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  1. #1

    Default Constitution Bicentennial Granfather Clock

    Hello,

    I looking at buying a grandfather clock. Can anyone give me some advice as to whether Constitution Bicentennial clocks are good quality? Or if there is another brand they would recommend?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Last edited by soaringjoy; 11-21-2012 at 04:16 PM. Reason: title

  2. #2

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: mella003)

    Welcome to the NAWCC Message Board Mike.
    The name " Constitution Bicentennial clock" could be applied to just about any clock made to exploit the celebrated date.
    A quick look using a Google search brings out the Ridgeway Clock Company as one of many that used that name for a line of their tall or standing clocks.

    Having been made to celebrate 1776 two hundred years late, the clock would likely have a German made movement. Many of the German made tall clock movements of the 1970's and until more recently have outlived their life. They, when new, were very efficient mechanically but suffer from what I call the "end-of-life" syndrome. That is to say, they are so completely worn that the only practical solution is a replacement movement.

    Replacement new movements when available, cost several hundred dollars plus the cost of installation. Something you should consider before buying a "Bicentennial" clock, mantel, wall or standing.

    My comments above don't touch on the craftsmanship or quality of the wood cases made then. My focus was mainly on the works and the issues of the mass produced German made clockworks of post WWII.

    So it depends on your spending. If your requirement is based only on appearance and decor, then the matter of working or not working may not be one of your considerations.
    Last edited by Eckmill; 08-03-2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Add a word or two
    H.J. (Les) Lesovsky, Alhambra California

  3. #3

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Eckmill)

    Thank you for the info! The seller said it is a Mayfair grandfather clock, and it had the following info "1787 Constittution Bicentennial 1987". Also, they said that the clock needs to be wound every 3 or 4 days. Is this standard or is this a sign that the clock is going to need some replacement parts?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  4. #4

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: mella003)

    Needs to be wound every three or four days, you must be talking about a mantle or wall clock. A grandfather clock, or more correctly called a floor clock, would normally be weight driven.
    Larry Pearson, FNAWCC* #35863

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: mella003)

    Mike,
    Most reputable grandfathers clocks will be 8 day movements, meaning that you would normally wind them at least once a week.
    If the clock that you are interested in is actually an 8 day movement, then needing to wind it every 3 - 4 days is sign that the clock is not in good running condition.
    The costs for getting the clock back into good running condition can range from a small amount to more than the purchase price of the clock.
    It is very difficult to determine what kinds of service/repair the clock requires without actually examining the clock itself.
    The best advise is to move with caution. Most of my comments are under the assumption that the clock you are looking at is "used" and not a new clock.

    Regards
    John

  6. #6

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: lpbp)

    We need pictures.

    As Ech said, these centennial clocks are all over the place.

    Quite a few, that I've seen, are Asian. The Ridgeway GFs were quite nice, bad thing is they are 25 to 36 years old.

    For modern clocks the 25 year mark is an important milestone, that is, time for extensive repair or movement replacement. This life-line does vary quite a bit depending on what you have and how it was treated.

    Willie X

  7. #7

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Willie X)

    Here are some pictures:Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Registered User wow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: mella003)

    Your first photo shows only two weights. It should have three. This clock is a chime clock (chimes every 15 minutes) It is an eight day clock and should run a week at a time. It has a German movement, and could be a tripple chime clock (Westminster, Whittington, St. Michaels), or it may be a single chime (Westminster). It should strike the hour also. Hope this helps.

    Will Walker
    Will Walker (WOW)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: wow)

    Hi
    It would be strange if it was really missing a weight, as the center one is missing.
    That would be for the time.
    My guess is that it is a spring wound clock with false weights for looks.
    If so, it is most likely a Chinese or Korean movement.
    3-4 days would truly mean it needed servicing. These clocks are usually 31 day.
    Tinker Dwight

  10. #10
    Registered user. Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Tinker Dwight)

    I see what appear to be 3 winding arbors in the dial.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Bill Stuntz)

    Bill,

    Me too, need better pictures. Could be two fake weights But, fake weights usually aren't that low ...

    Willie X

  12. #12
    Registered user. Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Willie X)

    I THINK I see the tail ends of 2 chains at appropriate heights for the position of the weights. I'm a newbie and I'm not sure - but I think on ones I've seen photos of with fake weights, the chains end at the top and the tail doesn't hang down like that

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Bill Stuntz)

    Hi
    Most chain driven clocks that I've seen don't have winding holes in the face.
    One winds by pulling the chains.
    Tinker Dwight

  14. #14
    Registered user. Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Tinker Dwight)

    Yeah, I know Tink. And most spring driven ones either have fake weights or none at all. But those 2 weights look (to my newbie eyes) as if they COULD be functional. Most of the fake ones I've seen don't LOOK functional. That's why I'm confused by the photos.

  15. #15
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Constittution Bicentennial Granfather Clock (RE: Bill Stuntz)

    I have to agree with Tinker, looks very much like a Chinese replica. Chains and wind arbors don't go together on modern grandfather clocks.
    Mike, keep looking. The best chiming grandfather clocks were made 70-100 years ago and are good value for the cost.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

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