Grandfather clocks

Putting an 8 Day Deadbeat Grandfather Clock Movement into “Beat”

02.10.14

These instructions were written specifically for Hermle Grandfather Clocks, but should in general work with other high-end brands of mechanical grandfather clocks including Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.  When in doubt, consulting an expert grandfather clock technician in always a wise option, and we would highly recommend it.  Furthermore, we can only warrant these Grandfather Clock Instructions for what you have paid for reading them.

Pull down on upper leader and move to the left approximately 1 ½” and release. You will feel tension but this is normal.  It would not be unusual if one needed help in understanding what a leader means as it relates to a grandfather clock movement, and its associated pendulum.  On the back of the grandfather clock movement, one will see a horizontal post that has a suspension spring attached to it.  If that spring is broken, the grandfather clock will not run. You may want to purchase the grandfather clock parts yourself, which we would only recommend if you are something of a clock expert, or you may want to call in an expert grandfather clock technician local to you.

Your grandfather clock also has a pendulum leader (generally about 5-8 inches long).  The pendulum leader hooks on to the suspension spring and the grandfather clock’s pendulum hangs on to its bottom.  There is also a lever that comes out from the top of the grandfather clock movement, is angled down, and it either goes through, or around the pendulum leader.  This is what pushes the pendulum.  If this particular lever either binds with or is not in contact with the pendulum leader, the grandfather clock will not run.

Pull down once again and pull the leader back to the right approximately 1”, and then release it.  Gently pull down a shift from left to right, stopping each time to see if you have an even beat. Once you have an even beat you then will be able to place your pendulum back on your clock, and as long as it is in beat – with an even left to right sound – it should work fine.

Once you are able to begin getting your pendulum to “tick-tock” one will need to listen to see if it is an even sound.  If not it is not in beat, with a rhythmic and synchronous “tick-tock”, first gently stop the pendulum.  One will then need to gently pull down on the pendulum and pull to left a small amount and then start the grandfather clock’s pendulum, gently pushing it from left to right, and listen again for the smooth grandfather clocks beat.

We always welcome comments to improve any instructions.  If one is not clear about how to adjust your grandfather clock, it is always best to bring in a grandfather clocks expert to make any adjustments or repairs.

Grandfather Clock Repair

Grandfather Clocks Repair

Hermle Clocks History

12.30.13

Hermle Clocks North America

Welcome to Hermle Clocks’ History.  Hermle Clock builds beautiful clocks of all kinds, including grandfather clocks, floor clocks, anniversary clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks, mantle clocks, cuckoo clocks and specialty clocks including Telleriums and Astrolabiums.  Mechanical chime playing clock movements, as well as quartz operated movements, are one key specialty.

In 1977, Hermle Black Forest Clocks located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains manufactured and shipped its first
Hermle mechanical movement on US soil.  It was the beginning of how the modern era of the clock industry was going to proceed.  Hermle supplied many of the existing clock case goods manufacturers with its sought after German quality mechanisms. Many of Hermle Clocks customers received training of our expertise in the assembly of their case goods.  Naturally, in the early 1980′s, Hermle Clocks was asked to assemble our movements into our customers cases which then became a staple of our production line.

In 2002, we opened our doors to the clock retail industry with Hermle branded clocks, including Hermle grandfather clocks, being assembled in our factory in Amherst, Virginia, and a selection of German made Hermle clocks.  After 6 expansions to our factory, Hermle continued our growth as not only the world’s leader in clock mechanisms, but as an alternative grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock source to the retailers of North America.

Our innovations in design, form and function keep Hermle Clock ahead of the curve and its meticulous quality improvements have made
Hermle North America a preferred clock source to the industry. Hermle Black Forest Clocks was rebranded as Hermle North America in January 2011 to signify the next step into the future.  Hermle North America will become a one-stop shop for all genuine Hermle products, including carrying the largest Hermle and Urgos movement selection available to the trade in the world.  Our clock movements, clock accessories, clock parts and clocks are distributed throughout North America to a vast dealer network. To find Hermle Clocks in North America, please contact 1-800-4CLOCKS.com (1-800-425-6257, ext. 1).

The Hermle Clock History

In 1922 Hermle Clocks founder Mr. Franz Hermle founded the Franz Hermle Clock Company located in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg, a small town in southern Germany’s Black Forest region.

