You are here:

Clocks, Watches/OldTempus Fugitive grandfather clock

Advertisement


Question
Hello John,
I happen to see an old post from 2006 where a person was having problem similar to mine, so I hope you can help. This old grandfather clock was left to us when my wife's dad passed, so it means a lot to us. One day I came home and my wife told me she had tried to reset the clock and it stopped working. Like the other person she had pulled to weights up as far as she could. I had thought they were jammed also, after getting it to run the chains down a bit I tried a few things. The pendulum would swing for about a minute and stop. I took the pendulum off and it ran very fast, but it stays running until you stop it. I tried placing the pendulum back on and it did the same thing, ran for a bit and stopped.
Not sure what to try next, I saw where you had asked the last person for info off the name plate. I look all around the clock and it doesn't have a name plate that I could find anyway. I have been part of this family for the last 21 years so I know it's at least that old. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to hearing from you if possible, thank you very much.
ToddbS Olson

Answer
Todd, a couple of things here.  First, the "Tempus Fugit" is not the brand of clock.  It is globe which is on most clock arch dials in place of the moving moon dial with that phrase on it.  It is Latin for "Time Flies".  The clock movement is not on a name plate, but on the back of the movement plate itself.  That is the terminology for the front and back plates which make up the body of the movement itself.  Information on the plate would help identify it.   A clock will often run with the pendulum off, but that is not the problem.  The most likely problem is that the clock is out of beat, due to the the pendulum being bumped.  Listen for the even tick tock which would indicate it being "in beat".  It should go, tick....tock....tick....tock.  If it goes, tick..tock......tick..tock, it is out of beat and will eventually stop, how long until depends on how much it is out of beat.  The hanger on which the pendulum hangs can be slipped slightly to the left or right past the stopping point you feel when gently moving the hanger from right to left.  Try this and if it doesn't work get back with me.  When you do, it would help if you replied to my clock shop email address below and send a clear photo of the back of the movement.  I can then explain further.

John Newman
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.