• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Hermle clock movement

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Hello everyone.

I have come across this forum and thought I might try to get some advice.

Firstly, I am a 75 year old retired engineer who likes to do a lot of model making and tinkering with mechanical devices but unfortunately clocks are not one of them although i do have a few mechanical clocks in my home. I think all the chiming annoys my wife.

Anyway, down to brass tacks. I have a Comitti of London Lancet clock bought in 1995 which has a Hermle 340-020 chiming movement which initially I was going to have serviced but as this was going to cost £200 I decided to go down the path of replacing the movement myself at a cost of a fraction more.

I purchased this new movement from a reputable UK supplier which came in it's factory packaging so there was no question of it being damaged in transit. Unfortunately, although it was the same model of replacement there was some changes in the original design which meant I had to change over the mounting brackets and make changes to the hammers and raise the gongs.

I have got it working but with the regulator almost at the end of its travel it is running extremely slow losing ten minutes a day. Because of having made some alterations I suspect, understandably, that the supplier will refuse to accept any liability. My first thought was to order a replacement balance (costing £50 or thereabouts) but before doing this should I be considering something else. There is no way I could have accidently upset this balance mechanism as I am very careful when working.

I'd appreciate any advice on this matter.
 

wow

NAWCC Member
Jun 24, 2008
4,800
447
83
75
Pineville, La. (central La.)
Country
Region
Welcome. In some cases with this movement, I have encountered movements which have been adjusted in the wrong direction on the balance wheel. Instead of moving the little points in the desired direction, the customer moved the wheel itself in that direction. If you want it faster, be sure you are moving the point toward +.
Otherwise, slow running usually indicates weak power in the time train. A tiny drop of synthetic oil on the end of each arbor pivot may help increase the power. Sometimes new movements have been stored a while and need lubrication.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
That was a quick reply, thanks.

I'm definitely going in the correct direction.

It was indicated that new movements were pre-lubricated and before I fitted it i took a look with a loupe at the pivot points and this did appear to sow this to be the case.

Before i go ahead and remove the movement to re-oil I'll hang about and see if others come up with anything else (no offence to you).
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
13,104
1,177
113
Make sure you are turning the little adjustment screw anti-clockwise to make it go faster.

Running slow is often caused by the little pallet fork dragging something as it turns. You can search this list for something like "new Hermle 340 running slow" to learn more about this.

As long as you haven't damaged anything the company should exchange that movement. You may have to pay the postage again but this would probably be the best path to take.

Willie X
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Take a look at the rotation of the balance wheel. You should be getting 360° rotation or very close. Let us know what you see there.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Just an update on my findings.

I have just done a manual beat count which has come out at 8.400 bpm.

To Willie X, I can't return it as one of the mods I had to do was to cut 1/2" of the hammer rods and also put a goose neck in them to accommodate the case. The conditions of sale by this company is that any return is on the condition that any movement must be in original packing, unused and still in sealed package. On reflection I should have done a bench test before fitting the movement but I never suspected there would have been any issue as Hermle are supposed to have a good reputation.
 
Last edited:

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
13,104
1,177
113
Reread post #4.

I don't know who you are talking to but it's about 1 out of 4 for me. IOWs, I have to fix or send back about one out of every 4. Most just need some minor repair or adjustments. I can usually do the necessary work in less time than I would spend just repackaging the movement. I don't get paid for either and I now figure this into the repair cost as a +10 on the labor.

Willie, X
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

NEW65

Registered User
Nov 17, 2010
1,361
47
48
United Kingdom
Country
Region
Yes I agree with Willie - 1 in 4 is about right. I had to fix a 1171 when it arrived. Both the chime count and chime stop were loose so the chime was totally messed up. It took me about 30 mins to sort out but something that I shouldn’t have had to do. I have done numerous repairs on new Hermle movements! It’s unacceptable really but it saves me the shipping fee to send them back and of course precious time.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Sorry about the figure in my previous entry. I put bpm where I meant bph.

Is my figure of 8400bph outside a tolerance zone
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Your rotation is too low. You need to address that. The little fork that interacts with the wheel has to be set in a particular spot, and there's very little tolerance. It should run right at the transition point from straight to tapered.
 

dickstorer

Registered User
Oct 19, 2010
805
45
28
87
Hampton, Georgia
Country
Region
Rasp, you have miscounted somewhere. The BPM is 150 the BPH is 9000. Could you tell us what the date code is? As stated before, rotation should be at least 360 degrees and you are getting 90. Something is greatly amiss. Shut says the pallet fork should enter the roller pins at the transition point and he is right. Maybe the pallet fork needs to be bent a little to achieve this. It will not do well if it enters to deep or to shallow.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Date code is AH

I removed the balance movement and checked the rotation time I found from another thread. I turned it about 270 degrees and it rotated for a minute before stopping. I then cleaned it with IPA, dried it and without oiling it the rotation time was the same. I have put it back in the clock (still did not oil it) and back to square one.

