Frequently Asked Questions
Service or repair?
Clocks have very delicate, low-powered mechanisms, requiring regular attention. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to other and more modern mechanical devices working for many years without attention. Many of the clocks that I see have been allowed to wear themselves out. They will require repair work costing more than the prices given for servicing of working, regularly maintained clocks. Servicing charges only include the very minimum of rectifying wear.
Clocks that have not been serviced for more than ten years or have stopped, will require repair work, such as bushing of the plates and repair to the escapement. The mechanism may have become badly tarnished. These repairs could add 50-100% to the servicing charge to bring the clock up to a fully running condition.
Repair or replace?
Some mechanical movements made during the last thirty years or so, ie since quartz movements became so inexpensive have very thin plates, they have very short lives even if serviced every 4 years or so, perhaps as short as twenty years. By this time repairs may cost more than a replacement unit.
Some far-eastern made clocks, especially of long duration, have such powerful springs that they wear out the movement within a few years. It is not safe to remove these springs, neither is it economically viable to service these clocks.
Most other clocks are worth repairing, if not for their historical significance, then to continue the enjoyment of a working object with strong personal associations.
What is included in the servicing of a clock?
Please see specifications for servicing the different types of Clock Movement in the Prices section.
Cases and dials
Work to dials is not included and is rarely advisable, other than light cleaning to remove smoke or oil stains. Where modern dials are badly damaged, replacement card dials or transfers may be available. The re-silvering of antique brass dials, is priced in the longcase section. I am able to arrange the refurbishment of painted longcase dials by a specialist.
Wooden cases of mantel clocks may be lightly cleaned & waxed if you require. I am able to carry out minor case repairs and arrange major case restoration.
Will it keep time?
Although I will have regulated your clock, once set-up in your home some adjustment may be required. Such regulation is the owner’s responsibility, although I will be pleased to advise when setting up the clock.
Please remember that, especially with spring powered clocks, there will be variations in rate, over the going period, and with different weather conditions, these clocks come from an age where seconds didn’t count!
How often should the clock be serviced?
This is very difficult to judge, mechanisms and opinions vary widely, but with modern Lubricants, this may be as long as eight years for a weight driven clock, perhaps half this for spring driven clocks. However some clocks, especially with platform escapements, may need more regular attention. Deterioration in performance indicating that the clock requires attention, could show up as gaining or losing more than it’s usual seasonal pattern, a need for winding at shorter intervals, “jerky” feeling of spring as you wind it up, or of course stopping. As with all mechanisms, regular servicing, will prevent undue wear taking place. With this in mind I offer special prices for re-servicing at short intervals.
A reduction of 15% is available, for re-servicing within 4 years of the last service that I have performed, and of course you may avoid the charges for making good wear, which could double the cost of servicing.
What guarantees do you provide?
The work I have carried out is guaranteed for 12 months. Damage due to accident or unfair treatments is specifically excluded from this Guarantee, as is failure of Mainsprings. They rarely fail, but such failure is outside the control of the clockmaker or owner. Failure usually results in damage to other parts of the clock.