Clocks, Watches/Lava 31 day clock


The pendulum will not stay moving.  The clock keeps time and the chimes work but without the pendulum it is useless.  Is there a replacement for the clock works that I can get or if you could tell me how to fix it.  I know it is a cheap clock but it is the last thing my father gave me right before he passed.  
Thank you


Betty, I apologize for the delay in my answer.

I am not familiar with the "Lava" brand, but most 31 day clocks are Asian mechanical (wind up) and usually shelf clocks.  Let's assume that is what it is.  Let me know if I have not identified it correctly.  

I am not sure about what is happening, but the pendulum is the regulator, meaning that it controls the timing of the clock.  If it is not swinging, the clock will not keep time. So, I'm not sure what you mean by it "keeps time" if the pendulum will not keep swinging. The clock should have two winding holes in the face, the one on the right is for the time and the one on the left is for the strike.  Make sure both mainsprings are wound up.  I cannot tell you which way to wind each, as the direction does vary with different brands.  When you start swinging the pendulum, it should swing with an even beat, i.e., "tick....tock....tick....tock".  If it goes "tick..tock......tick..tock", it is out of beat and will stop.  If it is out of beat, shim up one side of the clock or the other to get an even beat.  If it is even an still stops, there is something mechanically wrong with the movement.

At this point let me say that some of the Asian clocks are made with materials that wear easily, and sometimes there is a lot of effort that has to go into restoring them to a reliable running condition.  So, to diagnose it further, would it be possible for you to have the hands and dial removed and a clear picture taken of the movement so I can take a look at it?  It would be better to send it to my shop email address below.  There are a couple of options that we can consider in getting it to run.  Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find an exact replacement movement, so we will look at the options.  Also, do you know of any clockmakers near you?  If not, let me know the area in which you live and I'll check to see if any of my Internet Clocksmith Group members might be in your vicinity.

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

Note: Due to the backlog of work in my shop and my commitment to answering Allexperts questions and followups in a timely manner,  I cannot answer personal emails immediately.  

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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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