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How to identify and care for my wife's Anniversary Clock

Marc in York UK

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My wife inherited a brass anniversary clock in its original glass dome. It used to work but when we moved house we lost the suspension spring and fittings.

It looks like a Gustav Becker, but there is no maker's mark just a serial number 18929 below a 0.

It doesn't have a suspension spring guard or any screw holes to indicate it ever had one. The pendulum weight is a flat disc with two small weights adjusted by a threaded pin. There are no markings or serial numbers on the disc.

Unfortunately the threaded pin is broken at one end of the centre section that goes through the mount above the pendulum disc.

As for the suspension spring and fittings, does anyone know what size they should be? The drop is about 130 mm. To fit into the claw on the case, the top block must be 7 or 8mm wide with a 12 mm long pin. To fit the claw on the pendulum disc, the bottom block must be 2 to 3 mm wide with a 5 mm pin.

Does any of you know which model this is, and what reference numbers I should look for when try to find the missing parts?

Marc

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KurtinSA

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Welcome to the message board, Marc! Very nice old clock to have...careful, they are addicting!

The clock was made by Hauck and likely built sometime late 1907 or early 1908. I believe you're looking for a special gimbal and top block as shown at the bottom of this page:

400 Day Clock Blocks & Forks | Horolovar

You probably will want to get in touch with other supply houses for this. Not sure about the UK...maybe Merritt's or Meadows and Passmore? Others will have a better idea of what's available on your side of the pond. I think the best bet is Merritt's...they appear to offer temperature compensating suspension springs by The Horolovar Company...that's the link I provided above. Other suspension springs might not be of the right material and they will not provide good time keeping capability. The thickness of suspension spring is going to be 0.0038" or 0.004".

Here's a picture of the back of my clock, built a little after yours. I have a different pendulum. But it's possible to find the replacement threaded rod...I don't know for sure, but there is likely a threaded rod out there that is essentially universal for these clocks...might take some digging.

Kurt

HauckGimbel.jpg
 
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Ingulphus

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A member on here, TorsionKid, has both the gimbaled top block and pendulum adjustment rod for sale on eBay. Search for "pendulum adjusting rod" and "Hauck gimbal suspension". His reproductions are identical to the originals.
 

Bod

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I've bought the gimbal assembly from Australia (Brooklet_95) fitted perfectly, arrived reasonably quickly, seeing how far it came.
Blocks and suspension wire came from Cousins in the UK. The wire I have fitted is if I remember correctly is 0.0038 inch Horolovar.

Bod
Edit to add.
Looking back I have fitted a 0.0040 wire to correct the regulation.
 
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Marc in York UK

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Welcome to the message board, Marc! Very nice old clock to have...careful, they are addicting!

The clock was made by Hauck and likely built sometime late 1907 or early 1908. I believe you're looking for a special gimbal and top block as shown at the bottom of this page:

400 Day Clock Blocks & Forks | Horolovar

You probably will want to get in touch with other supply houses for this. Not sure about the UK...maybe Merritt's or Meadows and Passmore? Others will have a better idea of what's available on your side of the pond. I think the best bet is Merritt's...they appear to offer temperature compensating suspension springs by The Horolovar Company...that's the link I provided above. Other suspension springs might not be of the right material and they will not provide good time keeping capability. The thickness of suspension spring is going to be 0.0038" or 0.004".

Here's a picture of the back of my clock, built a little after yours. I have a different pendulum. But it's possible to find the replacement threaded rod...I don't know for sure, but there is likely a threaded rod out there that is essentially universal for these clocks...might take some digging.

Kurt

View attachment 580043
Kurt, thank you for this enormously helpful reply. I spent a long time looking for a Gustav Becker like my wife's clock, and you redirected me just as I was giving up!
Neither Meadows and Passmore nor Merrits has the parts I am looking for, so Horolovar and the seller on Ebay in Australia seem to be the only ones with the right top block. Am I right in thinking that the standard 2.7 mm bottom block and a standard fork such as Master will suit this clock?
Best wishes and thanks again.
 

