A tale of two similar but very different carriage clocks

At first I thought they were identical

While at an antique store in Kazabazua, Quebec my wife made an offer on one of these two carriage clocks. The other clock was found at an antique barn just outside of Campbell’s Bay, Quebec, literally an hour’s drive apart and about a week between the two purchases.

I was surprised to find two seemingly identical clocks not far from each other. At first I thought they were identical.

 Italian made versus German made carriage clock
German versus Italian made carriage clocks

The one immediate difference is readily apparent. The dial on the left has Arabic numerals whereas the one on the right has Roman Numerals. They have similar dimensions but if you look closely the bases are not the same height. Both are alarm clocks. Both have a “second” hand at the top and a set-time indicator at the bottom section of the dial. Both have seemingly identical carriage style cases made of very similar materials. Both I believe, are 30 hour clocks. There is an access panel on the back of each clock for winding and adjusting. However, that is where their similarities end.

Musical alarm on the left and bell strike on the right
Musical alarm on the left and bell strike on the right
Musical versus bell strike
Musical versus bell strike
I would estimate that they were both made sometime after the First War

The one on the right is made by Junghans or Kienzle, both German clock companies with long and illustrious histories. I tried comparing the plate design and dimensions to a database found here and the closest I could find was Kienzle. However, it is also very similar to Junghans “Joker” style clocks that I have seen for sale on EBay. At one time (around 1905) Junghans had a branch in Venice (Italy) likely a delivery depot for clocks made in Germany. But it is also possible that some assembly may have been done there hence, no definitive markings. I would estimate that they were both made sometime after the First War.

Side views
Side views
Back access panels
Back access panels

The one on the right is made by an Italian maker, Fratelli Borletti. Fratelli Borletti was the only clock factory in Italy prior to WWI and produced only alarm clocks. Fratelli Borletti was later renamed “Veglia Borletti” and produced many car instruments for Fiat, Lancia, Daimler and so on. Today, Veglia Borletti belongs to Magneti Marelli.

The Junghans or Kienzle clock is a musical alarm clock while the Fratelli Borletti clock has a bell type alarm with a striker, though the striker on this particular clock is missing.

One (the musical alarm clock) is working and remarkably clean, the other needs a lot of work. Two very unusual clocks found not far from each other.


2 thoughts on “A tale of two similar but very different carriage clocks

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