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.

  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.