Marc in York UK

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I've bought the gimbal assembly from Australia (Brooklet_95) fitted perfectly, arrived reasonably quickly, seeing how far it came.
Blocks and suspension wire came from Cousins in the UK. The wire I have fitted is if I remember correctly is 0.0038 inch Horolovar.

Bod
Edit to add.
Looking back I have fitted a 0.0040 wire to correct the regulation.

Thanks for this comment, Bod. I found a long description elsewhere recommending 0.0038 inch Horolovar, but I also read your post saying that 0.0040 suits the Philip Hauck better.
Best wishes, Marc
 

KurtinSA

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Marc -

I don't know about the specification for blocks, etc. Here in the US, I typically work with The Horolovar Company...easy for me. Generally, I can call them or maybe send an email. Basically, if you send a picture of the clock, good pictures especially of the back plate, he'll be able to look at it and provide you want you need. No need to measure things or whatever. Sounds like you have a source for the upper gimbal and top block...you just need the spring and bottom block. I'm not sure what is meant by a 2.7mm block, but maybe that's the thickness of the block. I just looked at my Hauch, albeit with a different pendulum, and the thickness of my block is a shade over 2.5mm.

Kurt
 

Bod

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Thanks for this comment, Bod. I found a long description elsewhere recommending 0.0038 inch Horolovar, but I also read your post saying that 0.0040 suits the Philip Hauck better.
Best wishes, Marc
I found with mine that the 0.0038 wire ran out of pendulum adjustment before good time regulation was achieved. The solution for all these clocks, is to change the wire for a thicker or thinner wire, dependant on whether the clock is running slow or fast.
Once yours is running reliably, and you know what it's time keeping is like, then advice as to any change of wire can be given.

Bod.
 

KurtinSA

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If you have to guess at the suspension spring, best to choose one that is slightly too thick. You can always thin it by a few ten-thousandths...can't add material.

Anymore, I'm beginning to not trust some of the thicknesses given in the repair guide. I start with the recommended spring, but I don't cut it to size until I have done a few swing tests. I put the top and bottom blocks on and push the excess spring through the top of the block until I get the right distance between the two blocks. Then I clamp the top block to a board and then hook on the pendulum. I try a few runs to see what the cycle rate is. I can easily change to a different spring if not within +/- 2 seconds of 60 seconds for 8 beats (or whatever is specified). If needed, I can just thin the spring I've chosen if I don't have the right size.

Kurt
 

Marc in York UK

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If you have to guess at the suspension spring, best to choose one that is slightly too thick. You can always thin it by a few ten-thousandths...can't add material.

Anymore, I'm beginning to not trust some of the thicknesses given in the repair guide. I start with the recommended spring, but I don't cut it to size until I have done a few swing tests. I put the top and bottom blocks on and push the excess spring through the top of the block until I get the right distance between the two blocks. Then I clamp the top block to a board and then hook on the pendulum. I try a few runs to see what the cycle rate is. I can easily change to a different spring if not within +/- 2 seconds of 60 seconds for 8 beats (or whatever is specified). If needed, I can just thin the spring I've chosen if I don't have the right size.

Kurt
Hi Kurt

How much difference does the length of the spring make to the cycle rate? I have seen pictures of clocks with the pendulum disk quite high up, and others when the disk is just barely clear of the bottom plate.

Marc
 

KurtinSA

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Marc -

John Hubby has posted that a 5% change in length changes the rate by 5%:

Kuno suspension spring length

Another thread in the past 6 months offered some test data to suggest that it wasn't quite that much but in the ball park.

Speed Problem

The thickness of the spring has a far greater effect on the rate of rotation. But if the spring has to be cut in order to get rid of an imperfection or a piece was broken off at the top block, it might be OK to do provided you can still regulate the clock and you don't mind the look of a raised pendulum.

