Vedette wall clocks - case styles

chimeclockfan

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Here I present a guide to the main styles Vedette clocks used over time.

The exact style (preferably Art Deco) evolved over time, rather than simply changing once or twice.

I am using style names from what the majority of sellers and auctioneers have used.
All of the styles were generally from what was popular during the period of time, not by historical periods.

Picture 1 shows the styles used prior the second world war.
Clock 1 shows a French style, often labeled as "Louis XVI" by numerous sellers. From 1920's
Clock 2 shows an Edwardian styled case. Others sometimes had brass accents. From 1920's.
Clock 3 shows a very early Art Deco styled case. This is from around 1930.
Clock 4 shows another Art Deco case, also from very early 1930's.
Clock 5 shows a Henri II case, also popular from the late 1920's to early 1930's. This is a 1930's example.
Clock 6 shows a slightly later Art Deco case, likely from 1934 onwards with "streamlined" numbers and a chromed dial rim.
This was a sign of what was to continue in Vedette's styles.
Clock 7 shows another Art Deco case, from mid 1930's.
Clock 8 is a later Art Deco case. The main difference being the door is inbuilt to the case, rather than covering the entire front as in Clock 6 and Clock 7.
Clock 9 shows a different Art Deco (my personal favorite). This was introduced around the late 1930's.
Once again, the door is inbuilt with the case, rather than being all over the front. One example was dated from 1938.

The second picture shows the wartime (more likely postwar) styles used.
All but the last one are basically Art Deco styled.

Clocks 1 and 2 use Art Deco stylings similar to the prewar clocks, but a bit more compact. These also used the more compact movement introduced around this time.
Clock 3 is a postwar Art Deco style, much smaller sized than the earlier clocks, and a sign of what was to continue.
Clock 4 uses the smaller case, with a wide face. From 1950's.
Clock 5 uses a smaller case as well, but with a square-like octagon face. From 1950's.
Clock 6 uses a somewhat different style, but with a different face with a circular ring for the numbers. From 1950's.
Clock 7 returns to the face Clock 4 uses. Possibly from 1960's as this one has a night silence feature.
Clock 8 is not a Westminster wall clock, but rather an early Quartz clock.
This is a major departure from the previously established styles.
It uses a floral design with Roman numerals.

Vedette stopped making mechanical chime clocks by the 1970's.

Each clock (preferably 1930's onwards) could come with numerous options, including black or chromed numerals, and many different pendulum window designs.
I am attaching a favorite from the late 1930's.

vedette cases prewar.jpg vedette cases postwar.jpg Bell Carillon.jpg
 
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Mike Phelan

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Wow, impressive! Next job is to start writing a book? :D

Some great research there; previously, the only Vedettes I knew of were Simca cars!
 

Burkhard Rasch

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Hope You don´t mind adding my two Verdettes:
First 1930-40,massive oak case,art deco,two melodies chime mvmt(Westminster and Ave Maria),brass bezel and bob.

Second sold 1938 by a Straßbourgh retailer(acording to papers with it),just Westminster mvmt.Box in massive beech,stained to wallnut,looking verry much (IMHO)like a contemporary german box clock,only the chrome bezel and bob exclude a german manufacturer.
Both came with their keys attached by a clamp inside the box and an operating manual.Best time keepers in the house!
Burkhard
 

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chimeclockfan

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Thanks for the pictures. Your first clock would likely be among the earlier dual chime clocks.
The dual chime mechanism was introduced around 1931, and revised shortly afterwards.
The initial ones have long curved hammers, the standard ones have straight hammers.

The second clock is likely from the 1930's as well, however this uses a slightly later dial with more 'streamlined' numerals than your other Vedette.

Do you have any photos of the dual chimer's movement? I want to see if it's the standard movement, or the very early one (different hammer assembly).
 

chimeclockfan

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That is the slightly later one (more common, with better hammer blow).

Here is a picture of what the initial version looked like.
This one played Frere Jacques over the hours, however.
 

