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Lot No. 59
Estimate  16,000 - 25,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

Strasser & Rohde, Glashütte in Sachsen

, Movement No. 18, 1700 mm, circa 1895

A historically interesting Glashuette precision regulator with adjustable and lateral pendulum drive and electromagnetic device - delivered to the Finnish Normal Tid AB

Case: oak. Dial: silvered regulator dial. Movm.: solid rectangular-shaped brass movement, Graham escapement with adjustable steel pallets, wooden pendulum with zinc cylinder weight, pendulum spring suspension, electrical contact devices.

The Finnish Normal Tid AB was established on May 17, 1901 in Helsinki and existed until May 1946. The founders were Georg Dreijer of the Helsinki observatory, engineer Fredrik Rolsberg and the industrialist A. E. Sundström. In October 1901 the company purchased the Strasser & Rohde clock no. 243 to install it as master clock in a system with another Strasser & Rohde clock - presumably this clock no. 18 - as slave clock. In the 1920 parts of the company were bought by L.M. Ericsson, a company that is still active in the telecommunications industry today. After 1960 the S & R no. 18 was not in use anymore and moved from the observatory to an Ericsson shop; when the shop closed in 1970, the timepiece was saved from the scrapyard by the father of the consignor and remained in his property until today.

The clock is weight-driven but also has a spring contact which activates when the amplitude of the pendulum’s swing declines; this is a construction that is normally used for electro-magnetic drive systems.

The case in a massive Wilhelminian style bears a plaque of the "Normal-Zeit GmbH Berlin". This company had developed a system for synchronising all town clocks and was responsible for standard time in the German Reich. The set-up with two precision pendulum clocks according to the system introduced by the Normal-Zeit GmbH is described by Jürgen Ermert in Vol. 3 of his series on this type of clock using the example Berlin/Potsdam (p. 307f):

Clock B was installed in the central office of the Gesellschaft Normal-Zeit in Berlin and permanently connected to the S&R clock A in the observatory at Neu-Babelsberg via a cable, so that clock B was kept accurate to a fraction of a second at all times. The S&R master clock A at the state observatory sent a 10th of a second electrical impulse every other second; this current flowed through a coil on the pendulum of the time registration clock, while the coil moved over a fixed magnet. This forced the pendulum of clock B at the Normal-Zeit-Gesellschaft to synchronise with the observatory clock and show the correct time at all times.

The corresponding design shows the pendulum with the coil and the segment-shaped magnet, the same construction as with this clock. This means that this is the slave clock (B) controlled by the Strasser & Rohde clock no. 243 mentioned above.

The movement is missing several parts, which may have provided time contacts. The movement itself, however, is in good condition if slightly rusted in places. The pendulum with lateral impulse is also in need of restoration but an experienced clockmaker should not have much problem handling these issues. Even in its present condition the clock is capable of running.

Strasser & Rohde
In 1875 Ludwig Strasser and Gustav Rohde founded the company "Strasser & Rohde" in Glashuette. It produced all differents kinds of precision pendulum clocks, among them clocks with inverted escapements. The product range also included marine chronometers, escapement models, precision tools, tachometers, time ball clocks, timer clocks for safes, pocket watches, coincidence clocks, stopwatches and other timers.
In 1879 Strasser began to devote most of his time to the German watchmaking school in Glashuette and eventually left the company. When Rohde retired, Wilhelm Kreis took over the company. Paul Weiss leased the company from Kreis in 1918 and later took it over when Kreis died. While Kreis had still sold about 300 Strasser & Rohde precision pendulum clocks, only a handful of them were sold during the time of Paul Weiß.
The last pendulum clock by Strasser & Rohde was delivered to the observatory in Greece on June 19, 1959. It was a large type B I clock with 24 hour dial, lateral weight guiding system, electrical contacts and a Riefler J-pendulum.
Case: good
Dial: very good
Movm.: good, lacking elements, to be restored, capable of running

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