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Clocks, Watches/Grandfather clock minute hand progress


I recently bought a 1980's Ridgeway clock with a UW 66005 movement. I have no idea on its history.  Initially it ran really fast, like 67 beats per minute, gaining hours per day, so I concluded it had the wrong length pendulum. So I extended the pendulum by about 4 inches and now it beats exactly 60 per minute and the second hand stays synchronized with other clocks all day long.

But the minute hand loses about 4 minutes per hour. I am surprised because I thought the gears' teeth mathematically took care of it all and unless teeth were missing, all was good. I have noticed there is a slip gear on the minute hand shaft that isolates it from the escapement mechanism while setting the clock. Is it possible it is slipping an not permitting the minute hand from getting it's full push every second, thus not making the full trip around in an hour?

As a point of interest, when I first got this clock when I moved the minute hand, the second hand would spin around quickly. It no longer does that.

I originally thought the hand was falling back (from gravity) as it climbed from 30 to 60 minutes, but it loses time equally between 0 and 30 minutes and between 30 and 60 minutes.

Chiming still seems synched with he minute hands, (eg when it points to 15, 30 45) so the entire mechanism is failing to advance.

Any ideas?

Barry, Urgos has gone out of business, but Hermle has bought the Urgos tooling and parts.  They are building a limited number Urgos movements. The UW6605 does not appear in my timer reference, but let's assume it is 3600 beats per hour or 60 per minute.  I use a precision timer to check the beats per hour of a clock.  I'm not sure what reference you are using, but I would be concerned with the time error.  You are telling me that the clock is running 4 minutes per hour slow.  You are correct about the slip mechanism as it allows the clock to be set by the hands without affecting the running of the movement.  When you say the second hand spins around quickly when the minute hand is turned, it could be that the verge (the part that rocks back and forth) is not properly adjusted for the proper depth on the escape wheel and is skipping.  If this happened during normal running, the hands would move too fast.  The conditions you have described are varied and I am not sure about the problem.  The way the clock functions is for the power to be transferred to the hands from the weight wheel (gear) through the gear train to the centershaft on which the minute hand is attached.  The regulation or timing is controlled by the escape wheel.  The hour hand is driven by an intermediate gear connected to the minute hand.

My suggestion is to do the following.  Set the clock to the correct time at the top of an hour and make sure the minute hand is pointing to the 12 and the hour hand is accurately pointing to the hour.  Using another accurate clock for reference, run it for a certain time period, such as four hours.  At an even hour on your clock, note the error, if any, of the minute hand as compared to the reference clock.  Also check to see if the hour hand is pointing right to the hour.  If it is not, then there is a problem within the gear meshing between the minute and hour hands.  Let me know.  It is possible you will have to have an experienced clockmaker look at it, but get back with me on the results first.

I apologize for the delay in my answer, but for some reason it did not send.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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John Newman


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.


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.

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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