Gustav Becker Clock History
Gustav Becker (1819-1885) was a dedicated and successful German clockmaker. In 1850, thoroughly trained in clockmaking in Germany and in Vienna, he established a small clockmaking shop in Freiburg, Silesia (not the Black Forest Freiburg.) He struggled to produce clocks with an unskilled labor force until a design award in 1852 gave him the prestige to attract the quality of workers needed for success in this new industry. The firm prospered, and won many quality and performance awards worldwide from the 1860’s to the 1890′ s Until about 1880, virtually all Gustav Becker clocks were weight powered regulator wall clocks. Then, spring powered clocks were introduced and many new styles followed. Several million clocks were produced and sold by the end of the trademark’s use in the mid 1930’s.
Gustav Becker died in 1885, but the strength of his enterprise carried his name forward. The trademark and production survived an 1889 consolidation of Freiburg clockmaking companies into the “United Freiburg Clock Manufacturing Company Inc., formerly Gustav Becker”. In 1926, this firm combined with the Junghans clockmaking company, and the Gustav Becker trademark continued until about 1935.
Becker clocks are not too difficult to identify. Until 1880 and the introduction of the spring driven mechanism, almost all of Gustav Becker’s clocks were weight driven Regulator wall clocks. Becker’s clocks bear his trademark and serial number on the dial and weights are usually marked with his initials. Serial numbers reference the year of manufacture, so determining age is made very simple. An excellent resource for this information and more is available in the book “Gustav Becker Story” by Karl Kochmann.
Gustav Becker clocks are known for their quality workmanship and the Becker name on a clock will make it more valuable than lesser-known maker’s clocks of similar quality. These collectible works of art are not as expensive as their furniture counterparts and can range in price from $500 to $5,000 and more.