Post Your Gustav Becker 400-Day CLocks Here

Mateusz

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Hi John;
Any supposition what percentage of GB production are anniversary clocks?
 

John Hubby

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Good question. I've looked at that before and here's what I come up with from my database:

Total estimated production of 400-Day Clocks: 70,000

Total production of serially numbered Clocks:
GB Freiburg 1850-1925: 2,509,000
GB Freiburg 1925-1932: 26,000
GB Freiburg Alarm Clocks: 810,000
GB Braunau 1888-1926: 922,000
GB serially numbered Total: 4,267,000

GB non-serially numbered estimate:
Amerikaner movement clocks: 2,200,000
Alarm and novelty clocks: 3,500,000

Grand total GB production: 9,967,000

Percentage of total 400-Day Clocks: 70k ÷ 9967k x 100 = 0.702%

As can be seen, GB's 400-Day business was a very tiny part of their total, small enough to be a little surprising that it received as much attention as it did. Moreover, this production volume of about 2,300 clocks per year was at the low end compared to the other major makers during the time they were involved. For example:

Huber: 73,000 (1900-1904, 1912-1928)
(Massiv movements 1900-04, Lantern Pinion movements 1912-1928, about 4,250 per year)
W. Würth & Co: 28,000 (1903-1910)
(4,000 per year)
Ph. Hauck: 43,000 (1903-1914)
(3,900 per year)
JUF: 230,000 (1900-1939)
(5,900 per year)
Kienzle: 90,000 (1907-1929)
(4,090 per year)
Kern & Link: 21,000 (1929-1937)
(3,000 per year)
Kern & Söhne: 9,000 (1937-1939)
(3,000 per year)
Kundo: 77,000 (1923-1939)
(4,800 per year)
Wintermantel: 10,000 (1924-1931)
(1,430 per year)
Schlenker & Posner: 38,000 (1928-1938)
(3,800 per year)

Please note that the "annual" production is a simple average of total production divided by the number of years in operation. The reality included some wide swings such as being shut down during much of WWI, economic situations, depression, economic conditions, etc. JUF was certainly the largest producer but on an annualized basis not all so overwhelming as seen in the numbers.
 
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KurtinSA

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John -

Thanks for the data...I'll probably use some of this info in my Chapter presentation next year.

Something else that I've also wondered about...I noticed that in the "Post Your XXXX Clock Here" thread for 400-day clocks, for the few manufacturers that are listed, GB clocks have way more total pages than any other clock. And that seems to be the situation in Clocks General. Is there any reason for this apparent additional interest in Gustav Becker clocks? 10M total clocks by GB is certainly quite a lot...not sure about total production for other manufacturers. But I'm more interested in the 400-day side...why so much more "interest" in GB clocks?

Thanks...Kurt
 

Mateusz

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John;
Thank You for the quick and substantive answer!
Your knowledge is really impressive and it's nice that You want to share it.
 

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Gintaras, thanks very much for posting your GB Skeleton clock. This one was made in the first production run at the beginning of 1910, immediately following the initial production of about 90 clocks that was for B. H. Abrahams (BHA Logo). It appears all in excellent condition including the base which is original as well.

Ben Bowen at www.glassdomes.com has exact replica domes available ex-stock. They aren't cheap but you won't find one anywhere else that I am aware of. Ben copied an original dome from one of my clocks to ensure it was a perfect fit.
 

gintarasb64

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Gintaras, thanks very much for posting your GB Skeleton clock. This one was made in the first production run at the beginning of 1910, immediately following the initial production of about 90 clocks that was for B. H. Abrahams (BHA Logo). It appears all in excellent condition including the base which is original as well.

Ben Bowen at www.glassdomes.com has exact replica domes available ex-stock. They aren't cheap but you won't find one anywhere else that I am aware of. Ben copied an original dome from one of my clocks to ensure it was a perfect fit.
John, thank you for the information and advice where to find the dome. I would buy it from Ben but I am afraid that transatlantic journey to Lithuania would be too risky for the glass dome.
Gintaras
 

mauleg

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John, thank you for the information and advice where to find the dome. I would buy it from Ben but I am afraid that transatlantic journey to Lithuania would be too risky for the glass dome.
Gintaras
FWIW, I regularly ship glass domes 10,000 miles across the Pacific*, and properly packaged domes always arrive in perfect condition. I'm certain that Ben knows how to properly package them, so shipping should not be a problem.

