Tick Talk Tuesday #11 – clocks of Cuba

Tick-Talk Tuesday is about the letters and comments I have received from you, the reader, concerning your clocks, issues you might have had and challenges you face and my responses to your questions with advice on your  particular clock concern(s) and of course, general comments. For those comments and questions that stump even me, I consult within my clock circles for the best possible answer.

On my trip to Cuba in March of 2016 I happen to capture a number of interesting clocks. The two pictured below prompted a comment from JC.

wall clock
Wm Gilbert clock found in a restarant
Floor clock
Malaprade Floor clock

The first two clocks are the most interesting to me. The Gilbert looks fairly standard (often called a “Store Regulator”) but I think it’s been painted black. Normally these are in oak cases, occasionally (but rarely) in walnut. The colour would have matched the interior back.

The second clock looks like a fine and expensive Jeweler’s Pinwheel Regulator. I’m wondering if you’re wrong about it being spring driven. These are normally always weight driven. The weight normally hangs behind the pendulum. Is it possible you didn’t see the weight? The movements from these are almost always Swiss made (near the Jura region of France), with pinwheel escapements. They are VERY EXPENSIVE clocks. The movement alone would fetch around 1000$. I have no idea what that circle is on the dial. I’ve seen some with inlaid marble dials, but most have enameled dials like this one. Cases can range from plain to extremely elaborate, and from 5 feet to 9-10 feet.

The name and place on the dial is the retailer where the clock was sold. It is never the manufacturer (this is typical on all French and some Swiss clocks of this type/vintage – the same is true of Comtoise clocks and French mantle clocks).

The rest of the clocks (with the exception of the 2 figure 8 wall clocks) seem to be imported German clocks from 1930 and later. These include both tall clocks and all the 400 day clocks shown. The figure 8 clocks are either American or Asian made copies (likely from Japan) from the early 1900s.