The Telavox Clock


Telavox clocks are easily identified by the lack of winding squares and the unique dial, hands, signature and chapter ring. In this example these features are seen in a very attractive, but slightly unusual, early, Bakelite drum case with wooden foot.

Telavox is pronounced TEE-la-voks in Denmark with the emphasis on the first syllable. It is only in Denmark that these clocks are usually found. Though examples have been taken abroad possibly by emigrants. They are surprisingly difficult to find even in Denmark. As a collector on the constant lookout I rarely see more than one Telavox clock in six months. These clocks attract only very low prices in Denmark. Probably because so few people, including clock repairers, understand them. So dealers cannot get them to run reliably and they are put into storage or discarded along with the now out-of-fashion, mass-produced, clockwork mantle clocks. Or worse: A cheap quartz movement is installed to replace the excellent original Telavox movement in the hope of selling the clock as an unusual “goer”. Perhaps to a home decorator with a taste for “retro” but without the usual loud tick of a “clockwork” clock.

Instructions are provided here to get a striking Telavox or later Clementa clock to run:

After checking that the 4.5V battery is in good condition with a voltmeter or 4.5 volt torch bulb (or after replacing the old battery with a matching new one) the clock must be made to strike repeatedly to rewind the going spring. The rewinding and striking is driven by the battery but the going (ticking) is powered by a small spring which is rewound on every strike.

Using the knob provided at the back of the case advance the hands slowly *clockwise* to the next hour or half hour. You must wait patiently to allow the clock to strike each time until it stops by itself. After a few strikes the clock should be rewound and may be left to run after setting the hands to the proper time. The clock will then keep itself fully wound by striking normally at the hour and half hour as it tells the time.

If the clock stops after a while then allow it to strike a few more times by advancing the hands slowly and carefully as described above. Patience will usually be rewarded. Trying to move the hands on too soon may produce a buzzing noise as the clock parts rub against each other. This should be avoided or serious wear may take place.

Later Clementa instructions suggest that the clock be made to strike each hour (and half hour) right around the dial three times.  This is required whenever the clock has not run for a long time or when the battery is replaced.

A non-striking Telavox clock uses a large (and probably obsolete) 3V battery. Polarity may be important even if you can still find a battery. Or use modern batteries to obtain 3V. The original  battery leads had a simple fibre plug with two, odd-sized, brass pins to match the holes in the top of the battery. 

This later chapter illustrates the original batteries:

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