Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers clock dial

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This page is provided to help you with some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q - My clock is running well but it is several years since it was serviced, does it need servicing or can I keep running it?
A - All machines require service and maintenance but for some reason clocks are never considered a priority. Depending on the clock, you should service the movement between three and five years, a maximum period would be seven to ten but in these extented periods you should expect wear. A strip and clean is cheaper than putting right lots of wear.

Q - My clock is slowing down and though I have rated it several times it still looses time. Does it need oiling?
A - The simple answer is no. If oil is placed on a clock, even if it is the correct oil in the proper place all you are doing is adding to the problem. The new oil simply collects around the old oil and makes a larger 'plug' to slow the clock down. What is probably happening is that the old oil has solidified or even dried up and friction is causing the problem. If the clock has not been services for four or five years it will require cleaning at a bare minimum.

Q - My clock was serviced just two years ago but it is having trouble running. Does it require a service?
A - Probably not. Most clocks should run for a number of years once serviced but if the clock had lots of wear on its last service, it is posible that some of the holes that were not worn at that time are now becoming worn. If you had the clock serviced by a repatable clock maker then he should check the clock for you without charge. It could be that the clock is not running in beat, or some case debris has fallen into the movement, there are many reasons for this.

Q - I have a longcase clock that has run for thirty years without any trouble. It now runs poorly and will only run for thirty minutes or so. Should I add more weight?
A - Certainly not. All weight driven clocks are accurately designed to run with the weight they are supplied with, it is a mathematical equation that allows the clock to run at its optimum and this should not be altered lest you cause unwaranted wear and damage. The truth is the clock required a service over twenty years ago and since then you have been slowly grinding it to dust. It will probably cost a considerable amount of money to put it right.

Q - I was told that WD40 is really bad for my clock, why is that?
A - Put simply it's like putting bleach into your car engine rather than the correct oil. A clock should only be oiled with the correct oil and in the correct places.

Q - I want to have my clock serviced but it's only a cheaply made thing and yet I have been quoted what I feel is a great deal of money. Why does a cheap clock cost as much as an expensive one?
A - The answer is straight forward to this one. Every clock, be it small, large, expensive or cheap runs on the same principles as every other clock. There are moving parts split into various 'trains' of gears. A timepeice has one, a striker two and a Westminster usually three. Each train is like a separate clock and has to be treat like one when being serviced so that means if have your Westminster serviced there are three clocks to repair. With this in mind it takes the same amount of work on a cheap clock as is does on an expensive one. There can be other factors too such as on fusee movements or other types such as cuckoo clocks but generally clocks of the same type cost about the same to service no matter what their quality or worth.

Q - I have a relatively modern wall clock that I have had for years but I am told though the dial says it is made in London the clock is German and made by Hermle. I can't find a repairer as most say they will not work on it. Why is that?
A - Hermle produced hundreds of thousands of these clocks from the middle of the last century to present day. When new they run well but if not maintained regularly they wear out to the point that they are not worth repairing. The reason most repairers will not touch them is due to the fact that they are problematic when worn and of poor quality and the time spent getting them to run means they are just not profitable for the repairer. We will work on Hermle clocks but we always reserve the right to say no on the poorest of them. Another problem is that the company went into liquidation a few years ago and since then parts for these clocks have become ridiculously expensive.