Alpha / Max Andres

Max Andres started producing chess clocks right after establishing his company in 1920, however first documented evidences (at least known for me) come only with 1926: it’s a game A.Alekhine vs. M.Euwe in the Hotel De Roode Leeuw (NL) as well as an advertisement of Max Andres ‘Model 502’ in ‘Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten’ (both are from 1926). This clock is very solid and impressive with a huge clock face and quite strong ticking: it might have been a real pleasure to use it! Photo: Max Euwe vs. Efim Bogoljubow, 2nd FIDE Championship (Netherlands, 1928).

Brand “Alpha” appeared after the 2nd WW, thus, all Alpha clocks below are dated 1950xx onwards. 1970 company was closed.

This model has a separate "blitz" 5- and 10 sec function (set with a gear on the right side of the clock) generating a sound if a move not done within a given time interval. Advertised in a Chess Review (1959). Photo: Don de Vore vs. Peter Irwin (1962).

Alpha Model, used on the 16th Chess Olympiad in Israel/Tel Aviv (1964). Reference: a game between Israel and Swedish teams.

Alpha Model, used on the Chess Olympiad in Monaco (1958). Reference: a game betweein GM Raul Sanguineti vs. GM Eliskases (match Poland-Argentina).

Alpha Model, used on the German Chess Championship (Berlin, 1953).

Alpha Model called "522", dated back to late 1960xx or even early 70th. Wooden case, clockfaces as well as the majority of other design characteristic are similar to previous Alpha models, nevertheless clockworks are not marked with the "M.Andres" factory stamp anymore, instead there is "H.Fischerkeller" (probably referring to "Heinz Fischerkeller", a watch company located in Villingen-Schwenningen, however this information is not proven). Particularly this model belonged to and used by Mr. Volker Neitzke, chess lover and player from Germany.

Alpha 525 from 1970xx is the finality of the almost 60+ years Max Andres / Alpha chess clocks history. Geometry and movements are fully identical to the previous Alpha 522 model, the only major difference is an introduction of the traditional flag (compared to Alpha 522 “guillotine” type), as well as minor clock face design improvements. Used in “Euwe Schachvierlager” in 1976 (Photo: Fridrik Olafsson vs Anatoly Karpov). Appears in the US market in the late 70th (Chess Life, 1979).


This should be the earliest model of the BHB Serie. Wooden box is still quite big (ca. 17 x 10) and equal to the size of other Old Germans (see below). At the same time, clock movement is not "Gebr. Hauser" anymore (like Old Germans or Posingis), but similar to the early Jerger era. In addition: long metal flag, metal second hand as well as logo "BHB". Produced late 1950xx or even earlier.

The same BHB mechanic and the same clock face from the same times, however now in a Bakelite case.

Photo: Lisa Lane (Russia, 1961).


Later wooden BHB, this time slightly smaller (ca 15 x 8.5 - basically, equal to the Bakelite brother). Second hand and flags are done from the plastic. Based on the stamp inside the clock, this chess clock was produced 02.11.1969.

Plastic BHB from the very late 1970xx, designed for the rapid & blitz games. There is just one hand (namely minute hand); the whole turn corresponds to 20 minutes (ideal for the rapid time control). Appeared in the American 'Chess Life' Magazine in 1982. Photo: occasional game, chess club 'Schwaz' (2010, Austria).

British Chess Company      

Ultra-rare chess timer from British Chess Company (1891-1903). According to the research of Alan Fersht, this timer might have been called ‘The County’ and produced early 1900th. Truly marvelous design with mahogany case and brass fittings. Optically it strongly reminds the ‘Jacques Congress Timer’ produced by BCC’s main competitor ‘Jacques and Son’, nevertheless inside it is still unique and uses German movements from the Carl Werner (1870-1913). Photo: George Thomas vs. Herbert Jacobs on the British Chess Championship in Malvern (8-19 August, 1921).

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 a very famous player, they performed well in the district competitions in Budapest, bringing many medals. (Ref: 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 structurally identical to the chess clocks labeled Danuvia. 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 (or a couple of years later). Chess clocks Omikron were designed in 4 (Photo: Junior Chess Championship, London, 1958), 6 (Photo: N.Minev vs. E.Reciher, 1951) and 12 (Photo: 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? (nevertheless, still much longer than "Danuvia").


