Here’s an original natural wood version of the blue and red painted example. It needs a really good polish to revive the finish and to help to hide the scratches that it has accumulated since becoming “unloved”. This once popular case style can be found in spring driven clocks in antique markets by German makers. Though these clocks are easily recognised by the winding holes in their dials. The Telavox can always be recognised by the lack of winding holes and the unique style of hands.
Here is a picture of a rather more handsome example kindly sent to me by its proud owner. It is date stamped May 1951 inside the case and strikes on four gongs.
This style offers even more area for the veneer artist to show off his skills and the wide variety of exotic wood grains used by the Telavox craftsmen over the years. This is the only example I have found so far with this very wide and tall case. The dark veneer is rather difficult to capture with the camera It is certainly impressive in terms of sheer size. On a suitable mantelpiece or sideboard it must once have been the pride and joy of the owner. Sadly some decorative mouldings are now missing.
More importantly, but not even mentioned on the label, is that Telavox clocks should be allowed to strike many times by advancing the hands around the dial whenever a new 4.5 Volt battery is inserted. This action rewinds the going spring and allows the clock to run reliably. Without knowing this it must have puzzled some collectors of Telavox clocks why their clock would not run for very long. With each new battery replacement the clock must be allowed to strike several times around the dial before being restarted. This requires great patience but the owner will usually be rewarded with reliable timekeeping.
Note that Telavox clocks strike a single blow on the half hour as well as counting the hours normally when striking on the hour. The striking Telavox movement is a very quiet clock when going and lacks the loud ticking common to spring driven clocks of this period. The strike can be silenced by moving a lever on the backplate or underneath the case. This lever lifts the single hammer in the case of a bell strike. Or lifts all the hammers simultaneously in the case of hammer and gong striking.
The strike train must be allowed to run even when silenced or the clock will not be regularly rewound and the clock will soon stop.