French Morbier (Comtoise) Clock ca 1860

French Morbier (Comtoise) Clock. ca 1860.

This clock was a restoration, I have included before and after photos. I cleaned the movement and made some minor repairs.

Upon inspection, I noticed that the fly had been soldered to the fly pinion.

Before movement restoration

Before movement restoration

The fly must rotate on its shaft with only the drag produced by the fly spring. This is very important because if the fly does not spin when the strike cycle stops, the momentum created by the fly could shear off the gathering pallet. This was a fact that I learnt when working on this clock (thanks Jim!).

It is amazing, how one can miss the smallest details that could potentially have disastrous consequences if not tended to correctly. We unsoldered the fly from its shaft and replaced the fly spring after fabricating a new retaining washer. The clock was then reassembled.

Movement after restoration

Movement after restoration

Another problem was to figure out the synchronization of the strike train. We found that there was a timing marker on the second wheel that synced to the ‘long tooth’ on the gathering pallet pinion gear.

The final step was to fabricate the wood shelf that the clock now sits upon. I probably spent more hours on this clock than I have on any other…..It was worth all the work!

2 responses to “French Morbier (Comtoise) Clock ca 1860

  1. I’ve got a Molbier wall clock that I suspect is 1850-1900, it was professionally repaired by the Ballard Time shop 2004. It was a gift but not something that I would hang up. Is this something you or some one you know might be interested in? I live north or Renton.

  2. vincent flannery

    If you examine the balanciers for these clocks, you will see that some have a long flat steel section with the hook. These are meant to be cased, whereas those with decorative embossed brass balanciers with brasswork close to the hook are for hanging. Sometimes you find them in cases, but a large section of the balancier decorative work is hidden by woodwork. When making a bracket, you should avoid a cross piece at the front. This gets in the way of the balancier and also makes lifting the clock from the bracket awkward, because the line hooks get caught in the cross piece. I have ten of the light weight pine cases and several of the 18th c hardwood models.

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