First generation of Enfield chess clocks was introduced by R. Elwell-Smith (69 Ashville Avenue, Castle Bromwich) under his logo, later versions were sold already under the “Sutton Coldfied” Brand (BH Wood). Both Castle Bromwich and Sutton Coldfield belong to the Birmingham area with just 6 miles distance between them. Although Enfield Clock Company was established in 1929, the earliest Enfield alarm clocks of such design must be already a post-war (as its movement, very similar to Hungarian Danuvia / 1946, just an adoption of German Junghans). The earliest evidence of Elwell-Smith Enfield chess clock is dated to 1948.

Second generation of Enfield chess clocks, sold solely under the “Sutton Coldfied” Brand. Advertised in the „Chess” Magazine in 1951, nevertheless this model is known at least from 1948. Used in a bright variety of tournaments, like Hasting Chess Congress, 1948 (Photo: Baruch Harold Wood vs Willem Jan Muhring) or British Championship in Blackpool, 1956 (Photo: William Ritson Morry vs. Baruch Harold Wood). Particularly this clock was dedicated to Mr. Walter Veitch, Winner of the British National Knock-Out 1949-1950 (as stated in plaque on the front of the clock).


1949: Fritz Fichter opened his own watch factory Uhrenfabrik Goldbuhl Fritz Fichter KG; 1976: Fichter KG closed operations and filed for bankruptcy. Chess clocks can therefore only have been produced at Fichter in the short period between 1950 and 1976.

This particular model has a date on the clockwork 1975, I assume it has been produced shortly before the bankruptcy. Very nice clock!

HAC (Hamburg American Company)

Classical HAC chess clock, produced in Germany between ca 1910xx and 1930xx. Similar models also known from other chess manufacturers like Jacques. Additionally, all early soviet clocks were plagiarized prototyped out of this model (except for clock movement, which has been surely stolen prototyped from somewhere else ;) ). Particularly this clock belonged to the German chess club Kleeblatt Fürth (1950-1966). Photo: M.Euwe vs M.Botwinnik, International Chess Tournament (Groningen, 1946).

Another HAC model, this time used in Netherlands. A metal shield on the back side refers to the Company "WJ Van den Berg", assumable an Amsterdam watch reseller, operated (according to this reference) in 1920xx.


One of the first (if not first) Yugoslavian Chess Clock INSA: a robust oak type heavy weight wooden casing with the integrated oscillating bar.

Year: around 1950xx; Size/Weight: 24,5cm x 4,5cm x 12,2 cm / 985 gram.

Photo: Perencevic vs. Radoja, Semifinal of the Croatian Championship (Borovo around 1961-1962).

This is the 2nd generation of the ex-Yugoslavian chess clock INSA: slightly smaller than its 1st generation wooden brother and completed fully from plastic (known in a variety of colors). Produced by INSA (=INdustrija SAtova, Belgrad) in 1970xx / early 1980. Warranty for this specimen signed with a date 25 August 1983. Photo: two Croatian Maestros S.Peleh vs. Z.Majeric.


Jerger "Chess Pieces" series is represented by three different designs

1. ‘King and Queen‘: the most rare clock among three, produced after the ww2 (late 40xx early 50xx) and known only for a guillotine type of flag.

2. ‘Bishop and Knigt‘: should be the nicest clock, as a carving of the knight accomplished with a real passion! Known for a variety of different movements as well as both flag types: guillotine (earlier version) and a standard one (later version). Photo: Bruno Parma vs. Borislav Ivkov (Hoogoven, 1963).

3. ‘Rook and Pawn‘: the logical continuation of the Jerger ‚King and Queen‘ and ‚Bishop and Knight‘ series. Manufactured in 1960xx. Production scale is not known exactly; based on the market availability it should be most common (out of three). For several years 'Rook and Pawn' was a clock of choice at the Hoogoven (nowadays Tata-Steel) chess tournament, which trditionally takes place in Wijk aan Zee (1969: Botwinnik vs. Ostojic; 1970: Kurajica vs. Taimanov).


Shortly after the production of Jerger ‘Hearts’ with the ‘Gilloutine’ flags, Jerger presented the next generation of ‘Hearts’ clocks, already with the conventional flags.

There are at least 5 known types of Jerger ‘Hearts’, where the difference touches only the dials design (keeping all other characteristics pretty the same).

