Clocks, Watches/Hemle Clock


I have a Hermle 451 053, 77, unjeweled  77  79 clock.  It only strikes one'oclock  and will not keep running.  I have leveled it.
I think it needs a spring and a  pendulum hook.  Also I made a pendulum for it.  It is in beat but will not keep going.  I paid $35.00 for it but when I see the cost of pendulums and movements   
for it they are very expensive.  I didn't realize it would cost so much.  Do you have any pictures of how the back of the movement is supposed to look with everything on it you could send?  Also how to fix and maybe where to get a better price on parts?  I know this is a lot but any help will be very much appreciated.   Thank you.

Ruth, there are are a lot of considerations here.  The restoring of your movement would depend on the condition it is in.  As far as your questions go, I would need to know a little more information.  On the back plate of the movement there should be a two digit number above the writing.  Since you gave me two numbers, 77 and 79, I'm not sure where they were, but they would be the last two digits of the year it was made.  If it is 77, the movement would have been made and be 35 years old.  If you will contact me at my shop email address below, I will send you a photo of the pendulum hanging configuration.  In the meantime I can give you a rundown on it.  There is a horizontal post at the top back of the movement.  A suspension spring is attached to it and a hanger (about 5-6" long) hangs from it and is loosely hooked to the crutch, a vertical arm that comes out of the top pack of the clock.  The pendulum has a top hook on it that attaches to the hanger.  I don't know about a better price on parts since I don't know what you have been quoted.  But I will give you the going rate when I see what you need.  

As far getting it fixed, a clockmaker would have to look at it and evaluate it to see what had to be done.  But I will answer your questions.  The strike problem most likely lies in the strike count mechanism which is called a rack and snail.  On the front of the movement there is a round plate on the hour tube called a snail (because it looks like one).  It has twelve sections, each being of a different level.  The highest one is for striking one time and the lowest is for twelve.  When the clock prepares to strike the rack (the curved piece that has teeth on it) drops down on the snail.  As the clock strikes, a pin (called the gathering pin) on a small cam on the left turns and lifts the rack one tooth at a time which counts the number of strikes.  After the last strike, a part called a rack hook drops down at the end of the rack and stops the strike motion.  A couple of things can cause it to strike only once.  One is that the pivot on the rack is gummy and binding, allowing the rack to drop only one tooth.  Another cause could be that the gathering pin is out of alignment and restricting the rack from dropping past the first tooth.  There could be other causes, but in my experience, these are the most common.

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 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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