A nice French crystal regulator

brian fisher

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this little guy came from one of our members here. I've been looking for a good crystal regulator for some time now. this one fits the bill in many ways. its French, open escapement, genuine mercury pendulum, the glass and case are in really good condition.

the movement was in "puzzle" condition, but the price was really reasonable. i assembled it (missing a few parts) for the photos and also to transport it back to texas on an airplane. it needs a full restoration, but in my eyes, it is a fantastic starting point.

5KP21W.jpg

the dial is moldy. should clean off nicely though.

NRBKvS.jpg

nKOrxp.jpg

9AlhwO.jpg

i didn't really shoot a pic, but the movement parts are in the plastic bag and tray in the forefront of this last photo.
 

jmclaugh

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I do like these clocks and that's a nice one though bell strike would have been even better. We tend to call them four glass clocks but it matters not and it should come up very nicely.
 

Uhralt

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I do like these clocks and that's a nice one though bell strike would have been even better. We tend to call them four glass clocks but it matters not and it should come up very nicely.
I do have a French crystal regulator with a bell strike. The case turns out to be almost soundproof, I can hear the bell only when it's really silent in the room. When I open one of the doors, the bell is quite audible. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the later crystal regulators mainly had gongs?

Uhralt
 

Kevin W.

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Great looking French crystal regulator, i know it will be great when you are finished with it.
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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I do have a French crystal regulator with a bell strike. The case turns out to be almost soundproof, I can hear the bell only when it's really silent in the room. When I open one of the doors, the bell is quite audible. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the later crystal regulators mainly had gongs?

Uhralt
Could be, I just prefer a bell strike over a gong.
 

brian fisher

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thank you everyone for the comments. i just went through the movement yesterday and got it back together last night. i'm waiting for my timesavers order to come in. one jeweled pallet was missing. the other was the wrong size (way too large) according to the 40/10-40/10 calculation.

i think it seems when they get replaced, people have a tendency to just fill up the hole.

wouldn't you know....i have 2 pendule de paris parts movements and it turns out they are both about 1/2" larger diameter than this movement. there was almost no interchange of parts. alas, i was able to make do with what i had however.... my gathering pallet was missing, fortunately i was able to use one of those.

its gonna be a hassle to get the lacquer off the cabinet. not looking forward to that task.

as to the bell or gong, i guess i prefer the latter. ive never seen one of these where the gong block is mounted from the top. it would be really easy to convert to bell. this movement already has one threaded hole and 2 alignment pin holes on the back plate for that purpose.
 

Jim_Miller

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I'm glad you like it, and I can't wait to see it when it's done .
Jim
 

Uhralt

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thank you everyone for the comments. i just went through the movement yesterday and got it back together last night. i'm waiting for my timesavers order to come in. one jeweled pallet was missing. the other was the wrong size (way too large) according to the 40/10-40/10 calculation.

i think it seems when they get replaced, people have a tendency to just fill up the hole.

wouldn't you know....i have 2 pendule de paris parts movements and it turns out they are both about 1/2" larger diameter than this movement. there was almost no interchange of parts. alas, i was able to make do with what i had however.... my gathering pallet was missing, fortunately i was able to use one of those.

its gonna be a hassle to get the lacquer off the cabinet. not looking forward to that task.

as to the bell or gong, i guess i prefer the latter. ive never seen one of these where the gong block is mounted from the top. it would be really easy to convert to bell. this movement already has one threaded hole and 2 alignment pin holes on the back plate for that purpose.
My Japy Freres crystal regulator also has a gong mounted from the top (see pic). I think it has been done this way to make the gong stand not to interfere visually with the swinging pendulum which is an attractive feature of this kind of clock.

In order to clean the case it would be best to take it apart completely, if the frame screws allow. Sometimes they are rusted frozen and it is better not to touch them. If you can take it apart, note the exact position of each glass, they may not be interchangeable. if you have the case in pieces you can put the brass parts into an ammoniated clock cleaner at elevated temperature. That should remove the lacquer and clean the brass.

Uhralt

Crystal Regulator.jpg
 

brian fisher

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Jan 20, 2017
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the latest news is that i have it running really well. the strike train is screwed up a bit. i need to take it back apart to figure out why it strikes once at 18 after and 48 after the hour. i get a half strike on the half, plus the normal amount of strikes on the hour minus a half strike. i am guessing it's a timing issue.

qsdvD6.jpg

uSdUN4.jpg

the brocot shaft is about .070" too short and always falls out of the socket. in absence of a better idea, i guess i will just cut it in half and weld it back together with the gap corrected.

anyway moving on....what do you do when you want to display your clock on a 200 year old buffet with lots of character (that is to say a good sized sag in the center)?