Technical identity of the clocks lead to the conclusion that all of them were produced in the same time period (mid-late 1950th?). Curiously, that the one with Roman numerals (labeled ‘Foreign’) might be still slightly older than the others (labeled ‘west Germany’). Photo evidences:

Roman: Erno Gereben (Beverwijk, 1961)

Arabic: Paul Keres vs Gedeon Barcza (Oberhausen, 1961)

Black: Fridrik Olafsson vs Wolfgang Uhlmann (Beverwijk, 1961)

Pink: remains under research :)

This is a very nice artisanal copy of the Jerger clock. Design and geometry are fully identical to the original one from 1960th: wooden case is produced with an extreme quality (it looks even finer as the traditional one), German movements are similar to those used in the BHBs, explicitly added second hands (everything for the players’ convenience) and even original buttons and flags. The only thing which remains unclear is the reason to create this piece of art: from financial perspective it was definitely cheaper to acquire an original Jerger or similar clock from that times (i.e. Garde). So far no real games with this clock identified.

Following the successful production of the Jerger Olympia ‘Hearts’ series, company made a step forward towards a design usability and substantially increased the clock face, allowing better visualization and respectively improvement of the players feeling during the game. All other components (wooden case, movements etc.) remained the same as by the latest Jerger ‘Hearts’ version. This model had a widespread usage, for example on Hoogovens-Tournament in Beverwijk (Paul Keres vs. Bruno Parma, 1964) or in Wijk aan Zee (Valentina Kozlovskaja vs. Vreeken Bouwman-Corrie, 1968).

This Jerger is a twin brother to the previous model with just a slight clock face adjustment: it displays only even numbers (2,4,6 etc). This model could be recognised from the game between Nona Gaprindashvili (left, bending over, USSR/Georgia) vs. Corrie Vreeken-Bouwman (the Netherlands)-smoking, Hoogovens tournament (10 women), 21 January 1963.


Photo: US Prodigy Stuart Rachels, early 1980xx.

A Jerger model for the visually impaired people. Key feature of such clocks is a missing front glass, which provides a possibility to “touch” the clockface and “read” the required information. All numbers are supported by physical pointers, which enable a better guidance on the clockface; both hour- and minute- hands as well as the flag (which has a very special form) could be also touched to get a feeling regarding the current time. Based on the producer stamp, this clock has been manufactured in 1989.

Jerger Chess Champion belongs to the latest product line of Jerger chess clocks (together with a classical, rapid and blitz versions). Being under the costs pressure, Jerger managed in the late 70th to bring a smaller and cheaper plastic clock to the market (44$ Jerger CC vs. 51$ Jerger Olympia (1983, US) while still keeping the same W6 movements in both models). Advertised in US since 1982 (Chess Life). Photo: occasional chess player in the Tennisclub Brotdorf (Germany, nowadays).

Pretty similar to the previous Jerger Chess Champion model, just with the focus on rapid games, mainly between 15 minutes (when the minute hand does the full circle) and 1h (when the hour hand does the full circle). Everything else (geometry, material and movements) remain the same.


Junghans (1861) started producing chess clocks only from 1900 (after a merge with Thomas Haller). The mark on the movement "7.14" might refer to July 1914, a year, where all Junghans movements might have been marked as "month-year". Proven "age" evidence is a Junghans Advertisemen in "Deutsches Wochenschach und Berliner Schachzeitung" from 1917. This model could be recognized from the games between Alekhine-Colle (Paris, 1924) as well as Tartakower-Colle (Paris, 1929).


One of the earliest Koopman chess clock, dated from 6th January 1936: still classical “old-fashioned” hands as well as 3-lines Manufacturer logo (exactly the way it was advertised in the Dutch magazine Damspel 1936). There are 2 ownership signs: 1. “Bureau voor de industriele eigendom” (=Hague Patent Office, an organizational stamp) 2. “Dr. W. Euwe” (an inscription, made by pen). It might be the case, that this clock belonged to Dr. Willem Euwe (brother of Max Euwe), who worked as Engineer in the Patent Office and was also a chess player. Photo: Alex Vinken vs. Max Euwe (Maastricht, 1946).

This is a small pre-war Koopman, dated back to 1937 (what evidences the stamp on the bottom). The Advertisement in the Dutch chess magazine (1937) defines this Model under the number “3” (the smallest and objectively the cheapest clock) being the only model without a second hand (which is also stated explicitly in the Ad). This clock could be recognized from the game between Max Euwe and Haye Kramer (Hotel Zeiler in Baarn, 1941).

