Hermle 340-020 Westminster lifespan.

chrisuk

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Sep 4, 2010
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I recently repaired a 1981 Hermle 340-020 Westminster chiming clock. I tend to dread these things but this one had obviously been serviced regularly. The oil was good and any problem holes had been bushed. The wheels were marked W S & C to indicate which train they came from. The timekeeping barrel had been bushed. The mainspring grease, more like glue, showed that the springs had not been removed for a long time. So far so good, no problems here. The clue as to why it was not running well was the state of the screws holding the floating balance to the back plate, heads rather chewed. The lever had marks from pliers all over it. Floating balances have been around a long time but many people still have no detailed knowledge of how they are supposed to work. In this one the guard pin was just touching the outside of the safety ring and limiting the swing of the balance. The balance itself was fine; after setting it on the banch and giving it 3/4 of a turn it took 8 minutes to stop. After cleaning and adjusting the movement the balance settled with rotation of about 1 1/4 turns with the movement fully wound; my BHI course notes say that it should be 1 1/2 turns when fully wound and not fall below 1 turn after eight days so 1 1/4 turns on a forty year old movement is not too bad.
Hermle-340-020-balance.JPG
 

chimeclockfan

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Dec 21, 2006
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20-25 years is the typical service lifespan for these movements and you're lucky to get more than that.
 

Andy Dervan

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Oct 23, 2002
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You were lucky; it sounded someone got in there with pliers and almost messed things up.

I was surprised that movement did not have more problems and you were able to repair it.

It was similar time period some companies were using plated pinions and those movements began self-destructing after coating started wearing and flaking off.

Glad you were able to correct issues and hopefully it will keep running a few more years.

Andy
 

heifetz17

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Apr 8, 2015
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I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about Hermle movements. I have 7 bracket clocks, a wall clock, and a tambour that all have Hermle Westminster movements from the mid to late ‘70s and all run perfectly after overhauls and oiling. In my limited experience they’ve been fantastic movements, or maybe I’ve just been lucky?
 

Andy Dervan

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You are lucky. Most repairman won't even touch and replace them rather than trying to repair because the return rate from customers was to high after working on them.

Hermle supplied movements to Colonial Mfg. Co. in 1970s and 1980s and 10-20% "new" movements right out of the box would not work and needed a variety of adjustments and reworking from employees just to get them to run.

Andy Dervan
 

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