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A clockwork device, built by H.G. Tannhaus between the years 1953 and 1986, had various functions relating to time travel. The machine was powered by the fluid form of the God particle, of which Cesium-137 was a component.

The machine could interface with the passage deep in the Winden Caves, opening and closing a wormhole which could transport individuals thirty-three years into the past or future. Additionally, the machine could transport a traveler through time by some increment of 33 years; a small dome of dark matter would expand from the device, enveloping both the device and the user.[1]


The function of the time machine is to create a wormhole which opens portals thirty-three years into the past and future from the present time, allowing for time travel between the three points in time. Jonas Kahnwald believed the device could also close the original wormhole created in Winden Caves by the incident in the summer of 1986 at the Winden Nuclear Power Plant.

H.G. Tannhaus postulates that when activated, the device generates a Higgs field, increasing the mass of the Cesium placed in it. An electromagnetic pulse, such as from a smartphone, causes it to implode into a black hole. He suspects that this is similar to what happened in the incident to create the original wormhole in Winden Caves.[2]


The time machine was designed from blueprints originally produced by the time traveling cult Sic Mundus. The clockwork device is made of copper and brass with several cogs and bolts. Three cylinders with a total of nine small switches in front of them.


The apparatus is a refined version of the bunker chair, and technical drawings for it and a prototype with big copper coils similar to the chair's ones can be found in the headquarters of Sic Mundus.

In 1987,[3] the Unknown in his three forms enters the Sic Mundus headquarters. He steals blueprints for the portable time machine[4] and returns them to Eva, his mother, in the alternate world.[5]

In 2040, Claudia Tiedemann kills her alternate self and assumes her identity. Using the time travel orb from the other world, she travels to Eva's Erit Lux headquarters. Eva gives Claudia the blueprints for the portable time machine to give to the other Claudia (herself), stating that Claudia must deliver the plans to H.G. Tannhaus to ensure that everything happens again.[6]

About twelve years later, elderly Claudia Tiedemann travels to 1953 using the machine itself and brings clockmaker H.G. Tannhaus its blueprints.[7] Tannhaus does not complete it until 1986 but cannot activate it.

Around the same time, Claudia also sends Jonas Kahnwald from the future back to 1986 with their broken version of the device to have Tannhaus repair the machine.[6] Jonas explains that the device can create a wormhole, but that he intends to use it to close the current one inside the caves.[8] Tannhaus discovered that he can activate a part of the device using Ulrich Nielsen's smartphone, which was left in his shop in 1953. Tannhaus does not repair Jonas's machine but rather completes the one he has been working on. Jonas completes the last step to be able to use the machine and places the radioactive isotope Cs-137 in a container in the device. He leaves with the newly completed machine.[2]

Jonas takes the original time machine created by H.G. Tannhaus and activates it in the caves, causing a black hole to open above the town. At the same time, Katharina Nielsen calls Ulrich's phone, the effect of which seems to be fueling this strange occurrence. An apparent mixing of points in time occurs, with a Raider commercial from 1986 showing on the TV in 2019. A wormhole opens in the bunker above the caves, between the young Helge Doppler in 1953 and the young Jonas in 1986. When their hands touch, Helge is transported to 1986 and Jonas to 2052.[2]

Change of hands[]