This is another pre-war model, dated back to 1939. Label "VAS" identifies "Vereenigd Amsterdamsch Schaakgenootschap" or simply saying United Amsterdam Chess Society. This model could be recognised from the game between van Sheltinga vs. Donner (Beverwijk, 1950).

Another early Koopman (1940) with HAC-like (looks like a HAC, but it seems that not: construction is slightly different, also missing whatever production mark, including traditional "W19") clock movement. This clock could be recognised from the game E.Geller vs. Kick Langeweg (The Hague, 1962).


A later Koopman model with HAC-like clock movement, dated back to 1953. Game: T.Petrosjan vs. H.Donner (Netherlands, 1962).

Small Koopman (21cm x 11cm) with German movements and a guarantee stamp until 1957. Most remarkably that all clocks of exactly this type have a guarantee till 1957 (at least what I saw), which may lead to the conclusion that this model has been produced only shortly around 1955. There was no far and wide usage of this Koopman clock in big chess tournaments (maybe small and respectively slightly cheaper clocks were designed more for home / private usage?!), however one evidence still exists: a game between Jan Hein Donner and Max Euwe (somewhere in Netherlands, 1958).

Koopman model with Jerger "Hearts" clock movement, dated back to 1959. It could be recognised from the game between H.Neunhoffer and R. Hartoch on some chess tournament in Hague (1963).

Koopman model with unknown clock movement, dated back to 1965. Photo: Bent Larsen vs. Lajos Portisch (Rotterdam, 1977).


Looping "Chess Champion" clock, produced in Switzerland early 1960xx to late 1970. Looping clockface suspiciously reminds the one from the Fichter chess clock (size as well as look): it's still difficult to say who was inspired by whom ;)

Looping model has been used on the 22nd Chess Olympiad in Israel (1976) and could be clearly recognized from the game of Maestro Larry Evans. Particularly my model belonged to (and later kindly provided by) Swiss Chess Federations (Bern).

Mera Poltik        

Quite a big chess clock, produced by Mera Poltik. Company was founded in 1945 in the city Lodz (Poland). Chess clocks production started late 1940xx / early 1950xx.

It must have been the first prototype of Mera Poltik, which hasn't resulted in a mass production: clockface has traditional paper-based design, hour and minute hands are solid, second hand is in a small 4-star form (when it is moving, it's quite difficult to visually recognise it).

Well known Mera Poltik model, extensively produced in 1950xx. Geometry remains similar to the prototype, however design has been substantially improved: clockface is more 'warm' and printed directly on the aluminium face; hour and minute hands are more progressive & not solid anymore; second hand has been substituted by the traditional one, which made the movement recognition more easy. Photo: S.Brzózka vs. A.Tarnowski (Polish Championship, Lodz, 1959)


Reference: Christmas chess tournament among students (Amsterdam, 1971).

An advertisement in the Swedish Chess Magasine (1972).

Photo: Hans Ree vs Jan Hein Donner in Amsterdam (1973).


A Posingis from the early 1930xx! Paul Posingis was a watchmaker by profession and a passionate chess player. In 1927 he co-founded the chess club Werries (near Hamm / North Rhine-Westphalia) and soon began manufacturing chess clocks in his own workshop. This model must come from this early phase: 'silvered' clock face with a chess club logo on it cannot be mixed with something else! Photo: Max Bluemich vs. Alexander Alekhine on the General Government Tournament (Krakow, 1941).

Clock movements with a very characteristic “bell” shapes have been produced by the company “Gebr. Hauser“ in Weigheim, Germany (founded in 1923 and discontinued its operations in 1964). These clock movement became a basis for the Paul Posingis clock series.

This model called a 'Standart' and could be recognised from the game between Svetozar Gligoric and Herman Steiner while Gregor Piatigorsky (r) and Mrs. Philip C. McKenna (Broadway/film producer) observe (Hollywood, 1952).

Another "Standart" model, with a slightly different "propeller-style" second hand as well as a slightly smaller depth of the wooden case. Otherwise pretty the same chess clock.

Later variation of Posingis, produced between 1936 and 1966.


One more Posingis, however this time with a different movement (i believe with a Kaiser one).


