You are here:

Clocks, Watches/Removing clock hands


QUESTION: I have a Seth Thomas Westminster wall clock with a Hermle quartz chime/pendelum battery movement (model 2215)that I am trying to replace.  However, I can't get the hands off! The hands are ultimately held by a brass button which can be depressed slightly and turned but will not "unscrew."  There is a smaller, cylindrical tube the top button shaft goes through that I was able to unscrew while depressing the top button (see photo).  However, while this smaller fastener is now loose, I still can't release or unscrew the top button.  Thanks!

ANSWER: Steve, under normal conditions, the hands on the 2215 are rather easy to remove.  I'm not sure what the brass button is that you are referring to.  That could be the center portion of a seconds hand and the hand has been broken off.  I have also seen the plug as you describe attached to the second hand shaft that is used for decoration.  To remove it, just pull it straight out.  Then the small round knurled nut is unscrewed to remove the minute hand.  The hour hand is a friction fit and is pulled off.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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

Clock hand closeup
Clock hand closeup  
QUESTION: Thanks John.  Did you see the image I attached to the original question?  I will reattach it here.  It shows what I called the brass button and knurled nut below it.  The knurled nut has been unscrewed and is loose.  I have tried pulling the top button/nut straight off but did not want to pull too hard but try again if that's what you suggest.

The brass button pulls straight off, then unscrew the round nut, remove the minute hand and pull the hour hand off. Then mount the new movement and put the hands on in reverse as you took them off.  The new movement should have a cap nut without a hole in it.  You can use it in place of the round nut with the hole in it and the brass button.  There should be instructions with the movement on how to set the hands.  I will not be able to answer any more questions after tonight, as I will be traveling and be signed out on vacation.

John Newman  

Clocks, Watches

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2017 All rights reserved.