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Small Lux Blue Annular” Mystery Rotary” (aka “Tape Measure”) clock 1935

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Art Deco Clocks335 of 450General Electric "Tuscan" Mantle Clock 1939Large Nickel Lux Annular "Mystery Rotary" (aka "Tape Measure") Clock, 1935
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Posted 6 years ago


(392 items)

This is the Lux "Mystery Rotary" (see third picture) Clock that became know as the "Tape Measure" Clock because of it resemblence to a tape measure case. It was tauted as, The first "Different" Clock in Centuries. Invented by Herman F. Lux, owner of the Lux Clock Manufacturing Company, Inc. of Waterbury , Connecticut . The application for the patent for this clock was filed in April of 1935. This clock was marketed in two diameters sizes 5 and 3 inches. This is the rarer 3 inch in diameter and measures in at 2.5" height. The 5 inch clocks are more common, both were marketed in various colors, this one is blue.

The clock winds smoothly and will run out a full wind (30 hours) while keeping time as accurate as could be read from the linear "tape measure" time scale on this unique desk piece. According to Lux records, it contains a Lux 30 hour guaranteed non-over wind movement. The case is in excellent shape. with very few flaws, it is almost new as the pictures show. The brass tape measure scale is clean all the way around. On the base of clock there is a fold down winding knob and a speed adjustment lever. Factory engraved on the base are the words: "MADE IN U.S.A. Pat. No. D-95,184". Both sizes have the same patent number engraved on them.

Definite a novelty and conversation piece, this clock operates by having the round top holding the linear or "tape measure" scale rotate around the fixed base that holds a pointer. The top will make one revolution in 12 hours. The "tape measure" strip has the hours designated in large numbers and smaller numbers for the 15, 30, 45 minute marks, lines for the in-between 5-minute increments.

To set the clock you simply turn the top until the pointer aligns with the proper time on the scale. Then you just set it down, and the top will rotate slowly and imperceptibly, while ticking "like a train"! The time is read by noting where the pointer intersects the scale. Very cool.

It did not come with the box, I found the box picture on the internet.


  1. Art Apgar, 6 years ago
    I have one of these. It ticks well when held at different angles. Is there a place in California to take it to for servicing?
  2. rlwindle rlwindle, 6 years ago
    The movement to this clock is the same as a regular clock, the only difference is it is on its back, the time band is hooked up to the hour cog of the clock, you should not have to send it off to get repaired. Any clock repair place should be able to repair it, but thanks for the heads up on the place in CA.
  3. teddijo, 9 months ago
    My husband has this clock. Unfortunately it WAS overwound. Any ideas how to get it repaired?

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