The Clock Collection!

Most of my collection has come from constant e-bay searching! There's a few clocks I've picked up from area schools and universities who have remodeled and pulled out their old systems. I managed to salvage a number of Standard Electric Time AR-2 clocks, with the art deco face, from Doudna Hall at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville in 1998, and that was the start of my collection! Since then, it's expanded to Standard, Simplex, Lathem, Stromberg, and more.

I'm always on the lookout for more, or more than willing to help anyone else who's in need of assistance with an old system too!

Please don't be afraid to contact me at: lethleant [at] yahoo.com


The pictures below are from my home clock system, some taken in December 2008, others in May 2009.

Simplex 6400 Master Clock #1. This is the rack-mount model, that I've loaded with both the impulse module as well as the WWV/WWVB time sync unit. Right now, 5 different types of slave clocks operate from here:
  • Simplex 24VAC Sync Wired Circuit: This just uses the generic SYNC circuit on the clock. Nothing fancy here!


  • Simplex BCD Digital Circuit: I have one digital Simplex BCD-corrected clock (pictured below) that simply to this master's BCD data output.


  • Standard 24VAC GRC Circuit: It's not pretty, but works. The GRC's are controlled by bell/appliance circuits no. 1 and 2. Circuit #1 is the advance motors, #2 is the run motors. Since the 6400 master lets me specify on-and-off times to the second, this is perfect. Circuits #1 and #2 trip together at xx:59:35 through xx:59:59 for the hourly correction. Then, just circuit #1 trips at 05:15:00 through 05:28:00 for the 12-hour correction.


  • Standard 24VDC AR-3 Impulse Circuit: The 6400's impulse module is set to the Standard AR-3 mode, which works great...except when it gives the reset pulse at xx:59:40 through xx:59:50, it doesn't also send a pulse down the normal impulse line. So, I use bell/appliance circuit #3 to send the "top-of-hour" impulse at xx:59:58. (I'm too picky to have them advancing to the hour 10 seconds early anyway, and it makes the AR-2 circuit easier too.)


  • Standard 24/48VDC AR-2 Impulse Circuit: I piggy-back on the AR-3 circuit, passing the minute advance pulse to the AR-2's as well. The only difference is the 48VDC correction at xx:58:50 to xx:59:00 is done by bell/appliance circuit #4. I have an external relay cut off the AR-3 circuit's minute advance line to the AR-2's, and throw in the 48VDC reset voltage for those 10 seconds each hour.


  • xx:36:00 signaling for Master Clock #2: See below.


Simplex 6400 Master Clock #2. This is the 'secondary' master clock that now runs the International 12VDC clock below, plus I wired a Leviton X10 transmitter control circuits 4, 5, and 6, plus the Sync circuit. So, through the magic of X10, this clock controls the lights on the front and back of the house, turns on-and-off a couple of fans in the kids rooms (that run at night), and also sends X10 signals to a Lathem 120VAC sync clock in the garage.