*Mostly from Timesavers
 

BeeBingley

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We have had our GB anniversary clock for about 40 years. It was bought at a village auction and it was returned to good working order by my Dad.
My reason for writing is that some time ago I dated the clock to 1850 to 1859 as the serial number is 3531. After reading some of your threads today I checked the base of the pendulum and found the scratched number 3531 on this too.
Is it possible for our clock to be this early?

image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

etmb61

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We have had our GB anniversary clock for about 40 years. It was bought at a village auction and it was returned to good working order by my Dad.
My reason for writing is that some time ago I dated the clock to 1850 to 1859 as the serial number is 3531. After reading some of your threads today I checked the base of the pendulum and found the scratched number 3531 on this too.
Is it possible for our clock to be this early?

View attachment 460946 View attachment 460947 View attachment 460948
Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting your Becker clock.

In the 1920s Becker started numbering at 1 around the time they were taken over by Junghans, and produced about 5000 clocks before they ended production. Yours is one of the last Becker 400 day clocks.

Eric
 

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Bee, thanks very much for your inquiry and posting your GB clock. Eric is correct, GB changed their serial numbering system in May 1925, no longer posting sequential serial numbers for all their numbered clocks. Instead, they restarted numbering from "1" for at least five different types of movements. My data show your clock was made near the end of 1929. With regard to the change, we initially thought that was because GB was being taken over by Junghans at that time. It turns out the takeover didn't occur until May 1930 so that should not have had any influence on the change

Actually, GB first made this type of clock and movement design in 1902; the earliest serial number documented for that time is 1632604. At the time the numbering system was changed, the highest serial number recorded to date is 2508167; then dropping back to '1'. Your clock appears to be complete except for the suspension guard, exact replicas are available from the Horolovar Company or from eBay. The pendulum having a matching serial number to the movement shows this is the original pendulum. The Roman number dial was used on less than 10% of all the GB 400-Day clocks so it isn't all that common.

I am going to move your thread to be part of our thread "Post Your Gustav Becker 400-Day Clock Here" for continued discussion. We try to avoid having multiple makers discussed in the same thread.
 

BeeBingley

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Thank you Eric and John for your replies. I am very pleased to know when our clock was made.
Are you able to post a photograph of a GB 400 day clock showing the suspension guard that is missing from ours?
Barbara
 

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Thank you Eric and John for your replies. I am very pleased to know when our clock was made.
Are you able to post a photograph of a GB 400 day clock showing the suspension guard that is missing from ours?
Barbara
Barbara, here is a photo of the exact suspension guard you need for your clock. Although this one has a 4-Ball pendulum, it has the same movement back plate and upper suspension guard as does yours so there will not be any problem with it fitting properly:

315344.jpg
If you click on the photo it will expand to larger size, then click again and a full-size photo will open in a new tab or page on your browser so you can see it "up close". I notice the mounting posts and screws for the suspension guard are missing on your clock. The guard, mounting posts, and screws are available from Horolovar HERE.
 

mauleg

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A GB 400-day with disc pendulum in good condition. Plate #1207A, serial #2443079, which makes the approximate date of manufacture 1910. It has the original heavy dome and other than the name on the dial, appears to be mostly original. There's no serial number on the pendulum, but there is a spot where the brass appears abraded. Pictures:

DSCN0666.jpg DSCN0667.jpg DSCN0669.jpg DSCN0670.jpg DSCN0681.jpg DSCN0682.jpg DSCN0683.jpg DSCN0685.jpg DSCN0687.jpg
 

Kamil Urbanowicz

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Gintaras, thanks very much for posting your GB Skeleton clock. This one was made in the first production run at the beginning of 1910, immediately following the initial production of about 90 clocks that was for B. H. Abrahams (BHA Logo). It appears all in excellent condition including the base which is original as well.

Ben Bowen at www.glassdomes.com has exact replica domes available ex-stock. They aren't cheap but you won't find one anywhere else that I am aware of. Ben copied an original dome from one of my clocks to ensure it was a perfect fit.

sadly some of my friend in Poland ordered this extremely expensive dome, and it did not fit the oryginal Gb Skeleton base. So not sure this domes works anymore.
 

KurtinSA

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Picked this up at an estate sale today. The SN is 4895 so it would appear that it is one of the last 100+ assembled at the Freiburg factory. The same SN is on the underside of the pendulum, scratched in. I don't know if that would be standard of if someone came back later and scratched the number. I show the back plate as 1207. I weighed the pendulum at 13.7 oz. This has cut pinions, not lantern. The base has had a rough life...I put it in beat and it has taken off.

What type of screws are needed for the suspension guard? I have at least one of the type guards but no screws that I know.

