You are here:

Clocks, Watches/Emperor Clock with moondail

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hi
Clock in itself works well, about 25 years old and built by my Dad. Problem is that the hands stop working at various points in a twelve hour circle. The second hand is working the pendulum is swinging, but every few hours the minute hand stops moving. Have taken apart removed all old oil and reoiled, that is as far as my clockmaking skills go,. there appears to be no binding of the hands. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER: Chris, the symptoms shown on your clock can be caused by a number of things, including worn parts.  First I need a model number of the movement.  Give me all the information you can find on the back plate of the movement.  That will help me determine the details of the parts.  Does the clock keep ticking but the hands don't run, or does it stop alltogether?  When you say the hands are not binding do you mean front to rear?  Can you move the hour hand front to back and feel some play?  If it has not been pushed on far enough, the minute hand will bind it intermittently and stop the clock.  Also is the clock in beat with an even tick tock such as tick....tock....tick....tock?  If it goes tick..tock......tick..tock, it is out of beat and will eventually stop, depending on how much it is out of beat.  Than can be corrected by slipping the verge (the vertical arm that comes out of the top back of the movement). Let's start from there and see what we can find.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi
Model number is 501M and serial number 458883.
The clock has an even Tic - tock and the second hand is still rotating. The hour hand is on as far as it will go and there appears to be at least 3mm between hour and minute hands. My best guess is there is some wear to the drive wheel to the minute hand. I live in South Africa so if you reckon parts are required where can I get them from on line from a reliable supplier?

Many thanks

Chris

ANSWER: Chris, my records show that you have an Urgos 9-tube movement.  I cannot really diagnose a problem like this if I an not watching it run and checking each part individually.  There are many causes of a clock not running.  You are correct that there is some resistance between the sprocket wheel and the hands.  This is the basic initial assumption in clockmaking. But there can be binds in the chime lift levers, problems with the escape wheel, etc, etc.  If you found the part or combination of parts that were at fault, this movement is not being manufactured any more and used parts would have to be found.  Then the parts would have to be installed and adjusted.  Also, the plates might have to be rebushed and pivots reconditioned.  To guide you through the diagnostics would take a few days of hands-on instruction or a full fledged clock course.  What I am sorry to say is that it would probably require having an experienced clockmaker look at it.  Let me know if you find anything else that might be a problem.  I hate to just lit you go on this, but it does get complicated.  Oh, and one more thing, the tubular movements have their own unique problems which require more attention and diagnostics, particularly in chime trains.

John Newman  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Many thanks for the reply and do see my comments on ratings. The movement appears to be stopping at 9 and about 38 minutes on occasion, Being a retired dentist with nothing much to entertain myself and being an inveterate fiddler with any gadget I will try a reverse diagnostic with the movement on my bench, nothing ventured nothing gained. If all else fails I shall have to install a new movement as the case is perfect and a wonderful memory of my Dad. The striking part of the movement I have got working well and having no problems. Many thanks again for your help

Answer
Chris, thanks for your generous comments!  Your observation that indicates the movement is stopping at 9:38 is very helpful and maybe we can follow it a little more through diagnosing the problem.  If you will contact me at my email address below, we can discuss it further and even possibly look at some photos at the position of the stopping.  This also helps to free up the Allexperts question queue of which I have a limited number per day.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
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.