You are here:

Clocks, Watches/Russian submarine clock balance


I have a Russian submarine clock.  It seems like the balance is not balanced or very loose. It's been oiled and when I tap it, it moves for a few seconds but it is very loose and unbalanced.  We have one clock repair person in town and there is a 2 year waiting list.  I would very much like some help.  Thank you.

Karen, welcome to the waiting list!  Trying to be a little funny here.  I have about a 1 year waiting list, myself.  There aren't many clockmakers around.  As far as the Russian submarine clock goes, it could be an authentic one or a reproduction.  Either way, it probably has an unusual balance wheel, probably what is called a platform escapement.  If it is loose, the balance staff pivot could be broken.  Unless a clockmaker is experienced in balance wheel repair, he would do as I do and send it to someone that specializes in restoring them.  There are some watchmakers that will do this.  One of the problems there is that the balance can be repaired, but there might be other problems with the clock a watchmaker would not want to work on.  But you can check.  Are there any near you?  If will let me know the area in California in which you live, we might have a member of our Internet Clocksmiths Group near you.  Let me know and I will check.  If you can, will you please reply to my clock shop email address below?  It will free up the limited number of questions I have in my Allexperts question queue.  Thanks.

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.  

Clocks, Watches

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2017 All rights reserved.