Kurt
 

Marc in York UK

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I have got the missing parts and assembled the suspension with a 0.0038" Horolovar spring. The pendulum disk is at the height I remember from when it last ran, and the weights are at the outer edge of the pendulum disk. It's now in beat, and has been running well for two days. However it is gaining an hour a day. I shall give it time to settle down before lowering the disk. Any other suggestions to improve timekeeping?

Marc

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KurtinSA

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Marc -

Nice that you have the clock back running again! I don't think lowering the pendulum will gain you what you need in terms of time keeping. It would seem that you need a different spring.

So, the clock is running an hour a day fast with the small adjustment weights fully out. What is that rate of gain with the weights in the center of their adjustment? That's the true situation with regard to suggesting what to do. Presently, you're 2.5 minutes per hour fast. If you're fast, you need a thinner spring. I suspect that if you were to move the adjustment weights more to center, that 2.5 minutes fast will be more like 4 minutes fast...something like that. The rule of thumb is that 4 minutes per hour equates to a thickness change of 0.0001" of the suspension spring.

Your options then are to buy a 0.0037" spring and refit or take the current 0.0038" spring and gradually thin it to approach the thinner spring and bring the clock with adjustment range.

Kurt
 

tracerjack

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I agree with Kurt. Recenter the weights and thin the spring. Its time consuming. I think I had to remove the upper block several times before I got it right, but it works. Don’t bother with the fork. Just use the eight revolutions of the pendulum as a time guide. Have a couple of these “free spirit” clocks that need a strange spring thickness to run properly.
 

Marc in York UK

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I agree with Kurt. Recenter the weights and thin the spring. Its time consuming. I think I had to remove the upper block several times before I got it right, but it works. Don’t bother with the fork. Just use the eight revolutions of the pendulum as a time guide. Have a couple of these “free spirit” clocks that need a strange spring thickness to run properly.
Thanks for your advice. 00.0038" clearly doesn't suit our clock. With the weights centered as Kurt suggested, it's settled down to gain 5 1/2 minutes an hour. It's running very happily and evenly but I won't get it to keep time at this thickness.
Marc
 

KurtinSA

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So what's your plan? Are you going to try to thin this spring or go to 0.0037"? If things hold true to rule of thumb, that would result in something like 1-2 minutes fast per hour which might be within adjustment range or would be easier to thin a bit to get within range.

Kurt
 

Marc in York UK

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Kurt

I am rather short of time (no pun intended) at the moment, so I have sent for a 3 pack of 00.0037" suspension wires hoping that, as you say, they will get me into the adjustment range.

The clock looks good now running in beat with the pendulum disk 3/8" above the base; but I think it could also look nice with the disk barely clear of the base and the weights at the outermost position on the rod. If it still runs fast like that, I shall take a deep breath and thin the spring.

Marc
 

Dells

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Hi Mark
I have thinned a few torsion springs and it is not as difficult as it sounds, all I do is I have two lollop sticks and I have glued 600 wet&dry on one side and 1200 wet&dry on other side, I remove top block and fork hold bottom block pinch spring between lollipop sticks and pull bottom block and repeat a few times then turn sticks over and repeat .
Dell
 

Marc in York UK

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Hi Dells

I ordered some 00.0037" Horolovar springs. With the pendulum bob fitted lower and the weights two-thirds of the way along the thread, our clock is now losing less than a second in 24 hours.

Here are a few notes based on my experience, in case they turn out to be useful to other people who are as inexperienced as me!

1. This clock seems happiest when the pendulum bob is hung as low as possible using nearly the full length of the spring. I had to go just a bit higher in order to get Mervyn Passmore's adjusting scale underneath the bob.
2. The clock then keeps time when the edges of the weights are just beyond the edge of the bob. If you don't like the look of this, take Dell's advice about thinning the torsions spring a little.
3. With the suspension and weights adjusted like that, the swing on the 00.0037" spring is over 300 degrees. With the 00.0038" spring it was 270 degrees.
4. The top of the fork is now level with the bottom of the arch on the support for the gimbals. When I kept the fork at the same height as it was on the 00.0038" spring, it fluttered. There is still a little bounce, so maybe it's not quite right.
5. With the fork at the new height, the impulse pin swings between the top corners of the arch on the gimbal assembly. This makes it easy to see when it is in beat.

