You are here:

Clocks, Watches/Waltham Chime clock

Advertisement


Question
This clock has 2 wind up keys.  Both the chime and the time are okay....except the time runs slightly SLOWER. It builds up over time.  Is there an adjustment to control the rate of the swing or the speed of the clock?

Answer
Larry, without further description of your clock I don't know whether it was manufactured by the early American company around the turn of the century (1900), or an Asian 31-day clock using that name.  However, the speed is controlled by the pendulum adjustment.  There should be a small round nut called the regulating nut at the bottom of the pendulum bob.  Basically, it is tightened to increase the rate of the clock and loosened to decrease the rate.  Make sure the bob is resting firmly on the rating nut after each adjustment.  Set the time of the clock using an accurate quartz clock or watch, or electronic time source.  Run it for 24 hours and note the error in time.  Since you did not tell me how slow it runs in a hour or day or week, I cannot tell you how much of an adjustment to make.  Tighten the nut a couple of turns, reset the time and check it again in another 24 hours.  Keep doing this until it is within a few seconds a day.  Note that it is common for mechanical clocks to have a few minutes error in a week's time.  Of course if it runs too fast, after the last adjustment, back if off 1/2 the amount you turned it in the last adjustment. One further way of describing which way to turn the regulating nut is what I call John's Right-hand Rule.  Hold your right hand out in front of you.  With your thumb pointed up curl your fingers and notice in which direction they curl.  Turn the rating nut in that direction and it will increase the speed.  Turn your hand over so your thumb turns down.  Now notice that your fingers curl in the opposite direction.  Turning the regulation nut in that direction and it will decrease in speed.  Thumb up is faster, thumb down is slower.

I hope this helps.


John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". 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. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 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.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. 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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.