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Always"watching"

"the Germany Question"

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I am still unclear about the question of the national marking system used on German clocks and watches post-1900 or so. Please could someone clarify this for me - a request brought about today by looking at a Marks and Spencers (i.e. St Michael) carriage clock. The clock itself is marked "W. GERMANY" but the stick-on St Michael label under the clock is marked "MADE IN GERMANY."

I have in my collecting days encountered items that clearly post-date World War Two which are marked "Germany" or "Made in Germany" yet which were manufactured before the end of the communist regime in East Germany, so the term "Germany" seems a bit unreliable. And what about the initials for East and West Germany, also used for products made during the Cold War? Could someone please explain these to me and let me know how reliable these are as a guide to dating.German clocks and watches?

Many thanks

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Short answer is that the made in label isn't going to help you much.

There was no standardised labelling for German products, although virtually every manufacturer in west/east Germany would have tried to distinguish between the respective countries. The variations in labelling (E./W. Germany, East/West Germany, GDR/FRG etc.) doesn't really tell you anything much beyond which Germany it was made in. When you get just "made in Germany" on pre-unification products, it tends to put their by importers or own branders.

It seems to me that in the case of your clock, the W. Germany label comes from the factory which manufactured it and the made in Germany was stuck on by M&S after import.

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Thanks for your help on this. I'm sure you are correct about the M & S clock and I will not place too much emphasis on marks from Germany post-War, just noting the difference between East and West Germany when such a difference was indicated on the factory mark.

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