Clocks, Watches/Key for wall clock

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Question
Hi, John,
I was winding my wall clock and the key broke.  It is a Waltham Regulator.  I can not find a socket or key to fit.  Do you know where I can get another?  I think it is brass.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Answer
Jim, the name Waltham Regulator indicates to me that it is probably an Asian 31 (or thereabouts) clock.  Most of their keys were the same, but some did vary.  Usually the keys were steel (most with black handles) because brass is not as strong and the 31 day clocks have very powerful mainsprings.  The only way to make sure that the key would fit would be to measure the distance across the flats of the winding arbor in the dial, which is sometimes rather difficult, and it should be measured in thousands of an inch such as 0.140". If it is too small it will not go on the winding arbor and if it is too big it will wear and or slip and can cause damage to the clock and injury to your hand.  The best way to get the right key it is to take it to a clockmaker and have it fitted.  Of course there is no clockmaker near you, you would have to order an assortment of keys and choose the correct on and send the others back.  If it comes to this and you can't measure the winding arbor flats or have a key fitted, get back with me at my shop email address below and I'll see if I can help you.

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

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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)

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