Clocks, Watches/forestville


my wife has a Foestville mantle clock handed down to her, it has been in storage for some time. I wound it up but it runs slow, it came with original setting/adjustment instuctions, I have adjusted the + needle all the way up but with no luck. the info on the door is 1/41/1, I assume the date and the stamp on the works is 340-020. any ideas?

James, I apologize for the delay in my answer.  My local Internet service was down over the weekend and I did not receive all of my emails on time.  

First I am not familiar with the numbers 1/41/1 you gave me, as different manufacturers use their own code numbers on their clocks.  Your movement was manufactured for Forestville by Hermle.  The date code of manufacture would be the first two numerals on the first line of the information found on the lower right side of the back movement plate.  For instance, "83' Would indicate it was manufactured in 1983.  Hermle change their coding in 1988, starting with the alpha character, "A".  "B" would be 1989, "C" would be 1990, etc.  

From your description of adjusting the needle all the way up, but that could be a platform balance assembly, which is attached to the outside of the back plate of the movement and about the size of a postage stamp.  I don't think Hermle made many of these. Or it could be an internal balance assembly such as an earlier floating balance, with a vertical spiral spring.  The later ones used a horizontal balance wheel.  If the movement has been in storage for a while with no service in the last 7 to 10 years, It probably needs servicing to clean, lubricate, inspect and adjust or repair any parts.  If you have adjusted it all the way to positive and it still runs slow, it would most likely need this service.  If you don't know if any clock shops in your area, let me know your area and I'll see if there are any of my Internet Clocksmith members near you.  Sorry I don't have an easy fix for you.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
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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