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Clocks, Watches/ansonia gold medallion wall clock Model 645



Can you tell me the purpose for each of the three wind holes for a Ansonia Gold Medallion wall clock?  I'm trying troubleshoot a problem I'm experiencing.


ANSWER: Richard, I will be glad to identify the winding holes. I also will be more than willing to help you troubleshoot the problem if you will explain it to me.  The reason I mention this is that sometimes clock owners attempt to troubleshoot problems and dismantle the clock, which if not done properly, can result in some damage.  So let me know if you don't resolve the problem before taking anything apart.  

I am assuming your clock is from the Ansonia Company (now defunct) of Lynnwood, Washington.  This was the third generation of Ansonia companies, the first being in the New York area around the turn of the century (1900), which sold out to a Russian company (now defunct) and the Washington company produced clocks up until they closed. If it is from that company, the movement was most likely made by Hermle with Ansonia's name on the back of the movement. It is probably a 1051-20 38cm or something like that.  That information is found on the back plate of the movement.  If you do see that "information, the top line should have a manufacture date code in either two numerals, like "87 for 1987, changing to alpha characters in 1988 like "A" for 1988, "B" for 1989, etc.

So, to answer your specific question, the three winding holes are for winding the mainsprings of the clock, each having a different function.  The left on is for the strike, the center one is for the time (running of the clock) and the right one is for the chime.  They are all wound in the clockwise direction.  

Let me know how it goes.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Located in Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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QUESTION: I have an Ansonia Gold Medallion wall clock model 645 that we have enjoyed for years.  It suddenly stopped chiming, my wife who has been its caretaker thinks she may have wound the chime key too tight, not sure.  I remove the clock from the case and took a look and saw that one of the butterfly wheels began to move and the chime hammers began to strike.  The second butterfly wheel also moved,, but only for a short time and then stopped. I thought that maybe the problem was solved.  I replaced the clock mechanism back into the case.  Sure enough the clock began chiming, but much to my surprise the clock song chime would not stop and the chime did not strike the hour, hr. 1/2 Hr. or the hr.  Do you have any clues on what might be the problem?  Is it fixable, what is a reasonable price for repair?



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ANSWER: Richard, the general rule on clock maintenance is that modern production, and most clocks should be serviced every 7 to 10 years.  Servicing includes removing the movement from the case, breaking it down, cleaning the parts, inspecting and repairing or replacing any worn or broken parts.  Then is is reassembled, oiled, adjusted, timed and tested.  If this is not done in a regular maintenance schedule, the oils will become old and gummy and/or parts can wear.  Usually the first symptom is that the chimes start slowing down and failing.  Of course the strike will not function if the chime doesn't go through the hour chime cycle.  It sounds like this might be the case with your clock, particularly the way you describe the butterfly (fan governor) slowing down and stopping.  

As far as overwinding, a clock can be "overwound" only if the key is bent or something in the movement snaps or breaks.  So, overwinding is not the cause of a clock malfunctioning.  It should definitely be fixable.  When I run across this with a customer and they ask me if it is worth fixing, I tell them that I will give an estimate and then they can decide if it is "worth fixing" or not.  If there are no badly worn parts, it would need a cleaning and oiling.  Prices vary greatly over different parts of the country.  I have heard of this service varying from around $100 to $350.  If the movement needed to be replaced, the cost of a replacement would be around $365 and up, installed would be a little more.  Because of the movement having side hammers in a tightly enclosed area, it would probably need to be done by an experienced clockmaker to aligh the chime hammers.  If it does need servicing and you don't know of a clockmaker near you, let me know in what area you live and I'll see if I have any clockmakers on my list near you.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Located in Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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

QUESTION: I live in Carmel, NY 10512, If you know of a qualified clock repair company in my area I would appreciate their name and number.  They must be someone with Ansonia clock experience.  I appreciate the information supplied

I will check my list of clockmakers in my Clocksmiths group when I return to my shop Monday or Tuesday.    The name of the company that made the case is Ansonia, but the movement was manufactured by Hermle and is a very common movement. Therefore any experienced clockmaker would be able to work on your clock.  This is assuming I have identified the clock properly from the information you gave me, but have not confirmed.

John Newman  

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John Newman


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.


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.

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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