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Clocks, Watches/Emperor Grandfather Clock Model 101


I recently bought the above clock however in moving it the middle chain came completely off and the right one is not on correctly either.  I have the manual but I need a pic/diagram of how to tread the chains back on.  Can you help?

chain installation tool
chain installation too  
Megan, when you refer to the Model 101, I imagine you mean the movement, which is a Hermle 451-050 94 cm.  There are no published photos or diagrams on how to re-install the chains.  The left and right chains are relatively simple, the center rather difficult.  I'm not sure what you mean in that the right one is not on correctly.  Do you mean the tabs on the end of the chains are reversed, or is the chain jammed or not working?  If the tabs (one solid and the other with a ring or hook) are reversed, the easiest way to correct that is to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers and carefully twist the chain link that is attached to each tab so you can remove and switch the tabs.  If you need to install either of the outside chains on, it can be done from the back of the clock.  You can see the sprocket wheels sticking outside the movement plates.  Put the solid tab and chain over the sprocket.  With your finger, turn the sprocket wheel until the tab comes out of the bottom of the movement.  Looking from the back, the right wheel would turn counterclockwise and the left wheel would turn clockwise.  When the chain drops below the movement you can reach in from the front of the clock and pull it down to attach the weight.  Usually the movement has to be removed from the clock to install the center chain, but I have made a wire tool to thread the chain from the bottom.  The instructions I have written are as follows and I have included a photo of the wire tool:

The center chain is the most difficult to reinstall.  Most clockmakers will remove the movement from the case, turn the movement upside down to install the chains.  To eliminate this, I have developed a simple wire tool made from coat hanger wire to use to thread the chain back on the sprocket wheel.  First the pendulum and other weights have to be unhooked from the movement.  Then you have to remove the tab (not hook or eye) from the end of the chain.  This can be done by spreading the end chain link and removing that link and the tab from the chain.  Put them aside.  Now hook the last link of the chain on the wire tool and hold it on the wire tool to insert it up and slightly around the top of the sprocket wheel.  As you observed the rotation of the sprocket wheel, you will insert the wire and chain going up on the right side of the sprocket whee. This almost has to be done blindly, as you have to bend over sideways and backwards inside the clock.  I call it the back breaker method!  Once the chain is in position, you can use a small screwdriver or similar tool to turn the sprocket until the chain goes over the top, while the tool is slowly removed.  Then continue turning the sprocket until the chain end drops down far enough to grasp it and pull it through so you can reattach the tab and open link.

If the photo does not appear, send an email to my shop email address below and I'll reply with the photo.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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.  

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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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