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How do I open this clock?

zedric

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Three clocks turned up in the post today...

July 2019 clocks.JPG

The one I am having trouble with is the small one with the silver dial in the shagreen case. I would like to open the case to look at the movement, but there is no obvious way to do this. Before forcing anything, I thought I'd ask if anyone know. The back does not hinge anywhere...

Shagreen back.JPG Shagreen side.JPG Shagreen base.JPG

Another thing - do I need to do anything special to look after shagreen? It looks in good condition now, and I'd like to keep it that way.

For anyone that is interested, the large one is a transitional clock - half way between a capucine and a carriage clock, it was made by Leon Clement Bourgeois, als has all the strikework on the backplate of the clock. The middle clock is a petite sonnerie (quarter striking, quarter and hour repeating) clock with alarm, but anonymous.
 

JTD

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I believe you will need to unscrew the four silver-colored round studs on the back. You need to use something like the two points of a school compass in the tiny holes to enable you to twist the studs to unscrew them.

As to the care of shagreen, I have always been taught that you should not use any cleaning product. Dust can be removed with a soft brush or a cloth. Shagreen fades if exposed to direct sunlight - yours may have been a lot greener when it was new, although shagreen does come in various shades.

That is what I was taught - others may have different ideas.

JTD
 

zedric

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Thanks - that’s what I thought until it arrived, but the shagreen on the back door is wrinkled and I wondered if those were just there to hold it tight, in which case opening them up might be the wrong thing to do...
 

gmorse

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Hi zedric,

but the shagreen on the back door is wrinkled and I wondered if those were just there to hold it tight, in which case opening them up might be the wrong thing to do...
I think if you remove just one of the four domed nuts on the back you'll be able to tell whether the back panel is ready to lift at that corner; it's clearly a separate piece of the case, and removing just one shouldn't pose any risks. If there's no sign of the panel being looser on that corner as a result, you can just put the nut back on. I doubt if they're holding the shagreen in place, it would have been glued on I expect.

The two similar nuts on the front are more likely to be holding the movement in the case, but could conceivably be holding the case together I suppose.

Regards,

Graham
 

Willie X

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Small round nose pliers make a good spanner for turning these two hole nuts. I recently ran across three of these (but smaller) on a c1925 Warren electric. Somewhat tamperproof I presume ...
WIllie X
 

zedric

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Thanks - I was planning on using circlip pliers - most of my tools are left over from the days I used to tinker with motorbikes - but it seems I have misplaced them, so will need to either file the points off a compass, or buy some small round nose or circlip pliers..
 

jmclaugh

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A nice trio, it would be interesting to see what movement is in the shagreen case. Opening it up may cause some chagrin. :rolleyes:
 

zedric

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I believe you will need to unscrew the four silver-colored round studs on the back. You need to use something like the two points of a school compass in the tiny holes to enable you to twist the studs to unscrew them.

JTD
Finally got to this today. Managed to make a tool from a paperclip, and unscrewed the domed "nuts" that, as can be seen from the photo, screw on threaded studs. I didn't go any further than this at the moment, but the studs / nuts clamp the dial from one side and back plate from the other side into the humpback case, so one the domed nuts are undone the whole thing can easily be disassembled.

The bottom studs go through to the nuts on the front panel, while the top ones are connected to the plate holding the dial

The movement is a relatively standard later timepiece movement, presumably of French manufacture.

IMG_3038.JPG
 
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bruce linde

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nice...