How does master clock #2 stay in sync with master clock #1? Well, it's not magic. Since master clock #1 gets its time from WWV/WWVB at xx:35:00, I programmed circuit 6 on clock #1 to pulse for 1-second every hour at xx:36:00. I wired 12VDC through the circuit 6 contacts on clock #1 and connected it to the "EXT INPUT" on clock #2. This essentially 'resets' the seconds to :00 on clock #2 whenever the pulse is received. As long as clock #1 and clock #2 are set within a few seconds of each other, every hour #1 will bring #2 to right on time.
Pilot Clocks for Standard Electric Time Circuits. The master clock is on one side of the laundry room, these are on the opposite wall. There's my "guide clocks" if you will. From left-to-right: 24VAC GRC clock, AR-3, and AR-2. They're all 10-inch flush-mount models that I've rebuilt from various spare parts. Right now, the GRC and the AR-2 pilot clocks are the only ones on their respective circuits, but I have a few more of each in boxes that will eventually find homes elsewhere in the house. To make the "pilot clock wall" complete, I'll eventually add a Simplex sync-wired clock, and a Simplex/IBM impulse clock too.
Standard Electric Time 24VAC GRC Pilot Clock. Here's a closer view. I've always loved those metallic dials, especially this particular style. This is the dial most of the clocks had when I attended the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, even though those clocks were all AR-2's.
Standard Electric Time AR-3 & AR-2 Pilot Clocks. A close up of these two as well. I got them off e-bay as 120VAC GRC's initially, but refitted them with AR-3 (left) and AR-2 (right) movements. I'm just not a big fan of running 120VAC through my home clock system, and the GRC movements that were in both of these clocks used the plastic plates to hold all the works together. Something about those plastic plates seems to make GRC clocks less accurate -- particularly in the second hand correction. (Once again, I'm too picky to let that slide.) The hands you see are the GRC hands forced onto the AR-3 and AR-2 movements. I believe I even had to glue the minute hand on the AR-2 minute shaft...it was a challenge.
Standard Electric Time AR-3 Clock. This is the jewel of my system and hangs in the kitchen/dining room. My wife and I had a year-long 'discussion' over what clock would get to hang in the kitchen. I almost forgot I had this one in a box...but miraculously stumbled across it. I cleaned up the movement, and my wife Jennifer repainted the rim since it was pretty scratched up. The biggest challenge was pulling the wire past the thick insulation in the wall. I believe this clock is roughly a 1939 or 1940 model.
Close Up of Standard AR-3 Clock. The smudges you might notice are from my 1-year-old daughter Olivia who loves this clock. She waves "hello" to it every morning, and watches it until the minute hand does that magical jump forward! Sometimes I can't resist her smile and run downstairs, advance the clocks about 15 minutes, and then hold her next to this clock at xx:59:40 so she can see the hands do the "resetting dance." It always gets a good chuckle out of her!
International 1929 12VDC Impulse Clock. Here's my other favorite clock that my father put an immense amount of effort into stripping and refinishing the wood case. It looks beautiful now hanging in our family room. The one frustration: It's 12VDC. So, it has to be its own circuit. Update May 2009: I now have a second Simplex 6400 master clock (not pictured yet) that runs this clock.
Simplex 2310 Sync-Wire Clock. This is a 10" surface mount clock that I painted up for my daughter's room. It has a pink frame...and yes...a pink second hand too. This clock hangs above her closet door and fits in well with the all-white-and-pink decor!
Simplex 2310 Sync-Wire Clock. Here's another 10" surface mount clock. This one I spray-painted with a hammered/flecked brown for my son's room. It also hangs above the closet door and runs 24 VAC. I ran basically telephone wire to the clock through the closet...and luckily the closet borders the 1st level bathroom, so I was able to make one little hole and follow the plumbing down to near the master clock.
Simplex 6310 Sync-Wire Clock. This clock is a 24VAC, 12-inch, flush-mount model and hangs in my studio. I work in radio part-time, so I've built my home studio to be able to do voicework, etc. I thought that meant I couldn't have a minute impulse clock in the studio, because of the noise. But, I've got the microphone processing tuned to the point where I don't think it would matter if I did have a minute impulse clock in here. So, I have a newer (1975-ish) AR-2 slave clock that I might hang here instead. Removed this clock in February 2009, see below.
Standard AR-2 Impulse Clock. This is probably a mid-1970's Standard Electric Time AR-2 slave clock. I'm a big fan of this particular dial, and it runs excellently. These 'newer' styles are pretty hard to come by.
American/Simplex Sync-Wire Clock. This one hangs in the loft living room area. I'd love to have an AR-2 or AR-3 clock here, but my wife has strict rules about not having "clickie clocks" (minute impulse) in or near the master bedroom. The wall this clock hangs on is the other side of the master bedroom. I initially ordered this clock from American Time & Signal and it came with those narrow, small hands that didn't even reach the marks. So, I swapped out the hands with an old 10" Simplex clock I had lying around. I think it looks a little more authentic, while still looking contemporary enough to fit into the living room decor.
Simplex 4-Inch Digital Clock. Why digital? Well, my wife and I are both blind as bats without our glasses on...and this one hangs in the master bedroom above the door to the closet. It gets 120VAC power locally. (Thank goodness the attic access is right inside the closet door. There was easy access to the juice!) The data input on this clock connects straight to the 6400 master clock's BCD data output. This one is always right!
Franklin Mark 4 Sync-Wire Clock. I ordered this one new from Franklin Instruments a few months ago. I was looking for a clock that's small, would sit relatively flush, run silently, and I wouldn't have to cut a hole in the wall. I called Franklin, and they were great! This clock now hangs in the master bathroom and has Franklin's Mark 4 quartz movement. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was just a plain battery clock. But, if you watch it at about xx:58:02, you can often see it hold off a second or jump an extra second to keep sync'ed with the master clock. The minute and hour hands are on a separate gear train from the second hand. The second hand does the usual quartz-ish stepping every second. The minute hand moves just a bit every 15 seconds...but when it needs to correct, the clock can move an hour in only 5 or 6 seconds.
Stromberg 58th Minute Impulse Clock. This clock isn't on my home system, but figured I'd throw a picture in anyway. I pulled this one out of my church's clock system, brought it home, cleaned it up, my wife and I painted the rim too. I've spent some time this past year in restoring the old system that has about 75 clocks through the church and its attached school. The original school had about 20 IBM 59th minute 3-wire clocks. When the addition was put on sometime in the 1960's, about 55 clocks were added...but these are Stromberg 58th minute 24VDC 2-wire impulse models. The installers built some extra relay work to control a 2-wire and 3-wire system simultaneously. They then went around to the 20 IBM 59th minute clocks, pulled the glass off (there's still pry marks on a few of them), and reseated the minute hands to sync at the 58th minute. They didn't do a very good job though. There's a couple of the IBM's that are persistently a minute or two off. I've replaced several of the IBM clocks with Lathem ISC's that I've come across...and been very careful in my reseating of the minute hands to 58!
IBM "Circle Movement" Impulse Clock. This one isn't on my home system either, it's another clock that I pulled out of my church's system. This has the latest IBM dial, the dial that was used just before IBM's time division was bought by Simplex.
IBM "Circle Movement" Close-Up. A close-up of the "circle movement." It is 24 VDC and uses 3 wires. The biggest annoyance: The top-of-hour lockout switching assembly is active from :58 to :04...six minutes! Stromberg impulse clocks are like this too, but its frustrating when you're trying to rapid advance the clocks using a master's controls.
Testing a Bunch of Simplex 6310-9075's. I've seen a few other people's wacky bunch-o-clock pictures, so here's mine. I believe there's 18 or 19 Simplex 6310-9075 clocks on my garage wall. I'll be replacing all the old IBM clocks at church with these this summer.
The Test Master: Simplex 2350. Here's the master clock I'm using to test all those 6310-9075's with. The beauty of this clock: When the impulse module is set to "advance", it flies. 65 to 70 pulses per minute. No waiting around forever for the clocks to jump a couple hours!