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Japanese Clock Repair - Is It Worth It?

Michael Linz

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Oct 2, 2014
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A customer brought a wall clock to me with no name on the face; but after a little research, I believe it is a Japanese movement. Perhaps a Seikosha. The name "Trade Mark"is stamped on the front plate and there is a star stamped between the two words with the letters "AK" within the star. The plates appear to be modeled after Ansonia. The movement is in rough condition (though I've seen much worse), and I'm guessing will need 18 - 20 bushings, including 2 - 4 custom made for the winding arbors. There's a Rathburn bushing on the back plate as well as numerous stake marks, and oddly enough, it appears someone cut out a piece of the rear plate on the upper right hand side under the fly.

It has a nice clock case with stain glass on the door, but to be honest, I'm not looking forward to working on a movement like this. The plates aren't real thick, and it will take many hours to fully repair this movement. Are these clocks really worth repairing? Just curious how some of you may feel about a clock like this.

Front Plate - crop final.jpg Trade Mark Close-up final.jpg Rear Plate final.jpg CloseUp Rathburn - Stake Marks final.jpg Cut in plate close-up final.jpg
 

shutterbug

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I think you'll be able to repair it OK. The quality is not as good as older American movements, but as you say, they copied what the Americans did, so they are very similar. It appears to be a typical 8 day variety.
 
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wow

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Michael, you asked f it is worth repairing. If you really like the clock and plan to keep it and are not concerned about it’s market value, you should repair it. If you are planning to sell it and make money, you probably should not because the market value on these clocks has decreased through the years. Is what I think!
Will
 

John Arrowood

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I have a vague recollection that the slit near the fly was made as a way to adjust the meshing between the fly and the strike train wheel which drives it. I don't remember where I could have seen or heard that.
 
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Michael Linz

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Oct 2, 2014
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Thanks to everyone for their input regarding this clock. To be clear, it is not my clock, nor am I buying or selling it. The customer either wants it repaired or replaced with a battery movement. I'm leaning towards a battery movement, though I hate to separate a clock from its original movement unless it is severely damaged. It is a conundrum for me, as I have many customers ahead of this one waiting on their clocks to be repaired.
 

Michael Linz

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Oct 2, 2014
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I have a vague recollection that the slit near the fly was made as a way to adjust the meshing between the fly and the strike train wheel which drives it. I don't remember where I could have seen or heard that.
That is an interesting concept. I couldn't really tell for sure if the clock was manufactured this way or if someone had done this at some point in the past.
 

Rod Schaffter

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Mar 20, 2020
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If this is a Customer's clock, the question is; would the cost of repairing it exceed the cost of replacing it (and likely the face, too) with a modern movement?
 
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bangster

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No question thqt replacing it with quartz would be cheaper and easier (and earn you less money) than repairing it. If you're
really backed up on repair jobs, the prudent thing would probably be to replace it with a striking pendulum quartz movement, glue
some dummy winding squares into the dial holes, and get on with business. The customer will have a nice looking, working
clock and you'll be out from under a repair job you really don't want to get into.

Is what I think.
 
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Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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If the body of the clock is set back from the dial plane more than about 3/4" a quartz clock won't work. Some types only come with a short shaft which can't have any set-back at all.

So, don't bring up that option unless it is doable ...

Been there done that, Willie X
 
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Michael Linz

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No question thqt replacing it with quartz would be cheaper and easier (and earn you less money) than repairing it. If you're
really backed up on repair jobs, the prudent thing would probably be to replace it with a striking pendulum quartz movement, glue
some dummy winding squares into the dial holes, and get on with business. The customer will have a nice looking, working
clock and you'll be out from under a repair job you really don't want to get into.

Is what I think.
This is where I'm leaning. Someone else suggested putting a replacement movement in this clock, but the dimensions of the movement: HxWxL, pendulum length, arbor to hand stem length, and hand stem length make replacing the movement a lengthy process that may not work out. I believe I'll give the customer a choice, though it will be months before I can start a repair of the movement.
 

Willie X

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Another point. Before you do anything you will need to hang the quartz movement and check the pendulum swing. Even with a small pendulum bob the case might not be wide enough. I usually add 1 1/2" to the actual measured swing, IOWs allow 3/4" on each side.

So, pendulum swing and dial plane offset can often be show stoppers. And nether of these can be changed ...

Willie X
 
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GregS

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I think the Japanese did a pretty good job at coping these American movements. Repairing these are no more work than repairing the American movements the are copied from. This is a customers clock and should be treated as a familiy heirloom unless they explicitly tell you otherwise.
 

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