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  Reader's letter | February 2007 | Clocks Magazine

Becker catalogue

I read with great interest Doug Stevenson’s article on the subject of Gustav Becker’s manufactured clocks in which he pointed out how we all have a tendency to associate his production with quality ‘regulators’ even though his range of models in fact extended to items like the kitchen clock example he featured.

Recently I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy of a Gustav Becker 1911-1912 catalogue (Edition D). The title page, which is perforated and was meant to be removed before the catalogue was shown to customers, has the name and address of their Paris agents, Buhler & Cie, 65 Rue de Turenne, Paris.

I have scanned three pages of the catalogue as I’m sure the contents will interest our readers. The bottom illustration on p74 shows Doug’s kitchen clock with just two other examples of this case type illustrated on the same page above. Notice how the top left hand example, No 181, was just a timepiece with a natural wood finish, and from the separate booklet of prices (also included with the catalogue) cost 14 francs 50 centimes. No 181(a), a white-painted version of the same model, cost 15 francs 50 centimes, and model No 182, again a timepiece with white painted finish, 17 francs 50 centimes. Doug’s example, No 3096, would appear to be top of the range with its striking facility and cost 24 francs.

On p21, showing the time and striking movement ‘Silesia’, there is more interesting information. Some of the features that can be noted are that the movement is of 15 days duration; when used with regulators the plates are polished; for ‘Cartels’ and ‘Tableaux’ cases the rear plate is left solid and again polished; it has a self-adjusting beat facility the construction of which avoids damaging the escape wheel teeth; the hands can also be turned in any direction.

The top movement, ‘AG’ of the two illustrated on p22, is the only movement in the catalogue that could have possibly been used with models 181 and 182. It again has polished plates, a beat facility and a dead-beat escapement.

Peter Gosnell, UK

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