Danuvia / Omikron        

'Danuvia Weapons and Ammunition Factory' (Danuvia Fegyver- es Loszergyar) was founded in 1920 in Hungary. First 'Danuvia' chess clock introduced in 1946 and produced until 1949. Danuvia is known in 4, 6, and 12-hour versions (4. and 6. are available only on photos). This clock belonged to István Nádor, chess player of the "XIII. kerületi Tanács" chess club. Despite he wasn't very famous, he still performed well in the district competitions in Budapest, bringing many medals. (Photo: Prins vs Donner, 1951).

Chess clocks Omikron take their roots from the Budapest watch factory 'Oragyar' (also known as 'Budapest XX Oragyar' or “Pesterzsebeti Oragyar”). The predecessor of the 'Oragyar' was a “Budapest VIII. Factory”, founded in 1905 and dealing with tower clocks, industrial clocks etc. In 1948 this factory was nationalized and relocated to another Budapest district 'Pesterzsebet' (Budapest XX) to the premises of the former 'Gira and Becsey' company. What is important: the watch manufacturing department of the 'Danuvia' factory ('Danuvia Fegyver- es Loszergyar', chess clocks under the brand 'Danuvia') was also merged to the 'Pesterzsebeti Oragyar' together with the equipment, which covered (among others) mechanical watch movements’ production. Somewhere at that time (1949/1950) 'Oragyar' started production and distribution of the chess clocks Omikron, which were truely identical to the Danuvia chess clocks. There is no clear evidence when 'Oragyar' discontinued production of chess clocks, however as the 3rd key manufacturer 'Magyar Optikai Muvek Rt' (MOM) started prototyping its chess clocks around 1956, most probably production of Omikron also discontinued around that time. Chess clocks Omikron were designed in 4 (Photo: Junior Chess Championship, London, 1958), 6 (N.Minev vs. E.Reciher, 1951) and 12 (A.Nicolau vs V.Cuznetov 1962, Arad) hour versions and assumable produced between (1949 +/- 1 to 1956 +/- some years), not a long time, isn’t it?

MOM's predecessor was founded by Ferdinand Süß, who established a Mechanical Station first in Cluj-Napoca (1876) and later in Budapest (1884). In 1936 company bought a license from the Junghans watch factory to be able to manufacture the anti-aircraft artillery devices. From 1938 on, company continued to operate under the name MOM (Magyar Optikai Muvek Rt). Finally, in 1954 MOM started to design and manufacture chess clock, being able to produce 700 pieces in 1954 and 2123 pieces in 1955. Between 1956 and 1959 only 26 pieces were produced (reason unknown), however starting from 1960 production resumed, targeting the following numbers. MOM clocks were advertised and used all over the Europe (for example, Swedish Chess Magasine, 1972). MOM Factory discontinued its chess clocks production in 1977.
Photos: *with MOM logo* Christmas chess tournament among students (Amsterdam, 1971); *without MOM logo* Hans Ree vs Jan Hein Donner in Amsterdam (1973).