Alpha / Max Andres

Max Andres Company was established in 1920, evidence of the first chess clocks is dated with 1926. Brand Alpha appeared after the 2nd WW, thus, all Alpha clocks below are dated 1950xx onwards. 1970 company was closed.

This is the biggest Alpha I own (20 x 11cm) with some electronic inside: there are gossips, that Max Andres made experiments of combining mechanical and electronical move counters, should it be exactly one of it?

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

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


Alpha Model "522"


This should be the earliest model of the BHB Serie. Wooden box is still quite big (17.2 x 9.7) 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 seconds arrow as well as logo "BHB". Produced preliminary in early 1960xx.

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)


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


This Jerger 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.


Junghans (1861) started producing chess clocks only from 1900 (after a merge with Thomas Haller). German Chess Museum assumes, that this Junghans pocket model begins its history from 1930xx, however it might be challenged: 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". Additionally, this model could be recognized from the games between Alekhine-Colle (Paris, 1924) as well as Tartakower-Colle (Paris, 1929). Presumably, pocket Junghans was born around +/-1920 and produced until ww2.


Koopmans production started in 1936, maiany accelerated by the Max Euwe 1935 World Championship Titel and respectively huge chess demand in the country. I am not aware of the own Koopman clockworks, instead, HAC-like and other Germans have been extensively used. This model is an early Koopman (1942) with HAC-like 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 (looks like a HAC, but it seems that not: construction is slightly different, also missing whatever production mark, including traditional "W19"), dated back to 1953.

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.


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).

Reference: an advertisement in the Swedish Chess Magasine (1972).


Clock movements with a very characteristic bell shapes have been produced by the company Gebr. Hauser in Weigheim, Germany (company was founded in 1923 and discontinued its operations in 1964 ).

This clock movement became a basis for the Paul Posingis, who came up with his first chess clock model around 1932. This model (informally called "Standart") has been produced until 1950xx.

Later model of Posingis, produced between 1936 and 1966.

Surprisingly, this model has other than Gebr. Hauser clockwork, nevertheless, all other features like design, size and clock face strongly remind Posingis ones. Eventually some late pre-1960xx Posingis version?

Sutton Coldfield        
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.

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.

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.

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)

Old Czech        

Extremly beautiful chess clock! Wooden box design is very typical for the old Czech (eventually Hungarian) epoch. 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). I assume, that the chess clock per se is dated back to 1930xx. Photo: R.Speilmann vs. B.Hönlinger (1935).

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: F.Anderson vs. N.Kuttis (Toronto, 1953).
Old Soviet        

This might be the first Soviet chess clock ever. As a basis for the clockworks, Soviet alarm clock "-6" (or similar), introduced by the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory under the governance of "NKTP" (= 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 ) takes its roots from 2nd Moscow Watch Factory (2 ), where in Dec 1943 a separate production department “-5” was established. 1.5 years later “-5” was re-located to another physical location, becaming a separate factory and continuing production of watches (including chess clocks) under the brand “” ( = )”. Mid 1950xx ה was re-branded to 3 ǔ and operated until early 1960xx. Given model produced in 1957, clockworks are identical to the catalogue from 1960. Photo: Bryukhovetsky.

Orel Watch Factory Jantar ( ) 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).

Plastic Jantar: the last, and undoubtedly the most popular representative of the Old Soviet chess clock family. Being introduced by Orel Watch Factory Jantar ( ) 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. Shouldnt 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).

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, its 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.