Now all I need is the patience to record the timekeeping and wait before making more fine adjustments.

Thanks again to the members of this forum who got our clock running again and keeping time better than it has done for at least the last 20 years of its 110-year existence.

Best wishes to all of you.

Marc

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Dells

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Hi Mark
Glad you got it running within tolerance and you are happy with it, nice looking clock.
Dell
 

KurtinSA

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Mark -

With the 300 degrees of rotation, what is the resulting amount of over swing? Over swing is the most important to ensure that the clock will run consistently. If you were to lower the fork, you would reduce the total rotation and increase the over swing. Note that it takes more power to move the anchor pin side to side when the fork is set very high. A rule of thumb that has been stated a few times on the forum is to lower the fork until the clock flutters and then raise the fork up about 1mm or slightly more. When I'm setting a clock up using the guide for the suspension spring (when there is one listed), I typically start with the dimensions as given in the guide. But invariably, I find that I have to lower the fork some to get the clock to run well.

That said, I tend not to futz with a clock once it's working!! Glad you kept at it!

Kurt
 

tracerjack

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I don’t think these clocks were ever considered precise timekeepers, so1 second in 24 hours is excellent. Now you can sit back and just enjoy it.
 

tracerjack

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I follow that thread and find their efforts admirable, but for me it is no bother to lift the dome and move the hand to the correct time. Precision time keeping requires precision adjustment, which I have not found in any of the rating wheels of 400 day pendulums. But, I find their lack of precise time keeping is more than offset by their beauty.
 

KurtinSA

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I've started down a different path with my anniversary clocks. A friend of mine said "If you run your clocks, you'll work on your clocks." Probably applies more to non-anniversary clocks, given the lower beat rate. That said, I'd rather not be in this endless loop of overhauling clocks...sort of like I'm doing now!!

Anyway, I've started keeping track of how long each clock runs after winding. I can certainly tell if it only takes one full turn or so to wind it. If a clock runs for say 1-3 months on a full wind, I tape a piece of red ribbon to the clock. If it runs for say 4-7 months, then I'll put a piece of yellow ribbon on it. If I get clocks that run past 9 months I'll put a piece of blue ribbon on it...I don't have any green. Not sure what type of ribbon for the 1000-day clocks!! I can then go back and hit the red ribbon clocks and see if I can improve on them, especially if I overhauled them once...maybe I'll get better over time. Then maybe consider the yellow ribbon ones. I've not been that good with my overhauls, but as I learn more things maybe I can apply them a second or third time. I've got post-it notes with each clock...hope there's no big whirlwind in here!!

I have a few clocks that I'll probably continue to run into the future, but for the most part, I've given up on regulating them. I was fastidious about it when I had 15-20 clocks. Now it's just beyond hope and I don't have that kind of patience! ;)

Kurt
 
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etmb61

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Kurt,
You have more patience than me! I only have one running right now out of about a hundred.

Eric
 

richiec

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Out of 4, I have two that keep somewhat decent time, one within a minute a day, the other about a minute a month (an Elgin time bomb). One won't keep running more than 15 minutes, the other, needs lots of adjustment.
 

MartinM

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Kurt,
You have more patience than me! I only have one running right now out of about a hundred.

Eric
Same here. I only keep the one I bought for our tenth anniversary and restored 25 years ago running, constantly.
Other than that, I may have two others running to get the regulation down after restoring. Once they're keeping time, I just let them wind down and they become static art.
Last time I wound all the ones I have visible was about 5 years ago, just to impress an old Army buddy who was visiting from the opposite coast.

Eric... I've been meaning to ask you about JUF/Schatz 4-ball pendulums. Have you ever done a cataloging of those pendulums. I was going through my spares and realized there are many more variants than I ever realized.
 
