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Clocks, Watches/Emperor Movement 301M


I have an Emperor Clock I assembled from a kit I bought around 1983 or 1984. It has a 301M movement. It started skipping time and sometimes stopping altogether. I removed the movement and inspected it and saw that the gear that is on the center shaft directly behind the face and meshing with the MD Dial Gear (Bottom) had worn and/or missing teeth. I suspect this is a result of turning the hands too vigorously to reset the time. I would like to buy that gear (maybe two of them) and attempt to replace it myself. If I knew for sure a repairman had the gear I might consider having the movement cleaned, oiled and repaired. I talked to a local clocksmith but he wasn't sure if he could get the gear. I don't want to take the movement there if he can't get the part.

Urgos UW03...
Urgos UW03...  
Harold, there are a couple of things here that we need to address.  The minute shaft, which slips as you set the time, should eliminate any damage being done by resetting the time.  So I do not suspect that as being the cause.  The Emperor 301M was manufactured by Urgos (now out of business) and is a triple chime chain driven model.  

I have never seen teeth on these gears (we call them wheels) that have been excessively worn or missing.  However there was an inherent problem with this movement that allowed excessive bushing (hole in the plate) wear on the motion works arbor (shaft).  The wheels would jam and stop the clock.  The motion works is the wheel that is just to the left of the center wheel.  I have attached a photo of the movement with a pencil pointing to the problem wheel/arbor.Its purpose is to drive the hour hand at one twelfth the rotation of the minute hand.  Because the motion works arbor is driven directly from the sprocket wheel on which the weight hangs, there is a lot of pressure on this bushing and it wears.  If it wears away from the other gears, it could slip and wear the teeth.  I have replaced some of these bushings only to have them wear again.  I have found a source for a very small ball bearing to replace the bushing and have had no further problems.  But your worn and missing teeth could be a result of a completely different cause.  I'm just thinking that since the problem is in the same area as the one I described, there might be a connection.  Also, I am not sure about the "MD Dial Gear (Bottom)" that you describe.  Emperor used two types of moon dial drive systems, one with a cam on the hour tube that would activate a lever to advance the moon dial.  The other had a gear on the hour tube that would mesh with a gear on the moon dial at the upper right (looking from the front.)   All of this is based on the model I am describing.  I could have missed something here.  Let me know if yours is different.  We might be able to exchange photos and have a better view of what is going on.

One more point, to do any work, it would be best to know what is actually happening.  Wheels usually do not wear in the way you are describing unless there is a problem up the line.  So replacing the wheel would not fix it, as it would just wear the same as the original.  If the problem is fixed, the one wheel would last a long time.  So you would not have to obtain more than the one.  If you will consider what I have explained and see if there might be some additional information you would have, let me know.  Also would it be possible to send me some clear photos of the problem area and the worn and missing teeth?  If you will, send them to my email address below and I can check them out. I will be out of town tomorrow, but I will have my laptop with me and can reply to you.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

(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.)

I just received an error msg that this answer did not go through successfully, so not being sure, I will send it again.  

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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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