Home Up Glossary

Repair Charges

"Old World Quality and Craftsmanshipİ"

                            THE VISIBLE CLOCK             

Strike Snail
Rack &
Gathering Pallet
Text Box: Strike Snail
Rack &
Gathering Pallet
Text Box: Chime
Chime Duration
Text Box: Chime Duration
Verge &
Escape Wheel
Text Box: Verge & 
Escape Wheel
Pendulum Support
Text Box: Pendulum Support
Strike & Chime
Text Box: Strike & Chime
Text Box: Chime 
Winding Arbor & Click
Text Box: Winding Arbor & Click
Text Box: Strike
Text Box: Pivot
Text Box: Wheels/Gears
Text Box: Pinions
Wheel Arbor
Text Box: Wheel Arbor
Pivot Into
Lower Plate
Text Box: Pivot Into 
Lower Plate
Text Box: Strike

Text Box: Time 





Hairspring, Balance Wheel & Fork (Pallet)
Text Box: Hairspring, Balance Wheel & Fork (Pallet)
Balance Bridge & Regulator
Text Box: Balance Bridge & Regulator
Text Box: Jewels
Pivots in Bushings
Text Box: Wheel/Gear
Pivots in Bushings
Text Box: Mainspring

For Definition of the Words Used in the 'Visible Clock' & 'Watch' See 'Clock & Watch Glossary' Below.



                                   Action of Clock Verge and Escape Wheel           Action of Watch Balance Wheel & Hairspring
                                                                                                        (Platform Escapement)

To promote a better understanding as to the nature of our charges, we have prepared the "Visible Clock" and "Visible Watch" above.  Moreover, we have created a Clock & Watch Glossary of terms used during our evaluation and report regarding your timepiece.  Underlined words or phrases on this page will take you to that word within the Glossary.  TO RETURN FROM THE GLOSSARY USE YOUR BROWSER BACK ARROW.

Your clock movement is either a "single train" (having time only), a "double train" (having time and strike), or, a "triple train" (having time, strike and chime); a triple train clock movement is depicted by the "Visible Clock" above.  Cuckoo clocks may also be designated as single, double or triple, the triple being a mechanical music box verses a chime mechanism.  Alarm clocks may be either single, or, double train dependant upon the number of mainsprings utilized by the movement.

For the purposes of this narrative, a "clock" movement will be differentiated from a "watch" movement by the presence of either a pendulum (clock), or, a hairspring & balance wheel {platform escapement} (watch).  Many older movements are referred to as "clocks" when they are actually "watch" movements to the extent that they utilize platform escapements in lieu of a pendulum.  Watch movements, and, clocks that utilize platform escapements are more costly to repair due to their size and complexity.

One additional statement must be made with regard to movements.  Each movement operates on a very simple principle; energy to drive the movement is provided by the mainspring and release/applied to each component of the movement "one click at a time" by the motion of the pendulum (or platform escapement hairspring & pallet) which motion causes a rocking motion of the "verge" and escape "wheel", which motion releases a spurt of energy each time the pendulum crosses center alignment with the movement.  (See action image above)

The "job" of each component within the movement is to use this energy  for each related purpose (keeping time, striking, chiming) without waste.  The cause and result of this waste or depletion of energy will be explored shortly.

                                                                                        clock3.jpg (30157 bytes)  

The image above is that of a two train alarm clock.  We have included this image, and the one below, to point out the three "circles" forming a triangle in the mid-lower section of the plate.  We were unable to clearly identify the bushings and wheel pivots in the Visible Clock above, and,
as these items are of extreme importance to the proper functioning movement we are revisiting here; click either to enlarge.
fixed.jpg (15258 bytes)
(Note: in some watches certain bushings are replaced by jewels)  Gears are mounted to steel shafts referred to as wheel arbors.  Also mounted to the wheel arbor is typically a pinion that is used to provide "power" or, to "drive" the next wheel in sequence.  The each end of the arbor is "downsized" or reduced in diameter and referred to as a pivot.  Each arbor is held in proper alignment with each other arbor in the movement by brass bushings into which the arbor pivot is inserted. 
The "relationship" between each pivot and bushing is critical, thus, each bushing is "hand-fitted" to the associated pivot.  The image above clearly depicts three bushings and their associated pivot in addition to providing a surface for the rotating pivot services as an oil sink.  The bushing is flush with the underside of the clock/watch plate and is cup-shaped on the upper side. 