Within ten years Hermle Clocks became known as one of the most efficient manufacturers of clock movements in the clock industry.  Even though the first half of the 20th Century brought with it many difficulties to overcome, including the complete dismantling of the factory after the World War II, Franz Hermle and his sons” dedication allowed them to prosper while other companies struggled.

Franz Hermle passed away in 1953 and left a modern and prosperous operation to his sons Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich Hermle.  With tremendous willpower and energy, they continued to build the company into the worldwide leader in manufacturing mechanical movements and clocks.

In 1977, Hermle decided to establish another manufacturing facility, Hermle Black Forest Clock Company to serve the North American market out of Amherst, Virginia, USA.  Hermle’s Headquarters in southern Germany is now in its third generation, still family owned and operated.  Hermle employs over 200 people in 3 locations in both Germany and USA.  In October 2010, Hermle Gosheim was
rebranded as Hermle Uhrenmanufacktur GmbH and as of January 2011, Hermle Black Forest Clocks rebranded itself as Hermle North America.

Franz Hermle Clocks in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg Germany

Wall Clocks and Mantel Clocks FAQs

12.10.13

To be helpful for grandfather clock and wall clock and mantel clock users and shoppers all across the globe. we are posting here some of the more Frequently Asked Questions for Mantle Clocks and Wall Clocks.  These lists were compiled by the technical support team at Howard Miller Clocks, and may apply to many other high-end wall clock and mantel clock brands as well.

For Keywound Mantel Clocks and Keywound Wall Clocks:

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to “Keywound” “Wall/Mantel Clocks”

 

What if my mechanical clock will not chime or strike?
  1. Check that the strike on/off lever in not in the “strike off” position or halfway between positions.
  2. Check that the movement is not in the “night off” position.
  3. Be sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area. You should be able to carefully pull each hammer back away from the rod approximately one inch.
  4. Check the hammer adjustment to be sure that the hammers are properly aligned with the gong rods.
  5. For weight driven clocks, make certain that the weights are in their proper location. The proper position of the weights as you are facing your clock is labeled on the bottom of each weight.
  6. If your clock is a cable driven clock and was previously run, it is possible that the cables were not wound up with the weights left on the pulley. When this happens, the cables overlap on the drum. Check the cables on the drums to see if they are overlapped. If so, contact the dealer or retailer where you purchased the clock. Correcting this problem is not covered under warranty.
What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.
What if I hear a squeaking sound while winding my movement?
The squeak is likely from the wood knob on the winding crank.  This is not uncommon and does not indicate anything is wrong with the movement or crank.  The movements themselves will not squeak when they are wound.

If you turn the crank by hand without using the knob, and you still hearing squeaking, then it is the pulley that is squeaking.  You can place one drop of oil (any type of common oil)  on both sides of the pulley wheel where the shaft goes through.

Why is it necessary to have my clock movement cleaned?

Movement oil collects dust and other contaminants from the air. These contaminants can be abrasive and the oil can harden. For this reason, it is necessary to have the movement cleaned and oiled. The frequency of cleaning and oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include the humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years and thorough cleaning every 5 to 10 years.

What are the symptoms that the clock movement should be oiled and/or cleaned?

Signs that a movement could require oiling or cleaning can include slowing or erratic operation of the time keeping, chiming melody, and/or hour strike. Continued use may cause excessive wear and require more extensive service to the movement.

What if I want to clean and oil my own clock movement?

Howard Miller does not recommend that you service the clock movement yourself. Contact an authorized Howard Miller Service Center. However, if you feel inclined, there are a variety of internet sites that offer detailed instructions and kits necessary to perform your own cleaning and oiling. Search “clock oil kit”, for example, on the internet.

What clock oil is recommended by Howard Miller?
Howard Miller recommends using the same high quality synthetic clock oil 859 used by the original German movement manufacturer, Kieninger. Most clock oil kits available on the web contain less expensive oils (Nano oil and others). Contrary to claims made by Nano oil and other suppliers and manufacturers of oil, our testing has proven the advantages of synthetic clock oil 859. For convenience, Howard Miller offers a synthetic 859 pen oiler for sale on the Howard Miller web site on the tab entitled, “Need a Part. Purchase Parts & Accessories Online.”
What if my clock chimes a few minutes before or after the hour?
If the clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, the minute hand should be removed and adjusted.  For complete details, please refer to page 10 of the Floor Clock Instruction Manual or page 3 in the Wall and Mantel Clock Instruction Manual.  Copies of these manuals can be down loaded from our web site for your convenience.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-99j6QSCoI&feature=plcp

