c. 1700 to 1750, France. Retrofitted by Borrell-Jean Wagner in 1866. Two
train, forged iron, end-to-end style birdcage frame. Pinwheel escapement equipped with
rocking frame remontoire, 20 second period. One second pendulum. Spring style maintaining
power. Count-wheel hour strike. Movement 32"w x 16"h x 32"d. Overall
height on original stand 57". Remontoire video clips
Click on the picture to go to a page for more detail.
Ordinarily one would avoid a clock that has been extensively altered. However, the
alterations performed on this movement were done by the famous company of J. Wagner in 1866; over 140 years ago and so have been a part
of this clock for at least half it's existence. The original parts consist of the frame,
first two wheels of the time train, first wheel of the strike train, both train reduction
winding pinions and parts of the strike lever system.
The style of the frame is that of an end-to-end design where the time and strike trains
face each other rather than the more familiar side-by-side positions adopted by the mid
18th century. The winding system employs the stirrup click, again replaced by the familiar
ratchet and pawl design by the late 1600's. These dates can vary widely as the innovations
could lag by 100 years or more by makers located further from the major cities and sources
of innovation. However, the fine quality of the original wheels and frame construction
indicate that this movement was fabricated near a major city, presumably in France. Thus
the dating of the original parts of the movement to be the early to mid 1700's. The
original escapement would have been either a verge or more likely anchor escapement.
The retrofit is dated 1866. In the going train it consists of the escape and a new
third wheel, escape pallets, remontoire, and associated frame to hold this system as well
as the spring maintaining power system. The clock did not originally have any provision
for maintaining power - another indication of an early date. In addition a new clutch and
indicator dial was supplied to ease the task of adjusting the the external clock dials.
The original design had three wheels in each train so the introduction of an extra wheel
in the time train increased the duration of time between windings. In the strike train the
second wheel is replaced but mounted to the original arbor. The third arbor with the the
locking and fly systems as well as the count wheel and lever that engages it is also part
of Wagner's retrofit.
The extensive retrofitting, as well as the fact that a sophisticated time train system
equipped with remontoire by a renowned firm would be applied to a movement that was
already a very old and outdated design at the time, is curious. The remontoire used was
new to the day. Was this some sort of experiment that that the Wagner company was testing?