Home    Links    Electronic Hipp Toggle

Welcome to Electrical Horology
Electricity has been used in many different and ingenious ways in horology since the middle of the 19th Century.

The aim of this site is to present details of some of the more easily found and collectable examples of electrical horology, based mainly on European origin, as well as showing some rarer clocks. Wherever possible complete clocks are shown, but there are some examples where there has only been access to the movement of a clock.

The different ways electricity has been used can be categorized into three broad bands:-

A pendulum, balance wheel or other mechanical device (e.g. a tuning fork) controlling the timekeeping of a clock is impulsed by electromagnetism. There is no other power (from springs or weights) to drive these clocks; electrical power drives the mechanical timekeeper which in turn drives the hands of the clock.

These clocks fall into two main categories;  Moving Coil, and Moving Magnet/Iron. Each category sub-divides into Mechanically switched impulse, and Electronically switched impulse.

Impulsed, Moving Coil
Bulle Mantel Clock Bulle 
Mantel Clock
(Mechanically switched)
Hanhart 217 movement Hanhart 217
(Mechanically switched)

Chrometron Mantel Clock
(Mechanically switched)
Sectronic Mk I Movement Smiths
Sectronic Mk I
(Electronically switched)
Sectronic Mk II Movement Smiths
Sectronic Mk II
(Electronically switched)

Impulsed, Moving Magnet
ATO Wall Clock ATO 
Wall Clock
(Mechanically switched)

ATO mantel clock
Mantel Clock
(Mechanically switched)
Smiths Car Clock Smiths
Car Clock
(Mechanically switched)

Coromatic Ticket Clock
(Electronically switched)
Smiths Tuning Fork Clock Smiths Sectric
Tuning Fork
(Electronically switched)
Dilectron Mantel Clock Metamec
(Electronically switched)
Metamec/Diehl 726 Mantel Clock Metamec/
Diehl 726
(Electronically switched)
Sectronic Mk III Movement Smiths
Sectronic MkIII
(Electronically switched)

(Electronically switched)

Mantel Clock
(Electronically switched)

A spring-driven or weight-driven mechanical clock is rewound by electrical means. These again fall into two main categories; Kick Rewind and Motor Rewind.

Kick Rewind
Hettich Mantel Clock Hettich
Mantel Clock
Junghans 285 Mantel Clock Junghans
Type 285

Motor Rewind
Mauthe Motor Wound Movement Mauthe Diehl Motor Wound Movement  Diehl
Drum Clock


This group includes clocks where the timekeeper is an electronic circuit, for example Quartz clocks.
Metamec Early Quartz Clock Metamec
(early Quartz)
Modern Quartz Movement Modern Mass-produced Quartz Oregon Radio Clock Radio Controlled

Most clocks are self-contained devices, but in areas such as factories where it is important that all clocks show the same time, a master clock will send electrical pulses to a large number of Slave Dials at the same time, thereby keeping them all in step. Most master clocks will fall into one of the above categories, but there are some exceptions. (Click here for a description of a master clock system).

Brillie Master clock
Master Clock
(Moving Magnet,
Mechanically switched)

Early TN Master clock
Early T&N Master Clock
(Kick Rewound)
TN Master Clock
Master Clock
(Kick Rewound)

ECS Memory Master
Memory Master
(Motor Rewound)

Electrically Reset Gravity Arm
There is a group of Master Clocks which does not fit exactly into the above groups, and is really an extension of the Kick-Rewound group. Here, a pendulum is impulsed by a weighted arm falling due to Gravity (usually every 30 seconds), and the gravity arm is electromagnetically reset to be ready to fall again for the next impulse.
Gents Pulsynetic Master Clock Gents Pulsynetic
Master Clock
(Gravity Arm)
English Clock Systems

English Clock Systems
Master Clock
(Gravity Arm)
* Research Request*

The 'English Clock Systems Ltd' site


There are other Master Clocks which will be described here in due course. These include:


There is another group of clocks that does not appear to fit into the above categories. These clocks are synchronous clocks (usually a.c. mains powered). However, synchronous clocks are really just slave dials, where the timekeeper is the controlled frequency of the a.c. generators of the power companies.

Escapements used in the above clocks are explained here.

I hope you find something interesting or useful here.

Electrical Horology is such a diverse subject that this site can never be totally comprehensive.
It is under constant development and expansion. Please visit again.

If you have a serious interest in clocks, why not consider joining the Antiquarian Horological Society,
and if electric clocks are of particular interest to you, join the AHS Electrical Horology Group (a sub-section within the AHS).

Spare parts for the clocks shown on this site are generally not available except by breaking another similar clock.

I am not able to help in providing valuations, or in finding spares or repair facilities.

Please e-mail me with any comments, typos or errors, or if you have relevant additional information.


(Because of the vast amount of junk emails being received, this email address is not a link. )

(This whole site is best viewed with a screen resolution of at least 800x600)

Copyright  Text & Pictures - Martin Ridout.   Last updated 11 Sept 2006.

Martin Ridout   U.K.