How do I reset the time for daylight savings?
When setting the clock back one hour, rotate the minute hand counterclockwise one-hour. When setting the clock ahead one hour, rotate the minute hand clockwise one-hour. When moving the hands forward, it is important to allow the clock to chime every quarter hour (1/4, ½, ¾, 1) before advancing the hands to the next quarter hour position. . DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_EGbI3SMsA&feature=plcp

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my mechanical clock does not strike the correct hour?
If the clock is new, allow it to operate for several hours before making any adjustments. If the strike is off, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and rotate it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not harm the movement. Then adjust the hands to the correct time by rotating the minute hand counter-clockwise – as explained in the instructions. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING. After a few hours, the movement’s self-adjusting feature will synchronize the hands with the correct chime and strike.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaqpWTwIes&feature=plcp

What if my mechanical clock is in the “night off” position and it is silent during the day instead of the night?
Rotate the minute hand counterclockwise twelve hours. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.
What if my clock chimes have the incorrect tone?
The chime tone may be affected by the hammer resting on the chime rod (coil) or striking the rod (coil) off center. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for the hammers to get out of adjustment.
Chime hammer arms are made of brass and can be bent safely. This is accomplished by bending the hammer arms slightly in the middle so that the hammers rest approximately 1/8 inch from the chime rod. DO NOT bend the chime rod. Strike volume cannot be adjusted.Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmh1ao32JBo&feature=plcp

Can I increase or decrease the chime volume in my mechanical clock?
No. Volume is not adjustable.
What if a chime rod is broken?
Contact a local service center or Howard Miller for a replacement rod.
What if my mechanical clock operated fine for several years but now is slow or stopping?
It is likely that your clock movement needs maintenance. Contact an authorized  Service Center.  A list of Service Centers is located on this web site.  Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if the hands are bent?
The clock hands are easily bent. Carefully bend them back to the correct position.
How do I wind my clock?
Floor Clocks with Cables and Pulleys – Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the holes located in the dial face. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Floor Clocks with Chains – Pull straight down on the chains. DO NOT lift up on the weights as this could cause the weight to come unhooked from the chain. Pull down on the loose end of the chain until the weight is approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Wall and Mantel Clocks – Insert the winding key into the holes located in the dial face. Depending upon the model of your clock, there can be 1, 2, or 3 winding keyholes. Turn the key clockwise until the spring becomes tight and will not turn further. For clocks with hanging weights, raise the weights using the crank. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Wind your clock once a week. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All springs must be fully wound.

What is meant by “triple chime”?
Triple chime refers to clocks that play a choice of three different melodies. The most common triple chime melodies are Westminster, St. Michaels, and Whittington.
Why is it necessary to have my clock movement oiled?
 

In mechanical devices with moving components, oil acts as a lubricant to help prevent friction and wear. Over time, the oil must be replenished. The frequency of oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years.

Who should I contact to have my clock cleaned and oiled?
Contact an authorized Service Center.  A service center locator is available at this internet site. Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

For Quartz or Battery Operated Wall Clocks and Mantle Clocks

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
What if my quartz dual chime movement will not operate properly?
Before going further, follow the two instructions below.

  1. First, ensure that you are using brand new alkaline batteries.
  2. Batteries made by various manufacturers may present some difficulty in working properly in the movement. A poor electrical connection can cause inferior performance. Ensure that the positive battery contacts are positioned over the nub on the end of the battery.

The problem area is typically the negative end of the battery. Ensure that the negative battery contacts are positioned completely on the metal contact area of the battery. As necessary, bend the battery contacts out to ensure that they are not making contact with the battery casing. If necessary to ensure a proper contact on the negative end of the battery, take a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of aluminum foil and fold it over tightly to the size of ¼ inch by ¼ inch and place it between the battery contact and the battery.

Other issues and remedies.

Pendulum will not swing: To provide proper pendulum operation, it is also necessary to ensure that the clock is level. Also check that the pendulum is properly located on the pendulum hanger and that the speaker wires are not interfering with the pendulum operation.

Chime volume is off or lower during the day and louder at other times: The nighttime volume reduction or shut-off is not properly set. Reset the nighttime shut-off.

