S.J. Arnheim, Berlin, Germany
Below are photos showing comparisons of the internal structure of
the S.J. Arnheim time lock and that of a Yale 3 movement lock. Notice the
great similarities in construction. Both mount the movements within a solid
unit that is in turn mounted between springs located at the corners within
the case. The design of the mount, even down to the flange is identical. The
bolt dog release is virtually identical in function and appearance. The hole
mount configuration is the same as are the movement plate, springs and
securing screw down knurl nuts. The Arnheim uses a two piece construction for the movement mount as seen in
the third and fourth photo, note the four screws that secure the rear piece
to the flat, front plate. Yale, as did all United States manufacturers at the time, used a mount milled from a
The main difference is the different movements used. Yale
used an American-made E. Howard and later identically sized Seth Thomas
L-movement. The size is 1 7/16"w x 3 1/8"h x 7/8"d. The Arnheim uses an
unmarked rectangular movement that is 1 9/16"w x 3 3/8"h x 1"d. This
probably is the reason for the slight difference in the case size between
the two brands. The Arnheim case is about 1/4" larger in each dimension.
This makes sense since the Arnheim movements are about 1/4" taller, 1/8"
deeper and together about 3/8" wider resulting in the larger case. The other
difference would be a slightly taller snubber bar (now missing) because of
the greater distance from the screw down mount to the dial stop pins.
S.J. Arnheim, Berlin, Germany, c. 1900. A very rare example of a foreign made time lock from the
pre-W.W.I era. The reason for the rarity is that the US makers completely
dominated the time lock market through aggressive marketing and patent
litigation. This example dates from around 1900 - 1910. It was clearly a copy from the Yale line of time locks. Yale's
design; the first version of their Triple K had the large glass and side
mounted, exterior bolt dogging lever, as exemplified by these pictures, and was established by
the mid 1890's and remained until about 1905. The main differences
are in the shape of the time lock movements. The German example being
slightly larger and rectangular with
Yale using the rounded bottom, commonly known as the 'coffin' style. Note, however that
the top of the front movement plates share the same curvilinear design, the balance and
escapement cocks are similarly designed (although this is a very common configuration for
this type of lever escapement). The dials are the same diameter and are secured by the same style of a three screwed
escutcheon. The dimensions of the case, although slightly larger probably
made this a direct drop-in replacement for the
Yale Model Triple K - one of Yale's most popular models.
company was probably poaching off the safes that would have used Yale time locks.
Litigation would have limited the number of these locks produced before injunction.
This author knows of only one other foreign-made time lock, also German,
that dates before WWII.
It was not until well into the 1950's that foreign makers began to
make inroads into the time lock business. Some examples were
There are no movement numbers, case #2 but it also has two numbers stamped on the
rear, 330/82, 6 1/2" w x 4 1/2" h x 3 1/8" d. file