New French? Clock Missing Bell

Dietofnothing

Registered User
Nov 7, 2020
108
9
18
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
Hello, back again. Found this at an antique shop for a good price. From what I’ve seen online seems to possibly be Japy Freres & maybe 1880s?

Works. But is missing what appears to be bell for the strike train. I’m guessing finding the exact bell for this movement is difficult to impossible.

I’m wondering if the correct repair would be finding a bell & adapting it? Any information anyone knows about this clock is appreciated as well. It seems to be marble / slate / granite.

thanks. 0E0E149D-E7DE-4D14-BC56-2EAC42368E6B.jpeg 2BA3A1AD-7880-4EFD-BD39-7CE405C98224.jpeg 617A0D46-3F2F-423E-BA9B-692FB133AF1B.jpeg 5A2B6745-04D6-40BA-B20D-A343E2FE4144.jpeg 4793C41F-F119-4F9D-B610-61A657BAD479.jpeg
 

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
8,842
775
113
Country
Bells, old and new, are easily available. There should be no problem replacing your missing bell. Or am I missing something?

JTD
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
Great find!!! Don’t worry about the case, that can be lovely again. Movement, dial, hands, bezel, door etc look excellent. Gilding intact. Yes a bell. Will take a picture of similar and post shortly.
 
Last edited:

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
Something like this, held on with a knurled thumb nut

9107EA7F-B955-4B20-AE68-FCCAE3A2AE36.jpeg
 
Last edited:

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
8,842
775
113
Country
Yes, that's the sort of bell and knurled nut you need. As I said, easily available on Ebay or from the usual material suppliers such as Timesavers.

JTD
 

Dietofnothing

Registered User
Nov 7, 2020
108
9
18
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
Thanks everyone. I live 15 mins from Merritt’s - so I’ll see what they have there. They have a bunch of bins labeled old French clock parts in the store if I recall.

I know zero point zero about french clocks. The clocks I have worked on have been Ansonia type American clocks.

Assuming I need to disassemble this movement, is it more difficult for just different? I understand the pivots are more fragile.
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
You could perhaps remove the bell post and take it with you. Then you will guarantee you find something that fits and matches the thread.
 

Dietofnothing

Registered User
Nov 7, 2020
108
9
18
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
Thanks I will. Dumb question, but I don’t want to mess anything up. Can I bend the crutch on this to set it in beat like an American mantle clock. Is it basically same procedure? Bend it towards side you lift higher?
I’m trying to read about French clocks now
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
Thanks I will. Dumb question, but I don’t want to mess anything up. Can I bend the crutch on this to set it in beat like an American mantle clock. Is it basically same procedure? Bend it towards side you lift higher?
I’m trying to read about French clocks now
Not a dumb question at all and glad you asked!. To set in beat you rotate the whole movement by rotating the front bezel. You will notice that it is basically strapped in front to back. You can rotate the movement left or right to get it in beat. You may need to slightly slacken the screws at the back that secure the moment but tighten them up afterwards. Also your movement has a Brocot adjuster near the number 12 on the dial. This adjusts slow/fast with a watch key as it would be totally impractical to be accessing a rating nut on the pendulum with a clock in a black marble case.
 
Last edited:

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
I recommend "The French Marble Clock" by Nicholas M Thorpe ISBN: 071980230X

This is a great book for French Pendule de Paris movements in general as they are used in many clocks, not just black marble.

PS: see if you can get a good shot of the trademark on the back of your movement. You could shine a torch in and then take the photo.
 