Chime volume is always low: Attempt to increase volume using the volume control knob. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

Chime is off – will not chime: Ensure that the chime is not in the “OFF” position. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

The clock chimes several minutes before the hour when the hands are moved manually: This is normal. The clock will chime on the hour under normal operation.

What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.

© Howard Miller Clocks

Grandfather Clock Owners Manual

11.05.13

Behind the grandfather clock dial that shows time is the grandfather clock movement that keeps the hands telling time, as well as the grandfather clock chiming mechanism, and connected to that mechanism the weights and pendulum that drive the operation of the grandfather clock.  When doing anything new with a grandfather clock, whether moving the grandfather clock, setting and starting it up for the very first time, or troubleshooting for whatever clock reason, the Grandfather Clock Owner’s Manual or Grandfather Clock Instruction Guide can be the go to place for clock information about how to do things right., whether it is a grandfather clock setup, a repair, or even changing the time for Daylight Savings time.

Most all grandfather clocks from high-end makers like Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks and others come with a reasonably extensive manual with the basic How Tos for the new owner or the not so new owner revisiting this Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual and thinking of it as the first line of offense and defense to both manage the grandfather clock optimally while maintaining it correctly, to what do do if something is not right or something is quite wrong with the operation of the grandfather clock.

Interestingly, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, which are considered certainly amongst the highest-end grandfather clocks, call all of their grandfather clocks floor clocks, and the Owners Manual even says Guide to Howard Miller Floor Clock Operation.  This is likely because it does not distinguish between grandmother clocks and hall clocks and tallcase clocks and longcase clocks, and many people do use the term Floor Clock, though we believe it to be a relatively small minority of the public, much less grandfather clock shoppers and horologists alike.

If you want to set some of the special features of your grandfather clock, like automatic night shutoff, or switch from the Westminster Chime to the Ave Maria Chime or reset the rotating moonphase Dial, the grandfather clocks instruction guide or owner’s manual would be a good place to go.  Similarly, people who have received a grandfather clock that has already been used, either from an inheritance or estate, or a gift from a friend who is moving, or bought at a local yard sale or antique store, one of the first steps the new owner will take is to attempt to get the instruction manual for his or her clock.  This is definitely one of our most frequently asked questions.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks Manual Cover

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual

 

 

 

How Much Are Grandfather Clocks

10.28.13

Grandfather clock shoppers and seasoned grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks shoppers alike may be confused by the dizzying array of choices presented to them by Retailer and on the Internet alike.  Prices for new grandfather clocks can range from $200 to over $20,000 dollars.  Clearly, not only is there a broad array of choices within varying price points, but the differences between those price points and within the different ranges of prices.  Clearly, the vast majority of shoppers are looking to get the greatest grandfather clock discount they can, sometimes putting greater emphasis on service and trust from dealing with a grandfather clock shop where the owners will clearly know what they are saying and can actually help if and when and issues come up after the consumer or business receives its grandfather clock.  Grandfather clocks on sale can and reasonably should be one important consideration when making am important clock purchase, but other intangibles, such as knowledgeable salespeople and people who can truly give good answers to pointed questions about grandfather clocks, not to mention having a genuine warranty that is also worthwhile, but also knowing there will be a continuing clocks resources if and as needed.

In more recent years, there has been the challenge of very low quality grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks that are of inferior quality, yet in many cases were designed to look specifically like models of higher-end grandfather clocks, sometimes even “borrowing” the names of other models made by the best grandfather clock companies out there.  Sadly, some of the sellers of these what can literally be termed as pieces of junk and sold by some of the biggest and best known names in big box retailing.  Over the last year alone, we have received hundreds on inquiries looking for help from people who have purchased these grandfather clocks, and not only can they not return the clocks to these major retailers in most all cases (because the box has been opened and the items unpacked), but there is also frequently no contact information or telephone number of the maker or importer that will yield anything useful to these clock purchasers who have essentially thrown their money away.  They do a Google Search of the model name, and because the names have frequently be the names of the high-end makers, they see our contact information in the search engine results.  There is little we can do to help them, except suggesting they insist the retailer take back the junk in these cases.

