The growing popularity of Vienna regulators as household time
standards, but in limited number, caused some companies to consider
making such clocks by factory methods.
The Black Forest had been the site of much clockmaking by primitive
methods for a long time with cuckoo clocks produced there being
extensively exported. In 1851 the Uhrenfabrik Lenzkirch firm
was founded in the valley village of Lenzkirch in Baden, not
far from the Swiss border. Later other factories sprang up,
particularly in the area around Furtwangen. Of all that eventually
produced the regulator style of clock in Germany, the Lenzkirch
factory maintained a particularly fine reputation. As late as
the 1920's the firm was still producing excellent watchmakers
regulators with compensated pendulums and finely finished movements.
They were then taken over by Junghans and the factory was shut
down in 1932 after Junghans removed the machinery. By this time
there was very little market for high-grade wall regulators.
While most German regulators were reasonably well finished,
the Lenzkirch clocks came closer to clocks made in Vienna than
most. The clocks offered by Lenzkirch were usually timepieces
or hour-driven. They were made of good hard brass with well-cut
wheelwork. Often maintaining power was provided in weight-driven
models, the large models having true seconds pendulums which
could be had with steel rods and two brass ones instead of Harrison's
usual five and four.
The production of smaller, portable clocks more suited to an
increasingly mobile society eventually led to the demise of
the once favored Vienna regulator. For many years they were
discarded as old-fashioned; and because of the delicate nature
of many of the cases as well as the movements, numbers were
destroyed. Fortunately some have survived. As early as 1925,
Dr. Franz Sobek of Vienna realized these clocks had great merit
and he began what became a remarkable collection housed in the
Geymuller-Schlossl in Potzleinsdorf, northwest of Vienna, under
the direction of the Austrian Museum of Decorative Arts, Vienna.
This may have been the seed that started a renewed interest
in these fine and companionable clocks.