Clocks, Watches/Fast running clock

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Question
I have a Howard Millere Medford mantel clock that constantly speeds up.  I have the little speed regulating level on the slowest position, but it still gains about 15 minutes a day.  I had taken it to a repair shop, but the problem returned about a year later.  Is there anything I could do or adjust to slow it down?

Answer
Dan, I believe the movement in the Medford is a battery-powered quartz unit.  If I am not mistaken, the movement is made by another company for clock manufacturers such as Howard Miller.  If it is the one I am thinking of, a decision was made to discontinue that movement.  I now install a movement called the Quad, manufactured by another company, and it is the best I have seen yet and I have had no failures.  Very seldom do clock repair shops try to repair the quartz movements because the manufacturers do not supply parts or diagnostics, as the movements are considered throwaway products. If we attempt to repair one, the normal shop rates can soon reach or surpass the cost of replacing the movement.  As the timing of these movements is controlled by a quartz crystal, that part is usually very accurate until other parts of the movement fail, such as electronics or mechanical breakdown causing undue friction.  If you will reply to my clock shop email address below, I can discuss the sources of these replacement movements and the installation.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

(Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis
other than Allexperts follow ups.)

Dan, I was assuming that from catalog information that you had a battery powered quartz movement.  I might have been wrong.  It might be a mechanical wind-up.  Let me know.  Actually it would be helpful if you can send a photo of the back of the movement to my email address.

John Newman

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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