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Clocks, Watches/Clock keep on stopping


Hi John. i have recently inherited a grandfathers clock. It was transported by a well known company, but was unfortunately damaged. It was transported lying on it's back with the right hand side weight still attached. The pendulum was removed. i tried to get it going, but no luck. Closer inspection revealed that the top spring leave which is attached to the pendulum driving mechanism was broken. The transport company send a watch repairer to fix it. The clock now runs for 3 to 4 minutes and then stops. The weights are in the correct position. The repairer did spray some lubricant on the clock works. Name on the back plate: 76 Hermle no 101 juwels. 461-053

Can you please assist?

Chris, there were a few mistakes made with your clock.  First, a clock should never be moved without removing the weights and pendulum.  At some time the suspension spring was broken.  It could have been when the pendulum was removed or replaced.  Or it could be that it was broken before the move.  That is an inexpensive issue.  If the pendulum is swinging for ten minutes or less, it can be doing so under it's own momentum, as the clock might not be running at all.  One of the rules in clockmaking is that spraying a clock with something is against all good practices.  As the lubricant (if it was a lubricant) is sprayed over all parts, they collect dust and foreign matter, and it also pulls the lubricants in the proper places out and renders the pivots and bushings, etc, dry.  In physics it is know as transfer by surface tension.  If it was something like WD-40, the clock will have to be completely dismantled and cleaned multiple times to eliminate all traces of the substance.  It will contaminate our cleaning fluids when immersed in them.  I'm surprised that even a watchmaker would spray a clock.  Ask him if he fixes watches by spraying something on it.  And I always have to say that I use WD-40 to solve many problems and preserve metals, but clocks is not one of them.  From your information, your clock movement was made by Hermle in 1976 and it has no (0) Jewels.  The 461 is an 8-day Westminster chime chain driven movement.  I represent moving companies in my area and service claims for shipping damage. I have taken a few calls that "inexperienced  clockmakers" have set up and the companies have always made it good.   I would certainly insist that the company that was responsible for moving your clock work with you and have it repaired properly.  But be prepared to answer some questions concerning if the clock was running properly before the move.  An experienced clockmaker should be able to tell if the clock was not running because of a previous condition or if something was damaged during the move.  I hope this helps a little and if you have any more questions, get back with me.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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