18th c Help with using a bracket clock!

Jeremy Lynn

Registered User
Jul 20, 2021
6
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60
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Dear All,
I recently purchased a rather handsome bracket clock - see photos attached.

I have to confess that some of the features are baffling me and I would very much welcome some instruction.

Firstly, the date.
Is there any way of advancing the date other than by turning the hands on for 18 days? (It's showing 2 on the 20th)
If I do resort to that, should I turn the strike to silent?
Is it best just to stop the clock and wait for the date to come round?

Secondly, the secondary dial above and to the right of the main dial is marked 60.
It's not moving. and the hand seems quite substantial for a second hand.
Is it a seconds dial or something else?
A bit of a silly question, but why isn't it moving?
Is it broken or does it need to be set in motion?

Thirdly does the strike or silent operate by manually turning the indicator? It feels as if it will move counter-clockwise, but I don't want to touch it until I know that's the right thing to do.

Any other tips or information gratefully received.
I've had a few clocks in my time, but never lashed out on one quite so venerable.

BTW if something looks "not right" please feel free to say so - I won't be upset!
 

Isaac

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Aug 5, 2013
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Is there any way of advancing the date other than by turning the hands on for 18 days? (It's showing 2 on the 20th)
If I'm not mistaken, light finger pressure in the direction that the date "plate" moves while it is not currently being actuated by the movement will allow for you to quickly advance it.

Secondly, the secondary dial above and to the right of the main dial is marked 60.
It's not moving. and the hand seems quite substantial for a second hand.
This is likely the "fine" rate adjustment sub-dial, which raises and lowers the pendulum without having to turn the clock around and adjust the pendulum bob directly. I can see the lever where the suspension spring is attached, so it's likely that this is what the dial does. It's more substantial than a regular seconds hand since it is moved by a person's hand.

Thirdly does the strike or silent operate by manually turning the indicator? It feels as if it will move counter-clockwise, but I don't want to touch it until I know that's the right thing to do.
Yes, it requires you to manually turn the indicator to silence the strike.

A beautiful clock - enjoy!
 

Jeremy Lynn

Registered User
Jul 20, 2021
6
2
3
60
Country
If I'm not mistaken, light finger pressure in the direction that the date "plate" moves while it is not currently being actuated by the movement will allow for you to quickly advance it.



This is likely the "fine" rate adjustment sub-dial, which raises and lowers the pendulum without having to turn the clock around and adjust the pendulum bob directly. I can see the lever where the suspension spring is attached, so it's likely that this is what the dial does. It's more substantial than a regular seconds hand since it is moved by a person's hand.



Yes, it requires you to manually turn the indicator to silence the strike.

A beautiful clock - enjoy!
If I'm not mistaken, light finger pressure in the direction that the date "plate" moves while it is not currently being actuated by the movement will allow for you to quickly advance it.



This is likely the "fine" rate adjustment sub-dial, which raises and lowers the pendulum without having to turn the clock around and adjust the pendulum bob directly. I can see the lever where the suspension spring is attached, so it's likely that this is what the dial does. It's more substantial than a regular seconds hand since it is moved by a person's hand.



Yes, it requires you to manually turn the indicator to silence the strike.

A beautiful clock - enjoy!
Many thanks, Isaac - that's really helpful.

I can't see any way of advancing the date manually. The figure is set into a recessed window and you certainly couldn't get a finger tip on it. I could possibly try a cotton ear bud.

Thanks for the information about the fine adjustment.
At the moment the clock seems to be keeping very good time, so hopefully I won't need to adjust it.
The hand is currently set at 28. If the clock was running slow would you increase or reduce the setting?

One other thing.
There is a fine black cord with a brass knob on the end.
If you pull it, it sounds the hour. Presumably for use at night? Or by the blind.
The cord is inside the clock, and to access it you obviously have to open the rear door.
Should it be threaded through the gap between the door and the frame, or was it intended that it stay inside?

Kind regs.

Jeremy
 

Isaac

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Aug 5, 2013
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If the clock was running slow would you increase or reduce the setting?
Moving it upwards/increasing would make the clock run faster I believe. An easy way to tell is to move the arbor while observing the pendulum suspension assembly. If the pendulum gets pulled upwards when you turn the subdial hand clockwise, then indeed it will make the clock run faster.

Should it be threaded through the gap between the door and the frame, or was it intended that it stay inside?
Pull repeat cords sometimes had a small hole in the side of the case that they were pulled through, although some clocks simply have the cord on the inside of the clock.
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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William Allam is a very fine and well known maker. His clocks sell at a premium to normal clocks from the same era. He is listed as working from 1743-85 and also with Clements 1764-95.

Yours is a fine example and nothing seems out of place from the photos other than the excess oil in the pivot holes on the rear plate. It probably needs a quick clean.

As mentioned the subsidiary dial on the top right is to regulate the pendulum which is achieved by the lever on the backplate raising the pendulum. There should be a hole in the base or side for the pull repeat cord to exit the case.

Let me know if you have any further questions. Congratulations on your clock.
 

rgmt79

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Jul 23, 2016
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Is there any way of advancing the date other than by turning the hands on for 18 days? (It's showing 2 on the 20th)
It can only be adjusted manually, usually at the end of each month depending on the number of days in the month. It's not obvious from your photo's but maybe there is something you can turn on the backplate, or something protruding from the side. Failing that try asking the previous owner.

Very nice clock indeed.

