From small to large antique clocks

The smallest and largest clocks are indeed antique. It is fascinating to know how the craftsmanship of timepieces has been amazing for so long a time and how their stories still intrigue us.

The smallest mechanical clock/watch, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101, a technical marvel, was built in 1929 and is still being made today! It set the record for the smallest movement in the world, and it still holds that honour. The original manually-wound movement had 78 parts while today’s model contains 98 parts that were shrunken down to fit in the same space. The Calibre is only 14mm long, 4.8mm wide, and 3.4mm thick and weighs just a gram even with its movement in grey gold, which is not light. The entire mechanism is smaller than the tip of a sharpened pencil!

Being all handcrafted and decorative with unique detailed engraving, it is frustrating even for the most experienced and talented of watchmakers. Very few movements are made; and, since 1929, only an approximate 2,000 Calibre 101 movements were created by Jaeger-LeCoultre. That is only around 25 a year, which is a very limited production. 

One of the largest clocks is the Duquesne Brewery Clock, which was designed by John L. Franklin, the Audichron founder. It was built in 1933 in Georgia for $12,500 as the world’s largest single-face clock, and then shipped to Pittsburgh and placed on top of Duquesne’s current location in the South Side. 

The 60-by-60-foot clock face, with its 25-foot hour hand and 35-foot minute hand, is almost twice the size of London’s Big Ben and has a 1.25-horsepower Janett motor. That face was originally on Mount Washington and was used for advertising numerous brands in addition to the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, which paid $44,000 for repairs and $5,000 a month to have its logo on the face. Other brands over the years were the original Coca-Cola and then Equitable Gas, AT&T, WTAE-TV Channel 4, as well as Carling, Ballantine, Stroh’s, and Schlitz beers. However, as of 2017, the clock has been running without advertising.

In June of 2010, Pittsburgh attorney Mark J. Dudash and Maria, his wife, announced the resurrection of the Duquesne Beer brand. In 2008, they had incorporated Duquesne Bottling Company as a formal start and re-registered the expired trademark. The first batch of the new Duquesne Pilsener Beer began arriving in early August 2010.

The smallest clocks that we have available in our assortment are antique carriage clocks and the smallest scientific instrument antique pocket compasses. The grandfather clocks, also called longcase or tall clocks, are as the name suggests the longest clocks in our assortment. The room that displays a grandfather clock flourishes with the presence of this imposing antique item.