Well this is something you don’t see every day. It’s a clock that once belonged to none other than Scuderia Ferrari and Ferrari Automobiles founder Enzo Ferrari. As you can see in the below photo, it hung behind Il Commentadore’s desk, keeping the time during his meetings with a who’s who of famous drivers.
According to Morry Barmak of Canada’s Collector Studio, which is selling the item, this clock first entered the market when it was put up for a charity auction in Modena. Before Enzo Ferrari moved it to his office in the newly built Modena factory, he kept the clock in his home office. The Collector Studio site says the clock comes with a letter from the man who received it prior to auctioning it off.
Speaking of which, this is one of those items whose value derives principally from said provenance, not from any particularly compelling horology, appearance, or rarity. Enzo Ferrari reportedly liked this battery-powered German clock, which Barmak estimates from the 1930s or 40s, because he didn’t have to wind it. And because he didn’t have to let anyone into his office to wind or maintain it.
As you can see in the above photo, the name on the electric movement inside indicates it was made by Diehl of Germany. This means that the movement inside likely dates to 1945 or later, which is when Diehl entered the clock business.
The mechanism itself is of some interest. It’s a mechanical / electric hybrid in which a battery powers the winding feature. One can’t see the balance wheel because it is tucked beneath the motor housing. It’s possible that the movement was in the clock from the time of manufacture, but it’s also possible that it was added after the fact. In any case, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of information available online regarding the Larin name that graces the dial.
We did, however, come across a pretty interesting YouTube video, which explains how the Diehl Electro movement functions. If you skip to about the seven-minute mark, you can see how the winding function works. It’s a pretty neat mechanism, and Barmak says the one in Enzo’s Larin clock is still functioning.
For more info, check out the listing at the Collector Studio.