jpg 83858.jpg 83859.jpg 83860.jpg 83861.jpg 83862.jpg
 
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Burkhard Rasch

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Thank You CCF for the nice pics and the valuable info on these,my favorite box clocks.Thank god they´re quiet underrated upto now in relation to their quality,so You can get them for reasonable prices.I have two of them.The sound is great!
Burkhard
 

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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You're welcome. It's always fun to make these guides. They are one of my favorites, too.
 

harold bain

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CCF, at first sound, it sounds like a Westminster chime gone bad. Have to listen to it through a few quarters to pick up that it is something else.
I've always wondered what the connection between Girod, ODO, and Vedette might be, as the dials, cases, and pendulums look very similar. Great thread.
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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A 'well done' from me, as well! Unusual chime, as in the Scotto tune from Odo, it doesn't repeat with 4 + 1 = 2 + 3 like a Whit or West.

Harold, is it just a sort of nationalistic style, as in, say, OG's or English dials which were made by many factories but had similar designs and appearance?
 

sonicod

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Feb 17, 2011
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Great post. I have one MF clock and i would like to know its value.
Does anyone knows?

Thanx!
 

bridekirk

Registered User
Oct 22, 2013
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I have recently purchased a clock made by Manufrance and marked St Etienne. I bought is as a St Etienne Chime, but it does not sound like the St Etienne Chimes I have heard. Did the company have any other chimes? I do collect clocks with unusual chimes and have many and thought it might have been Cloche du jurees but its isn't. I am quite confused really. It is a single chime clock. Of course they may be different versions
 

bridekirk

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Oct 22, 2013
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[video=youtube;8YQxuemMbCA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQxuemMbCA&feature=share&list=UUqtwfpLOlb MMdA3JaREGvtA[/video]
 

bridekirk

Registered User
Oct 22, 2013
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Steven Thornberry;817010 said:
Your link seems busted, John. Anyway to recover what you meant to post?
sorry bit new to forums have put new link below. Hope this one works :)
 

Steven Thornberry

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bridekirk;817062 said:
sorry bit new to forums have put new link below. Hope this one works :)
Ya done good. It sounds quite nice. Is this one of yours?
 

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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I've never heard this chime before. I initially thought it may just be Westminster playing on the wrong chime rods, though the pattern doesn't quite match. Your clock looks like an FFR product, of which Manufrance retailed examples usually played Westminster.

It is worth noting some of the French makers often made up 4 note chimes as a convenient way to implement a second chime melody while using the same notes as the Westminster chime. I've only seen one example that played the French tune alone, and it was also a Manufrance product. However it was made by Girod and played Cloches du Jura.

In any instance, you own a very nice clock and it does sound nice.
 

bridekirk

Registered User
Oct 22, 2013
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Yes I bought it off ebay as a St Etienne, but when it arrived was very confused lol. It does sound nice I agree so even though it was not what I was looking for I decided to keep it as it was a reasonable price at £ 99.00 Sterling. I have quite a few French clocks with unusual chimes now but still want a St Etienne and a Gai Carillon ( which I love) and also an Ave Maria Gunod. getting hard to come by !!
 

bridekirk

Registered User
Oct 22, 2013
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Well chimeclockfan, my initial disappointment is fading, as I am starting to enjoy the unexpected chimes, though my home is beginning to sound a bit like a cathedral Bell Tower especially at 12 noon and midnight,and I have to have them set at 3 min intervals or else they all sound off at once which is not pleasing to the ear lol, but they are very entertaining. My favorite to both listen to and look at is my HAC Frere Jacques it has a gorgeous tone. Another Ebay buy !. Lik you I thought it sounded a bit like a Westminster "gone off" but as it is so melodic I think not
 

J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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These French clocks do tend to wield some interesting chime melodies. It was only a few years ago I thought they always played Westminster or Ave Maria - and nothing else. The more one learns... o:)
 

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