Clocks, Watches/aikosha clock

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QUESTION: I got an Aikosha 30 day clock. It appears to be a good clean clock. I don't know how to correctly wind or start the clock. I put the key in both key holes and it seems it is completely wound up but it wont start. I swing the pendulum and it wont go. What are the secrets? Thanks

ANSWER: Ted, I do not have any Aikosha clocks in my shop right now.  As the names the Asian companies used were often similar, I have an Eikeisha we have just finished repairing and is being tested. The movements might be similar in some aspects.

Are you turning the winding arbors in the correct direction? On my Eikeisha, the time winding arbor (on the right as you face the clock) turns counterclockwise, and the strike winding arbor on the left turns clockwise.  One test to verify the correct rotation is to insert the key and gently try turning one way and then the other.  One way should not turn at all and the other way it should give a little.  People often bring in a clock and say that someone just wound it too tight.  Very seldom is this the case with a clock.  To me, a clock is wound too tight if something in the winding mechanism has been broken or the key wing is bent. Normally what happens is that there is a problem with the clock running and it is wound up most of the way.  Since it doesn't run, it is wound a little more.  Then someone else comes a long and winds it to the last click.  Of course it still won't run.  If yours is wound all the way that is what could have happened.

If you swing the pendulum and you cannot hear the tick tock, there is something failing.  Oh, another thought. Try moving the minute hand clockwise past the hour and see if it strikes.  Let me know these things and well see if we can do anything else.  The clock might have to be taken to an experienced clockmaker.


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


Ted, I now have an Aikosha wall clock in my shop.  Both winding arbors wind in the counterclockwise direction.

John Newman

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

QUESTION: Yes, I found that out after reading your email. They both are wound tight (counter clockwise) It does chime when I go past the hour. But it still does not run. Nothing I need to do other than swing the pendulum to make it run? What does it cost (approximately)for a clock guy like your self to find out the problem? It not worth much money but Id hate to just throw it out.

Answer
Ted, It is sometimes difficult to find parts for these Asian clocks and we have to make them when the customer wants them repaired.  It could be that there is very little wrong with the clock and a simple fix could do it.  If it was costly, you would have to make the decision on whether to have it serviced or not.  I would be glad to discuss this with you.  Some of these Japanese clocks are of good quality, as is the Aikosha in my shop.  There are a few ways to go on these. If there are some major problems, we can probably repair them and sometimes we can find a good used replacement movement on an Online Auction site such as eBay. Either way can take time or expense.  The third way is something I do and that is to replace the movement with a high quality quartz chiming movement called the Quad.   We do this with low or medium quality clocks for customers that don't want the movements serviced or are at an age where they sometimes forget or don't have the strength to wind them.  When we finish with the conversion, one cannot tell the difference looking at the clock.  Often, if the customer desires, we pack up the old movement and give it to the customer, as the they might want to have it restored at a later time.   Then they can include the original movement when passing the clock down to relatives or selling them.  This helps retain any value the clock might have.  We can do this with no or very little modifications to the clock.  We don't talk sales, service or prices on Allexperts, but if you wanted to discuss the problem and some of the options, contact me at my clock shop email address below and we can make arrangements to talk by phone.  As far as diagnosing the problem, we do not charge for that unless it is a clock that has to be dismantled to determine the cause. We could go into more detail on the phone.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Located in 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.  

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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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