• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Vedette Westminster Clock

AllThumbz

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
539
10
18
New York
www.HobbyMachinist.com
Country
Region
Hi, I just bought a Vedette 1930's 8-Day Westminster Wall Clock. Haven't received it yet.

French clocks are new to me. Would appreciate any information on Vedette and its reputation as a maker of clocks in France. How do these clocks compare to German makers such as Junghans, Kienzle and Gustav Becker?

TIA
 

Attachments

David Robertson

Registered User
Jan 6, 2003
1,525
8
38
Country
Region
I don't know what the "conventional wisdom" is but I can give you my perspective. These movements are similar to German ones, but different in a couple of important and interesting ways. The ones that I have seen have a one-piece front plate and a 3 piece back plate allowing for disassambly (and assembly) of one train at a time.

They tend to be a bit less hefty than than German movements, but they are not flimsy. They run well and have a nice sound.

The cases I have seem tend to be more art deco looking.. often with flowers carved into the case. The two I have also have cases that are wider relative to their height than typical German clocks... i.e squattier looking
 

AllThumbz

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
539
10
18
New York
www.HobbyMachinist.com
Country
Region
David said:
I don't know what the "conventional wisdom" is but I can give you my perspective. These movements are similar to German ones, but different in a couple of important and interesting ways. The ones that I have seen have a one-piece front plate and a 3 piece back plate allowing for disassambly (and assembly) of one train at a time.

They tend to be a bit less hefty than than German movements, but they are not flimsy. They run well and have a nice sound.

The cases I have seem tend to be more art deco looking.. often with flowers carved into the case. The two I have also have cases that are wider relative to their height than typical German clocks... i.e squattier looking
I also understand that the maker's name, Vedette, was usually on the dial, but do not see it in the pictures of this one.
 

David Robertson

Registered User
Jan 6, 2003
1,525
8
38
Country
Region
You mentioning dials reminded me.. the two Vedette clocks I have use aluminum dials with the features painted (or silk screened) on.

There are a few little details like this that give them a cheaper appearance then their German counterparts... I am just referring to the ones I have.. others may be quite different.

I think I have heard these French box clocks referred to as "Carillion Clocks" before...
 

Burkhard Rasch

NAWCC Member
Jun 1, 2007
4,977
232
63
65
Twistringen
Country
Region
Hi TIA
IMHO a verry good choice!I have one similar to Yours and I find it a verry good quality both case and movement.I haven`t seen one with the threefold backplate mentioned above,mine is a heavy full plate movement with substantial plates and a well executed dead beat escapement.The sound is beautyfull deep and sonor and I also like the oblong type more than the more square shape of the "deco s".I estimate them at least equal to the contemporary germans perhaps except GB who`s early ones are even better.Mine is from 1932 and hasn`t needed a single bushing.The signature is often quiet small and can be hidden by the hands for it is situated between center and 12
Hope the price was ok:thumb:
Burkhard
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
I have one in for repair, made in September, 1948, if I am interpreting the numbers on the movement correctly. It has a thin dial, and although the bushings are good in it, it does seem to not have the quality I am used to in French clocks, but Hermle doesn't have Becker quality either. So, you may be quite happy with it, but likely not as good as an older German box clock.
 

Attachments

AllThumbz

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
539
10
18
New York
www.HobbyMachinist.com
Country
Region
Rasch said:
Hi TIA
IMHO a verry good choice!I have one similar to Yours and I find it a verry good quality both case and movement.I haven`t seen one with the threefold backplate mentioned above,mine is a heavy full plate movement with substantial plates and a well executed dead beat escapement.The sound is beautyfull deep and sonor and I also like the oblong type more than the more square shape of the "deco s".I estimate them at least equal to the contemporary germans perhaps except GB who`s early ones are even better.Mine is from 1932 and hasn`t needed a single bushing.The signature is often quiet small and can be hidden by the hands for it is situated between center and 12
Hope the price was ok:thumb:
Burkhard
(Smiles) TIA= Thanks in Advance, but I will answer to most anything these days...

Burkhard, I am never too shy about admitting price. I paid $150 plus $25 to ship it. Most German Westminsters are going for $300 or better on EBay these days, but the key is the value to you as the buyer. I liked the clock very much, so I took a chance.


Thumbz
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,962
1,853
113
These are very nice clocks. My only concerns would be the usual problems with broken mainsprings damaging the wheel teeth which are a little less robust than they need to be. Some have severe pivot wear and the pivots are smallish. Very nice sound and I always liked the total lockdown of all the chime bars, hammers, and spring loaded pendulum mount on the inside of the case. I have also seen two "V" clocks with the extended strike gathering palet broken off. Not easy to repair well worth the effort.

