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Clocks, Watches/New Haven clock strikes 5 minutes late


QUESTION: I have a New Haven Tambour 50 which runs fine (keeps time) except one thing - it chimes 5 minutes after the half or hour.  Is this something that can be adjusted to be closer to the hour?  Also if you have an idea how old it is, it would be appreciated.  Thanks,

ANSWER: Dave, I am not sure about the date of the model 50, but will see if I can find anything on it when I return to my shop tomorrow.  If it is one of the older clocks, pre-WWII, the fix for this problem usually requires disassembling the movement to get to the mechanism on the inside.  If it is a later clock with a bushing on the minute hand, the bushing can be slipped.  Once we determine the type, I can better assist you.  I will get back with  you.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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


Have you had a chance to determine the type of clock?

thanks very much,

Dave, I have exhausted my resources and looked at about 200 New Haven mantel clocks.  I did not find a #50.  The closest was a #56 and it is the type that has the fixed minute hand hole. Since it was made in the same era and a little earlier than the #56, it might have the minute hand with a hole in the hand.  The hole is probably an "I" hole, meaning that it is a slot with rounded ends.  It could possibly be a "square" hole.  This movement would probably require disassembly to make this adjustment.  However, some types can be adjusted without the disassembly.  The more modern type, usually starting about the time of the Westminster chime versions (3 winding holes in the face) had a bushing on the minute hand that can usually be slipped so the hand is pointing to the hour when it strikes.  You can check the minute hand to see which type it is. If you have any more questions or want to send me a photo of the hand and front of the clock, my shop email is shown below.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

(Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis
other than Allexperts follow ups.)

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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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