One of the most mass-produced Roa model, dated from some early-mid 1970xx. This clock is known with a variety of clock face designû (Roa logo on the upper or lower part; with a “crono ajedrez” print or without it, etc). Movement with the information “¹121 Pi Argentina” has been either prototyped or licensed from the similar Junghans movement (see next clock). Officially used on the 23rd Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires (1978). Photo: Karpov vs. Kavalek (Buenos Aires, 1980).

Slightly later Roa clock, coming /most probably/ from 1980xx. Back part is completed from metal, the rest of the case is a solid pressed wood. Movements are native Junghans. Photo: M.Tal (year is unknow).

Sutton Coldfield        
Game: Tom Borland - Victor Gaba at the Bothwell Congress, April 1969
Reference: Chess, 1970, page 68

One of the most elegant chess clock of all times has been made by a watch master William Tanner (born in Britain in 1880). Large and reliable clockworks from the German manufacturer HAU were built in into a wonderfully designed wooden case, which allows a view of the gear wheels of the movement. Produced until late 1920xx, stamp on this clock states 1924. There is enormous evidence of the usage of these clocks on a top level (Menchik, Alekhine, etc), one of those is a game between Capablanca and Vidmar (London, 1922).

Thiel / UMF / Ruhla        

Thiel has been produced between 1951-1954 years, when Thiel Company (originally found in 1862) was expropriated by USSR forces under the “Awtowelo” stock corporation (consequences of the 2nd world war).

Size/Weight: 17cm x 5cm x 9 cm / 500 gram. Clock movement: “Caliber 6”.

Photo: Georg Maicherczyk on the German Championship Tournament (1953).

UMF Ruhla (or officially “Model 603”) has been produced late 1950s to early 1960s.

First generation of Model 603 had only clockface-related changes (in comparison to its predecessor Thiel). Second generation had already new clockworks (similar to its successor Garde). This model has been used on the Polish Women's Championships in 1960 (could be recognised from the game between D.Samolewicz against A.Litwinska)

Shortly before 1960, a new clock movement has been introduced (called Caliber 69/67), which was further used for the new / bigger UMF Ruhla.

Produced between 1961 and 1989. The earliest generation is characterized by “UMF Ruhla” logo on the clock face, as well as “striped” sides of the wooden box.

Photo: J.Donner vs. M.Udovcic on the 3rd IBM Tournament (Amsterdam, 1963)

Second generation of Ruhla Garde: no more wooden stripes, different logo, clockwork remains the same.

The most important games with this Ruhla model are definitely rivalries between Karpov vs. Kasparov (Photo: Seville 1987).

Latest Ruhla generation: on the first sight just Logo has been adjusted, however real changes go much deeper: everything, what could be done from plastic (inlcuding design elements as well as some parts of clockworks) is done from plastic.

Photo: E.Friedrich vs. A.Siggelkow on the 30. Open Radebeul Championship (Germany, 2019).

Garde Electronic: a unique chess clock in its kind. The idea to combine an electronic chess clock with two analog time displays belongs to E.Weisheit, P.Paust and H.Bodach, who registered their patent (EP1882995A2 -> G04G9/0082) in 1997. Based on it, early 2000xx (?) Garde Ruhla GmbH took over the production. Despite the fact, that this clock includes a “Fisher Increment” (approved by FIDE) and meets all the requirements for a future-oriented chess clock, it wasn’t produced massively (reasons remain unknown). Photo: German Blitz Team Championship (2003).

Old American        

The Lux Clock MFG of Waterbury was founded in 1914 by Paul Lux (1868-1947). Its movements (LUX 30-hour guaranteed non-over wind movement) were produced by Lux starting from 1920xx. First known advertisement of this chess clock appears in "Chess Review" in 1933. It is a relatively small clock: it is identical by the size, design and switching system to the old Austrian clocks; on the other hand, a vibrillator in the shape of a heart reminds a well-known Jerger “Olympia Hearts”. Photo: Radio match between Chicago vs. Puerto Rico (1947). Another evidence: Pan-American Chess Congress (Hollywood, 1945).

First official USCF chess clock, perfectly described in the Chess Life magazine (March, 1968). Produced in the 1960xx in the USA. Flags are positioned at rear side of the clock, being dropped with a characteristic buzzer sound. Knobs to set the hands are positioned vice versa on the front. Very unusual clock dial: just 10 Minutes with 15 sec increment. Paper clock face, covered by the acrylic glass. More information could be found here. Photo: Tigran Petrosian preparation for the match with Fischer, along with Viktor Korchnoi (left) and Yuri Averbakh (1971).