So who are the best retailers, and which are the grandfather clock makers one should consider, even when not knowing how much one wants to spend.  One piece of good news is that all the well-respected and good-excellent quality makers have price points to match any budget for someone who is serious about investing in a good quality grandfather clock that might one day be considered an heirloom by family members.  Aside from the importance of the sound and quality of the grandfather clock chimes, the features such as chime-silence option and automatic nighttime shut-off, the bells and whistles such as a rotating moon-phase dial or an illuminated cabinet or lit grandfather clock dial, one should also consider an heirloom grandfather clock as an important piece of furniture that can be loved and admired and cherished for many generations.

Generally speaking, if one knows little about grandfather clocks, looking to the most well known brands with the best reputations for overall grandfather clock quality and workmanship would be a good way to start.  These would include brands like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and some few others.  There are also good brand names out there that no longer make grandfather clocks, but one may come across them, including 1-800-4CLOCKS’ Museum Grandfather Clocks, Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks and Bulova Grandfather Clocks.

The grandfather clock case will be one major component of the cost, based on the wood or sometimes metalwork involved and how much there is, its quality, and to what extent there are special elements like carvings or inlay.

The grandfather clock or grandmother clock movement is also critical, including whether it is cable-driven, chain-driven, tubular chime, spring-driven or quartz-driven.  This is a subject we have written about extensively in our clocks blogs, and we are also always available to discuss purchase options with serious grandfather clock shoppers, even if they are in their earlier stages of learning and shopping.  Which and how many grandfather clock chimes is another variable, and assuming they are on of the high-end mechanical movement makers, which nowadays includes mostly all Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks grandfather clock movements.  The chime is another element, with most of the basic clocks having one or more of Westminster Chimes, Whittington Chime, St Michaels Chime, Ode to Joy grandfather clock chime, bim bam chime, and the Ave Maria grandfather clocks chime.

Special features like rotating moon face dials, automatic nighttime shutoff, chime-silence option, illuminated dials, lit cabinets, and time capsules can all add to the desirability and price tag of any individual grandfather clock.

Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways, especially when purchasing a grandfather clock, is not to assume because 2 different clocks may look alike and each have the Westminster Chime, NEVER ASSUME they are comparable quality clocks in any way, whether they are brand new or vintage or even antique grandfather clocks.  If not careful and armed with some grandfather clock knowledge and knowing where to get the answers to other  questions, one might end up with a very expensive piece of junk.

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

 

 

 

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

10.25.13

One of the most common inquiries we get at our stores selling grandfather clocks and other furniture and wall and mantel clocks, is what is the worth of my xyz grandfather clock.  Despite being one of the most common grandfather clock questions we get, it is a very difficult one to answer.  One of the defining factors is whether the clock is one of the many antique grandfather clocks out there, and if so, a grandfather clock by which maker, the condition, the look, the quality, whether everything is all original, and how and where one is planning to sell the grandfather clock.  Generally speaking, there should not be any major difference in the worth or appraisal of comparable grandmother clocks vs grandfather clocks.  They are both Floor Clocks.

For new grandfather clocks such as Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and the Ridgeway and Americana Grandfather Clock Collections, we generally always advise that a grandfather clock purchase, even of one these high-end grandfather clock and furniture brands, should generally not be thought of as a purchase for investment purposes, even if you are at the greatest grandfather clocks sale with a grandfather clock discount wherever you turn.  Yes, many if not most of these clocks can and should be reasonably thought of as heirloom quality grandfather clocks that should live through many generations, and perhaps fought over as cherished heirlooms within families.  Many of the calls we get of from people either liquidating an estate with one or more grandfather clocks or from a family member who wants to try to establish the grandfather clock worth for a trade of sorts within a family.  Additionally, while on this point, grandfather clock estate planning is something we have seen quite frequently, with parents wanting to make certain that each of their children are give grandfather clocks that they each can and will cherish, and so their own grandfather clock bequest with be either predefined or a non-issue.

Establishing the value of a vintage grandfather clock, whether one of the Howard Miller Clocks or a Hermle Clock or Ridgeway Clock, can be near impossible to do with any high degree of  either confidence or accuracy.  Yes, when it was made, of what wood(s), what grandfather clock chimes it has, the condition of the grandfather clock movement, any special features such as auto-nighttime shutoff all do matter, but aside from not knowing what the condition of the grandfather clock is on the inside, whether everything is all original, the condition and style of the case, there is the reality that the grandfather clock will be worth what somebody is willing to pay for it, and there are hundreds of variables that can effect that.  People frequently have a difficult time understand that reality.  There is also the question of what the age of the clock does to the value of a grandfather clock, and that is also a question with many layers to any coherent answer.  A true antique grandfather clock, like an antique car, can be worth a lot more than it might otherwise, but what happens before then is especially uncharted territory by definition.

