Monday, March 4, 2013

Breveté and SGDG on French clocks

There still are some clock sellers and buyers who mistakenly believe that "Breveté" is a French clock brand name.

It isn't.

Breveté (or brevete without the accent as most sellers write it) means patented in French and most clocks produced between about 1850 and 1950 have that word stamped on the back....It is the legal registration of some element of the clock or all of it.
Along with breveté, SGDG is usually also stamped on the back case of a French clock produced during that period.

SGDG is not a brand.

It means 'Without any guarantee from the Government' (Sans Garantie Du Governement) and was by law required to be stamped on ALL objects with a legal patent from 1844 until 1968, especially those manufactured for export.

Some French manufacturers produced clocks for high-end jewellers (such as Tiffany's, Mappin Webb and private names) without stamping their own brand name on them, BUT they did have to stamp "Breveté" and SGDG somewhere on the movement and usually on the back case.

Some manufacturers also made their export clocks easier to identify by stamping "Made in France" or simply "France" rather than Fabriqué en France on them. It is not that unusual to find two identical models of a clock, one with Fabriqué en France on it which means it was made for  the French market and the other with Made in France which was exported.


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  2. I have a Cartier desk alarm clock that has a dark enameled front. It works great and is in excellent condition. Every clock I see like it however says Swiss Made at the bottom. Mine says Made In France. Not one person shows the inside of the clock movement. Mine says this on movement:
    8. A. 250
    I do not see SGDG anywhere on the clock. I would appreciate any info as I cannot find anything like it.

    1. Hi there. I would love to see some photographs of your Cartier clock, both the case and the movement and back plate. You could send them to
      Cartier began as a jeweler and watchmaker and I know from research that they created several models of small clocks in their shop in Paris before turning over the creation to a Swiss clockmaker.
      Best regards

  3. The backlight LCD shows both the time and alarm time. Programmable snooze control. Leather Travel Clock

  4. I have a clock that has brevet S.C.D.G. Paris. It also has an emblem of a backwards R a V between, and a forward facing R. Do you know what that means? Thank you.