Finding Time in Paris

Oliver Fowles,

JungHans Factory Wall Clock, Mid-century

Siemen's Double Sided Factory Clock

Bakelite Factory Wall Clock

On a recent trip to Paris I stumbled on the Brocante market situated on the Avenue Du President Wilson adjacent to the Palais de Tokyo. At this extensive market of antiquities there was one stall that caught my eye. A small Parisien dealer Emmanuel J. selling great examples of refurbished German mid 20th century factory wall clocks. As we were inspired by English factory clocks for our inaugural 100 Series wristwatch, taking a closer look at these equivalents from the German clock manufacturers AEG, JungHans, Siemens and others was a real treat. Here are some of the of the highlights.

This AEG Factory Wall Clock is typical of Peter Behrens designs. The original functionality and utilitarian design of the clock is – like many of the examples here – wonderfully offset by its tarnished and discolored dial and outer casing.

The wall clock pictured above is a piece from the iconic German watchmaker JungHans. Their collection of timepiece designs are mostly remembered for the collaboration with the influential Bauhaus trained architect Max Bill who produced some classic wristwatch and wall clock designs for them.

This Siemens double sided factory clock or Flave Clock would have been the main timekeeping device for the whole factory, with many others or Slave clocks syncing off the main Flave timepiece. The bell shaped detail on the hands are typical of the early century factory clocks with the utilitarian straight hands becoming popular from the 1940s. Now regretting not picking this up for the UW office.

The mid-century Bakelite Factory clock is a typical example of 1940s industrial design styling and one of my favourites, simple functionality constructed from the modern material of the era. Those bold coffee cream bakelite hands are also a great piece of decadent detailing. If you would like to see some of these great pieces for yourself, the very friendly dealer Emmanuel has a website listing his current collections of wall clocks available at www.5-element.fr Additionally, the next Brocante market specializing in art, renaissance and 20th century items is on Sunday 4th December from around 10am – 4pm situated on De Lavenue du President Wilson, Paris. Enjoy!