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Burkhard Rasch

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I´d love to have a Frere Jaques,but with a oblong,slender case,not the short,stout,more square ones.One day....
Burkhard
 

davidives

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i have just got a vedette clock from france at a car boot in dunkirk and was wondering how to date and maintain it as i dont want to take it apart as it works fine and if its a antique then do i have to take it to a specialist
clock 001.jpg clock 002.jpg clock 003.jpg clock 004.jpg
 

chimeclockfan

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i have just got a vedette clock from france at a car boot in dunkirk and was wondering how to date and maintain it as i dont want to take it apart as it works fine and if its a antique then do i have to take it to a specialist
128284.jpg 128285.jpg 128286.jpg 128287.jpg
This looks like another later model in another Art Deco case. It is probably from the 1950's, Vedette generally used that cursive text (below the 12) around the 1950's. At very earliest, it could be late 1940's but not earlier than that.

If it works fine and the movement isn't dirty, I'd leave it as it is for now. When the day comes it needs a full out overhaul, consider taking it to a professional if you don't feel up to dismantling it yourself.
 

davidives

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thank you for the information it seems to want to work for about 6 hours then stops so will have to find a repaier soon
 

clockrobin

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One type of Vedette clock is missing from your list and that is the Longcase clock from the 1930s. I have been lucky enough to acquire one of these in beautiful walnut wood, very rectangular with no unnecessary decoration, a plate glass front, bevelled around all the edges, and in the "skyscraper" shape top and bottom. To complete the deco stying, the pendulum and three weights are chromed. The clock has the Westminster chime on each quarter then the full peal on the hour. I think the chimes are the best thing about Vedette clocks, particularly the wooden wall clocks which have a rather clunky, 1970-Volvo styling. They are full and sonorous and not the "bim-bam" of some other makes at that time.
I've tried to attach some photos but no matter how small the pixel size, I can't get them uploaded.

Clockrobin


Here I present a guide to the main styles Vedette clocks used over time.

The exact style (preferably Art Deco) evolved over time, rather than simply changing once or twice.

I am using style names from what the majority of sellers and auctioneers have used.
All of the styles were generally from what was popular during the period of time, not by historical periods.

Picture 1 shows the styles used prior the second world war.
Clock 1 shows a French style, often labeled as "Louis XVI" by numerous sellers. From 1920's
Clock 2 shows an Edwardian styled case. Others sometimes had brass accents. From 1920's.
Clock 3 shows a very early Art Deco styled case. This is from around 1930.
Clock 4 shows another Art Deco case, also from very early 1930's.
Clock 5 shows a Henri II case, also popular from the late 1920's to early 1930's. This is a 1930's example.
Clock 6 shows a slightly later Art Deco case, likely from 1934 onwards with "streamlined" numbers and a chromed dial rim.
This was a sign of what was to continue in Vedette's styles.
Clock 7 shows another Art Deco case, from mid 1930's.
Clock 8 is a later Art Deco case. The main difference being the door is inbuilt to the case, rather than covering the entire front as in Clock 6 and Clock 7.
Clock 9 shows a different Art Deco (my personal favorite). This was introduced around the late 1930's.
Once again, the door is inbuilt with the case, rather than being all over the front. One example was dated from 1938.

The second picture shows the wartime (more likely postwar) styles used.
All but the last one are basically Art Deco styled.

Clocks 1 and 2 use Art Deco stylings similar to the prewar clocks, but a bit more compact. These also used the more compact movement introduced around this time.
Clock 3 is a postwar Art Deco style, much smaller sized than the earlier clocks, and a sign of what was to continue.
Clock 4 uses the smaller case, with a wide face. From 1950's.
Clock 5 uses a smaller case as well, but with a square-like octagon face. From 1950's.
Clock 6 uses a somewhat different style, but with a different face with a circular ring for the numbers. From 1950's.
Clock 7 returns to the face Clock 4 uses. Possibly from 1960's as this one has a night silence feature.
Clock 8 is not a Westminster wall clock, but rather an early Quartz clock.
This is a major departure from the previously established styles.
It uses a floral design with Roman numerals.

