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Clocks, Watches/Clock weight positions


QUESTION: Hi, say I've got a Howard Miller(358343 Serial Number) and while in transit to move it from one house to another the weights fell off and now I don't know where they go to put them back on.  Two of them weigh right at 12 pounds and one weighs 10 pounds.  I've tried them in different locations but I still cant get it to run now, and I'm pretty sure that the weights are just in the wrong places.  Can you possibly help me with this?  I really appreciate any and all advise that you can offer me.  Thank you so much!

ANSWER: Michael, the serial number will not really help me identify the clock, but the weight hanging is rather standard for most clocks.  The general rule is that if one weight is heavier than the two other equal  weights, the heavier weight will go in the right side (as you face the clock.)  If one weight is lighter than the other two equal weights, it will go on the left.  This is based on the requirement that the right weight powers the chime function in the clock, which requires more power.  The requirement for the center weight will vary as the size and weight of the pendulum.  A wood stick pendulum will require a standard weight for the time function, but if it is a lyre pendulum with a lot of metal and a large bob, it will require he heavier weight.

You mentioned that the weights fell off during the move.  When moving a clock the pendulum and weights must be removed and packed separately to keep from damaging the clock.  I suspect this is the case with your move.  If the pendulum wasn't removed, the suspension spring at the top was probably damaged or completely broken, which would keep the clock from running.  Or it could have gotten knocked out of beat.  Incidentally, the clock would run with either the 10 or 12 pound weights.  If you will send me a photo of the back of the movement in the clock showing the pendulum hanging arrangement, I will try to diagnose the problem and then get back with you.  My shop email address is below.  Also, look on the back plate of the movement and give me the information found there.  That will help.  Any other information like on stickers or labels, will probably not help, as the manufacturers did not always avail the public to their numbers.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
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.  

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

QUESTION: You were right, the suspension soring is completely broke off and is gone.  Do you sell those or how do I go about getting one.  The clock model number is: 610-160.  Again, I appreciate all your help.  Thank you so much!

Michael, as I explained in the above answer, the model of the clock does not necessarily indicate the model of the movement.  Clock companies can put different models of movements in the same case for various reasons.  If you will look on the back plate of the movement, you will see some stamped information.  Send me that information.  I probably have the suspension spring or can recommend some suppliers I use.  I also have some diagnostics I have written on a clock not running and information on installing the parts.  Please contact me at my shop email address I gave you above. That way we can discuss the details of doing this and it also helps free up the Allexperts question queue of which I have a limited number per day.  Thank you.

John Newman

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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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