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What are the best 400 day clocks when it comes to quality

P.Hageman

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I am quite new on this forum and I have read many threads about so many different makers of 400 day clocks. I wonder if there in some kind of concensus on which brand or maker made the highest quality clock? Are there clocks which you can work on more easely then compared to others? Please show me your thoughts on this subject.
 

KurtinSA

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"Highest quality" might not be the best yardstick for this. Sure there are prestigious names/brands but some came and went while others remained on the scene for a long time. One brand that I personally like is Gustav Becker...they were one of the clocks that were around near the beginning, finally being bought out by Junghans around 1930. My mother had a couple of Becker clocks, one a wall clock and the other was her mother's wedding anniversary mantel clock. So from that standpoint, I'm partial to them.

Lately I've been working on a fair number of Schatz 49 clocks. I think these give a good "bang for the buck". They are the product of a long line of clock makers beginning with August Schatz and his JUF clocks from the early 1900s to just prior to WWII. After the war, the family continued to make clocks and did so for another 20-25 years. Their plates are thicker than most other clock's plates. They always respond well to cleaning and generally work quite well even for an amateur like me.

Kurt
 

etmb61

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Considering all the hype they get Beckers are the worst! Worst anchor design in the industry, their disk pendulums get cheaper and flimsier with the newer clocks, the holes in their plates often don't line up so the movements won't sit square, and their motion works are just cheap.

I would rate them: Grivolas, early JUF/Huber, Wurth (my favorite), Hauck, early Kienzle/Kern, later JUF/Schatz, early Kundo, SuP, Becker, post WWII clocks, and then the lantern pinion Hubers.

This is a can of worms.

Eric
 
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Schatznut

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I'm biased but here goes anyway. For someone new to 400-day clocks, I'd look for a Schatz 49. They're plentiful, inexpensive, pretty much bulletproof and very forgiving. Plus they use a thick torsion spring that is very robust. Be prepared to service the mainspring - remove it from the barrel, clean everything with solvent, wipe it down and put it back together using a good synthetic lubricant. This will require a spring winder and caution - this big, robust movement has a big robust mainspring. You don't want it getting away from you.
 
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MuseChaser

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Pretty new to this. So far, have done several Schatz 49 and Schatz 53 clocks, a 1932 Kern standard, 1958 Kern midget, 1962 Kern mini, 1950 Kundo standard, 1965 Kundo mini, a Henn, a Reiner, and a Wurthner. So far, the Schatz 49 is the clear winner in terms of ease of repair and robustness. The Kerns, for reasons I can't quite put my fingers on, really appeal to me and are my favorites so far. The Kundos ... not so much. Not a big fan of the Reiner either. The Henn and the Wurthner were both nice to work on and are attractive well-running clocks.
 

Burkhard Rasch

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if You define "quality" per the movement I´d certaily point to Grivolas.Their movements are the best! If You look for design or other technical features there are others but no one of those surpasses the details of Grivolas.(which means: You must have one!;) )
Burkhard
 
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etmb61

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if You define "quality" per the movement I´d certaily point to Grivolas.Their movements are the best! If You look for design or other technical features there are others but no one of those surpasses the details of Grivolas.(which means: You must have one!;) )
Burkhard
One day I will have one!

Eric
 

MuseChaser

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I really, REALLY wish you folks hadn't just introduced me to Grivolas clocks...I was having a hard enough time resisting an old Becker and an Atmos.....

Sigh.....

My budget hates you all ....;)
 

Schatznut

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I really, REALLY wish you folks hadn't just introduced me to Grivolas clocks...I was having a hard enough time resisting an old Becker and an Atmos.....

Sigh.....

My budget hates you all ....;)
I have a couple of Atmos clocks. If you want to talk about unabashed quality, it's not even close. These things are of great beauty, outstanding engineering, terrific craftsmanship, plus they're hypnotic to watch at only two beats per minute.
 

MartinM

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"Quality" is very subjective. Of course, Atmos is in a class by itself. Grivolas is undeniably the best traditional hand-wound clock. From there (and staying within the 'standard' category), I'd go with the earliest Schatz 49s that came with a solid anchor. That one is the most trouble-free, easiest to maintain and used heavy materials meant to last. Kern clocks from that era are decent, as well and they really had a lot of artful presentations. KundO had the most 'improvements', early on, but they were always just a bit cheaper and more fiddly. Owners had to taks extra care to keep them running.
The most overrated for me is Kaiser. They had some neat complications on some, but they really weren't built with quality.
The earlier Huber/Wurth/Hauck clocks are great designs and many of the pendulums are appealing, but setting them up is often problematic for some folks and they are subject to all kinds of accidental problems.
Haller was always at least a full step behind where 'quality' was concerned , with the exception of the Time Bomb. I think it had great design features and except for the winding failure issues it's a pretty good clock. Maybe a little prone to gumming-up with the original lubricants.
The worst clocks were all the Herr/Reiner clocks that were not based on the JUF/Schatz standard. They never really worked-out a solid performance curve and relied on gimmicks and aesthetics to sell their clocks.
 
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Kevin W.

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I like Schatz clocks, but i would take a Becker any day, have two of them.
 

P.Hageman

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if You define "quality" per the movement I´d certaily point to Grivolas.Their movements are the best! If You look for design or other technical features there are others but no one of those surpasses the details of Grivolas.(which means: You must have one!;) )
Burkhard
Burkhard, I think I followed your advice: :)

1.jpg 4.jpg 14.jpg 17.jpg
 
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Dells

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That’s a proper Grivolas like my one, not one of the Grivolas’s with German movement nice clock.
 

pahel

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I agree that the 49er Schatz clocks are the best among the post-wwII 400-day products, compared to Hermle, Kern or Baduf, but you can see the cost savings of mass production.
Gustav Becker clocks seem to cover a very wide range of quality. Here, too, the early ones are much better made, but overall I think GB is clearly overrated.
I like the pre ww I JUF with small dial and Kienzle clocks with massive disc pendulums, thick plates, solid cast or machined brass parts instead of thin sheets of the post-war production.
BTW I didn't know that the Schatz 49er were built with a solid anchor, all of the examples I've seen have adjustable pallets ...
 
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MartinM

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Eric would know for sure. I believe the model 49 went to a fixed pallet sometime in 1954
 

Cheezhead

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Defining the best 400 day clock as was said is a subjective matter. I define the highest quality 400 day clock as one that runs without undue stopping, is relatively insensitive to leveling and requires no effort to own except winding. My highest quality 400 day clock is an Elgin/Haller GTB. Over ten years it has needed no repairs or maintenance, except for a precautionary oiling a long time ago. It is very easy and quick to wind with a crank rather than a key. The negator type mainspring needs no lubrication and has not and will never judder. If you want to work on a fussy 400 day clock another brand should suit you. Heavy or lightweight parts don't seem to matter as my Schatz 49 runs as well as my Kundos.
 

etmb61

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Eric would know for sure. I believe the model 49 went to a fixed pallet sometime in 1954
Actually I don't. JUF/Schatz used fixed pallets in their clocks from 1881 until they stopped making mechanical clocks. The best I can say is that some Schatz 49s made in the mid to late 50s had adjustable pallets. I believe this was about the same time they tried the third wheel with an internal spring and jeweled anchor pivots on some models. Perhaps Frank Servas would know. He's published articles on Schatz in the Torsion Times.

Eric