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Clocks, Watches/Hermle 341-20 Chime


Hi, I recently started dealing with clock for hobby. The one I just cleaned and  reassembled is not chiming. I found that the "star" cam is loose on the minute shaft. If a turn it manually chime sequence and strike work fine. Is there any way to fasted the cam on the shaft without re open the movement?

Thanks in advance,

Hi, Andrea.  It always encourages us when we hear of someone starting in clock repair.  I can give you some ides on books, information and training as you go along.  One of the most important things to know about clockmaking is to understand the proper way to service a clock.  One of the foremost rules is that you want to restore the clock to the original configuration and not to do anything that cannot be reversed.  There are MANY variations to this as you will find as you advance into clock restoration.  When you have any questions or need any advice, I will be glad to answer or find the answer for you.  My shop email address is below.  

The movement you have would probably be a 341-020.  All numbers have a meaning in describing the movement. I have had very few star cams loosen, but it does happen.  Did you remove it when you disassembled the movement?  When I break down a movement I normally don't remove the star cam because it is a press fit and sometimes it will loosen when removed and replaced.  The proper way to repair this is to remove the surrounding gears and levers so you can get to the star cam and determine why and where it is slipping.  If the star slipping on the gear, it could be staked back on tightly.  If the gear slipping on the minute shaft it would have to be determined if the gear of the shaft has a problem.  It would probably be the gear.  It could be staked or even secured with something like super glue or a light solder job.  Some clockmakers will frown on this, but you have a modern clock that does not have much antique or collectable value.  There are many new products that we use that were not around when some of the old clocks were made.  But if used correctly, they do a good job.  Remember to align the star on the minute shaft so the minute hand will point to the hour or quarter when it trips.  The minute hand can be slipped on its' bushing for final alignment.  On soldering, the idea is to clean the joints and flux where the solder will flow.  Use a good hot soldering iron or torch and heat the material so the solder flows in.  Not too much.  And don't leave the heat on too much as it will affect the brass and cause it to become brittle.  The less solder that shows after the job the better.  Then clean the part thoroughly to avoid corrosion later on.   To do this properly would be to.  It could be super glued, but it should be tested for holding reliably.  The same rules apply to using super glue in that the joint must be clean and the star aligned properly.  

If you have a clock supply house, they could have the star cam/gear in stock.

One final word, and that is that you will get more experience if you have to break the movement down again.  The more you do it the more experienced you become and it goes much faster.  And you learn something new each time.  One is to check EVERYTHING that could wrong before it goes back to together.  I have been in this business for many years and just this week I had to break a movement down because I did not check one adjustment.  8>(

Let me know how it goes, and good luck!  Shop email address 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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