Richard
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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Datewheels on brass dial brackets are a bit of a conundrum, they are usually impossible to change from the back without pulling the movement and dial out as far as I have seen, and the silvering and or wax can be damaged by attempts from the front. My suggestion is a rubber gloved finger from the front, but I have never tried it, I don't own any with dates, and the ones here with them are not mine.

Your maker is indeed an excellent one, he was a master of the Clockmakers Company.
 

rgmt79

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Jul 23, 2016
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Jeremy, can you take a close up photo of the datewheel from the front without the hour hand obscuring the view please? I'm sure there must be a way of moving this manually without damaging the dial face, because as I said it will have to be adjusted once per month. It will only be numbered 1 - 30 in order for it to be automatically advanced each day.

Also a better view inside the movement from both sides would be useful.

Richard
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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Jeremy, can you take a close up photo of the datewheel from the front without the hour hand obscuring the view please? I'm sure there must be a way of moving this manually without damaging the dial face, because as I said it will have to be adjusted once per month. It will only be numbered 1 - 30 in order for it to be automatically advanced each day.

Also a better view inside the movement from both sides would be useful.

Richard
1-31, 7 of 12 months will require no adjustment but, yes, adjustment is a standard procedure.
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Yes, but the wheel will have only 30 teeth (indentations) to sync with the going train.
Why? The date wheel is driven by pin or flag not meshing teeth.
 

novicetimekeeper

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The pin moves each tooth on the calendar disc?
Yes, but there are 31 teeth, and presumably that means 30 indentations though I have never thought about it as they just allow the pin in to move the tooth. Not sure why it is relevant.
 
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zedric

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Can you get past the movement in a bracket to reach the calendar wheel? I've not tried but it looks pretty difficult. Perhaps my fingers are just too short.
Yes, the only sensible way is to move it from the back - just try and get a finger onto the back of the date wheel. Any attempt at moving it from the front will eventually scar or at minimum discolour the date indicator
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes, the only sensible way is to move it from the back - just try and get a finger onto the back of the date wheel. Any attempt at moving it from the front will eventually scar or at minimum discolour the date indicator
I have looked at the ones here and I don't think I would ever reach in there, that's why I wondered about a rubber glove from the front, I certainly wouldn't use an unprotected finger or any implement.
 

Jevan

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Jul 31, 2014
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Sadly of no help for the Allam clock but perhaps of interest as it might demonstrate date adjustment has never been straight forward.

Tompion often used a calendar ring including thirty one small holes which enabled adjustment from the front, occasionally the date aperture was filed to accommodate the action.

Much more rare are the slots found above a date aperture which allow access to the calendar ring teeth such that a small tool may be inserted to advance the date, Windmills & Gretton were amongst makers that have used this method.


0.JPG 1.JPG 2.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG .
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Interesting, it clearly was always a problem. Easy on a longcase where the date ring came from.
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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I just adjusted two similar bracket clocks and its not too hard....i'd use latex gloves or similar to not dirty the movement. It seemed easier to just two hands one on each side to turn them.
 
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rgmt79

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Why? The date wheel is driven by pin or flag not meshing teeth.
My mistake, you are right DeanT, the date wheel does not mesh with the going train. The photo below shows the calendar mechanism of an early 19th c. mantel clock where a pointer (date hand) on the dial face is attached to the "date wheel" making it easy to adjust the date by hand simply by displacing the spring loaded "jumper" to the appropriate indent on the date wheel via the hand on the dial face. The "star wheel" is synced to the going train and a pin moves the "date wheel" by 1 indent every 24 hours.

IMG_0220 2.jpg
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Here's a few photos of similar clocks with date wheels. The first clock is very similar style and age. The second one is probably 20 or 30 years later.


frontafter.jpg IMG_3904.JPG
Dial3.jpg Front.jpg Side2.jpg Ward.jpg
 

DeanT

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And one from around 1720's where I have highlighted the pin on the date wheel. Can't find any photos of the back of the dial and date wheel...must have considered it of little interest previously but Jevan's post covers the date ring.


1627205862482.png
 

novicetimekeeper

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You do have a pic of the back of the dial for one of them showing the date wheel arrangement, it was a particularly fine clock. Perhaps Mr Wright?
 
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DeanT

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Brouncker Watts circa 1715-20.

C063D60B-A9EA-4FC3-A369-B391047D12F6.jpeg A8EA591F-2A07-41FC-93AE-63DD4DFAF725.jpeg
 

Jeremy Lynn

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Jul 20, 2021
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Moving it upwards/increasing would make the clock run faster I believe. An easy way to tell is to move the arbor while observing the pendulum suspension assembly. If the pendulum gets pulled upwards when you turn the subdial hand clockwise, then indeed it will make the clock run faster.



Pull repeat cords sometimes had a small hole in the side of the case that they were pulled through, although some clocks simply have the cord on the inside of the clock.
Thanks.
I gave the regulator a little nudge and I've got it accurate to within a minute in 24 hrs, which I'm pretty pleased with!
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Thanks.
I gave the regulator a little nudge and I've got it accurate to within a minute in 24 hrs, which I'm pretty pleased with!
You should be able to get it more accurate than 1m per day. I've got a French pendule religieuse which runs to less than 30 sec over a 2 week period.

I do think a clean of the movement is probably in order given the oil seeping out of the pivot holes.

Did you find any holes in the case? All of mine has a hole for the cord. I would think it odd that access to check the time in the middle of night via a pull repeat cord would involve opening the case.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think you should be aiming for about a minute a week.
 

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