Category Archives: Wall Clocks – Weight Driven

Update: Problem with Regulator’s Maintaining Power Spring

The maintaining power spring on my best clock  failed after a few months.

Maintaining Power Spring

I was never really convinced that this spring would hold up.

A New Tack

I disassembled the movement and set about redesigning a completely new spring. I decided to go with a new concept and come up with a better design. The photos attached show the old spring and the new design. The new spring was built from an off the shelf spring I purchased from a local hardware store. I cut and filed it to fit without having to temper or heat the metal, as I did not change the form of the original spring.

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Dachluhr Vienna Regulator.

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.

Jeweler's Regulator Dachluhr Vienna Regulator

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!

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Vienna Regulator. Viennese Wall Clock. Ca. 1860

This clock is a time only Vienna Regulator (Vienna wall clock or Viennese wall clock in the U.K.)

Viennese Wall Clock Vienna Regulator

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.

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UPDATE: Dutch Warmink skeleton clock project

Here’s an update on my Dutch Warmink skeleton clock project.

dutch warmink skeleton clock

dutch Warmink Skeleton Clock

This one is now assembled and the pendulum leader was fabricated from two 5 inch Hermel leaders cut and soldered together. I have determined the leader length. However, I was disappointed to find that this is only a 30 hour movement.

In retrospect, I should have guessed this with only three wheels in the train! I am not satisfied with my leader fabrication because the pendulum has a ‘kick’ at the end of each swing arc (impulse).

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Dutch Warmink skeleton wall clock

Dutch Warmink  Skeleton ClockI’ve researched Dutch Warmink clocks and haven’t found anything close to this model. Apparently Warmink are now out of business.

You find a lot on line about Dutch Warmink zaandam clocks for sale. We have several zaandams and this is nothing like them.

I am currently working on this interesting wall clock; I came across at an auction. As you can see, the movement is very robust. The wheel work, frame, escapement and verge is comparable to that of a street clock. The clock is made entirely of brass and steel (including the dial).

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Dutch Wall Clocks

A collection of three (3) Dutch wall clocks.

Here are three classic designs of Dutch clocks. Dutch clocks are very distinctive. Zaandam is one of the more favored among collectors.

Painted Face of Dutch Wall Clock Dutch Wall Clocks

Painted Face of Dutch Wall Clock

The examples I have are not antique. However, these clocks have a long history and some of the antique pieces are very desirable to collectors. As one can see, they are quite ornate. I have seen many at auction that are in need of repair. Be warned, the replacement parts for these clocks are very expensive.

The three clocks shown are all weight driven, eight-day, chime and strike. Most Dutch clocks strike the chimes on a bell as do these examples.

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Kieninger Clocks. Contemporary Mechanical Clocks.

As you may have noticed, not all my clocks are antique or vintage. Occasionally I will pick up newer or even contemporary mechanical clocks if I find it to be of interest and of good quality. Here are two such clocks, Kieninger clocks, both German contemporary designs manufactured by Kieninger.

Kieninger Clocks

German contemporary designs manufactured by Kieninger

One is weight driven and one spring wind. Both are eight day time and strike movements.

I like to run all my clocks from time to time and there are few antique clocks that I run continually. This is where my newer clocks come in to play.

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Black Forest Clock. Wooden Movement. 1880s.

We had originally thought this Black Forest Clock dated to the mid to late 1700’s.

Black Forest Clock

However, as you can see from the Comment below, we were mistaken. We’ve relabeled the entry.  A great example of the benefits of modern technology and how it allows us to find and communicate with one another despite physical distance.  Thank you, Laszlo! Black Forest Clock

Remarkably, there appears to have been little repair work done to the movement of this clock. All the wheels and bushings appear to be original and there are no indications of any solder work.

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New Haven OG clock. ca 1870.

Weight driven, 30-hour, time and strike New Haven OG clock.

New Haven OG clock. ca 1870.

New Haven OG clock. ca 1870.

These clocks were exported in vast quantities to England from the United States in the 1800s. Many are now finding their way back through estate sales and lots sold for export to auction houses in the States.

There is a market for these clocks in the US more so than in England. Personally, I think England is getting the better deal out of this exchange……not the most attractive clocks in the world!!

Britain v. USA

British clocks are widely regarded as some of the finest clocks made. There were numerous clockmakers manufacturing fine handmade time-pieces in Britain throughout the nineteenth century. However, there was never a company mass-producing clocks for the masses in Britain and many US clock companies saw an opportunity to export cheap clocks for the working classes.

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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!).

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