Franz Hermie with a loose escapement

LISSA DUVALL

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Aug 23, 2020
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I have a Franz Hermie 701-781 that had run great for years. It has stopped running. I believe that the escapement has gotten too loose. I don't see a way to tighten it and a drop of glue feels like sacrilege. Any ideas?
 

Dick Feldman

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Hermle verges do not get loose unless someone has messed with them.
The answer is don't mess with it.
More likely the problem is low power due to wear in the movement from years operation.
What is stamped on the rear plate of the movement?
It is common for novices to look to the escapement as being a problem because that is the thing that moves.
The problem is probably not the spring either. That is the second thing suspected by someone with little experience.
JMHO,
Dick
 

Dick Feldman

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Normally there is some sort of manufacture date code.
Is that is all that is stamped on the rear plate?
Regardless, your problem is likely wear.
Dick
 

JeffG

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Unless your clock has suffered some trauma (dropped, moved without removing pendulum,...), then Mr. Feldman is correct that your clock has probably stopped due to wear throughout the trains.
For some reason your video won't play for me, but the piece that you holding in the still, the crutch, is meant to be somewhat loose on the arbor on some Hermles in order to set the clock in beat. Look up "Hermle auto beat setting mechanism". I'm still learning so hopefully someone will be along shortly to corroborate.
-Jeff
 
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tracerjack

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Video played for me. The verge is not your problem. It is not loose, meant to be that way. More important is, “How old is the movement,” and “When was the movement last serviced?”
 
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wow

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Lissa, I believe that movement is set up with an automatic beat setting escapement. Yours may be out of beat. Simply move the pendulum to either side and release it letting it swing freely to the opposite side and it should set the beat and continue to run. If that doesn’t work, try the other direction. Let us know what happens.
 

LISSA DUVALL

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My mom bought the clock sometime between 2000 and 2010, so it is not that old by clock standards. And it hasn't been dropped or damaged. I did try to set the beat using the method that wow described, and for the last couple of years this is the method that I have used and it has worked. It has stopped running more and more frequently. And now this method of setting the beat no longer works. Every swing that the pendulum makes moves the anchor.

Anyway, it is all good and has been running for about 45 minutes. I got it in beat and then used a glob of earthquake putty to keep the anchor from slipping. See if you can spot the putty in the video.

 

wow

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Those anchors must be dry and snug. If oil has gotten on them, it will cause what you describe. I use naptha to clean one that is loose or oiled. Then you can often tighten the clutch using a hollow punch and small hammer.
 
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Dick Feldman

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Hermle verges do not get loose unless someone has messed with them.
My bet is that someone has messed with that verge.
I would suspect WD-40 or some other lube product.
Most times, lubing an auto beat verge will ruin it and the only salvation sometimes is a less than quality repair like you have done. Some parts of a clock movement are designed to have friction and that verge is one.
This discussion hints of operator error to me.
D
 

LISSA DUVALL

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Interesting! I have a sonic jewelry cleaner, maybe I can clean out the lubricant with that. If not, I am stuck with keeping the glob of earthquake putty.
 

Dick Feldman

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I have the tools you have and lots more.
Your chances of success are pretty poor.
All of what I said is from many years experience.
I have a better than fair chance of knowing of what I speak.
Even an experienced clock repair person has a poor chance of reviving an auto adjust verge that has been oiled.
The best that can be done is to fuse it and defeat the original design.
From then on, the clock will be manual adjust beat.
The normal life span of a movement like yours is about 20-25 years. The largest culprit will be low power due to wear. Think of that clock movement as a long series of events. If one event is missing, the clock will not be dependable. Two things wrong with a clock movement are more than twice as difficult to trouble shoot than one. The first priority with a non running clock movement should be to be dead sure there is sufficient power to run the escapement.
Clean, oil and adjust are not bad for clocks but are mainly preventative measures. An undependable clock movement is way past preventative maintenance.
If you want to be a clock repair person worth your salt, maybe reading a few books from accepted sources might be in order. U Tube videos are easy but there is way too much misinformation there.
Your local library can help. This Old Clock by David S. Goodman might be a start. Try some of Conover's series of books. Why not read a lot by a bunch of authors and throw away the ideas you do not like?
Another fruitful approach might be to find a mentor. Good lessons can be learned even from a mentor that is a second rate repair person.
I once sort of had a mentor. He told me not to ask questions until I had researched the problem and solution.
You may have heard me say before that this board is populated by all levels of repair people.
There is a fair chance you can get bad advice on this board from a well meaning rookie.
Dick
 
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Mike Mall

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Anyway, it is all good and has been running for about 45 minutes. I got it in beat and then used a glob of earthquake putty to keep the anchor from slipping. See if you can spot the putty in the video.
Nice clock. Obviously you're very handy.
If you search "auto beat clutch" you may find a few suggestions of how to add tension, going back through the many years of discussions here. I believe WOW has already given you one that would be more permanent.
And you may learn a few things as well.
 

shutterbug

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Yes, the verge is designed to move as the pendulum swings .... up to a point. As stated above, you give the pendulum a big swing to start with. The verge moves as it bottoms out on the escape wheel. It is correcting itself with each swing until it gets to the point where it no longer bottoms out. It will stay in that position from then on, which will be close enough to being in beat to run the clock.
But just to be sure, we need to see the escape wheel.
 

Wayne A

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Have one of these 701-781's hanging on the wall running. Has the same style loose anchor and when I received it the whole clock appeared to be dunked in a bucket of oil. I have been setting the beat manually, its a little fiddly but keeps excellent time.

Wayne

20220815_142603.jpg
 

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