Is it worth biting the bullet and getting a new balance wheel.
 
Last edited:

dickstorer

Registered User
Oct 19, 2010
805
45
28
87
Hampton, Georgia
Country
Region
I strongly doubt that your balance is bad. By slowly moving the bal wheel with your finger and observing with a good loupe, see where the pallet fork is first touching the roller pins. proper depthing of the fork into the pins is critical. I try to get them adjusted so the pins enter the fork just barely over half of the pins diameter. Adjustment is made by bending the fork.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
13,104
1,177
113
It would be very very (that's a big ole double very) :) unusual that the actual balance is causing your problem. Did you ever read post #4 ?? There are probably hundreds of pages in the archive on how to repair and adjust flaws in your escapement. Bugs is trying to tell you about the most likely problem area. Anything dragging any part of the balance wheel will slow your rate and decrease the balance wheel's rotation. The little rotation limiting dart that juts downward from the right side of the fork often is bent to where it drags against the lower "C" shaped ring. Willie X
 
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
OK, I'm back.

I have been meticulously checking over the advice given and I cannot see anything amiss on what has been explained.. To me everything appears to be ticking along quite merrily (excuse the pun). Although I spent my life in fine engineering I have no clock experience so I must be missing something somewhere. Any chance of someone attaching a sketch on what specifically I should be paying more attention to. After putting the movement back I am now getting the beat rate at 9150 BPH which is up on before but it's still losing time and the balance wheel is still only rotating around 90 degrees.
 

wow

NAWCC Member
Jun 24, 2008
4,800
447
83
75
Pineville, La. (central La.)
Country
Region
How did you clean the balance assembly? After cleaning, did you oil it? How long will it rotate on its own when mounted in a vice and spun widely with your finger? If everything else, pivots, mainsprings, bushings, and lubricating, have been addressed, the balance may need more attention. The position of the fork is so important. A slight bend out or in makes a big difference. I have checked out some of these thoroughly and finally made a tiny adjustment in the fork and found that to be the problem with rotation.
 

murphyfields

Registered User
Jun 24, 2020
151
19
18
Westminster, CO
Country
Region
After putting the movement back I am now getting the beat rate at 9150 BPH which is up on before but it's still losing time
Something I am really not understanding here...if the ideal beat is 9000 BPH, and you are getting 9150, shouldn't the clock be running fast, not slow?
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
13,104
1,177
113
Yes, mine always do and that's way outside the regulator range.

OP, do you have optical help there? No one has eyesight good enough to see what needs the be seen here.

The simplest explanation I can do is this: at the center of the cycle, the tiny fork slaps the double roller (at the bottom of the balance wheel) it provides impulse. Then the roller sails by the little horn of the fork and the fork as the fork slaps against the banking tab, on the lowest point of the balance assembly. The rollers never touch or drag anything except the roller for a few degrees at the impulse point. The wheel goes round about 180 degrees and then comes back by the banked fork and the same process repeats on the other side. The rollers go past the horns of the fork 4 times on each cycle. If there is the slightest brush against anything the balance will slow.
I've already mentioned the little dart on the fork, it can cause trouble to.

A good beat amp can allow you to easily hear all these actions and spot any scraping noises, even if ever so slight. So you may want to give that a try.

Also, you can't just pop the balance assembly in and out. It has to be carefully adjusted on its mounting screws to position the banking tabs at the correct position. The fork should be slapping these banking taps soundly and equally, that's what makes the main ticking sound of the clock. If you're hearing this, the fork is banking against the gullets of the escape wheel, not good.

One last thing, to check that the train is freely delivering power to the fork, simply remove the balance assembly and carefully push the little fork left and then right, using a toothpick. The fork should go over to about the vertical point and then snap smartly over and bank into the escape-wheel. Observe this for a while.
Once you have this action in your head, just picture the fork being slammed over against the banking tabs of the (now removed) balance assembly.

That's about all I know ... Willie X :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Good morning folks, at least it's morning where I am.

I'll go over a few things which have been pointed in the last few posts.