Vedette stopped making mechanical chime clocks by the 1970's.

Each clock (preferably 1930's onwards) could come with numerous options, including black or chromed numerals, and many different pendulum window designs.
I am attaching a favorite from the late 1930's.
 

chimeclockfan

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One type of Vedette clock is missing from your list and that is the Longcase clock from the 1930s. I have been lucky enough to acquire one of these in beautiful walnut wood, very rectangular with no unnecessary decoration, a plate glass front, bevelled around all the edges, and in the "skyscraper" shape top and bottom. To complete the deco stying, the pendulum and three weights are chromed. The clock has the Westminster chime on each quarter then the full peal on the hour. I think the chimes are the best thing about Vedette clocks, particularly the wooden wall clocks which have a rather clunky, 1970-Volvo styling. They are full and sonorous and not the "bim-bam" of some other makes at that time.
I've tried to attach some photos but no matter how small the pixel size, I can't get them uploaded.

Clockrobin
Hi, thanks for your reply. When I wrote this article, I didn't have many photos of the bigger longcase clocks at the time so I left them out for a later writing. The longcases I usually see by Vedette are post-war products but they did make some during the 1930's too.

They also did smaller mantle clocks, often the same style the German makers of the post-war period used. Once again, I now have a good number of these archived now so I could compile these into a new post soon.
 

clockrobin

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decoclock 009.jpg decoclock 010.jpg decoclock 011.jpg decoclock 012.jpg
Hi, thanks for your reply. When I wrote this article, I didn't have many photos of the bigger longcase clocks at the time so I left them out for a later writing. The longcases I usually see by Vedette are post-war products but they did make some during the 1930's too.

They also did smaller mantle clocks, often the same style the German makers of the post-war period used. Once again, I now have a good number of these archived now so I could compile these into a new post soon.
I hope that these photos of my clock will now upload so here goes -
 
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chimeclockfan

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Great photos! Thanks for sending.

This looks like one of the pre-WW2 models, going by the logo used beneath the 12. Post WW2 clocks typically had a cursive "Vedette" under the 12 instead, and often adhered to similar but somewhat different styles.

Attached are photos of a later Vedette.
 

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Russell Dickson

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Facinating informative topic. I am a big Vedette fan, the movements are so well made, and the plates are very think. I have two of them myself, I think you have already seen them Chimeclock fan so I won't bore you again with the pics. Love this topic. I would like to see some info here in the future about japy freres hanging west chime wall clocks. I have a rare one in a walnut case, think you have seen that one too.
 

chimeclockfan

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Thanks. I've never had hands-on experience with a Vedette clock, but they do seem quite good from what I've seen. I view them as the premiere French maker during the 1930's onward. Another one of the better French makers was Odo whom also got into the market by the 1930's. Lower end (but still decent) would be the likes of Girod and MAP.

I've seen that Japy Freres clock, it's pretty nice. These wall clocks by Japy Freres are not too common but I can see what I have in my "archive" to post up sometime. I have another topic coming up regarding German floor clocks with musical-themed striking gongs I think you'll like. o:)
 

bullydog2

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Hi everyone. I just purchased my very first "good" clock for my husband's Christmas present. I am hoping that someone might be able to estimate the age or have any other information on it. Thanks.
 

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Kevin W.

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Your husband is a very lucky man to receive a nice clock like this from his wife.This is a very well known French maker and a quality made clock, i would guess perhaps the mid 1930,s. Looks to be in great shape, movement looks like it may have been serviced recently.
 

bullydog2

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Thanks for the help Veritas. I really appreciate the information and can't wait for my husband to see his clock. Happy Holidays to all.
 

butch

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I have what looks like a # 5 but without the middle top arched piece is that possible or is it missing? and what year could mine be?On back of the movement are the #s 23499 brevete?S.G.D.G. BARRILETS DEMONTABLES 8 T.E. MODELE DEPOSE .? I think ,can you tell me anything about this clock thanks for your help
 

harold bain

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Hi, butch, welcome to the message board. Could you post a few pictures of what you have?
 

