The Detex Watchclock Collection

The Detex Watchclock Foundation is dedicated to collecting, studying, describing, and preserving watchman's clocks. Our goal is to make them better understood by collectors and industrial historians. We hold over three hundred watchman's clocks dating from as early as 1860. They cover a wide variety of types and designs, and their condition ranges from "wrecks" to "mint." Included in this online Album are forty of the most significant clocks in the Collection. Significance is judged by past importance in industry and commerce, by suitability as an example on which to build historical revelations, and by how interesting its workings are. We hope the photos and discussion of these clocks give a comprehensive survey of what the industry was like in America from the 1860s until the 1970s when these older types began to lose out to electronic equipment.

Most of the clocks in this Album, and perhaps fifteen others, are on display in a conference room in the offices of Detex Corporation, 302 Detex Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130. Although the Detex Collection is not a public museum, anyone wishing to visit the display should contact Detex to assure a suitable time and to obtain directions. The office telephone number is 1-800-739-3839.

A general note.   Each item in the Collection bears an "I.D." number, such as I.D. 52. That number is used on each watchclock article page to identify a particular "type specimen," which is described in the information bar at the beginning of the article. The text and the photographs within an article apply generally to clocks of that type and not just to the particular clock detailed in the information bar.

A few credits: Detex employees and friends who pushed this project along include Beverly Maxwell, Dennis Nitsch, Michael Olson, Robert Kolbe, Robert MacDonald, and Dan Sedgwick, each contributing time and talent unstintingly. Two major contributors to general knowledge were Dr. Paul Harrison of Esssex, England, and Werner Schmid, of Stuttgart, Germany, who also stood guard against too parochial an attitude pervading the work.

 To contact us with questions about watchman's clocks or to tell us about a clock you may have, or to send advice and suggestions, please go to the "Contact" page in this web site.

For a brief history of the Detex Corporation, please click here.