Dutch Zaandam clock with hand painted face and moon phase dial.
Moon phase clocks work the same as calendar clocks except instead of showing the date, a picture indicating the phases of the moon is displayed. This feature is seen mostly on grandfather clocks.
I particularly like the painted face on this clock. The figures on top are typical of this style of Dutch clock. This is an eight day time and strike. It strikes a bell as do most Zaandam clocks. One interesting feature of this clock is that you can remove the lower case that houses the pendulum and display the clock with the pendulum showing. This significantly alters the appearance of the clock.
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.
I came upon this lovely old gothic clock case which probably dates back to the late 1700’s. and had originally decided to find an antique movement for it. That turned out to be a far harder task than I thought it would be.
My Project Clock. 1700’s.
I wanted a weight driven movement because the length of the case suggests that may have been what was there originally. Finding a movement with a pendulum just long enough to show through the glass at the bottom of the case proved to be almost impossible, not to mention a face to fit the case and movement.
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 reproduction of a wooden Verge & Foliot escapement clock. Clocks similar in design were thought to be the first clock ever made that incorporated an escapement mechanism.
Original Verge & Foliot Escapement Clock
Original clocks such as these date back to the late thirteenth century. The rate of the clock is regulated by moving the weights on the oscillating cross-arms. Many of the wooden clock kits sold today to hobbyists are of similar design. The development of the escapement mechanism paved the way for all subsequent mechanical clocks, so the importance of this innovation can not be overemphasized.
This is a Seth Thomas No. 2 sanctioned reproduction of the original No 2 regulator.
Quality reproductions are hard to come across. The better ones are made to the exact specifications as the original, as this one is. One should, however, be cautious when considering the purchase of a reproduction as there are many lower quality reproductions from China and India.
This is an eight day time-only clock. The oak case is made to the original specifications.
Seth Thomas No. 2 Movement from both sides
I have two reproduction clocks in my collection.
These German cuckoo clocks are typical of most. Some Cuckoo Clocks are quite complex and can be very challenging to work on. Many clock repair shops will not work on these as they are particularly difficult to take apart and reassemble.
Two German Cuckoo Clocks
The simpler versions such as these two examples all have the same basic configuration of levers, push rods, and bellows. The more complex models can have rotating dancers, water wheels, and moving figures such as a man chopping wood.
1-Day and 8-Day
The two examples featured here are Eight day and One day duration clocks. One can usually tell the difference by observing the size of the weights. Typically, the Eight day versions use the larger weights.
I was attracted to the unusual design of this vintage Junghans clock.
As you can see, the pendulum is not correct. The original pendulum would most likely have a black cast iron bob and be about 12 inches longer. As such, with the current pendulum, the clock runs fast.
Too Little Time
Ironically, for an amateur horologist, but there is simply too little time at present for all the projects I have lined up. I think all other hobby machinists could relate. This will be a simple fix at a later date . . . Too many projects ahead of this one for now! The plan would be to test other pendulums from the pendulum draw or to machine one.