Why Service Your Clock?

Around ninety percent of our work involves mechanical service overhauls and repairs. Most of the clocks are entered for servicing due to some sort of reliability issue. Commonly, the timekeeping has become erratic, or the clock now needs winding every six days, instead of every seven. We regularly hear owners stating that "My clock has stopped working......I think that I might have over-wound it".

It is usually very obvious when a clock stops due to component failure or breakage.

It may not be so obvious when a clock gradually stops working due to a lack of regular maintenance. Some owners do seem genuinely surprised when their clock which "Has worked faultlessly for ten years without anything being done to it" now seems reluctant to run. Doubtless those very same people wouldn't dream of driving their cars for the next ten years without having them serviced or topping up the oil!

In very simple terms, a clock mechanism is a gearbox, throughout which there are many metal-to-metal rotating and sliding points of contact, all needing suitable lubrication in order to function correctly and to prevent wear. The component parts of a clock are designed in such a way that when carefully assembled to fine tolerances, the running friction is reduced to an absolute minimum.

Regular servicing, where each component can be examined for damage and wear, and the correct type and quantity of oil applied, can help to ensure that the mechanism of a clock is able to function in the most efficient manner.

We would recommend that smaller types of clocks, for example carriage clocks, are serviced every four years. Most other types of domestic mechanical clocks should be regularly serviced at five-yearly intervals.

Most clocks respond well to a spot of loving care in the form of a service overhaul. When a clock has been well maintained in the past, it will usually need little more than cleaning and a fresh application of good quality clock oil and grease, plus a minor adjustment here and there to see it reliably through to the next service. A neglected clock will often need much more work to return it to reliable usable condition.

Lack of maintenance, with extended periods between overhauls, can allow the oil to dry up, or to become contaminated with dirt and dust. This abrasive substance no longer acts as a lubricant, and will instead cause accellerated rates of wear in the moving components of the mechanism.

 Some smaller clocks will simply stop once the oil degrades or becomes sticky. Larger clocks will often continue to function, even without the proper amount of lubrication. In these, there is a much greater risk of serious wear and damage to the components. In extreme cases, some parts may eventually become worn beyond repair.

Remedial work to repair this level of wear and damage can be very expensive.

Regular maintenance can help to avoid expensive repair bills. This is something definitely worth considering.







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