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Wayne A

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Have around 30 that I've overhauled and are all running but the backlog of new arrival clocks to be overhauled is growing! Just running is not all I'm after, I want them to keep time and will work at that tirelessly until they do. There are about 4 that are not keeping time to my satisfaction and I enjoy finding out why they do not, and work to correct it.
 

KurtinSA

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Just running is not all I'm after, I want them to keep time and will work at that tirelessly until they do.
That, too, shall pass, my friend!

Once I let all mine self-identify if they are a full year-runner or not, I will let them be static. I can then come back and target the worst of the bunch and see if I can improve their performance. It's relatively easy to spend time to get a clock regulated, but given all the variables involved, once regulated I typically find it doesn't stay that way...that's just the way 400-day clocks are IMO. I would take more pride in getting a clock to run a full year...that's proving a tough nut for me to crack.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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That, too, shall pass, my friend!

Once I let all mine self-identify if they are a full year-runner or not, I will let them be static. I can then come back and target the worst of the bunch and see if I can improve their performance. It's relatively easy to spend time to get a clock regulated, but given all the variables involved, once regulated I typically find it doesn't stay that way...that's just the way 400-day clocks are IMO. I would take more pride in getting a clock to run a full year...that's proving a tough nut for me to crack.

Kurt
I like the difficulty in getting my clocks stable and precise as possible. Not sure if its some small bit of OCD but its served me well over the years. :) Getting a clock regulated is fast and easy with the clock tuner app, but will it still be keeping time in a week? Well that's part of the fun too. Have not been keeping track how long any of these clocks run, probably only wind them 80% trying to keep a ring or two of spring against the outside the barrel.
 

etmb61

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Same here. I only keep the one I bought for our tenth anniversary and restored 25 years ago running, constantly.
Other than that, I may have two others running to get the regulation down after restoring. Once they're keeping time, I just let them wind down and they become static art.
Last time I wound all the ones I have visible was about 5 years ago, just to impress an old Army buddy who was visiting from the opposite coast.

Eric... I've been meaning to ask you about JUF/Schatz 4-ball pendulums. Have you ever done a cataloging of those pendulums. I was going through my spares and realized there are many more variants than I ever realized.
Hi Martin,

I have noticed variations in the pendulums but I have not cataloged them. After WWII are the most notable differences I've seen. What period are you concerned about?

Eric
 

MartinM

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The whole range.
From the earlier solid-ball examples with the round bottom when there was no cup in the base of the clock (Some have the DRGM stamp. Others don't) through the period where the adjuster mechanism design was completely changed and the overall shape of the arms changed, especially in the sharpness of the upper wing
The center column being solid or having ridges running its length
The column having a decorative collar just above the cross
The inclusion of springs in the balls
The adjuster wheel stamping differences including the version near the end of production when it started including index numbers.
There are very subtle changes, as well. Such as the length of the lower pointed part of the column sticking out from the bottom of the cross.

ETA: There's also the version attached to those clocks with the more bulbous "Schatz" script that is less italicized and completely horizontal (That I'm still convinced are knock-offs).
The whole pendulum seems to have been made by some other entity using worn out dies.
The ridge on the upper hemispheres for the balls are not nearly as sharply defined as the more mainstream clocks.
 
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etmb61

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Martin,

I'll have to take a more detailed look at the info I have. I have noted many of the characteristics of JUF/Schatz ball pendulums, just never put them down. You must also keep in mind that Herr/Reiner used very similar (but different) pendulums in the 50s. That can cause some confusion.

Eric
 
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MartinM

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Martin,

I'll have to take a more detailed look at the info I have. I have noted many of the characteristics of JUF/Schatz ball pendulums, just never put them down. You must also keep in mind that Herr/Reiner used very similar (but different) pendulums in the 50s. That can cause some confusion.

Eric
Yeah. I have a bunch of those needing cataloging, as well. (All my 'straight knurled' versions. Most of which have reverse threads for regulation.).
 
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