Grand Sonnerie Carriage Clock bottom selection chiming lever does not move

Nigel Harrison

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Oct 30, 2005
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Hello All,

I have a french Grand Sonnerie Carriage Clock with alaram and repeat functions and the bottom lever on the bottom(base) of the clock to select the type of chiming does not move. Stuck hard and have no idea why.

This is my first clock and is there a trick to making this move? Do I have to hold something down or engaged with key to move it?

To add to this the clock does not chime on the hours and quarters but does run and repeat and the alarm works.

Any advice would be great. Thanks.
 

Nigel Harrison

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Oct 30, 2005
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Some pics

IMG_6475.JPG IMG_6490.JPG IMG_6465.JPG
 

shutterbug

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Oct 19, 2005
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It appears that it should lift up out of the notches and move. Try a little more pressure and see if it does. If not, you may have to remove the bottom of the case (if possible) so we can see what's inside.
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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Yea, it’s on the front side of the movement so you will need to get the bottom off or remove the whole movement to see what is happening.
 

zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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Nigel

If this is your first clock, you might want to take it in to the Brisbane club meeting on Sunday to get a hand with it - grande sonnerie clocks, especially with a good retailer on the dial such as the one that you have, are still quite valuable, and it is possible to damage the dial and escapement if you are not sure what you are doing.

If you do have a go at getting the clock out, have something ready to place the movement on - the selection lever will stick out of the base, so a tube of some wide diameter (eg sticky tape) can make a handy rest handy, or a good selection of soft rags - you can't lie the movement down on its sides or front on a hard surface for fear of chipping the dial, and the escapement can easily be damaged if you place it back down and knock the selection lever
 

Nigel Harrison

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Oct 30, 2005
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Thanks Shutterbug, Yes I have tried to push it out of the notch and push the lever but it is stuck pretty firm when free of the notch and seems to me to be not normal as it seems like if I push it harder I could break it or something internally :) I collect pocket watches and anything like a lever I have had to push this hard does worry me.

Thanks Wow, How do you take the bottom off, the screws in the base?

Thanks Zedric, I have been meaning to come along to the local Brisbane NAWCC chapter meeting sometime to chat about watches and see what is discussed as I have been collecting pocket watches for 15 years. I know my pocket watches extremely well but had not dabbled in clocks before and had bought this years ago and thought it is about time I got it sorted. I know this clock is worth a lot as I did pay a fair bit for it, it is from Henry Capt so a high end quality piece and also had seen one of these from Henry Capt sell in the UK for around US$6000 equivalent(everything more expensive there), so I am hesitant to try to work on this myself to be honest as I imagine the movement has some decent complications in there and I am no highly skilled repairer...I can do some basic repairs on watches but nothing too advanced. From what you mention sounds like a delicate operation potentially...then I also determine what am I looking for to be wrong in all the parts? :)

I will make the time to come to a meeting as have been wanting to for some time and had mentioned this to my wife as well. I will just need to put in that effort to do so and find the time. I may not make this Sunday but will make the time soon. Thanks for the invite.
 

zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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Hi Nigel

Next meeting tis this Sunday, workshop starts around 8:30am. The meeting is the AGM, so no talks, but there may be some show and tell...

If you are familiar with watches, then you should be OK to open up the case and remove the dial, but first have something like a roll of packing tape handy to use as a stand for the movement, some soft rags, and have a system in place to ensure all screws etc can go back where they came from.

First place a rubber band around the clock to stop the case from falling apart when the door comes loose. The feet are attached by screws, so remove these and then the base plate will come off. Then you should see four screws in the corners, and two in the middle, which go through the plate into the movement pillars. DO NOT remove the middle screws. turn the clock upside down, and remove only the outer screws (you want to remove the base, along with the movement, from the rest of the case). Once you have removed the last one, the case and movement should separate. Be careful not to touch the enamel dial, or escapement, on the case as you lift the movement out. This can be trickier with grande sonnerie clocks, as the gong is wider, but if it is done carefully it should work. Then set the movement down on the roll of tape (it supports it and stops the lever from touching the bench) and put the case down carefully on the rags.

The lever may now be freer to move. If not, remove the hands and dial as you would with a watch, and post pictures here.
 
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