Willie X
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Not bad for a french clock.I like Odo clocks.I have a nice movement, Odo just need a decent case.Likely will get one custom built.:thumb::thumb::)
 

AllThumbz

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
539
10
18
New York
www.HobbyMachinist.com
Country
Region
harold said:
I have one in for repair, made in September, 1948, if I am interpreting the numbers on the movement correctly. It has a thin dial, and although the bushings are good in it, it does seem to not have the quality I am used to in French clocks, but Hermle doesn't have Becker quality either. So, you may be quite happy with it, but likely not as good as an older German box clock.
Harold,

This clock is very similar to one on the Savage and Polite Click Here but I don't see mine there.

There was a prior message board thread on Vedette Westminster clocks that I researched before bringing this up Click Here These clocks look to be well-constructed as compared with German with the exception of the dial, which is aluminum as opposed to brass/silver or zinc in the case of the German clocks.

Are there any books on these clocks that I can reference for more information?


Thumbz


 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
I have a oportunity to buya Vedette with westminster chimes for under a 100 bucks,Nice looking clock but i wondered about overall quality.
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Veritas, you can't go too far wrong at under $100, for a westminister chime wall clock.
 

AllThumbz

Registered User
Feb 24, 2007
539
10
18
New York
www.HobbyMachinist.com
Country
Region
harold said:
you can't go too far wrong at under $100, for a westminister chime wall clock.
I paid $150 and am very happy to get it. I would certainly go for under $100 in a quick minute.

I have checked out a few auctions of Vedette and Japy Freres Westminster clocks, and they seem to bring in a lot more, particularly the very ornate Japy Freres Westminster box clocks. Of course, since I do not speculate on clocks or sell mine, the intrinsic value of the item is what it is worth to me. For example, I like the "plainer" looking clocks. I don't know why. Perhaps it represents my very utilitarian protestant upbringing, but the highly ornate clocks do not grab me, although I can appreciate their beauty to others. My wife on the other hand, hates what I buy, and says they all like like "wooden boxes on the walls". Just a matter of what the item is worth to you.

Thumbz
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
The price is very right.Not many westminster quality clocks around for under a 100 bucks these days.
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Harold the Vedette clock in your picture. You said you were able to date it by numbers on the movement.Could you tell me which numbers, as i would like to try to date mine.
Thanks.
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
What numbers are on yours, Kevin? I don't recall how the numbers were on the one in this thread. It's been a couple of years.
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Hi Harold, the numbers are as follows on the back of this movement.
lower right hand corner 42, in the middle of the plate but on the bottom is 376848.
:)
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Can't remember how I dated the one I repaired, Kevin. Not likely yours is from 1942, as the French were busy with other things that year:rolleyes:.
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Harold i too doubt 1942 as that was during the war and i doubt any clocks would be exported during the war years.
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Kevin, 42 is likely pendulum length. 1937 is a possibilty but I'm not sure.
 
Last edited:

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,272
586
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Yes it could be 1938.
It would be nice if there was a database of the numbers.
 

harold bain

NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
184
63
73
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Some makers used the first two numbers of the serial number as the year made. But, I don't know for sure if this works for Vedette.
I meant to say 37 for yours:eek:.
 

chimeclockfan

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
4,677
531
113
WI
Country
Region
It is probably from 1930's. The first clock in this thread would've been 1920's.
 

BoFeHa

Registered User
Aug 2, 2010
30
0
0
I purchased a Vedette art a sale about a year and a half ago for $35.00. I was the only one that bid. I repared the movement and I have it hanging in my shop. I love the sound and it keeps very good time. I'm not crazy about the style of the case that is why it isn't in the house.
 

Francis Rozario

Registered User
Sep 16, 2011
11
0
1
They are excellent clocks I have both German French Westminster chime wall and mantel clocks, I think Vedette is a fine clock. I have one With two chimes the Ave Maria and the Westminster, and two with the Brother John (Frere Jacques) chime and the Westminster Chime, I have yet another with 6 chiming rods, four for the Westminster chime and the two for the hour. I have other French clocks too, the ODO, the "GIROD", the "FFR Mobier Carillon Romanet 4 chimes" and a few more that just state Veritable Westminster.
The date of manufacture of these clocks range from about the late nineteen twenties till about 1949 and there are clocks that were b=made up till 1956 at least that is what I can attest to from my collection.
They have wonderful chimes and it resonates very well. see my Vedette here;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAOsHV5l_kU
and here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCPJ-Z6F_dw

 

Forum statistics

Threads
168,746
Messages
1,472,312
Members
48,553
Latest member
Tommy_nut
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-