Clocks, Watches/advice required

Advertisement


Question
We inherited a Feintechnik 66 PL 40 H 3 clock and it will only work for approximately 1 hour before it stops its movement (the chains all stop movement too).   In your opinion would it be worth getting fixed.

Answer
Colin, from your description, it sounds like your clock might be a wall clock or possibly a smaller grandmother clock.  The weights power the clock, and if it isn't functioning, the weights will not move.  First check the beat of the clock.  Start the pendulum and listen for the tick tock.  It should be "in beat" or even like, tick....tock....tick....tock.  If it goes, tick..tock......tick..tock, it is out of beat and will stop.  It is very likely the crutch was slipped out of position while moving or when removing or reinstalling the pendulum for transporting.  The crutch is the vertical arm that comes out of the top back of the movement and loosely attached to the hanger.  The hanger is the vertical strip that hanges on the suspension spring and which the pendulum hangs.  I'm not sure about your clock, but most of this type can be adjusted by moving the crutch to one side or the other until it stops.  If it moves further one way than the other, it can be carefully slipped until it is even or you get an even beat.  Of course when you put the clock back in position near or on a wall, it might have to be reset.  If this doesn't work, you can reply to my shop email address below and include a clear photo of the back of the clock, I can check to see if everything is in order and further instruct you.

In answer to your original question, when a customer comes into the shop and asks me if their clock is worth fixing, I reply by telling them that I will give them an estimate on the repair or restoration and let them tell me if it is worth fixing.  It could be an inexpensive clock but with a lot of sentimental value or family history.  That would be up to you.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

Note concerning questions not related to Allexperts:  Because of my commitment to answering Allexperts questions within a prescribed time limit and the large backlog of clock work at my shop, I regret that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis, other than Allexperts follow up questions.  I will try to answer these emails as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.  

Clocks, Watches

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.