Mantel clock by Metamec

Made:
1950-1960

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Mantel clock with 8-day mechanical movement, aluminium dial and walnut and sycamore wooden casing. Made by Metamec, East Dereham, Norfolk, 1950-1960.

Metamec, whose name was formed by combining the words ‘metalwork’ and ‘mechanics’, was based in East Dereham in Norfolk and played a significant role in the history of the British clockmaking trade. In the late 1940s, when the company was formed, there was a scarcity of new clocks available to buy in the UK, Smiths of London were the only other major manufacturer, so Metamec clocks found a fruitful consumer base. They sold directly to furniture retailers and high street jewellers. By the 1960s Metamec was the largest clock manufacturer in the UK and even employed its own sales department. At its peak in the 1960s the company employed 800 people and produced 25,000 clocks per week. Unlike many English clockmaking firms they kept up with new developments in horology and invested in the manufacture of quartz movements, but were unable to compete with German and Asian factories in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Despite branching out to the American market, the company went into receivership in 1984.

Details

Category:
Time Measurement
Object Number:
2021-624
Materials:
aluminium (metal), brass (copper, zinc alloy), plastic (unidentified), sycamore (wood) and walnut (wood)
Measurements:
overall (estimate): 156 mm x 228 mm x 80 mm,
type:
clock