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Solar Brand Clock
Solar Brand Clock  

Solar Brand Clock
Solar Brand Clock  
Hi, John!  Got another clock question for you.  Just bought a Solar brand Anniverary Clock made in Germany.  Everything appears to be clean and intact but the pendulum stops rotating after about a minute.  I've made sure that the clock is level by adjusting the screws on the legs of the clock and the pendulum is hanging directly over the lock hole in the base of the clock.  The clock seems to be fully wound (key met resistance when I started to wind, so I'm assuming it's fully wound).  Any ideas as to what else I can try to get the pendulum to rotate?

Answer
Jeff, I have never heard of the "Solar" brand name, but that's not unusual in that different small clock companies would have a number of clocks made for them with their name on them.  There were only a couple of manufacturers of these movements since the middle of the 1900's, Kundo and Schatz.  As far as I know, neither of these companies are actively manufacturing these clocks at this time.  The anniversary clocks available now are the battery types.

Anniversary clocks are very delicate in the makeup of their parts and the adjustments.  Many clockmakers will not work on them because they don't have the proper books or experience.  And then when the customer takes them home, they are not set up correctly and/or bumped enough to knock them out of order.  As the clock mechanism runs so slow, we almost never have to replace moving parts.  The problems are usually associated with the suspension spring, and it has to be of the correct size and material.  They vary in thicknesses of one ten thousandth of an inch.   We have to use setup charts for assembling a suspension spring assembly with the upper and lower blocks and the fork.  Then we use a special tool used to bring the movement into an even beat.  To get it running, a clockmaker would disassemble the complete movement, clean with the proper solutions, reassemble and use the proper lubricants and adjust.  Then sometimes they still don't work and we have to start all over again, trying to diagnose the problem.

If I could suggest anything for you to do I surely would.  But you have done everything that an anniversary clock owner should do.  Sorry I did not have a better answer for you.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

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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)

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