Mystery Telavox 8649

A new owner of a Telavox has kindly sent me details and a link to some excellent pictures of his clock:

I have cropped, resized and adjusted the images slightly in PhotoFiltre to match the special requirements of the blog format. Without a little extra gamma and contrast blog images tend to appear dark and lack crispness. I routinely add gamma and contrast on all my blog images and may occasionally reduce the colour density slightly. This is no criticism of the original photographer's images because I do exactly the same to my own photographs on all of my blogs. 

Brass dial and fixed bezel, without the later chapter ring suggests an early clock. 

Telavox's typically attractive wood veneers with fine figuring and lighter box stringing for that extra touch of cabinet maker's quality. Telavox left most other clockwork case makers well behind on quality. Telavox clocks are always attractive pieces of furniture in their own right. This one is head and shoulders above any clockwork "retro" clock. The large, clear dial is nicely balanced by the width of the veneered case. Producing an attractive and impressive clock for any mantelpiece or sideboard.

 The rear view showing the fibre backplate also reinforces the style of an early clock. Fibreboard had a very long tradition in radio/electronics  production. A material which Telavox had used for  decades on their domestic electronics production pre-WW2. Note the typical, early, Telavox Bakelite, hand setting knob. Probably inherited stock from their production of electronics prior to the German occupation of Denmark during WW2.

An interesting shot of the undersides showing the Telavox serial number plate on the right and a rare rubber stamped date on the left. (as seen from this angle)  The quick-release, fibreboard cover rests below the clock. This provided tool-free access to the battery compartment and leads.

The date stamp of 19 Marts (Marts = March in Danish) 1945 confirms an  early clock too. Though there is no guarantee that these mysterious date stamps are contemporary factory markings. 8649 falls in 1948 in my own limited database. Yet 1945 date stamps appear on clocks of much later serial number.

 The battery leads seem to have a round, fibre, two-pin plug as used by the large 3V cell. Yet there doesn't seem to be enough space for such a large battery just here despite the quickly removable fibreboard cover. This may be an illusion of the viewpoint. The case may contain the earliest form of Telavox, non-striking, 3Volt movement. Hopefully the owner can confirm this later.

No sign of gongs through the aperture. I am having a little difficulty recognising exactly what can be seen through the aperture. There appears to be a Bakelite rating knob for a torsion pendulum and a hand setting shaft but I am not sure about the rest. (see also the image below) Is it really a rating knob? It would be the only one I have ever seen in Bakelite. The usual Telavox rating knob is a large, chrome-plated steel, straight-knurled screw head. Allowing the use of a screwdriver or finger adjustment.

The Telavox serial plate is found on every clock. Sometimes on the back of the case though just as often underneath. As suggested earlier, 8649 falls in 1948 in my database. So there is some confusion here over exact dating.

It is difficult to suggest what the other numbers mean. They could be production or stock marks of the factory, a clock repairer's, retailer's or wholesaler's marks. An auction house or even household insurance markings? KBM = København M? (Eng:Copenhagen Central ) Make your own guess.

The owner has kindly provided confirmation of the non-striking, early, 3Volt Telavox movement with a new image. Note the fibre disk at bottom right. This usually has two dissimilar  pins which fit holes in the 3V battery. The different diameters of the pins would ensure correct polarity when "plugged" into the battery. In this case the disk seems to have lost its pins and the bare-ended leads simply pass through the two original holes where the hollow pins once fitted.

Those interested in seeing the owner's much larger images may like to use the following link and select "Original":


I have a similar (much darker) clock case with a 1945 date stamp but it has been converted to a synchronous, mains motor. Another similar clock case has a later, gong-striking movement.This suggest (to me at least) that this case style lasted for some years while Telavox clock movements continued to evolve.

Click on any image for an enlargement. Back click to return to the text.



A synchronous Clementa

I have found a mains driven Clementa in rather poor condition. The brasswork is corroded and the hardwood surround is stained. Believe it or not the entire dial is laminated and turned hardwood. Sadly, it must have been stored somewhere damp.

 The dial with solid brass Roman numerals. There is rather a lot of staining to the hardwood surround suggesting rain may have collected there.

The dial without the hardwood centre and motor.

 The mains synchronous motor is concealed within the protective can. The motor is typically non-self starting. This avoided confusion over the correct time if there should ever be be an interruption to the mains power supply. Had the clock restarted the owner would have been completely unaware that the clock showed the wrong time. When these clocks were new they would probably be the only reliable form of timekeeping in the house. A fine pull-cord passes into the can to start the motor. A hand setting knob is also provided in the side of the can.

 This heavy Bakelite case never saw a Telavox torsion pendulum movement. Though this is the same case as used on the Telavox drum clocks. Perhaps it was a matter of economy to use up existing Bakelite cases? These Bakelite cases were very early in Telavox production history. (around 1942)

 The typical Telavox-style, steel backplate closing the rear of the Bakelite case. Note the obscuring cloth typical of Telavox clocks.Since it has never been perforated at the centre one can assume that no hand setting knob was ever used with this particular case.

The back of the turned wooden dial. Turned from solid hardwood laminated from separate pieces glued together. This must have been rather a costly exercise. The perforated decorative brass rim and cloth covered backplate suggests sound should be allowed to escape freely. Yet no striking mechanism is present.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


Telavox Service Instructions

PLEASE NOTE: My intention was to translate these Danish instructions into English. However the pages are images rather than text. So it is very time consuming to translate by jumping back and forth between the images and  a text formatting software. I shall persevere, as time allows, but patience will be required. The highly technical nature of the printed descriptions adds to the problems in translation. 

These Danish Telavox Service Instructions were kindly sent to me by Bjarne Jensen. Proprietor of the Funder Radio and railway museum near Silkeborg in Denmark:

Funder.Nr.Hede Banen & Funder Radiomuseum -

I will try to translate the text pages into English as time allows. Though the complexity of the movement and the very long parts list may defy my best efforts to give them correct (horological) English names.

I have resized the original scans, which were kindly provided by Bjarne, to avoid large downloads for those browsing the Telavox blog. With so many illustrations it is inevitable (and unavoidable) that some chapters will be slow to download on a slow internet connection. Having always had a broadband connection, with steadily increasing speed over time, I tend to take fast downloads completely for granted. If you are on a very slow connection and pay for bandwidth then I suggest that you don't enlarge images unnecessarily.

Page order is only provisional at the moment. Since the pages are not numbered I have put them in numerical order as they were sent to me.  I shall try to improve the layout of this chapter over time.

As I have been looking for Telavox service instruction for over ten years I am very grateful that Bjarne has shared these instructions with me. Hopefully others will find them valuable in adjusting and maintaining their Telavox clocks once they have an English version.

Cover page. Telavox Electric Clocks Service-Instructions.


The Telavox Factory in 1936. Just 6 years prior to clock production which started during the German occupation of WW2. 

Description of the clock mechanism's function.

Adjustment of clock contacts.

Function of the contact works.

Parts list for the clock mechanism.

Labelled Illustrations of time switch movement 1 and 2 follow.

Time switch movement 1.

Time switch movement 2.

Rear of Telavox time switch case and back plate.


Dismantling, Cleaning and re-assembly instructions.

Add caption

Service Instructions.

Illustration of contacts Figures 3 and 4 follow.


Time switch mechanism. (labelled)

Time switch backplate (labelled)

Removing and adjusting of contact parts.

Diagrams of the time switch contact mechanisms. 


Changing the contacts.

The early, non-striking Telavox movement with labelled parts.

New construction of the contact mechanism.

Click on any image for an enlargement.