A two-weight Gustav Becker wall clock with an engraved face and pendulum.
Gustav Becker, Two Weight. 1800’s.
The weights are replacements, but aren’t they lovely? That’s one thing about being a clock collector and repairman: you end up with a lot of extra parts. When it comes to gears and springs, that’s no big deal. Even pendulums, you can find a long draw for. But weights – Heavens to Betsy! Weights are, well – duh! – heavy!
This clock is a little unusual in that it strikes the hours on a ‘chime rod’ as opposed to a coil gong which was typically used on this type of Vienna wall clock.
My finest Vienna Regulator. A three weight Vienna Regulator dating from approximately 1870.
Three Weight Vienna Regulator
This clock has ‘Grand Sonnerie’ striking. It first chimes the quarter, then the hour. For example, at 6:30, it chimes twice on the quarter then 6 times on the hour. At 9:00, it strikes 4 times on the quarter then nine times on the hour. This feature is also known as blind man’s clock.
The three weights drive the two striking trains and the time train.
I never run this clock for more than a day because the chiming could drive me insane and all the Vienna regulators I own have a very ‘tinny’ sounding chime! Vienna regulators are some of the most beautiful clocks to collect. However, they are also the worst sounding clocks…..the ‘Grand Sonnerie’ is not so grand!!
A Two Weight Vienna Regulator with a second hand. Late 1800’s. As we’ve mentioned before, we are well-aware that these are not referred to as Vienna Regulators in Europe.
Two Weight Vienna Regulator
No markings on the movement. I don’t think the weights on this one are original and the case crown may be a replacement. I need to get around to stripping and cleaning the movement on this clock, the weight cords need to be replaced. The original material would have been made of cat gut. My cat is very nervous at the moment!!
This is a Vienna regulator-style, unmarked German 8-day clock.
It has a spring-driven movement, with fine quality gear work and machined pinions. Upon disassembly, I noticed that both main springs had hairline cracks at the hole or barrel end. I annealed the spring ends and cut off the defective tips and reformed new hole ends.
I always check mainsprings for fractures such as this whenever I remove the springs. Mainspring failure is always a recipe for disaster. If a spring breaks under load it can potentially render a movement unrepairable if gears and pinions are damaged…well worth the time to perform some preventative maintenance.
One of my finest clocks, a Dachluhr Vienna Regulator. Technically, it is a clock simply in the Dachluhr style. A regulator with dead beat escapement and maintaining power.
Dachluhr-style Vienna Regulator
Not sure exactly what age this is, best guess is late 1800’s. I rebuilt and cleaned the movement and discovered that the maintaining power (MP) spring had failed. A previous tinkerer had fashioned a bent piece of wire as a substitute, forcing the maintaining wheel and main wheel apart. I have removed the bent wire and pinned the two wheels together temporarily while I hunt the world for a replacement MP spring. Any suggestions are welcome!
The more I dug into this Vienna Regulator repair project the more problems I discovered:
- Ratchet (click) on winding barrel broken
- Pallet retaining screw broken on verge
- Winding barrel ratchet lever bent
- Porcelain dial center retainer corroded beyond repair
- Case required complete disassembly and rebuild.
- Add correct weight and cable
It would be easier to list the only item not needing repair….The pendulum!!
Upon inspecting the case, I found a number of Phillips head screws had been used in prior repairs, to hold the case together along with a couple of steel braces. Also, there was an excessive amount of glue. It looked as though this clock had taken a dive off a wall at some stage in its history. The hinges were also rigged.
I have never had to disassemble a clock case to this degree before. I broke down all the parts and completed the clean-up to remove all the old glue and refinish the joints correctly then reassembled. I only had to refinish a few areas where the old finish was beyond saving. The overall result was very pleasing and the case is now back to original.
This clock is a time only Vienna Regulator (Vienna wall clock or Viennese wall clock in the U.K.)
Lots of work to do on this one…way more that I thought when I purchased it.
The case needs to be reworked as sometime down the line attempts at resotration have been poorly done. The door hinges are not original, nor are they remotely similar to the originals. The joints are badly glued or screwed together… You get the picture.
The movement also had a major problem. When I inspected it, I found that the click spring was broken, not a particularly bad problem with most clocks. However, with this one, the click spring is part of the winding barrel assembly. A new click spring was not an option.