Sonora Chime


Registered User
Dec 13, 2008
I recently aquired a 4 bell sonora chime and it is out of sequence when chiming. It is striking the hour on the half hour. How do I get this corrected? Also the dial is silver with Seth Thomas in a red rectangle and no mention of sonora chime. Is this correct?


Steven Thornberry

User Administrator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 15, 2004
Here and there
Is the chime sequence off, or just the hour strike problem?


NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 24, 2000
rfh11 asks lastly, "Is this correct?"

Yes, the chime sequence of the Sonora chime/bell clocks offered by Seth Thomas does get "messed up" real easy.

The directions printed on the inside back of the clock must be followed exactly and note that the clocks are shipped with the hands set at 10:00 and must be set running at ten in the morning without moving the hands.

Seth Thomas offered the Sonora chime clocks to offer competition with European made three-train chime clocks circa 1910.

Unfortunately, the ST Sonora clocks, unlike European made three-train chime clocks, don't have synchronized trains. Even the basic model 89 movement used in the ST Sonoras uses the primitive count-wheel hour strike technology.

This doesn't answer your first question on how to get the Sonora clock chime and stirke synchronized.

Do this: Set the hands on the clock for say, 10:00 then open the back of the clock and locate three bent-wire levers extending from the rear of the time-strike movement.

The lever at the lower left is operated every fifteen minutes on the quarters by the time train. This lever "tickles" or unlatches the Sonora chime movement. Manually lift this wire lever and listen as the Sonora bell/chime movement chimes out the parts of the sixteen note Westminster chimes. Note that when the sixteen note sequence is completed, the Sonora movement will operate a lever that unlocks the hour strike train of the model 89 time and strike movement. The time/strike movement will then beat out the hours on the lowest tone bell.

When you've heard the full sixteen note chime sequence followed by ten strokes on the lowest tone bell, the clock will then be in the correct chime and stirke sequence. After a few tries, you'll get it straight.

The Seth Thomas Sonora clocks are interesting and collectible. Owning one and keeping it synchronized is a part of ownership. :p


NAWCC Life Member
NAWCC Member
Aug 29, 2002
Mitchell, NE
I just went through this with my ST Sonora yesterday, having forgotten to wind it after two weeks.

Here's the method I used...

-Advance the hands to the current hour. Move the minute hand forward until it is just before the 3 and the chime train goes into warning.

-Move the minute hand backwards towards the 12 until warning is released and the clock chimes.

-Repeat the above, moving the minute hand forwards towards the 3 and then back towards the 12, until the movement does the 4-quarter chimes and then strikes the hour.

-Count the number of strikes and, if it doesn't match the hands on the dial...

-Open the back of the case, reach in and trip the count lever to advance the strike. This is an "L" shaped lever which is on the right side of the movement as you are looking in the back. Lifting it with a finger will release the strike train.

-Keep tripping the count lever until the current hour is reached.

-Set the clock to time, moving the minute hand forwards only and stopping at each quarter to let it chime.

I've found this method takes the least amount of time and lever tripping.

Good luck with it!


Registered User
Dec 13, 2008
Thanks guys for the information. I will try and reset the strike this evening. Thanks again.

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