Old Argentinian        

Argentinian chess clock from “RC Relojes” (=Rey Competencia): big baby with a very characteristic clock face. This clock is relatively modern (produced around late 1980xx or 1990xx), nevertheless, there is huge informational gap about both “RC Relojes” as a company as well as the movements, used for this model. Based on the low presence on the market and minimal usage in the chess tournaments, it may be assumed that it was rather a short-lasting (eventually up to 2000xx?) local boutique manufacturing. Tournament usage: VI Torneo Abierto, Club La Pampa (Chivilcoy, 1999).

Old Austrian        

Based on the Vienna Chess Magasine (vol.6 from 1932), it should be one of the modifications of the Chess Clock called "Wienerin". Why a modification? - because the clock movement is not from Kienzle. Produced approximately 1930xx-1940xx. Reference: a game between Clarice Benini vs. Vincenzo Nestler (Florence, 1948).

First impression when I got those clocks that they are fully identical (geometry, face, flags…). After the closer investigation it appeared that the movements from both clocks are totally different, furthermore, one set of movements look really “old”, the other rather “new and shining”. To my luck, both clocks contained a pieces of the old newspapers in it. Deep research of the documents showed that the first newspaper is dated with 16 Jan 1927 (mainly comparing all Stock prices and Theater repertoire in Vienna). Date of the second newspaper (Osterreichische Schneider-Zeitung) has not been identified precisely, however it is known that is was published only between 1949 and 1977 (namely post-war). Assuming that the newspapers reflect an approximate production / major repair date, it may lead to the conclusion that both clocks were produced in the late 1920th, however the 2nd one (with a newer movements) might be fully repaired / restored after the 2nd WW (1949 to 1977). Both clocks belonged to the chess section of the “Gaswerk Leoipoldau” (Vienna), which is evidenced by the stamp on the bottom. Photo: Frederick Yates vs. Marquis Monticelli (San Remo, 1930).

Kaiser chess clock. Movements manufactured by “Josef Kaiser Uhrenfabrik Villingen (Germany)”, operated from 1926 to 1973. There is no evidence when exactly those Calibers were produced, nevertheless, they haven’t been designed exclusively for the chess clock but also used for various table clocks.

Nice Austrian chess clock with a characteristic side-based pushbars. In order to fix the movements inside the solid wooden block, a piece of newspaper (‘Wiener Kurier’, 1954) has been used: it’s a very good indication of the clocks age! Movements are originating from ’Josef Kaiser Uhrenfabrik Villingen’. Photo: Hans Polzer vs. Ernst Stoeckl (Vienna Chess Club Hietzing, around 1970xx).

Old Czech        

Beautiful chess clock, created by Prague Maestro Vaclav Vesely (German: Wenzl Wesely) in times of Austro-Hungarian Empire (ca 1900-1920). First evidence of the Vesely clock (initially with Roman numerals) appears in 1905 (F.Marshall vs S.Tarrasch, Nuremberg), first known Ad in 1911 (Wiener Schachzeitung). Information on the paper sticker indicates the address ‘Jungmannova 49’, confirming that this clock produced before 1920 (as after 1920 ‘Jungmannova’ street was renamed to ‘Fochova’). Number ‘208’ indicates clock’s serial number. Photo (already with Arabic numerals): Jaromir Dubsky (1938).

“Schlenker & Kienzle” takes its history from Germany (1883); its foreign manufactory in Czechoslovakia was established just in 1888 (mainly to reduce the export taxes to the Austro-Hungarian Empire). There is a broad variety of known Czechoslovakia Kienzle chess clocks, produced between 1918 (when Czechoslovakia was founded) and 1939 (when it was broken up by Nazi). Exactly this model should be an early generation: antique design elements, rare market presence as well as the least evidenced and described type of Kienzle label on the movement. Presumably produced in the late 1920xx.

Early prewar Czech chess clock with a very characteristic design: massive wooden block with a separated upper part, beautiful brass ring around the clockfaces, still Arabic numbers. Despite the design unity, there is a huge variety in the wooden case size & movement types among different chess clocks (the reason for this I may just guess). Origin of this clock movement is unknown for me. Clock is dated back to 1930xx (if not earlier). Massively used that times on the former Austro-Hungarian empire territory (contemporary Czech, Austria, Hungary). Photo: R.Spielmann vs. B.Hönlinger (1935).