The hands-down nemesis to the well-being of your timepiece is dirt and debris that accumulates, and, is held "in-place" (trapped), by the oil in the bushing.  These particles literally "eat-away" at the bushing, and eventually, the pivot.  The extent of this erosion is referred to as "end-play" or the amount of wasted movement of the wheel and arbor. As the bushing erodes, the wheel begins to wobble, which wobble has a detrimental affect to each other component of your movement.  This wobble wastes the energy being provided by the mainspring, resulting in erratic behavior.  As the erosion/wobble increases over time, the proper alignment of the wheel and arbor are lost causing the wheel and arbor to place "side-pressure", via its pinion, to the adjacent wheel.  The result is cancerous to the extent that the resulting damage invades every other component of the movement.  This side-pressure furthers the waste of energy, causes the adjacent wheel and arbor to unnaturally wear against
its bushing, can bend (and break) pivots, teeth and arbors.  In summary, this one condition can result in damage throughout the movement. 

Somewhat dependant upon the environment in which your clock/watch exists, each movement should be inspected and lubricated each 2 to 3 years and, every 6 to 7 years completely disassembled, each component cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning machine employing cleaning/rinsing solutions, each bushing carefully examined and replaced as necessary (drill-out
old bushing, re-size hole, insert new bushing, hand ream bushing to fit pivot), each pivot polished, the mainsprings replaced
(a broken mainspring can quite literally destroy your movement - the mainsprings shown in the "Visible Clock" are encapsulated, the alarm clock image above are not.)
Most vintage clocks are not encapsulated, generally every component of your movement should be closely scrutinized for wear.  Many components contain thin pins that interact with other components within your strike and chime trains.  These pins can not be properly examined absent complete disassembly.


Unfortunately, many "repair" shops "clean" your movement by plowing compressed air into each bushing, then adding lubricant; we hope that this article delineates the folly of such methods. Don't fall prey to such shoddy workmanship!

Our general shop rate is $38/hour/man, $58/hour/machine.

Inspection and Lubrication: (Remove movement from case, inspect, lubricate {each bushing, points of contact and mainsprings}, clean inside of case with compressed air, remount movement, re-align strike/chime hammers and clean case including glass)

Single Train Action    $55*
Double Train Action  $75*
Triple Train Action    $95*

 * Add 25% for cuckoo movements (more points of contact and more time consuming to remove and remount movement), and, hairspring controlled clocks/watches (hairspring and balance wheel must be cleaned). 

Detailed Disassembly, Inspection, Reassembly and Lubrication: (All activities of "Inspection and Lubrication" above, with the addition of complete "dis" and re-assembly and close scrutiny of each component.) 

Single Train Action    $190**
Double Train Action  $230**
Triple Train Action    $260**

** Add 25% for cuckoo movements (more points of contact and more time consuming to remove and remount movement), and hairspring controlled clocks/watches.  Includes labor to install new mainsprings (clocks only - not encapsulated.  Replacement of encapsulated mainsprings add 15% to charges above).    

Estimates for repair  $38 (waived if we perform work)

Don't forget, our fully equipped metal and wood machine shop allows us to fabricate any part necessary to facilitate repair of your fine timepiece, including restoration of cases and cabinets.

Our current clients may take this exit to track the status of their timepiece during our repair/restoration process.

(Take these exits for questions/free appraisals regarding your particular timepiece visit "Ask the Clock/Watch Maker", to Contact us -or to-Return to Top).