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Clocks, Watches/forestville mantel clock


QUESTION: i have a forestville mantel clock its got three windup holes on face works great but it keeps gaining 10 minutes in 7 days can i somehow adjust something so it doesnt gain on me please inform me as to what i can do thanks

ANSWER: Lawrence, I will need the model of the movement to determine the type of regulator.  I think that Forestville used Hermle movements.  If you will look at the back of the movement and give me the information you find, I can tell you how it is regulated.

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

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QUESTION: 340-020 fhs Germany with 80 on top of the fhs

ANSWER: Your clock movement was made for Forestville by Hermle in 1980 and has a balance assembly instead of a pendulum for regulation.  It is located at the top center of the movement looking from the back.  Yours is probably an earlier floating balance, but could be a later balance wheel type.  Either type can be adjusted, but they can also have gummy lubricants or worn parts which would reduce the swing of the wheel and actually cause the clock to run fast.  I will give you instructions on both types, and if the adjustment doesn't help, the clock needs to be taken to a clockmaker who is experienced in these balance assemblies. Here are the adjustments:

Floating balance.  The floating balance can be identified by having a vertical spiral spring,  The actual balance wheel has a three-pronged part on top of it.  CAREFULLY hold the wheel with one hand and use something like a small screwdriver to rotate the prong part clockwise.  This will slow the speed.  It can be adjusted back and forth until the regulation is within a few minutes a week.  Sometimes it might be right on or can be adjusted a little more.

Balance wheel.  The balance wheel has a horizontal hairspring like a watch.  It is adjusted by turning a small threaded post with a slot in it using a small screwdriver.  The threaded post is located at the upper right portion of the balance wheel assembly.  One complete turn of the screw clockwise will slow the clock down one minute per day.  This would get it pretty close.  You can then turn it partial turns to fine tune it.  

On both adjustments the clock will have to be monitored maybe once a day to see if the adjustment is correct.  The balance wheel was used in place of the floating balance due to the supplying factory closing down, which is a rather long but interesting story.  The balance wheel is a little more difficult to adjust and keep in adjustment.  Let me know how it works out and if you have any more questions get back with me.

John Newman  

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QUESTION: John men has the vertical spring but I'm wondering now do I have to take movement out I see spring on top but no way I can get up there

If the floating balance cannot be accessed while the movement is in the case, then the movement would have to be removed.  You would need to support the movement in a manner that it would run with the hands on so you could see the results of your adjustment before putting it back in the case.

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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