METAMEC DEREHAM

Metamec was a watch manufacturer in the second half of the 20th century and was based in Dereham, Norfolk, England. The name “Metamec” is derived from “metallurgy and mechanics”.

In 1947, a small factory in East Dereham, Norfolk, began producing watches under the Metamec name. The Metamec factory was a branch of Jenkins Productions which made furniture and had won a contract with the Ministry of Defense to make ammunition boxes. Huge quantities of timber, brass and steel were used in the production of these boxes, but when the war ended the contract was revoked and so Jenkins Productions, which had now been renamed “Jentique”, found itself with a lot of scrap wood and brass, surplus to his normal needs. Captain Bernard A. Smart decided to make clocks using some of these surplus materials. Within a few years the factory was producing 25,000 watches a week and became the largest watch manufacturer in Britain.
The Dereham factory employed up to 700 people, producing 350 different clock designs, in the 1950s and early 60s. A wide variety of wall clocks, mantel clocks, trolley clocks, alarm clocks and clocks were made by grandparents, powered by several different means: electricity, wind, batteries (both D and AA size). In the early days, many of the movements were bought from other manufacturers in Germany, France and Scotland, and even from British competitor Smiths Clocks. Later, quartz movements were used.