Whether you are selling your grandfather clock at a yard sale, or on Craigslist or on eBay, or at a store in general, or perhaps one of the finest antique stores, there can be many price points, and aside from the sale venue, how long one is willing to wait and advertise and publicize their grandfather clock sale, and what credibility they might have, also matter importantly.  Another critical factor is the coat of shipping, and associated with that the risk of damage, which can be very expensive, especially for an individual.  Even moving the grandfather clock, unless one knows what they are doing, is fraught with the risk of damaging the grandfather clock during the move.

The simplest answer therefore, if one is buying a grandfather clock, is simply what it is worth to you for your home decor value, and what risk or level of confidence do you have that there are no hidden issues with the grandfather clock.  If you pay no more than it is worth as a piece of high-end furniture to be appreciated by interior decorators and visitors alike, there is no way you can go wrong with that grandfather clock or floor clock purchase.  That is the best advice.

What is my grandfather clock worth?

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

 

 

Ohio Grandfather Clock

10.15.13

On the second floor of the Capitol Building stands a grandfather clock that had garnered a lot of attention in the news about the Countdown to a potential Government Financial default and counting up of the days since the Federal Government has shut down and “non-essential” workers remain at home.  During this Debt Ceiling Limit and Government Budget showdown, the so-called Ohio Grandfather Clock made by Thomas Voigt actually stopped running, and that was a euphemism to many that our Government was indeed broken. The Senate purchased the clock in 1815 from Thomas Voigt.  The rumor is that the clock was meant to celebrate Ohio joining the Country because the clock has 17 stars and Ohio was the 17th state to join.   However, there is no proof that the rumor is true and the clock was ordered 12 years later when there were 18 states in the Union. The big, wide Senate hall just outside the back of the Senate Chamber, on the second floor of the Capitol, attracts dozens of reporters every Tuesday around lunchtime.

Democrats meet privately in a room on the far right (as one walks away from the president’s room) while Republicans meet around the corner. Arrive around 12:30 p.m. to get senators as they go in, then leave around 1:15 p.m. Come back at 1:45 and get ‘em as they go out.

The more in-demand senators will go to special microphones to the right of the clock around 2:15. Be sure to bring a tape recorder.

The Ohio Clock, standing in what is now known in the Capitol as the Ohio Clock Corridor, is an imposing grandfather’s clock opposite the main doors of the chamber, is often cited as a place to meet sources — easy to find, easy to remember.

Thomas Voigt 1815 Grandfather Clock on Second Floor of US Capitol outside Senate Chambers in Ohio Corridor

The government shutdown was ironic from the moment it began — It all happened over the health care law, which started registration the moment the government shut down at midnight on Oct. 1.

Over the days since, the United States has witnessed a variety of strange consequences. Here is s a look at the weirdest effects of the shutdown, from a panda cam going dark to the hands on a historic Senate clock frozen in place to bored Congressional workers.

Clock hands ‘frozen’ in place
Credit: U.S. Senate

The hands of the Senate’s historic Ohio Clock are frozen at 12:14, according to NBC News. The curators tasked to wind the 11-foot-tall (3.4 meters) clock have been furloughed, last winding the clock on Sept. 30.

Despite its name and the shield with 17 stars on the front of it, the clock is not meant to celebrate the 17th state Ohio’s statehood, according to the U.S. Senate. In 1815, Sen. David Daggett of Connecticut ordered the clock from clockmaker Thomas Voigt. Though Sen. Daggett gave fairly detailed instructions about the clock’s appearance, he didn’t mention anything about it commemorating Ohio or how many stars should be placed on the shield.

“The dial to be about two feet in diameter, an hour, minute and second hand, a Spread Eagle on the top and the United States arms at foot. We wish it good and handsome and expect to pay accordingly,” read the order for the clock, according to the U.S. Senate website.