Kurt

GBEstateFrt.jpg GBEstateBck.jpg GBEstateSide1.jpg GBEstateSide2.jpg [/S][/S]
 
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DrScotti

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Hello, first time posting.
Looking for info and care instructions for my GUSTAV BECKER 400 DAY ANNIVERSARY CLOCK given to my by my father, original owned by my grandparents.
Serial # 2373162

thank you!
 
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KurtinSA

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Welcome! Looks pretty good for an early 1920s clock! And nice to have the provenance of the clock. Looks like the length of the suspension spring is a tad short...the pendulum usually rides about 1/4" of an inch above the base. Does it run? If so, wind it and keep the dome on to keep the dust/dirt out. Enjoy!

Kurt
 
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DrScotti

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Welcome! Looks pretty good for an early 1920s clock! And nice to have the provenance of the clock. Looks like the length of the suspension spring is a tad short...the pendulum usually rides about 1/4" of an inch above the base. Does it run? If so, wind it and keep the dome on to keep the dust/dirt out. Enjoy!

Kurt
My father had someone "clean" it for $300, and it doesn't seem to stay running. I have never wound it as it seems to be wound tight, as Im not sure how hard the turn is to wind it. I did not want to break anything. Where can I find instructions on use? Thanks!
 

KurtinSA

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It probably needs to be set in beat. I was in your shoes 2-3 years ago...couldn't get my father's clock running and was afraid to break things. There is a NAWCC chapter in the St. Louis area. They usually meet on Sundays once a month. Chapter 14...their website link is here:

Chapter Sites

It appears to be off line now. There are other chapters, one in Urbana, Ill, and another meets in Nashville, Ill (chapter Little Egypt). Maybe make contact and see if you can get some help.

Kurt
 

mauleg

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My father had someone "clean" it for $300, and it doesn't seem to stay running. I have never wound it as it seems to be wound tight, as Im not sure how hard the turn is to wind it. I did not want to break anything. Where can I find instructions on use? Thanks!
For anyone even remotely interested in 400-day clocks, there are 2 books that are a fascinating read, and an indispensable resource respectively, even if you do not intend to carry out repairs yourself.:

Repair and Restore Your 400-Day Clock
The Horolovar 400-Day Clock Repair Guide
 

sunand

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Hi, recently I bought an GB anniversary clock.I'm enclosing some pictures so that you can provide some info about this interesting piece. It is numbered 2395639, and the pendulum bears the same no.
It needs a new suspension spring. Can you let me know some technical details about the length and dia etc?
Looking forward to hear from you.
BRgds
Sunand IMG_0507.JPG IMG_0507.JPG IMG_0507.JPG

IMG_0510.JPG IMG_0506.JPG IMG_0508.JPG IMG_0509.JPG IMG_0511.JPG
 

KurtinSA

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sunand -

The clock was built in the first few months of 1921. The repair guide indicates that the Horolovar spring thickness is 0.004".

Kurt
 

Kamil Urbanowicz

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Dear John,
please could You upload a pictures of different types of Gustav Becker disc pendulums 23A up to 23G.

Kinds regards
Kamil


Re: A Pair of Gustav Beckers

Damian, the pendulum on your early BHA is I believe a prototype that preceeded the manufacture of pendulum 23E, which as you propose may well have been introduced based on a request from BHA. In digging through my archives I found one other of these than yours on a clock made very shortly after yours but not for BHA. The "final" design for No. 23E came immediately after that and appeared on several regular GB clocks before showing up "in quantity" on BHA clocks.

For this design, here are the serial numbers and dates:

1914569, for BHA: Prototype 23E, made mid-second quarter 1906
1914591, regular GB: Prototype 23E, made mid-second quarter 1906
1914620, regular GB: Final design 23E, made mid-second quarter 1906

The differences between the prototype and the final design are as per your photos. The prototype has a complete bottom shell that fits into a thin upper cover that is crimped onto the bottom shell. The final design has a stamped/spun bottom cover with flanged sides, that fits closely within a spun upper shell with side flanges reaching to the bottom of the disc. Both have a steel disc the fits just under the upper shell which provides stiffness to the disc, and a lead ring to provide the peripheral mass needed for good rate control of the clock.

Timewise, it appears that BHA contacted GB early in 1906 with a proposal for them to make clocks for BHA with the BHA logo on the back plate. By the way, these were for import into the UK and not to the USA. Your clock is one of the prototypes that was made for BHA, with the GB logos milled out and the prototype "inexpensive" pendulum. It is notable that the final design would have been easier and less expensive to fabricate than the prototype.

After this, the first "production versions" of the BHA clocks started with serial number 1957999 made at the beginning of 1907 and using the final version of 23E. Of interest, that pendulum continued in production until the end of 1932 when 400-Day clock production was stopped.

