On older time-and-strike clocks that don’t automatically synchronize, you should advance the minute hand to about two minutes before the hour, making sure that it doesn’t actually trigger. Then back it up to about a quarter before the hour. This will cause the clock to strike the next number in the sequence. Repeat the process until the clock completes an hour or half hour count that is correct for time the hands show, then finally advance the minute hand past the hour to trigger the number that matches the hour hand. Continue to advance the hand as usual to set the time, pausing each half hour to wait for the strike to complete.

Your hour hand got moved out of position, so you just need to move it back to where the clock thinks it is. With the long minute hand at the 12, gently move the short hour hand forward or backward to the number that corresponds to the time that just struck. Then reset the time with the minute hand as usual. The next hour strike should be correct.

Remove and re-install the batteries, which will reset the hour count to the programmed default setting. Advance the hands until the hour counts, and remember that number. Remove the batteries again. With the batteries out, advance the hands to just before the time that counted. Re-install the batteries once more, and advance the hands to the correct time, verifying along the way that the clock is striking correctly.

There really is no way to “overwind” a modern clock, and indeed they must be fully wound each week to run properly. When you turn the key or crank, you will feel and hear the ratchet clicking until you reach the point where you simply can’t get any more clicks out of it. Just be cautious when you release the key under tension that you don’t allow it to snap back harshly against the ratchet pawl. By releasing it gently until you feel it catches, you are ensuring that the mainspring is held securely in place and that the key will never spin back against your fingers.

If the clock is less than fifty years old and key wound, almost certainly. You can be sure it’s safe to set backward if you don’t encounter unusual resistance and only hear or feel soft clicking from the trigger assembly (any binding obviously means stop immediately). However, if the clock is battery operated or very old, it is safest to only move the hands clockwise. In any event, it is ALWAYS perfectly fine to advance your hands clockwise as much as you need to. And due to the advent of self-synchronizing chimes, there is no need to stop and wait for the melody to play before proceeding to the correct time on modern clocks.

We recommend that you only use brand-new, alkaline-type batteries and that you never stock up in advance. Regardless of whatever “use-by” date is printed on your batteries, they will lose crucial capacity in storage, and after one year of manufacture, they are at risk of leaking when under the heavy load that clocks place upon them. If your clock was supplied with batteries in the box, plan on replacing them within one year, and every year thereafter.

Modern clocks are quite easy to transport and install. For shipment, your chime rods should be padded with foam or other soft materials, and the weights and pendulum must be unhooked and packed separately. Once those items are secure, you can move a clock the same way you would move any other large furniture, taking care to protect the cabinet and glass. The trickiest part of the whole process is leveling and stabilizing the cabinet, which is accomplished by adjusting the screw-type levelers on the bottom. Call us at 541-344-4142 if you need assistance with moving your clock.

If you’re in western Oregon, give us a call! If you don’t have a well known, full service clock retailer that operates in your area, you may still be able to obtain excellent service from one of the many independent clockmakers that stay busy on the strength of referrals alone. So how do you identify a good one? A great method is to call a number of local antique dealers and ask who they call for their clock repair needs. If you hear the same name from multiple referring dealers, then that should be your clockmaker too.