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Antique Clocks/Elgin Quartz Anniversary Mantel clock, made in Japan


QUESTION: When the battery for the chimes needed to be replaced, the chimes go crazy. We replaced the battery, but it still doesn't chime correctly. Yesterday I put in an Alkaline AA battery and at the top of the hour it started chiming and continued for the next 15 minutes. It was given to us in the mid 70's and I no longer have the manual. An AA battery fits, but it is correct? What do you recommend to correct this?  Thanks

ANSWER: I have one of these clocks and I have never had it chime for 15 minutes after the battery was replaced. After it settles down, does it chime in some kind of reasonable sequence?? Mine has to be synchronized each time the battery is replaced. I do this by setting the clock to a few minutes after 12:00 then insert the battery. I then turn the hands to the correct time stopping shortly after each hour for the chime cycle to end. I generally do this in the afternoon as this requires less turning and waiting.

If there is something wrong with the movement there is not much you can do as these use integrated circuits which I do not believe are available. Also, fairly elaborate multiple pin soldering equipment is used to replace these devices. A company called Merritts ( has replacement movements.

As far as I know all of these electronic clocks use standard sized batteries. (AA, C or D, whichever fits).

I will be waiting for your response to my question and reply to you at that time.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No change. At the top of the hour the chimes start, but not the normal individual chimes. Its a continuous sound, like something is catching in the system, and it won't stop until the minute hand reaches the 15 minute mark, and then it shuts off.  

Volume is low too. I have to set it past the halfway spot, closer to maximum, just to hear it.

Now here's an observation that I didn't tell you about, since I really didn't notice it until now. When the minute hand is at 12, you would expect the hour hand to be on the hour, but its not. Its halfway between the hours.

I think we'll remove the battery and continue to use the clock function, however, I do have another question for you. If you were to chose a new (similar) clock, what company would you chose?     

Thank you very much for your instructions and quick response. A lot quicker than I anticipated. Again thanks.

It sounds like a problem with the electronics that operates the chime loud speaker. The best solution for this would be to replace the movement. I just got a supplement to Merritts ( catalog and they have dual chime movements for $28. each. This is for clocks which do not have a visible pendulum. These movements mount on the dial via 3/8 threaded hand shaft. They have one for dials up to 5/16" thick and one for dials up to 3/4" thick. If you want to see the advertisement simply e-mail me at  Possibly you could access it yourself. Here is the website - They do not give any details about which hands should be used on these movements. These movements are made by Seiko who also built my clock. They make many novelty clocks including that chirp like birds, and play Christmas carols.

When I got my Seiko it would not properly chime. I found the problem to be caused by a form of mis alignment of the chime contacts with the trip cam. This was a kind of tricky thing to repair but I was able to get it to work properly. I purchased it at an estate sale because it did not work properly. I have set the volume control about 1/3 of the way up as it is very loud when turned up too high. If yours is not making enough sound it is probably an electronic problem. Although, the loud speaker could be bad. You could try connecting a replacement speaker with an impedance between 2 ohms and 8 ohms across the clocks own loud speaker and see if this works better.

My clock trips the chime only on the hour. It has two sets of contacts. One set cocks the chime 5 or 10 minutes before the hour - the other trips the chime on the hour. After it has chimed the movement sounds the hour by means of the strike function. The electronics of the clock then waits 15 minutes and chimes the 1/4 hour, 15 minutes later the half hour and after an additional 15 minutes the 3/4 hour. The hands have nothing to do with the quarter, half and 3/4 hour chime functions.

I do not really know how to recommend what new clock would be the best to buy, my Seiko did develop this problem but I know nothing of how it was used or treated before I got it. I know others who have Seiko clocks and have had them for many years with no problems with them.
Mine is somewhat difficult to set after the battery has been removed as the chime must be synchronized with the hands. Unfortunately, I have no booklet explaining how this is done and have to figure it out for myself each time I change the battery.

I have found clocks where the time is set by turning the minute hand often have a second hand which does not point to the hour or sometimes the correct hour. This is generally caused by bumping the hour hand while setting the minute hand. All clocks that I am familiar with have hour hands that are driven simply by friction with the hour hand sleeve, thus they can be turned to the proper position. sometimes it is a good idea to take two fingernails and push on the hour hand so it is tighter on the tapered sleeve.

I prefer to make my response as quickly as I receive the question so I don't forget to reply.  

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Tom Williams


I can not think of any questions I cannot answer in regard to repairing antique clocks or radios. However, I am sure there are a few I have not heard and may not be able to answer. If I cannot, I will say so. I have been repairing them since I was a young child.


My experience includes repairing CooKoo clocks, Westminsters, BimBam, almost all antique clocks. I do a bit of repair on battery clocks where the value is sufficient to warrant working on them. I also repair antique (tube type) radios - all makes.

Indiana Historical Radio Society, Illinois Valley Antique Car Club, Military Vehicle Preservation Association

BEE from Cleveland State University

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Four patents.

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