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THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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"Wake up! Time to Die" - 19th Century Victorian Skeleton Automaton Alarm Clock - Haunted Horology #5

Yup, I'm quoting Leon Kowalsky's parting words from the futuristic movie Blade Runner... I just saw the latest director's Final Cut at the Ziegfeld theater in Manhattan recently and must say, it was one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. If you get a chance to see it on a big screen during the current re-release, do it!

This antique 19th century alarm clock (circa 1840-1880) couldn't be further from the future and wish there were more information about its functions to share with y'all but alas, you must imagine the Steampunk-esque automaton mechanics for yourself. I will say the obvious; the skeleton is sitting on an alarm bell, the coffin-boat, complete with Chadburn Telegraph is the clock dial and there are two holes in the coffin that might have something (or someone) that pops out.


via Ingenious.org.uk

See all the posts from my Haunted Horology Week;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
Rock Crystal 1710 Skull Watch
Rolling Eyeball Skull Clocks
All Memento Mori Posts



LAST DAY to enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->
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The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)

The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)Rolling eye clocks - first patented in 1926 by the J. Oswald Company of Germany with early models carved of wood and cast from metal after World War II. (Time shown above is 2:46)

The dials are represented as the eyes separating the hours on the left and minutes to the right. This collection of cross-eyed genies, skulls, monkeys, gnomes, owls, and dogs (LOTS of dogs) are an interesting cast of antique novelty clocks.

Thanks to Mike from Florida for sending me the Patent information here-->Link

Price ranges are approximately $200-$800 depending on condition and rarity. The authentic models were generally built with 8 day movements. Many cheaper knock-offs have appeared during the sixties and seventies. Likely inspiring the art of kitschy 'Big Eyes' painter Margaret & Walter Keane.

The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)Monkey Clock

The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)Rare Skull Clock

The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)
Genie Clock


The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)And one of many crosseyed dogs

From an exhibit in 2005;

"The exact origin and age of these clocks is not easy to determine. We know that they came from Germany, but very few details are available in writing, due to the destruction of records during WWII. For this reason we have to rely on bits and pieces of information gleaned from many sources to come up with some sort of history of these novelty items.Most were made by the Oswald company in the Freiburg area which is in the Black Forest area of Germany. We say most, because we have three rolling eye clocks that we cannot, with certainty, attribute to Oswald. However, a personal friend has a wooden rolling eye clock marked "U.S. Patent 1926 Made in Germany." So, if patents were effective in those days, it is reasonable to assumme that Oswald may have made our "unmarked" ones as well."



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"Wake up!  Time to Die" - 19th Century Victorian Skeleton Automaton Alarm Clock - Haunted Horology #5The Rolling Eye Clocks of Oswald (circa 1927-1950)

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