Clocks, Watches/Clock stopped


I given a brand new Franz Hermle 791-081. It's been working great for over a year. I am always careful to not over wind.  All of a sudden, it just stopped working and when I try to wind it seems very tight like it's wound too tight. I have tried to activate the pendulem to hopefully ease off the tension but after many weeks of doing this, it still won't work. Any suggestions?

Cindy, generally, a clock cannot be wound too tight unless the key is bent or something breaks.  When a clock is wound all the way and it doesn't run, people think it has been "wound too tight", which really isn't the problem.  So we need to determine why it is not running.  The pendulum connects to an arm we call a hanger or leader.  When it moves back and forth it rocks the escapement and that is the tick tock we hear.  If the clock doesn't run it is usually because of a couple of reasons.  One is that there is some friction in the gears because of worn parts or gummy oil.  Being only a year old, I don't think this is the problem.  It could be that the escapement has slipped out of position and the clock is "out of beat".  If it in beat it will go, tick....tock....tick....tock.  If it is out of beat it will go, tick..tock......tick..tock.  To get it back in beat, do the following.  Set the clock up so it is relatively level.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Move the pendulum back and forth gently until you feel it stop.  It should move left and right equally. If not, it will be out of beat.  Let's say it moves too far to the right.  To correct this, push the pendulum/hanger to the left until it stops.  Then push slightly unit it until it slips a little.  Check for even movement, left to right.  If it seems okay, push the pendulum to start it.  If the beat is off the other way, reverse the procedure until it is even.  Some clocks have a sensitive adjustment, so it takes a while to get it right.  But try these things and let me know how it does.  If you cannot get it running, reply to my clock shop email address and we'll see what we can do further.  If you can, please include a clear photo of the back of the clock movement, showing the pendulum hanging parts.  Also, it will help free up the Allexperts question queue of which I have a limited number per day.

John Newman
Located in Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions
on a timely basis other than Allexperts follow
up questions.  

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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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