Senior Administrator Emeritus
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
- Sep 7, 2000
Arla, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board! Thanks very much for posting your inquiry and the photos of your Jahresuhr Sylvester torsion clock. To make this easy to understand, I'll answer each of your questions individually.Hi John
I have a "Jahresuhr Sylvester. Patentirt in allen Culturstaaten. Ser.III 81"
Can you help me with informations:
No, it had no association at all with Schnekenburger. The escapement design was patented in 1897 by J. Christian Bauer, and manufactured at his cousin Carl Bauer's factory in Fürth. The movement is actually based on the earlier detent escapement design year clocks patented by Wilhelm Köhler and J.C. Bauer that "were" made for a short time by R. M. Schnekenburger, however there are differences certainly in the escapement and also in some details of the gears.1. Have this model / type of watch also been made under the RSM Schnekenburger name ?
The clocks made by Schnekenburger were produced in 1894 and 1895, of which about 600 were completed by September or October of 1895. However, Schnekenburger was having financial difficulties and sales were slow, so Köhler and Bauer (who had invested money into the manufacture) decided to move the manufacturing from Mühlhiem to Carl Bauer's factory in Fürth, which was done before the end of 1895 and production resumed there by January 1896. Advertisements by Carl Bauer were placed in trade magazines in February 1896 extolling the virtues of these clocks and also promoting his use of the word "Sylvester" which was used to denote the new year, thus indicating a year-clock. That logo was NOT used for the continuing production of the Köhler-Bauer patent clocks, of which about another 600 were made from early 1896 to perhaps late 1897 or into 1898. Those clocks are all stamped with the "RSM with Rose" Schnekenburger logo, which must have been used by agreement.
There is confusion about the Köhler-Bauer detent escapement clocks and the Jahresuhr Sylvester duplex escapement clocks, largely due to the similar appearance of the movements and the nearly identical pendulums used, but also that essentially identical cases of several designs were used for both types of clock. Although you did not ask about the case for your clock, it is not original but a very well made German box clock design from the 1920s to which the movement has been adapted. Here is a photo of a typical original case for both the Schnekenburger and the Bauer clocks:
There were larger, smaller and more elaborate cases than this one but all were of the Altdeutsche design style.
Your clock was made in 1898 based on the serial number.2. How old is the watch ?
The words "Jahresuhr Sylvester" are "Year-Clock Sylvester", the second word being trademarked by Carl Bauer. The words "Patentiert in Alles Culturstaten" translates to "Patented in all Developed Countries".3. What is the English technical name on the clockwork ?
My data show that only about 350 were made, of which I have now documented 12, so it could be considered rare. I should mention that many of the cases originally used were subject to damage from woodworm and have been lost over the years. Of the 12 Bauer duplex clocks I have documented, only 7 are in their original cases.4. How many have been manufactured ?
5. How rarely is it ?
Thank you for a very interesting forum which also is understandable for an amateur.
These are wonderful and interesting clocks especially for those interested in torsion pendulum designs, being that the Schnekenburger and the Bauer clocks were the only full striking torsion pendulum wall clocks ever made.
I will leave your post and my response here with the Schnekenburger clocks so that it can be seen and understood by anyone interested in one of the most insteresting stories of Schnekenburger's clockmaking career. I also am copying them to the 400-Day forum for information there.