Date In possession of Method of retrieval Details
1953-Nov 12, 1986 H.G. Tannhaus Built it. Tannhaus receives the blueprints for the machine as a young man in 1953 from Claudia Tiedemann. The machine is only completed because Tannhaus gains access to an older, broken down version of it.
Nov 12, 1986/2019-Jun 26, 2020 Jonas Kahnwald Exchanged his broken machine with Tannhaus. Jonas is sent by Claudia in 2052 to have Tannhaus repair the machine. During his time with the device, Jonas shows his mother Hannah his father's secret, bringing her to 1987 to see a young Michael.
Jun 26, 2020-1993[9]/1911 Hannah Kahnwald Stolen from Jonas. Hannah uses the machine to travel to 1954 (inadvertently avoiding the apocalypse), where she meets Egon Tiedemann and conceives a child with him. She eventually departs and has Silja in 1988.[9] When Silja is five years old, the two are met by Eva, who directs them to Jonas, who has been living in 1911.
1911-1920 Sic Mundus Taken from Hannah. Jonas ends up killing his mother in 1911. The machine remains in disuse after that until Noah arrives from 2041.
1920-Jun 24, 2020 Noah Given by Adam. In his search for his stolen daughter Charlotte, Noah returns to 1920 and meets Adam in the Sic Mundus lodge. After Adam gives Noah his mission, he presumably also gives him Hannah's machine.
24 Jun, 2020-25 Jun, 2020 Bartosz Tiedemann Given by Noah. Noah gives Bartosz the machine but presumably knows that Bartosz's time with it is not long. It is soon used for a greater purpose than the teenager.
25 Jun, 2020-26 June, 2020 Magnus Nielsen Taken from Bartosz. As Bartosz is returning from a trip through the caves, the other teenagers beat him up and take the machine.
26 Jun, 2020-27 Jun, 2020 Katharina Nielsen Taken from Magnus. Katharina takes the machine from her kids but does not know how to use it.
27 Jun, 2020-2053 Jonas Kahnwald Taken after being left by Katharina. Jonas saves Magnus, Franziska, and Bartosz from the apocalypse using the machine. He does not specify an exact year, but the machine takes them to 1888 by itself. There they run out of fuel, and the machine falls into disuse.
2053-Jun 22, 1954 Claudia Tiedemann Taken from Sic Mundus lodge. Sometime in the future, elderly Claudia visits the Sic Mundus lodge with her younger self. She assumes possession of the machine.
Jun 22, 1987-Jun 26, 1987 Claudia Tiedemann Dug up after being buried in 1954 by her older self. Claudia uses a map given to her by her older self to find the spot behind her house where the machine is buried. Claudia uses it several times over the next few days to travel to 2020.
Jun 26, 1987-Jun 27, 2020 Jonas Kahnwald Borrowed from Claudia. Jonas uses the machine to reopen the passage in the caves, similar to how his older self used it to close it.
Jun 27, 2020-2052 Claudia Tiedemann Returned from Jonas. Following the apocalypse, the machine is broken. Claudia eventually entrusts it to Jonas.
2052-Nov 10, 1986 Jonas Kahnwald Given by Claudia. Claudia instructs Jonas to bring the machine to H.G. Tannhaus, who can fix it.
Nov 10, 1986 H.G. Tannhaus Exchanged for Jonas's broken machine. Tannhaus uses the old machine to finish the one he has been working on since 1953.


The two times we see Claudia use the apparatus in 1987, no cellular phone can be seen to generate an electromagnetic pulse. Elderly Claudia uses the machine in the cave near the yellow barrels, as middle-aged Claudia witnesses, to go to 1954 and bury the machine.[10] Middle-aged Claudia uses the machine she dug up in the cave also near the yellow barrels to go to 2020 to see Regina and use the library.[11] Did elderly Claudia provide her past self a cell phone? If not, how did middle-aged Claudia obtain a cell phone in 1987?


  1. "The portable time machine" on the official Dark website.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dark Season 1 Episode 10: "Alpha and Omega"
  3. "The Unknown" on the official Dark website.
  4. Dark Season 3 Episode 1: "Deja-vu"
  5. Dark Season 3 Episode 4: "The Origin"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dark Season 3 Episode 7: "Between the Time"
  7. Dark Season 1 Episode 9: "Everything Is Now"
  8. Dark Season 1 Episode 8: "As You Sow, so You Shall Reap"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Silja" on the official Dark website.
  10. Dark Season 2 Episode 2: "Dark Matter"
  11. Dark Season 2 Episode 3: "Ghosts"