I cleaned the balance assembly with acetone then with an IPA wash which I dried off and didn't lubricate, just left as is. I rotated the wheel from a 270 degree position and it rotated for 70 secs before stopping. It does rotate much longer if I give it a god spin. I then installed it paying attention that I did this correctly as mentioned.

I have an electronic stethoscope (from my engineering days) which is able to detect the minutest vibrations and noises and I cannot pick up on anything which would appear abnormal.

I have adjusted the speed setting (3/4 of the way to full +) to give me a beat of exactly 9000 bph. The wheel movement is still only 90 degrees full rotation but if i am getting the desired beat then I would have thought this to be acceptable. On this rotation amount I did do a search on some of the videos on youtube and I have noted the some movements only rotate this amount while others do rotate a full 360 degrees so there doesn't seem to be a consistency here. I would have thought as long as the beat is at the desired value then the amount of rotation shouldn't really matter as long as the escapement is driven at the required rate.

I have just finished all these checks and will let it run for the rest of today and see the outcome. I'll come back later to let you know how things are going.

If it wasn't for this co-vid crisis I probably would have given up on this as my time could be spent elsewhere but unfortunately I am more or less confined to my home so I need to occupy myself.
 
Last edited:

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Another idea is to take a slow motion video of it in action. That will make it easier to see how much rotation you have and see the balance in operation. If the test Willie mentioned seems good, then I'm betting it's the fork adjustment that needs your attention. As mentioned before, it is VERY important to have it positioned just right. It's very critical to the proper operation of the balance.
Edit: oops. You added it while I was typing. I think it's the fork. The action is anemic at best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NEW65

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
It was taken with my ipad so it's a quicktime mov which will open with Apple devices and Microsoft media player
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
You need an MP4 player, and establish it in the default settings for this type of file. Alternately, you can down load it and use the Windows Media Player. :)
Rasputin, I think the fork is set too deep. Carefully pull it back away from the roller about 1/2mm and see how that works.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
OK, I've done what you suggested.

The rotation and beat is still the same but I'll let it run overnight and see what the results are tomorrow. Lets give it time, my jokes are terrible.

I've attached a photo of the clock in question. I bought it new 26 years ago for £475. It's still manufactured today and it retails at £1800 although it can be sourced for £1500 so it's worth keeping.

clock.jpg
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Well. I'm not having much luck.

Overnight it has lost five minutes and that's with the adjustment almost to the max.

I'm going to remove the movement and bench test it so to speak in order that I can see the movement better. I'll use the slomo video technique to get a better view of what's happening. I don't want it to get the better of me and perhaps I will learn more about clock movements in the process.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Have discovered a chap down my street who's hobby is watch and clock restoration. He's actually a retired repairer in this field with over fifty years experience so if anyone can see what's going wrong he should be the man.

He's asked me to hand it in to him to have a look at. I'll keep you posted.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Let us know what he finds.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Update on my problem.

I've got my clock back in working order.

The chap who repaired it for me said the problem lay in the hairspring. He put in a replacement balance wheel assy which he had lying in his' junk drawer' as he described it.

As for how much he charged me. Nothing, as I agreed to carry out some repairs to one of his radio controlled model boats which is also a hobby of mine.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Cool. Good rotation now?
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
The rotation is a little better but not to the extent as I have seen on some of the youtube videos, yet again I have also seen that there are some of these movements which only have a small rotation.

When I asked him about this he just said that not all are consistent with this theory as hairsprings behave differently. The adjustment lever is midway so there leeway to adjust either way. He has the ability to check things out on his computer and says it's now working as it should.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
45,538
1,634
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Keep us posted on how it goes long term. I don't think your repairman is correct in that opinion.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
I will do but I've had the clock running 24hrs so far and it appears to be keeping perfect time.
 

Rasputin

Registered User
Feb 8, 2021
18
0
1
74
Country
Clock is still running fine, just had to make a little tweak as it was running just a fraction fast.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
13,104
1,177
113
Hopefully it will run OK but anything much less than 360° is problematic. The movement you have there will usially do somewhere between 400° and 450° when new. So, it's not exactly "fixed" yet. :( Willie X
 

Similar threads

Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Forum statistics

Threads
163,536
Messages
1,421,046
Members
84,938
Latest member
Naama
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,857
Last edit
Aurora's 15 Ruby Jewel Movements by Greg Frauenhoff

514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: 717-684-8261

Contact the Webmaster for perceived copyright infringement (DMCA Registration Number 1010287).

Copyright © National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc (A 501c3 non-profit corporation). All Rights Reserved.

The NAWCC is dedicated to providing association services, promoting interest in and encouraging the collecting of clocks and watches including disseminating knowledge of the same.