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Clocks, Watches/Diplomat Clock question


I have a diplomat clock that I picked up from an Auction everything seems to work fine on it except the chimes for the hours. If you're standing at the rear of the clock the left side chimes for the quarter hours which has eight hammers striking at different times. The right side has (4) hammers that should all strike at the same time. You can move them freely by hand because there is "NO" tension. My question is do you have any idea what could be causing this issue? Could this be a simple fix or something a little more complicated? I'm pretty handy when it comes to mechanical things but I thought if I could ask, it might be something simple that would'nt require me to pull it all apart. Thanks for your time!


Roy, let me rephrase this a little to help you.  Looking from the back of the clock, you are correct in that the chimes would be on the left side.  They chime the chosen melody (3 selections) on each quarter.  At the hour and the conclusion of the chime melody, the strike (right side) should strike out the hour.  I think what you are saying is that the strike is not working.  The "no tension" is not a problem.  The strike hammers sit at rest and are picked up (all four) by the strike lift cam and then dropped to count out the hour.  There are a few causes for the strike not working:

1.  There is a lever moved against the hammers to keep them from flopping around during transporting the clock.  

2.  There is a strike silence lever set to silent.

3.  The strike train (all the gears) is not being tripped by the chime levers.

4.  The strike train is moving but the hammers are not lifting.

5.  The hammers are lifting but not dropping enough to hit the strike rods.

The first two causes can be corrected by moving the levers.  Item numbers 3 through 5 require that the movement be adjusted.  You might be able to correct one or two of these. If you will look on the back of the movement and give me the information you find, I will be able to determine the the model and possibly instruct you on how to correct it. Other that that you might need to have an experienced clockmaker check it out.  Also check the weights.  The general rule is that if one weight is heavier than the other two equal (usually) ones, it would hang on the right (as you face the clock).  If one weight is lighter than the other two equal (usually) ones, it would hand on the left.  I will be able to tell you more when the model is determined.  One more thought, on chain or cable drive movements, make sure the chain or cable on the strike side (left as you face the clock) is not jammed.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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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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