Model 284 Clock by Wurth

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by Mothyman, Apr 23, 2017.

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  1. Mothyman

    Mothyman Registered User

    Aug 8, 2015
    Reading, England
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    I have what I thought was a 400 day clock by W Wurth.

    It is plate 1603 in the guide (now attributed to Wurth), has serial number 12319, and has a matching number crown disc pendulum.

    However I have just acquired a copy of the 1910 Jahres-Uhr catalogue, and there is my clock shown on page 34, as Model No. 284. I had understood this was a JUF catalogue, so I wonder why it includes a clock made by Wurth? Did JUF resell Wurth clocks, or have I misidentified my clock?

    I plan to restore the clock and I would appreciate any information on the original finish of the case – the Jahres-Uhr catalogue describes it as having a “dull brass case” and a “brass dial”.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or pictures of what a dull brass case looks like? Currently it is coated in a typical brownish lacquer, underneath which it appears to have been polished. Finally, would the dial originally have been polished?

    Thanks in advance

  2. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Mascoutah, IL
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    Yes you have a Wurth clock. Very nice! It probably had a matte finish. No idea how to restore that on brass.

    The catalog is attributed to JUF, but that doesn't fit with clocks like yours and several others in its pages. I have my doubts that is was produced by JUF.

  3. lesbradley

    lesbradley Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    IT analyst
    Fairford, England
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    I have had my doubts as there are clocks in the catalogue with the crown pendulum, which as far as I am aware is only original with Wurth clocks
  4. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The Woodlands, TX
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    Tim, thanks for posting your Wurth clock. Based on the movement serial number it was made about July-August 1907. Having the matching serial number No. 20 "Kronen Dreh-Pendel" by Wurth shows this is a completely original clock.

    In another thread Eric posted his question about the origin of the Jahres-Uhr catalog and whether it is in fact a JUF catalog or one that happens to have JUF clocks illustrated among others. I posted in reply that most of the clocks illustrated had in fact been documented with JUF movements, but also that many of them had been documented with multiple makers' movements. The latter point simply confirmed that it was common practice at the time for cases to be made by third party case makers, who would sell their cases to any company that wanted to buy them. This point does not, however, account for clocks that have non-JUF pendulums illustrated, or have not been found with JUF movements. This clock is one of the latter, being the first example of No. 284 thus far documented. The Wurth pendulum No. 20 is also shown with two other clocks in the catalog, No. 283 and No.285. I have not found either of those two models with Wurth movements but have documented both of them with JUF movements and JUF design disc pendulums.

    The original catalog from which the reproduction you now have was obtained by Charles Terwilliger from the Schatz brothers in the 1950s, and it evidently was represented to him as being a JUF catalog from 1905 based on notes found in Terwilliger's archives and with the catalog itself. There were several problems with the 1905 date, specifically that the patent for the Huber "C" gimbal upper suspension illustrated at the front of the catalog was granted in December 1907, and the patent for the JUF "Arrow" 4-Ball pendulum illustrated immediately following was granted in November 1909. The 1910 date was my conclusion based on the patents and on other research information. At the time this catalog was reproduced by Chapter 168 (January 2002) we had no evidence that conflicted with it being a JUF catalog, except that as Eric says "why didn't JUF put their name on it?"

    Fast forward to 2017 and we have now "discovered" the following:

    >> Philipp Haas clocks illustrated in the Repair Guide were ALL made by Ph. Hauck. Haas in fact never made any 400-Day clocks.
    Serveral Hauck plates in the Repair Guide are shown to be made by JUF, not so.

    >> W. Wurth & Co. clocks have been confirmed to have been made from 1903 through 1910. ALL of the back plates for Wurth clocks are incorrectly shown to be made by JUF or Kienzle.

    >> Schlenker & Posner clocks were not even mentioned in the Repair Guide, they made clocks from 1928 to 1938. ALL their back plates are incorrectly shown to be made by Kundo or JUF.

    >> A miniature clock illustrated in the JUF catalog, No. 262 with 4-Glass case, was in fact made by Ph. Hauck.

    >> Andreas Huber patented and manufactured virtually all the full-size lantern pinion movements illustrated in the Repair Guide, NOT Badische or Kienzle.

    These are five of the "major" discrepancies found in the Repair Guide and other references. There are too many others to list here, the main point is that a LOT of 400-Day "conventional wisdom" about who made what has had the apple cart turned over and the conclusions reached back in 2001 have been found in error as may be the case with this catalog. I am now going through my archives to see what evidence I have that would show not only the three clocks illustrated with the No. 20 "Kronen Dreh-Pendel" and the miniature No.262 might be clearly identified as being made by some maker other than JUF. This will take a while but I'll post my conclusions when the review is complete.

    Back to the clock at hand, the "dull brass" finish is simply a relatively bright matte finish, the remnants can be seen on the front of your clock case. As Eric has indicated not at all easy to restore. The closest I have come to achieving a close match has been to first polish the case to remove all tarnish, and then give it a very fine grained finish using 800 grit wet & dry paper. This requires using sanding blocks with foam strips under the paper to ensure all surfaces are evenly grained. Once this has been completed you can use matte finish spray lacquer to seal the case.

    The dial appears to me to have not been bright polished, but also a matte finish. The numbers and chapter minute ring are engraved so they will need to be filled with black wax or other black filler before graining.
  5. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

    Jun 24, 2011
    Medical Insurance Systems Analyst
    El Dorado, CA
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    Regarding the matte finish...
    I'd bet soda blasting would work well to recreate this kind of finish.
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