Burkhard Rasch

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Hi,bullydog,and wellcome aboard!Your clock is late Art Deco style,30ies to 40ies I´d guess.Sorry to purr a drop of vinegar into the wine:The chime block-where the sound rods are attached-seems to have lost half of the rods and to compensate that,the hour striking hammers have been bent over so that they strike on what was intended to be the chiming rods for the quarters.If it works,it´s ok nevertheless.Hope not to disapoint You!Besides that a verry nice clock in exellent shape,strong contrast between the wallnut case and the chromium framework!
butch,if my french is sufficient enough the "barrilettes demontables" mean quick out barrels that can be pulled out for changing a broken spring without dismanteling the whole movement.Vedette obviously had a patent on a certain design of their barrels.More can be said with pics! HTH
Burkhard
 

abideaux

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Good afternoon. I have a Vedette wall clock inherited from my grandparents who both lived in France. Can you tell me more about the company itself?.....where were there operations headquartered?....are they still around? I consulted various reference books and did an internet search, but, there appears to be a scarcity of information on them.
Where would I find the info. as to the actual clock I have?....serial numbers or other discerning marks? Any info. you can provide me is greatly appreciated! Thank you.
Regards,
A. Bideaux
 

chimeclockfan

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Please post photos of the clock, and we can help.

Vedette (full name: Fabrique d'Horlogerie La Vedette SA) was located in Saverne, France. They manufactured their own clocks and components, although very late examples are known to have used Japanese movements.
 

Tim Orr

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Good evening, all!

I have a clock labeled "Vedette" that is, in fact, an electrically wound mechanical clock. I need to dig out a picture, but as soon as I can, I will post that.

Are you aware of Vedette clocks that were, so to speak, "self-winding"?

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

chimeclockfan

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The "Electro-Vedette" was produced in varying forms over the years. The first versions were made before World War 2, with postwar models being more commonly found. They plug into the wall and wind themselves - every example I recall didn't have the usual winding arbors. I don't have as much reference on these as I do the mechanical windup models but they usually come in the form of Westminster chime wall clocks. I've seen examples pop up occasionally for sale, but don't have any photos on hand - so your own photos will be much appreciated. o:)
 

Randy Beckett

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Hi Justin,

I have had this Vedette clock for some time and thought I would include it in your thread if you don't mind. I know little of it's history except I know it came from an estate in France. I thought it an unusual model, as it has dual chimes, playing both Westminster and Frere Jacques. The chimes are very smooth and pleasant.

DSCN0107.jpg
 
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chimeclockfan

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A fantastic example - I'll save this one in my archives.

This one was made anywhere between 1931 to 1935, going by the style of case. Later models usually bore chrome decor and angled numerals. Vedette patented their Frere Jacques chime mechanism in 1931 which narrows down the date range.
 

Tim Orr

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Good afternoon, all!

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I thought I had photos of my Vedette, but couldn't find them, then couldn't find the clock itself until yesterday. This one has a platform escapement and a barreled mainspring. It takes the best part of 40 minutes for the spring to fully wind when the clock is first plugged in after being run down. I then unplugged the clock, and so far, it has been running for 12 hours on the spring power "reserve." The clock is about 17 inches wide and 14 tall.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

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chimeclockfan

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A fine and elegant clock. This one would have been made around 1930-1935. The older pre-war cases tended to be long and narrow. As shown in my old post, the later models tended to have a much flatter, wider case.
 