With regard to when each design was introduced and how long it was used, my data show the following in chronological order:

23A: Second quarter 1902, last used 1907
23B: Second quarter 1905. last used 1910
23E: Second quarter 1906, last used 1932
23C: Fourth quarter 1907, last used 1913
23D: Second quarter 1909, last used 1932
23F: Mid-1923, last used 1932
23G: Third quarter 1928, last used 1932

At the time I first had identified each version (almost 15 years ago) I had expected to find progressively less expensive construction and the data I had at the time confirmed that. As more extensive data was compiled it became evident that pendulum No. 23E was made earlier than 23D or 23C, but the connection with BHA wasn't evident yet. In fact, since the disc part of all models made after 23E was developed are essentially identical (the edge of model No. 23C has ribbing, the others are smooth) I will leave the designations as they are for the time being since the numbers of each is very large. However, before I get to actual publication I'll need to restructure my database to put them in the correct order and tell the story connected to their development.
 

etmb61

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Hi Kamil,

I've recorded over 540 Becker 400 day clocks and now yours is the oldest non-cylinder escapement I've seen. Your pendulum is the only example I've seen. The disk has the heavy beaded edge like that used on the cylinder escapement clocks. The gallery is the same as only two other clocks in my records, 1632767 and 1672744, but both of those have "23A" style disks.

Nice find.

How is the base constructed? All brass or with a plated steel top?

Eric
 

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Dear John,
please could You upload a pictures of different types of Gustav Becker disc pendulums 23A up to 23G.

Kinds regards
Kamil
Kamil, thanks for your request. I can see from what I wrote however long ago needs a serious update, as I have documented three more distinct pendulum designs since that was written among other things. I presently don't have all these properly organized so it will take some time for me to sort through the archives to ensure that what I post is chronologically accurate and also shows the specific differences for each design. This will likely take a few months as I am presently finishing my home that was flooded by Hurricane Harvey and also will shortly be taking an extended trip overseas. I've added this to my Becker priority list so it won't be forgotten.
 

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Kamil, thanks for posting your 1902 vintage clock. It is the third oldest I have in my data, the earlier two are 1632604 and 1632654. Unfortunately only the gallery and weights remain of the pendulum for the first (oldest to date) clock, but the gallery is the same as yours with the turned "ogee" rims for the gallery discs. The second clock has a standard GB six-pillar gallery pendulum with the first disc I documented and called No. 23A which is referenced above. I've not seen another pendulum for a 1902 vintage clock with a disc like yours, I suspect is was a leftover from the cylinder escapement production that ended in 1901.

Like Eric I've documented the same two he mentioned that have a standard 23A pendulum disc with the same gallery as your clock, which I have designated No. 23AA using the same convention used by Terwilliger for his back plate numbers..
 

Kamil Urbanowicz

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Eric the base is made from brass only and a wooden plate is screwed undeneath to it. The interesting think is that the base have scratched serial number 773 wchich is also written by a pen on the wooden plate. The pendulum have as we will see the same number on few parts (23 or 25).

The base of the pendulum is for sure a leftover as it have an earlier serial written with pen. The serial as much I can see is 1632100 (I am not sure about the inner 2).

DSC_0171.JPG DSC_0172.JPG DSC_0173.JPG DSC_0174.JPG DSC_0175.JPG DSC_0176.JPG DSC_0177.JPG DSC_0178.JPG
 

darek19670528

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Witam
Panie Kamilu
Bardzo fajny ten G.B roczny zastanawia mnie to wahadlo jest nietypowe pierwszy raz takie widzę
Czy można prosić Pana o e-maila chcialbym zadac kilka pytań bedzie prościej
Pozdrawiam z poważaniem Darek

Translation:
Hello
Mr Kamil
Very nice this G.B annual I am wondering this pendulum is unusual the first time I see it
If you can ask for an e-mail, I would like to ask a few questions more easily
Best regards, Darek
 
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darek19670528

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Jeszcze jedno posiadam G.B roczny
Nr.1632614 ale wahadlo mam inne
Pozdrawiam

Translation:
I have one more annual G.B
Nr.1632614 but the pendulum is different
Regards
 
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John Hubby

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Hello
Gustav Becker from 1902r.1632614
Regards
Darek, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board!! As a convenience for our users I have translated your first two messages to English.

Thanks for posting the photos of your very early GB 400-Day clock, as of today your clock has the lowest serial number yet documented for the introduction of the "standard" GB Graham escapement 400-Day clock.

If possible could you post a photo of the back of the movement so we can see the logos and pivot layout? Also, is there a serial number inscribed underneath the pendulum disc?

