Some Observations Regarding
The dating of Gustav Becker Clocks
using Serial Numbers
(with photographs)

-- DRAFT 11/2002 --

Here's another link with a serial number dating chart . Worth looking at, but they mention nothing about Braunau factory !

I have seen many people selling Gustav Becker clocks apply a date to them based on the serial number on the movement.  In many cases I believe the dates provided may be incorrect.    I'm not an expert, nor do I claim to be.   As a beginning collector of European, Austrian, & German clocks, I hate to see people be mislead intentionally or accidentally, when there is information out there that can help.

Many people are inappropriately dating clocks made in the Braunau factory using the Gustav Becker  Freiburg factory chart that is contained within the books listed below.  This yields a completely bogus date and is false and misleading.

Please note that I am merely passing along what I see in the books listed below and you, of course, may do with the information what you wish.  I urge you to do your own research and/or consult an expert before making any expensive buying decisions.  Naturally, if anybody has better information that I do, please pass that along to me and I will happily correct anything that is in error. 

The conclusions I've drawn are as follows:
1) It is relatively easy to tell on most clocks whether a clock was made in Freiburg or in Braunau by looking at the trademark stamped on the back of the clock
2) Clocks made in the GB Freiburg factory can be dated with some level of accuracy based on the serial number.
3) Clocks made in the GB Braunau factory cannot be dated with any accuracy, as the factory was possibly opened in 1888.
4) According to the books, Freiburg was making close to 100k clocks a year by 1880, so one might assume that Braunau was making somewhat less than that per year.

The 2 books I am using for reference are:
1)  Gustav Becker Story - 1847-1927 - by Karl Kochmann @ 1974  1993 edition ISBN 0-933396-29-5
2)  Clock & Watch Trademark Index - European Origin - by Karl Kochmann @1988 ISBN 0-933396-34-1

1) Reference Book - Gustav Becker Story   
Page 32, near the top
Braunau - Bohemia, Former Austrian - Hungarian Danube Fed. ( now Broumov, CSR )
Gustav Becker, assembly plant since the year 1888. After the annexation of Bohemia, year 1918 * (*after ww-I)
into Czechoslovakia, Becker Clocks were marketed with the stamp: MADE in BRAUNAU TSCHECKOSLOVAKIA
Note: Serial number index not traceable.  Plant closing year unknown.

Page 35, 3/4 of the way down the page

Braunau works - Numbering system-or index not traceable.


1) Reference Book - Clock & Watch trademark Index   
Page 293, near the bottom
... ...
The Braunau works operated as independent branch factory. No serial number records are found.
... ... 
Braunau - Bohemia
Former Austrian Danube Federation no Czechoslovakia 036/4
After annexation of Bohemia:* (after WWI) the production of the former Becker branch factory
was sold with embossement since 1918

Page 294,
Same chart as in "The Gustav Becker Story", above.


Photographs of Trademarks

Note:  There are lots of different GB stamps , these are just a few


Example of trademark stamps with Braunau works ( SN 100k+ , 500k+ )


Example of trademark stamps with Freiburg / Silesia works



IExample of trademark stamps with Freiburg / Silesia works 
Oddly enough, on this one, it's on the right side not the left.

_Vr1wt_GB_Bied.jpg (67458 bytes)    
Example of a very early trademark stamp with Freiburg / Silesia works ( SN 89603k )



Example of a very early trademark stamp with Freiburg / Silesia works ( SN 35k )



GB_Freiburg_SN25a.jpg (345972 bytes)
Example of a very early trademark stamp with Freiburg / Silesia works ( SN 25k )


Having recently learned that Freiburg/Silesia is in Poland, there may be some issues in calling these "German" clocks... but probably not.

Copyright 2002 by Dean Kinard.

Not responsible for errors or inaccuracies.  For reference only, use at your own risk.  Sources used are listed above.