Another prewar Czech chess clock, this time with Roman numbers. Clockwork has been produced by Junghans "Schwenningen factory" (the trademark "butterfly" was registered on 13.2.1925 to differentiate it from Jungans "Schramberg factory" and already appear on 1925 Junghans Catalogue). Clock is dated back also to some 1930xx. Photo: Women Chess Championship (Prague, 1936).


Prim Gambit is a product of “Chronotechna”, established in Liberec in 1946. Its production started in 1960xx, slightly after German Ruhla Garde was introduced. Similarities between Garde and Gambit are obvious: it is not only about visual aspects (size, full glass front coverage, shape/position of flags and second hands) but also technological ones (position of movements as well as switching technology are identical). Prim Gambit hasn’t found a huge international recognition, nevertheless it was quite popular in Czech and used even until now. Photo: Pachman vs. Hladik (Pardubice, 1993).

Old Dutch        

Quite a nice and early chess clock, dated back to 1920xx or 1930xx. No makers mark detected, nevertheless, the engineering approach - namely two typical alarm clocks, connected through a pushover bar - brings me to a conclusion, that this is a member of the Old Dutch family. Reference: Fenny Heemskerk (left) vs. Mrs. Roodland (with Max Euwe).

Since a long time I assumed this is a kind of Koopman, however this is not a case: even earliest Koopman chess clocks (1930xx) had a guarantee stamp; given clock has no factory marks at all.

Otherwise it's a huge (29x18cm) Dutch clock, which belonged to the chess club "Bilthoven" (Schaakvereen Bilthoven). Based on the clockworks (?Junghans), produced late 1930xx. Recognizable from the game of O'Kelly (Hague, 1947).

Another type of Old Dutch, which belonged to the chess club "De Pion" (Schaakclub De Pion), found in 1929. Production date might also refer to 1930xx.

Photo: L.Prins vs. O'Kelly (Netherlands, 1948).

Medium size (18x11) Dutch Zilwo chess clock, characterized by a solid oak wooden box and missing second hands. First evidence of Leeuwarder-based (Netherlands) company "Zilwo Juwelier" comes from the newspaper advertisement in 1938, latest evidence is the bankruptcy in 1982 (ref: Leeuwarder Courant). When exactly was this chess clock produced (in terms of 40-50 years of company operation) is not known, presumably it should be early post/war 1950xx model.

Old German        
Photo: Jan Hein Donner (late 1950xx or early 1960xx).
Photo: F.Anderson vs. N.Kuttis (Toronto, 1953).

German chess clock, most likely self-made in the period 1940xx-1950xx. Both movements as well as clock faces manufactured by Kaiser (Josef Kaiser Uhrenfabrik Villingen). Switching engineering is rather primitive, movements are not steadily fixed: they could be turned around just with a bit of energy. Clock belonged to the chess section of "BSG Lokomotive Leipzig-Mitte", established in 1949.

Old Soviet        

This might be the first Soviet chess clock ever. As a basis for the clockworks, Soviet alarm clock "Á-6" (or similar), introduced by the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory under the governance of "NKTP" (ÍÊÒÏ=Íàðîäíûé êîìèññàðèàò òÿæåëîé ïðîìûøëåííîñòè 1932-39) was used. This chess clock produced assumably early 1930xx and appeared in 1935 on the 2nd Moscow International Chess Tournament (Capablanca) and in 1937 on the 2nd All-Union Chess Tournament for the Central Committee of the Union of Publishing House Workers (Studenetsky).

History of 3rd Moscow Watch Factory (3 Ì×Ç) takes its roots from 2nd Moscow Watch Factory (2 Ì×Ç), where in Dec 1943 a separate production department “ÍÈÈ-5” was established. 1.5 years later “ÍÈÈ-5” was re-located to another physical location, becaming a separate factory and continuing production of watches (including chess clocks) under the brand “È×” (Èíñòðóìåíòàëüíûé çàâîä ×àñïðîìà = È×)”. Mid 1950xx “È×” was re-branded to “3 Ì×Ç” and operated until early 1960xx. Given model produced in 1957, clockworks are identical to the catalogue from 1960. Photo: Bryukhovetsky.