ZEUIlE.jpg

well, if you are me, you put some thought into it and come up with a hidden leveling platform.

p1PeOb.jpg

tzC5en.jpg

n6brCo.jpg

as Emeril would say: bam! i am pleased to say she is ticking along nicely. as mentioned above, i still plan to fix a couple items and need to dissemble the cabinet for restoration.

that will have to wait for another day.
 

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zedric

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Nice idea with the levelling platform!
 

brian fisher

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Jan 20, 2017
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more progress on the regulator.

CzqnBG.jpg

i mentioned above that the brocot adjustment shaft was too short, so i cut and welded it to the length it needed to be.

D9aGHw.jpg

i used my lathe to clean up the joint.

y1il4b.jpg

i pulled the cabinet apart for restoration. i don't think the glass had ever been out of the doors. the screws holding them together were rusty as heck. i think the in the last restoration, they were "dunkin swished". all the parts went into my large ultrasonic with 2 gallons of cleaning solution. unfortunately, the machine is so old, it doesn't have heat. i purchased a sous vida cooker off amazon for this purpose. it held the bath perfectly at 140F. as Urhalt suggested, it did a great job of peeling off the lacquer. in this pic, everything has been cleaned, polished, and re-lacquered.

IL0t06.jpg

i was having some problems with the chime train as also detailed above. i found that the wheel with the lifting pins needed to needed to be indexed forward a tooth. it was very convenient that this pivot can be removed with one screw. once that was fixed, it turned out the train was also having a strike problem at 12 o'clock. only striking 11 but every other hour hit correctly. i took it apart 5 or 6 times(again), adjusting the hour wheel forward and back, but to no avail. the final solution was to file off a couple thousands off the snail in the 12 o'clock position. i have more time invested that i care to admit.

4vEikK.jpg

VgAmiT.jpg

she has been running now for 2 hours without hiccup. there are a good deal of nuances to these little movements. this one had so many problems, i feel like i had the opportunity to experience most of them. i suppose i have come to the conclusion that i like working on these pendule de paris movements. probably a good chance a few more of these things will follow me home.
 
Last edited:

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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more progress on the regulator.

View attachment 566529

i mentioned above that the brocot adjustment shaft was too short, so i cut and welded it to the length it needed to be.

View attachment 566530

i used my lathe to clean up the joint.

View attachment 566531

i pulled the cabinet apart for restoration. i don't think the glass had ever been out of the doors. the screws holding them together were rusty as heck. i think the in the last restoration, they were "dunkin swished". all the parts went into my large ultrasonic with 2 gallons of cleaning solution. unfortunately, the machine is so old, it doesn't have heat. i purchased a sous vida cooker off amazon for this purpose. it held the bath perfectly at 140F. as Urhalt suggested, it did a great job of peeling off the lacquer. in this pic, everything has been cleaned, polished, and re-lacquered.

View attachment 566532

i was having some problems with the chime train as also detailed above. i found that the wheel with the lifting pins needed to needed to be indexed forward a tooth. it was very convenient that this pivot can be removed with one screw. once that was fixed, it turned out the train was also having a strike problem at 12 o'clock. only striking 11 but every other hour hit correctly. i took it apart 5 or 6 times(again), adjusting the hour wheel forward and back, but to no avail. the final solution was to file off a couple thousands off the snail in the 12 o'clock position. i have more time invested that i care to admit.

View attachment 566533

View attachment 566534

she has been running now for 2 hours without hiccup. there are a good deal of nuances to these little movements. this one had so many problems, i feel like i had the opportunity to experience most of them. i suppose i have come to the conclusion that i like working on these pendule de paris movements. probably a good chance a few more of these things will follow me home.
Looks great! Congrats, good work! If you had to file the snail in order to make the clock strike correctly I wonder if it had been replaced at some time during the history of the clock.

Uhralt
 

turboflyer

Registered User
Feb 17, 2016
144
18
18
Country
the latest news is that i have it running really well. the strike train is screwed up a bit. i need to take it back apart to figure out why it strikes once at 18 after and 48 after the hour. i get a half strike on the half, plus the normal amount of strikes on the hour minus a half strike. i am guessing it's a timing issue.

View attachment 565183

View attachment 565184

the brocot shaft is about .070" too short and always falls out of the socket. in absence of a better idea, i guess i will just cut it in half and weld it back together with the gap corrected.

anyway moving on....what do you do when you want to display your clock on a 200 year old buffet with lots of character (that is to say a good sized sag in the center)?

View attachment 565185

well, if you are me, you put some thought into it and come up with a hidden leveling platform.

View attachment 565186

View attachment 565187

View attachment 565189

as Emeril would say: bam! i am pleased to say she is ticking along nicely. as mentioned above, i still plan to fix a couple items and need to dissemble the cabinet for restoration.

that will have to wait for another day.
I really like you leveler, may infringe on your patent. Have French regulator coming soon. In motorcycle terminology it is a basket case without the whole basket.
 
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