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Burkhard Rasch

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lovely and exellent quality clock in the style of german box clocks of that time.For the funktion of that tin-thingy in the lower left corner of the case read https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?130939-to-all-Vedette-Owners

I still have some of the bocklets,pm if You´re interested.Don't forget to have it serviced before put into regular use.
Congrats to that aquisition!
Burkhard
 
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Safe.login

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Thank you both for the great info. We are enjoying our find and the research that comes with it.
 

rbloudon

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Hi All. Brand new to the forum. We've had our Vedette wall clock for quite some time, probably 20 years or more, and have very much enjoyed it. I'm sure the mechanism has been worked on or restored a time or two, probably shortly before we acquired it. I'm on this forum now because while it still keeps great time, the chime mechanism isn't working. I'm hoping it's something small since the mechanism is in overall good condition and the it keeps good time. Would welcome anyone's thoughts on both the mechanism and the age/vintage of our clock. Thanks in advance for that as well as for the forum overall. Great posts and excellent information! Vedette Wall Clock.jpg
 
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Burkhard Rasch

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wellcome to this messageboard and especialy among the Vedette friends!This is also an earlier art deco case,late 20ies or early 30ies I´d guess.The Vedette movements are of superb quality but-as You say-unserviced for about 20years it probably is in need of a professional service,i.e. complete dismanteling,cleaning,lubing and maybe one or two bushings.Look for a professional clocksmith in Your region and be prepared that he might charge You $$$ for that.Does Yours also have that clip in the lower left corner of the case for the booklet mentioned above?If yes,pm me for a booklet!
A verry nice clock,congrats!
Burkhard
 

rbloudon

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Thanks so very much, Burkhard. Good to be on this. Here's a more accurate update. We actually acquired this clock in very good condition from a shop in San Francisco over 20 years ago. It was in good working order at the time and worked very well until recently when my wife, after winding, got distracted and walked away, leaving the key in. Apparently when the minute hand came around and became obstructed by the key, the hour chime quit working. Both the center top and the right springs wind normally so the clock keeps good time and the quarter hour melody plays nicely. The left spring, which controls the hourly mark, won't wind and appears to be jammed. We have had the clock serviced several times over the years but the last time my wife tried to take it in to the local clocksmith, he saw some evidence of worm holes and refused to take it in. This said, the clock has always lived in a well conditioned environment and we see no evidence of damage to the case, believing anything that is there to be very old. Does anyone have any ideas what might be wrong? Is this likely an easy fix? I'd like to take a whack at it myself but would feel much better with some guidance. To answer your specific question, there's no clip for a booklet. There is a clip for the key on the right side and the pendulum on the left. Thanks again to all for your input.
 

Burkhard Rasch

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sorry to say but these three train movements are not the right objects to start clock repairing with.But You can pull the movement easily and take it to Your clocksmith without the case,and,after repair,reinstall Yourself or have him reinstall it in Your home.
To pull the movement,unhook the pendulum and undo the two thumbskrews that fix the seat board of the movement in the silver painted "rails" from below inside the case on both sides .The movement will slide out to the front.HTH
Burkhard
 

Tim Orr

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Good afternoon, all!

Just today, I received one of the daily e-mails from "A.Word.A.Day." The word for today is "vedette." Might be interesting to some of us:

vedette

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

harold bain

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Tim, perhaps you should send them a definition that we would agree with, in a clock sense.
 

chimeclockfan

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While Vedette clocks often had beveled glass, it is not always present on some cases.
 

sexton

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Hi,
I just read an article about a Vedette Westminister chime clock and saw that the movement is similar to a FHS 351-051 I have.
Anyone know the connection?
 

JTD

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Hi,
I just read an article about a Vedette Westminister chime clock and saw that the movement is similar to a FHS 351-051 I have.
Anyone know the connection?
It is an interesting question but one that I cannot answer. It would be so helpful to see a photo.

Also, since this is a thread on Vedette cases, rather than movements, and it been dormant for nearly 2 years, it might have been better to have started a new thread with you enquiry. Otherwise, the information about the movement will be lost to future researchers by being in a thread about cases.

Perhaps a moderator will move it for you if he considers it necessary.

JTD
 

chimeclockfan

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Basic concept is the same, several details and build quality are not. There are only so many ways to flip & fry a chime movement layout.
 

claussclocks

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Vedettes are the "Ruffles Potato Chips" of wall clocks. No one can have just one. I have 5 now. They have such beautiful chimes and heavy made movements.

DPC
 
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