Orel Watch Factory Jantar (Î×Ç ßíòàðü) was founded in 1950. First production stage covered only alarm clocks (using components from the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory), second stage included the own components production. From 1958 the scope of produced watches has been substantially extended. Jantar faced bankruptcy in 2004.

Jantar chess clock could be already found in the factory catalogue (1959), including clockwork specs. Particularly my model has been produced in 1961. Photo: M.Tal (1962).

Another version of Jantar, this time in a Bakelite case. Produced at the same time to its "wooden brother", nevertheless, its clockwork already contains minor constructional differences, further inherited by its "white plastic Jantar" successor. Production date of this clock (stated on the clockwork) is 1st quarter 1966. Photo: Paul Keres (1965).

Plastic Jantar: the last, and undoubtedly the most popular representative of the Old Soviet chess clock family. Being introduced by Orel Watch Factory Jantar (Î×Ç ßíòàðü) early 1970xx, this model became an absolute leader in all post-Soviet chess clubs and tournaments for the next 30 years.

One of the first models could be recognized from the game between young Kasparov and Korchnoi (1975).

Old Spanish        

Very nice Spanish chess clock "Meta", dated back to 1950-1960xx.

Clock movements were introduced by the spanish watch manufacturer J.G. Girod SA and became a basis for the alarm clock "Meta" ('fabricado en Espana'). Combination of 2 Meta clocks, connected by a wooden pushbar with a curved spring and covered by a massive wooden case brought to the world this spanish piece of art :)

Old Swedish        

First generation of Swedish chess clocks: solid wooden case, classical shuttle slider and absence of flags. Its first advertisement appears in the Swedish Chess Magazine in 1925, presumably, these chess clocks were produced starting from early 1920xx. Given model could be also recognized from the game between Gideon Stahlberg and Erik Lundin at the Swedish championships in Kalmar in 1938.

Quite a mysterious Swedish chess clock. Wooden pushbar case refers to 1920-30xx. The clockworks (no logo) with untypical second hands were taken from some alarm clocks, keeping an alarm function till now. Clock faces (marked “foreign”) originate from 1930xx; although they seem to be not from the original alarm clock (the holes for the second hands not done with the industrial quality). It's not easy to evaluate properly the clock after numerous modifications and restorations, nevertheless, it remains a good example of Swedish history.

Classical "Swedish Federation" chess clock. Both clock movements as well as faces are totally identical to the Koopmans from mid 1940xx to the late 1950xx. Surprisingly there are not a lot of photo evidences of the usage of this type of clock on tournaments (at least, in comparison to other Swedish); also, all the available photos refer to the second part of 1950xx and 60xx. Shouldn’t these clocks be considered for the mass usage? Photo: Martin Johansson (Swedish Chess Magazine, 1960).

Traditional swedish pushbar chess clock called "Tower Clock" with the Jungahs W.783 clockworks.

The W.783 clockwork is titled internally "J250" with plates 57 x 52,5 mm. There are version with 200 beats and a "Bivox" type with 150 beats per minute. This movement might appeared in the later 1930xx and was built until 1970xx. Number "72" may refer to the year of production 1972. Reference: an advertisement in the Swedish Chess Magasine (1973).

Second generation of the Swedish “Tower Clock”. This time the case is from plastic; instead of the Jungahs W.783 movements PA Caliber (joint production of German “Peter Uhren” and French “Jaz”) has been used. First evidence of this clock appears in a Swedish Chess Magazine 1976, clocks were produced until 1990xx (if not later). Widely used in Sweden in all types of chess clubs and events. This model has been also used in a 6-games match between M.Tal and U.Andersson (Malmo, 1983) to determine one of the reserve spots in the 1983-84 FIDE Candidates’ cycle (result 3:3).

Another traditional (late) Swedish chess clock. A '3-stars' Logo on the clockface defines "Peter Uhren" as a clockwork manufacturer, logo "Jaz" on the clockworks (btw, it’s so-called PA Caliber) refers to the 1970xx - eventual clock manufacture date (German "Peter Uhren GmbH" merged with French "Jaz SA" in 1967, however from 1975 onwards Jaz SA stagnation started).

Such clocks were extensively used in Sweden, maybe also Pia Cramling (SkolSM, 1981) holds this clock? :)

Later version of classical swedish pushbar chess clock, this time with the Jerger movements. This is might be the original alarm clock, used as the basis for the "swedish jerger" model.