Last edited:

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
14,322
1,594
113
The crutch is a friction fit on its arbor, with threads. The beat can easily be set by simply pushing the arbor left or right. There should be no problem, unless some Bo-Zo has soldered (or super glued) the threads and rendered the clutch useless. It's usually easy to remove the pallet arbor/crutch to make any necessary repairs. You want the threaded clutch to be snug but not to tight. Willie X
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
The crutch is a friction fit on its arbor, with threads. The beat can easily be set by simply pushing the arbor left or right. There should be no problem, unless some Bo-Zo has soldered (or super glued) the threads and rendered the clutch useless. It's usually easy to remove the pallet arbor/crutch to make any necessary repairs. You want the threaded clutch to be snug but not to tight. Willie X
Yes, I considered mentioning that. That works well for a clock like a Four-Glass where you can access the pendulum from the front but less well for a very heavy black marble clock with no access to the pendulum from the front. Maybe the best way is to get the clock in beat with the 12 on the dial dead upright in the 0/360 degree position on a known level surface using Willie's method and then if necessary use the rotation of the movement method to get the clock in beat (fine adjustment) when it is in it's final position (you cannot access the back when it is on a mantel piece for example). It does look rather silly if a gross adjustment has been made by rotating the movement and the 12 is too far off dead upright. Mantelpieces and such like are unfortunately not always level. I have a gigantic black marble clock that took 3 men to move. Once it was set in place there was no way at all it was going to be moved again. The OP's clock is quite small though and perhaps it would be possible to reach inside even with the clock in its display position.
 
Last edited:

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,945
1,995
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
Regarding your question about the difference between French and American movements - it's mostly about pivots. The French liked hardened pivots. They hold up much better than those found on American made clocks, but they break off much much easier. Just treat them with TLC and you'll be fine. Otherwise, movements are all very similar to each other in construction and function.
 

Dietofnothing

Registered User
Nov 7, 2020
108
9
18
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
I was able to get clock in beat & it’s been running fine a few days. The way I did it was by loosening the 2 screws in the back to turn the whole movement a hair in the “strap” holding it on.

I’m wondering if anyone knows if the speed adjustment (by the key) speeds up the clock when it’s turned clockwise or counterclockwise? I’ve seen American clocks go both ways.
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
Brocot adjuster: clockwise to speed up, anti-clockwise to slow down

Only limited adjustment range is possible on the Brocot adjuster (because it works by changing the effective length of the suspension spring) so gross regulating needs to be done with the pendulum rating nut as usual. Fine regulation can be done with Brocot adjuster. Ideally, when the clock is being worked on and access to the back is easy, it would be good to have the Brocot adjusting mechanism in the mid-position so that when the clock is installed on a mantelpiece and the back cannot be accessed, there is capacity to adjust via the dial in either direction. I.e it would not be a good idea to set the clock up with the Brocot adjuster at the extreme end of its range either way.
 
Last edited:

Dietofnothing

Registered User
Nov 7, 2020
108
9
18
48
Gilbertsville PA
Country
I always thought of “brocot” as the exposed escape mechanism on some American clocks. But I’m guessing it describes the actual type of mechanism & how it works?
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
I always thought of “brocot” as the exposed escape mechanism on some American clocks. But I’m guessing it describes the actual type of mechanism & how it works?
Yes that's the Brocot pin-pallet escapement (which may be exposed or hidden and may have steel or "ruby" (agate) pallets). The Brocot suspension (with adjuster) is what we are talking about here. There is another design, the Vallet suspension that is very similar.

Louis Gabriel Brocot (Paris, France) patented the deadbeat pin-pallet escapement in 1841 and he also invented the Brocot suspension around the same time. His son Achille Brocot further developed the pin-pallet and introduced the visible pin-pallet with agate pallets.
 
Last edited:

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,264
237
63
Surrey
Country
Region
I'm really a collector. I'm not an expert at repair by any means. I believe it is common for French movements such as yours to have marks which assist in getting parts lined up correctly for the strike. I wouldn't rely on this though. It would be important that you made a record of the various positions of the striking train before disassembly to avoid a lot of annoyance afterwards. I recommended a book, "The French Marble Clock" by Nicholas M Thorpe that has lots of info on overhauling these movements. If you have not worked on any clocks before then this is not the right movement to start on. The pivots are fine and dead hard and they easily break.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
46,945
1,995
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
You can double check the adjuster by watching the suspension spring as you turn it. More spring showing under the chops is slower. Less spring showing is faster.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
167,083
Messages
1,456,001
Members
87,295
Latest member
tmo309
Encyclopedia Pages
1,057
Total wiki contributions
2,914
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller