Hints on how to look after your mechanical and quartz clocks..
Do not attempt to repair your clock unless you are fully conversant with the subject. This is a professional clock repairer’s job. It is advisable that when taking your clock to your trusted repairer, you give all the details of the mulfunction. It would be helpful to indicate when the last service or general overhaul was undertaken.
Do not hesitate to check the repairer’s credentials and make sure that the clock repairer has a good reputation.
Do not oil or spray your clock mechanism if it fails to chime or the pendulum stops from swinging. Applying sprays or oil to dirty mechanisms causes the grit and dirt accumulated in the pivots to "eat" through the brass plates. Always ask for advice from your clock repairer.
Chain driven clockworks take power from the weights. When winding your clock do not touch the weights with bare hands as the lacquer tends to tarnish as a result of the fingerprints left on the brass shells. The same applies to all brass parts, including dials and other brass ornaments.
Spring driven clocks gain power to drive the trains by winding. When winding your clock, do not over- wind. A lot of damage is caused when over-winding and can also be a big hazard.
Do not move clocks from their place. If it is absolutely necessary to move your grandfather clock or any other weight or cable driven clock, remove the weights and pendulum before moving. Grandfather Clocks and all other mechanical clocks, including wall and mantle (table) clocks are delicate and do not take kindly to moving.
Be careful when removing the pendulum. Hold sturdily the pendulum leader on which the pendulum is hung at the same time that you remove the pendulum off the hook. It is important that you do not exert too much pressure on the suspension spring as it make break very easily. The suspension spring is very fragile. It is advisable to follow the instructions on your clock manual which comes with your clock. If in doubt, ask your trusted clock repairer or clock dealer for advice to avoid unnecessary damage and expense. Better play safe than feel sorry afterwards.
Quartz (Battery operated) Clocks.
- Quartz clocks are generally powered by 1.5v battery cells. It is recommended that the batteries are changed every nine months.
Do not use re-chargeable batteries on your clocks. Use only Alkaline batteries.
Follow the terminal settings as shown on the back plate of the movement when installing a new battery cell:
+ = positive
- = negative.
When purchasing a replacement battery make sure that the battery is in full charge, even if it is in a battery pack. If necessary ask your distributor to test the battery before you purchase it. The battery is the life of your quartz clockwork and it is in your interest to ensure that you use fully charged alkaline quality cells.
Do not leave the batteries to run dry in your clock movement as any leaking acid, un-noticeable to the naked eye, will damage the circuit which is the heart of your mechanism. Leaking batteries are the cause of corrosion of the terminals which, unless taken care of immediately, ruin the mechanism.
Mechanical Cuckoo Clocks.
Most of the damage to mechanical cuckoo clocks is caused by pulling the wrong end of the weights when winding to give power to the clock. Never pull the ends of the chains holding the weights. This causes damage to the ratchet wheels and often brake.
DO NOT Spray cuckoo clock mechanisms.
400-day / Anniversary Clocks.
These are delicate clocks. They carry a pendulum that rotates on a hair-thin suspension spring. These clocks have to be balanced and not to be moved unless the pendulum is locked in place. Very often the suspension spring breaks if treated roughly.
For mechanical versions follow the instructions on mechanically operated clocks above.
For Quartz versions follow the instructions on battery operated clocks above.