In the clock world Germany is well known for well engineered, precision clocks. Juba Schatz is not a name one comes across often but it has solid roots in the German clock making industry.
This a an antique shop find of a clock that dates from the mid to late 1940s. Its design is understated, and reflects the minimalist lines of style common during the post war period.
This clock is in excellent condition and has some intriguing features; first, a circular disk that one rotates on the crutch to put the clock in beat to compensate for a surface that is not level; second, 4 strike rods, 1 for the first strike of the bim-bam and 3 for the second; third, a storage cradle on the back door for the pendulum bob just below the key holder and fourth, a very effective and robust two-piece steel strike lock, a aid in transporting the clock. The original operating instructions in English and German were included.
Bim-bam clocks are not unique. Many companies made bim-bam clocks. They appealed to the masses due to the distinctive strike. The mechanical strike mechanism is made up of two and sometimes up to four finely tuned copper rods (as in this clock) mounted to a cast iron block.
At one time clocks with unique tonal sounds were called Normandy chimes. Instead of one strike on the hour and half hour, there were two. It was a musical dual tone, instead of a single, (often harsh sounding) single hourly or half hour strike. The American Gilbert Clock Company made several mantel clocks in the 1920s that had what Gilbert termed a “Normandy Chime”. Gilbert explicitly called this the “Normandy Chime”, which was supposed to have been patterned off the old bells of Normandy, The Normandy chime is the precursor to the bim-bam.
Information on this clock company is scarce. Several YouTube videos demonstrate a chiming or a striking Juba clock but contain no description or history of the company.
The formal company name is Jahresuhren-Fabrik August Schatz und Söhne gmbh. I discovered that the company was formed in 1881 and ceased production in 1981. It was started by August Schatz who was born in 1854 and died in 1927. Family members took over the company after his death.
Schatz are best known for anniversary and mariner clocks but made cottage clocks, bracket clocks, mantel clocks, kitchen clocks and watches as well.
I will continue my search for more information about this important German maker.