Grandfather Clocks History Past-Present

10.07.13

Some grandfather clock history and clocks history never gets old.  Just look at the stories of Simon Willard, Aaron Willard and Benjamin Willard.  An article written in 1936 is still as informative and interesting to a clocks historian as one written today.  Grandfather Clocks enthusiasts are sure to minimally find this interesting.

Richmond Times-Dispatch
May 24, 1936

Grandfather Clocks, Some Genuine Old-Timers Still Tick Off Hours or Chime Timely Melodies, Proof of Care Their Makers Used

Many things had been discussed by the little group seated behind the plate glass window of a Franklin Street store. And that isn’t exactly true either. Many things had been broached, but the discussion was almost wholly a monologue by the host, a veteran of many a trek into the hinterlands of the antique country and a recognized authority on early American antiques. Now and then a listening member would throw a few words into the conversation, more to keep the oratory flowing than for any factual use, until at last someone uttered those well-worn last words: “What time is it getting to be?”

Subconsciously glances were directed toward the tall dominating grandfather clock against the far wall. Then they fell back to modern wrist-watches and there was a concerted start–for watch and clock pointed to the same hour. No one mentioned it, but there was a subtle sort of mental agreement that it was all “just a coincidence.” But it wasn’t. That old grandfather’s clock was still keeping time, and correct time. “How come?” I lingered to question the antique dealer. And thereby came this tale, a story of famous old American clocks and clockmakers.  It seems that– when Simon Willard was 13 years old he made his first “grandfather” clock. When he was 82 he made the large clock in the Capitol at Washington. He was born in 1753, lived to be 95 years old, and left behind him some of the best and most beautiful clocks that have ever been made.

Simon Willard had no grand ideas about organization, sales promotion and production. He did all his work in the space of four rooms. It is good to think that Simon’s clocks, which were made by hand and with infinite care and solicitude, command a higher price today than those made by Aaron Willard, his brother, who opened up a factory and turned out watches and clocks by the hundreds.

Side by side in a Richmond, Virginia antique shop may be seen a grandfather clock made by Simon Willard and one by Aaron Willard. To the connoisseur with blood in his eye the clock made by Simon is much the finer. To the casual onlooker both the clocks are rare examples of early American grandfather (or long case) clocks.

A Simon Willard “Grandfather” clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case is very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of the moon and the days of the month are both given. Simon Willard made his first Grandfather clock at the age of 13.
A Simon Willard shelf clock (right). The Willards’ called these clocks, which were made as early as 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works are made of brass.

 

Benjamin Willard, who started making clocks in 1764, was the father of Aaron and Simon, and the first of this famous Massachusetts family to engage in clock-making. In the Boston Gazette for February 22, 1771, he advertised, “Musical clocks playing different tunes, a new tune every day in the week, and on Sunday a Psalm tune. These tunes perform every hour.”

Reliable Clocks Kept Puritan Sabbath

And such is the reliability of a Willard clock that there is no single record of a Puritan Sabbath being violated by week-day tunes. Likewise, the beauty and workmanship which went into the clock cases of Simon Willard is not the only reason these clocks bring good prices wherever antiques are sold: The clocks run and they keep good time.

Simon Willard was an inventor of genius, but that did not keep him from being a thrifty American. He thought that clocks ought to be good and that they ought to be cheap enough for an American to own one, and at the same time have money enough left for a house to put it in. He advertised little, relying on his clock papers (and his clocks) to put across his ideas. One of these clock papers tells his story:

A Simon Willard ‘Grandfather’ clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of moon and days month are both given. Simon Willard made his first at age 13. A shelf (right). Willard called these clocks, were as early 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works were brass.

“Simon Willard, at his Clock Dial in Roxbury Street, manufactures every kind of clock work, such as large clocks for steeples, made in the best manner. . . . Clocks that will run one year without winding up, with very elegant cases, price 100 dollars. . . . Elegant daytime pieces, price 30 dollars. Timepieces which run 30 hours and warranted, price 10 dollars. . . . Chime clocks that will play six tunes, price 120 dollars. . . . Gentlemen who wish to purchase any kind of clocks are invited to call at said Willard’s Clock Manufacture, where they will receive satisfactory evidence that it is much cheaper to purchase new than old and second-hand clocks. He warrants all his work–and as he is ambitious to give satisfaction–he doubts not of receiving public approbation and patronage.”

