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Clocks, Watches/200th Anniversary US Constitution Pendulum Clock


Someone gave me this clock, but they did not give me any instructions on how to wind it, how often to wind it, etc.  I need to know how to get this beautiful clock to start keeping time.

Thank You!

Sherrye, I have a feeling this is a wind up wall clock.  It could have been manufactured by any of a number of companies.  I usually need to know the manufacturer and model of the movement itself, but I can probably give you some general information.  If this doesn't work, get back with me.  If this is a 31-day (or around that type), it would be an Asian clock and run for one month between windings.  Other than that it would probably be an 8-day clock and would be wound once a week.  The Asian clocks usually have two winding arbors, one for the time (on the right side as you face the clock) and one on the left side for the strike.  As they varied in design, I cannot tell you which way to turn the key to wind the mainsprings.  First, the key should be a close fit, inserting easily and not wobbling more than around 5 degrees or maybe no looser than about 1/4 inch.  If the key does not do this it can be the wrong key and if it slips, can cause damage to the clock and personal injury.  The key needs to be a perfect fit.  When winding, do not hurry it.  Try the winding in one direction.  If it doesn't move at all try the other way.  Wind it until you feel an abrupt resistance.  A clock cannot be overwound unless someone really tries and breaks something.  When it is wound, start by swinging the pendulum.  If the tick tock is not even, it might have to be tilted one way or the other to obtain the even beat.  If not in beat it will eventually stop, depending on how just how much it is out of beat.  Good luck and if you have any more questions, get back with me.  Enjoy your clock!

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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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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