Your pendulum is the same design as four others I have documented for these very early clocks. I agree that Kamil's pendulum is unusual, and I think likely to have used a disc from GB's cylinder escapement model which production was discontinued in 1901.
 

darek19670528

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Hello John
I send pictures pendulum and back plate
I have a question whether Gustav Becker produced clocks before 1902
Regards

20180917_182717.jpg 20180917_181330.jpg
 

Bonbon

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Я так понимаю, что на меня тоже действуют санкции:???: Не ответив на мой вопрос, Вы выражает расовую дискриминацию.
 

etmb61

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Я так понимаю, что на меня тоже действуют санкции:???: Не ответив на мой вопрос, Вы выражает расовую дискриминацию.
Actually I think you posted in the wrong area. It looks like you have asked about a gravity pendulum clock. This area is for torsion pendulum clocks. Perhaps our moderators can move your question to the correct area.

(google translate, sorry)
На самом деле, я думаю, вы отправили в неправильном месте. Похоже, вы спросили о гравитационных маятниковых часах. Эта область предназначена для крутильных маятниковых часов. Возможно, наши модераторы могут переместить ваш вопрос в нужную область.
 

gintarasb64

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Hello,
I got this unusual GB 400 day clock. Unfortunatelly the clock arrived with damaged and lost minute hand, I am really disapointed:( Any suggestions where I can look for the replacement? Any comment would also be very interesting.
Best regards
Gintaras

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KurtinSA

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Clock was built in the latter half of 1909...serial numbers look to be matching. Can't say as I've seen hands like that on a GB clock before...most of mine are the typical black spade type hands. But then, your clock is more ornate with the dial and all such that black spade hands wouldn't be right. You could try Timesavers to see if they have anything that comes close to matching the style of hands that would fit...they could be painted to match.

Kurt
 

whatgoesaround

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I have the same clock with the same problem, no replacement hands. Timesavers at one time sold a reasonable replacement from what I was told, but they discontinued about the time I needed the hands. Of course.
 

KurtinSA

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Gintaras - looks like it's from the time when GB began renumbering their clocks. Clock dates to last third of 1926.

Kurt
 

sunand

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Hi All,
I accidentally became a GB fan, when I bought the `12/34' wall clock, which John so eloquently described in Dec 16, as the `very last' documented GB. Over the past year or so, I have come into possession of three Ann clocks with serial no.1915141, 1991653 (manufactured for Kuehl & Co Chicago) and 2395639. All have their original pendulums. I shall post detailed pictures on this post in a couple of days.
There is one question that is baffling me- which 400 day clocks have or must not have the ornamental design below the dial (between the two screws). I have seen many not having these, and some older ones having them. In my case, the Kuehl clock has it, but it is absent in the other two. Was their some cut-off date, to it?
 

KurtinSA

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I have a number of GB clocks. Most have the decorative brass pieces, but two of them do not. One is dated to 1903 and there are no provisions (ie, holes) in the front plate to accept the brass piece. My next "younger" clock (1905) does have the piece. I also have a large round dial GB clock and because of the size of the dial, there is no room under it for such a piece. The repair guide just says that the clock "may have" the decorative piece, but doesn't really elaborate. Maybe John has some info. Here's a couple of his past posts:

Gustav Becker Decorative Brass Embellishers.

gustav becker torsion clock brass embellisher wanted

Kurt
 

sunand

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Here are the photos of 1915114, for John's record. After cleaning & oiling I set it up, adjusted the beat,and it's been running continuously for the past three days. The suspension guard has been removed for cleaning/set-up.
Some questions:
1. date of manufacture ?
2. Is it in its original state ?

Best Wishes
Sunand

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KurtinSA

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Nov 24, 2014
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John's dating table gives it a date of June/July 1906. I have a clock built about 100 units prior to yours and yours looks OK...with one exception. It's probably missing the small decorative brass piece below the dial. Notice the two small holes. There is a small brass piece that is screwed into that spot.

Kurt
 

daveR

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Sep 10, 2008
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This is another Becker 400 day clock that a friend sent me a picture of today. I am sorry the pictures aren't great but they show the serial no (For John Hubby! ) and interestingly the retailer who was working in western Victoria(Horsham and Warracknabeal) around1900 and after. Traditionally it was a farming area with very large sheep runs, but then it must have felt a long way from Melbourne!
Becker.jpeg Becker back.jpeg

David
 

sunand

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Dec 24, 2016
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Thanks Kurt, that was comforting. Any idea how to go about ordering suspension guard pillars , and the guard itself ?
 
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