REVIEW: Tang: Junghans Swingers

  • Thread starter Fortunat Mueller-Maerki
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Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 23, 2001
BOOKREVIEW by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

How many cousins does the Junghans Elephant Swinger clock have?

Junghans Mystery Swingers [Facsimile on CD-Rom Edition] By Victor Tang (Editor). Published 2010;by Any400Day, Singapore. Text in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. 112 pages, in protected pdf-format on CD-ROM [in plastic folder], printable and searchable, includes copy of the required Adobe Reader software. Available at http:// for a cost sharing payment of US$15 (including free worldwide shipping).

Clocks where the whole case, including the movement and dial, swing back and forth, usually referred to in English as “Swingers”, are some of the visually more interesting elements in any collection. There are many variations, but undoubtedly the one seen most often is a cast metal elephant with a raised trunk (about 29 cm high) holding the oscillating movement.

This model is first documented in a 1910 French language catalog of Junghans, the large, Schramberg, Germany, based clock manufacturer. It remained in the Junghans product line up to World War II, and unauthorized “fake” copies of it continue to be produced in large numbers to this day by unauthorized “pirates”. But in spite of their ubiquity in the clock collecting world, nobody up to now had taken the effort to systematically compile the original documentary evidence of the Junghans swingers.

Victor Tang, a Singapore based enthusiast of European factory made clocks of the early 20th century has yet again filled a void. His newest release (May 2010) goes beyond his previous practice of just reproducing historic clock catalogs in user friendly, indexed and printable CD-ROM format. Now he has produced a most useful and original compilation of hereto hard to find catalog entries on Junghans Swinger Clocks between 1910 and 1938, in 17 different historic catalogs published by Junghans in Germany, France, Italy and Austria. As it turns out, the Elephants have at least 34 cousins, most of them much less known, and some exceedingly rare. Tang has identified 35 different models of Junghans Swinger clocks.

This electronic publication consists of two parts: In the first half, each of the 36 models is pictured on a page, together with clickable thumbprint icons for the catalogs in which it appears. The second half reproduces – in chronological order – the catalog cover page of the 17 historic Junghans catalogs which can provide contemporary documentation on these models, followed by facsimile reproductions dealing with swingers.

As usual, Mr. Tang has provided indices by model numbers and model names, and the texts have been OCR-ed, allowing the use of the ‘find’ function of the Adobe reader to locate any text string. The images have been scanned in high resolution (600 dpi), but contain digital watermarks and are printable only at a 150dpi resolution to prevent unauthorized reproduction.

With this latest addition to his series of CD-ROMs, Victor Tang goes beyond his previous high standard for user friendliness of catalog reprints by creating his first subject compilation, drawing from multiple original historic documents. And as always, his prices can not be beat.

Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ
May 2010

Robert Gary

NAWCC Member
Feb 26, 2003
Southern California
Right you are, Fortunat! These CDs are outstanding. The Junghans swinger CD is fascinating, showing numerous styles that I had never heard of before and putting all of the Junghan swinger catalog pages in one searchable document!

Victor's work is top notch and invaluable to those of us in the horological world.

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