Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hamburg American Clock Company, a brief history

When Erhard Junghans, founder of the Junghans factory, died in 1876, his widow's son in law, Paul Landenburger, who had acted as business manager for Junghans, left to start his own factory Named Landenburger and Lang.

In 1883 the name was changed to the "Hamburg Amerikanische Uhrenfabrik",
HAC became a very well known German clock company. Kochmann has numerous references.
The company used many different trademarks but the best known is the "crossed arrows" symbol.
They eventually merged with Junghans in 1930
 Image result for hamburg american clock company
Paul Landenberger started out as a bookholder of the Gebr. Junghans clock factory
in Schramberg, Black Forest, Germany, in 1869.
He quickly advanced to an authorized executive and married Frida Junghans, daughter of
company founder Erhard Junghans, in 1872 and then demanded a position on the board of
directors. The Junghans family declined and Landenberger left the company in anger, the
beginning of a long "family feud".
In 1875, together with his partner, Philipp Lang, he founded the Landenberger & Lang
clock factory and although he had taken some know-how with him from Junghans, the
company was bankrupt by 1882/1883.
Converted to a stock holding firm and with new investors, the company was re-named
to Hamburg-Amerikanische Uhrenfabrik (Hamburg-American clock factory).

In fact, "Hamburg" appeared in the name, because the investor coming from Hamburg
wanted it that way, that's all. "Amerikanische" was connected to the movements made
by the "new" American production methods.
The older company logos of HAC may not be as familiar as the well known "Pfeilkreuz"
(Crossed Arrows) mark, registered in 1891.
In 1905, the company added the discount "Lux" trademark with the logo of a burning oil lamp.

Competition, especially with Junghans, was fierce, but HAC managed to flourish, even
building up its own worker's homes district.
By the mid 1920s HAC and Junghans (and Gustav Becker) were forced to cooperate because of dropping sales figures and economic depression - Junghans gained influence by doing so and by 1930 was able to take over both companies completely.
Much of the old HAC factory including all of their archives, was destroyed during a flood in 1959.

HAC movements, in general, cannot be dated by serial numbers or dating codes prior to
the Junghans takeover. Some movements sported both the HAC and the Junghans star.


  1. I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this.. Bus Company Germany

  2. Excellent background on this interesting company, thanks! I just bought a beautiful little bracket clock (at an auction here in Sydney) and am trying to research it to know it's maker, quality & other historical details. All I had to go on was the small "crossed swords" makers mark on the mechanism. Now I know the company and it's history: such a great starting point! Danke schön!

  3. I have a HAC two weight tall case clock. The clock chimes the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 hours and strikes the hour. The movement is quite complex and the main thing I am missing is how the timing is established.

    1. The chimes sequence is determined by a wheel and pin set up on the chiming mechanism. It is a difficult unit to adjust and keep operating correctly. Send me your information to and
      I will put together a paper on working with this temper mental piece.

  4. I have just purchased a hac mantel clock with 14 day strike and crossed swords mark. I need to find original face and parts.

    1. Please send dimensions and photos to and I will go through my graveyard to see if I have or can get these pieces for you.

  5. Hello,
    I just bought a "GREENWICH" clock, made in Wurttemberg (spelled just with one T) number 19513, crossed arrows logo inside.
    Can't find a lot of info as to when it was made.. Approximately.
    And, the top finials are missing so I would like to find some that would look close to original.
    Any suggestions?
    Haven't received it yet... But I am excited :)

    Any info would help

  6. Forgot to put my details.

  7. Thanks a lot for this perfect info my dear pensive clock man !!

  8. Good evening from Namibia i am trying to get a movement mechanism for a clock with crossed arrows and only a number 29/33 230.The clock is a wall clock and onky has a number 10 on tge wooded casing.Hope someone can assist as some of the wheels are stripped and bended .

  9. I have the works from an HAC clock. The numbers that appear on the works are:
    98/25 440. What do they mean? Thanks for your help and your time.



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