• 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.

Replacement Barrel Mainsprings for Antique French Clocks?

FatrCat

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Jun 20, 2020
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I've got several antique French clocks with the round Japy / Marti style movements for which I'd like to get new mainsprings. The barrels are Hermle-style (but arbors are one piece, not removable without opening barrel), but evidently not Hermle replaceable, as they are marked '82'; way off from any Hermle's I find. Does anyone know of a replacement chart based on these numbers for older French clocks, or must I pull the springs and measure them out to find the right replacements for them?
Thanx- David
 
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shutterbug

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Your best bet is to remove the springs and measure length, width and thickness. However, in my experience, the mainsprings are almost never the problem. Clocks that won't run usually have other things robbing the power. I could probably count on two hands the number of mainsprings I've replaced over many years, and most of those would be broken springs, not "tired" springs.
 

FatrCat

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Jun 20, 2020
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Your best bet is to remove the springs and measure length, width and thickness. However, in my experience, the mainsprings are almost never the problem. Clocks that won't run usually have other things robbing the power. I could probably count on two hands the number of mainsprings I've replaced over many years, and most of those would be broken springs, not "tired" springs.
One I know is damaged, and another is broken. I realize I can shorten and create a new hole end attachment, but figure if I'm going to get in there I'd just as soon put in new ones, as I'd really like to have these working at their best. Was just hoping as common as this type movement is that there might be a 'chart' for them like there is for Hermle; hate having multiple items with tiny parts all disassembled and waiting around for replacement parts; got way too many things in life like that already, lol. Thank you
 

Dells

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Oct 18, 2019
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Although the French movement looks the same most are slightly different ( don’t ask how I know ) the only way to make sure you get it right is as shutterbug said remove and measure.
Dell
 

FatrCat

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Jun 20, 2020
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Although the French movement looks the same most are slightly different ( don’t ask how I know ) the only way to make sure you get it right is as shutterbug said remove and measure.
Dell
Thanks, yes, I am aware that they do differ some, but the basic parts makeup/mechanics of quite a few are near to identical as a whole. I won't ask, as I imagine it may well be about the same way that I learned, lol.
 

Dells

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Oct 18, 2019
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I have two movements that look identical but the mainsprings are different even the barrels are about 2mm different in size.
I just noticed your signature, I think my one should be do it right about the forth or fifth time.
Dell
 

Kevin W.

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I would keep clock original and only change springs if needed. I have quite a few old french clocks and other clocks with old springs. They still keep running with the old springs.
 

Jim DuBois

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Sourcing new springs for old clocks is not for the faint of heart. As suggested, you have to remove them and measure them carefully. When you have all the correct data I am pretty certain you will not find many, if any, accurately sized replacements. So, replacements will be a series of compromises and they don't often end well. Unless the spring is broken several inches in, or in pieces, there seems little reason to replace a spring. Most can be properly cleaned, polished, lubricated, and returned to service, often with better results than a new spring.
 
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Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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Most springs that you buy this side of the pond are given as thickness, width and size of barrel. Much more useful than measuring the length as only a very slight difference in thickness can reduce the number of turns, as per another post on here recently.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Listen to what Bugs is trying to tell you in post #2.
I say "trying" because Newbies are always hell-bent on replacing springs. :) In this case you would likely be replacing some of the best springs the world has ever produced. Torn ends are easily repaired.
Oh yeah, French clocks and Hermle clocks have absolutely no connection whatsoever, except they are both clocks. Ha, Willie X
 

shutterbug

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If your spring is broken someplace other than the outer end, you can measure the pieces to get a good length ;)
 
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