Willard Originated the “Banjo” Clock

Although Simon Willard knew the worth of his clocks, it is doubtful if he dreamed of the approbation and patronage they would receive less than a hundred years after his death. He set out to make serviceable clocks that thrifty Americans could buy with a clear conscience. What would he say if he could happen in today on some sale of rare antique clocks and see his paragons of thrift and mechanical perfection sold for prices for four figures? And the purchasers, descendants, perhaps, of those thrifty New England customers of his, glad to get them at that price and paying for them with a smile?

Aaron Willard turned out his clocks by the hundred. The clock at right is mahogany with inlay. The other clock is by Nathaniel Edwards of Acton, Mass.

In 1802 Willard brought out his patent timepiece, which was later called the banjo clock. It was a prodigious success. No improvement has since been made on the original design. The story goes that such accuracy did Willard have in his hand and eye that he habitually filed the teeth of his cogwheels without marking them; and that when someone asked him why he didn’t stamp his brass with markers, he replied that it was unnecessary–his wheels were accurate. And Simon Willard was right! One proud owner of a Willard order clock says that it has run within 30 seconds of accuracy for a month.

Simon Willard died during the turbulent year of 1848. He had retired from business in 1839 and sold his tools and the good will of the business (together with the privilege of putting the name Simon Willard on the dials) to Elnathan Taber, his best apprentice. Simon Willard Jr. took these clocks and sold them at his shop in Boston.

It was this son, Simon Jr., who made the astronomical clock now in the observatory of Harvard University. His astronomical regulator was standard time for all railroads in New England.

Since the first grandfather clock appeared in England in 1681, clockmakers in this country and abroad have given them thought and consideration, so that now, when the antique hunter goes clock hunting, there is every style, every wood and every price at his disposal for this useful and beautiful ornament.

Samsung Galaxy Gear watch – A Watch That Sinks Under Its Features

10.03.13

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch is ambitious and even amazing. But it has too many components for one gadget.

Grandfather Clock Repair in California

07.09.13

At 1-800-4CLOCKS, we get requests not only from all over the USA, but also from around the world, regarding where individuals and organizations should go to get their timepiece repaired.  Grandfather Clocks are the most frequently requested category, whether a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock that is no longer under warranty, or a 120 year old antique grandfather clock.  In fact, we get requests for all kinds of mechanical clocks and pocket watches too, including wall clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, novelty clocks and grandmother clocks.  This is true for antique wall clocks and antique mantel clocks, including Kieninger Clocks and Hermle Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks.

We no longer encourage people to mail in their timepieces to us for repair.  We used to do that, and found it is much more efficient from everyone’s perspective to get their new or antique clock fixed reasonably locally to them.  To aid in that goal, we are sharing clock shops that do repairs, some with a particular specialty, in various geographical areas.  While we cannot recommend specific shops or warrant any work they might do, we do try here to give you a least of clock repair shops in California that may well be either able to help you themselves, or if not to point you in the right or a good direction.

We hope this list of clock repair shops in California helps.  We will be sharing other clock resources which may be of assistance on a continuing basis.

B & B Antique Clock Repair,  Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, tel. (805) 489-0415

Clock Master, 2734 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869, tel. (714) 997-4029

Clocks Americana, 860 North Main, Orange, CA 92868, tel. (714) 997-0923

Clocks Etc., 971 Moraga Road, Lafayette, CA 94549, tel. (925) 284-4720

Davidson Clock Company, 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd, Suite 210, Los Alamitos, CA 90720, tel. (888) 419-6522

HRS Clocks, 490 1st St, Ste C, Solvang, CA 93463, tel. (805) 688-8555

Mike’s Clock Clinic, 17000 Western Avenue # 7, Gardena, CA 90247, tel. (877) 286-6762

Read-Co, 35791 Royal Sage Ct, Palm Desert, CA 92211, tel. (760) 565-1910

Redwood City Clock & Watch, 2738 Broadway, Redwood City, CA, 94062, tel. (650) 556-1197

Slaters Antiques & Collectibles, 609 N. 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811, tel. (916) 442-6183

The Clock Man Online, 205 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA, 92832, tel. (714) 578-0089

The Tic Toc Shop, 9534 Reseda Blvd (this is the local Post Office address), Northridge, CA 91325, tel. (818) 718-8300

Tom’s Clock Service, 3909 Pacheco Blvd, Martinez, CA 94553, tel. (510) 228-8436

 

 

 

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