Best Watches - FAQ
On modern clocks, you need to move the hour hand around to point to the correct hour. The hour hand is a friction fit on its shaft, so it will move easily enough on most clocks. On antique and older clocks, there is a synchronization procedure you can follow on one of my clock instruction pages.
As with any type of collectible, there are many things that affect the value of a clock. Most important are the condition, rarity and demand. Many price guide values apply to an absolutely mint clock. Clocks missing trim, broken pieces, marred finishes, or that are not running are worth less. Please remember that when you sell to a dealer, he will offer you 50% or less of what the current retail value is. A good way to find values is to see what similar clocks are selling for on the online auction services such as eBay.
Somewhere along the line, some one has taken a short cut, or did not have the expertise to do the job correctly. In many cases, we have to correct sloppily done work. We do precision work and warrant our repairs for two years on windup clocks.
A. After we overhaul a clock, we recommend oiling every two years for grandfather clocks and every three years for shelf, mantel and wall clocks. Old clocks may have porous brass which soaks up the oil, in addition, the oil dries up as time passes. Fresh oil on the pivot holes helps prevent wear (assuming the clock is still clean) and fresh oil on the escapement will improve the pendulum swing. A qualified clock repairer should oil the clock so oil is applied in the correct places in the correct amounts. Over-oiling will cause the clock to need overhauling again sooner. Oiling the wrong places (such as gear teeth) will cause excessive wear.
A. Merely removing dirt does not repair wear. Over time as dust gets in the clock mechanism, the oil becomes an abrasive paste, which causes wear. The longer the clock runs in this condition, the more repair it will need. Many American clocks have very strong mainsprings which will run the clock for many years after the oil has gone bad, causing severe wear to pivots and pivot holes. When the clock finally stops, it will take extra work to bring it back to proper condition so we can guarantee it. Previous repair work by unskilled personnel causes more work for us and will increase the repair bill. And some clocks never ran well when new due to factory defects. Often these problems are not visible until the movement is disassembled and cleaned. Less than one out of ten clocks we receive for repair are in such good condition that the repair bill is near the minimum! About four out of ten clocks will need so much work that the repair bill is near the maximum. And once in while we go over the high estimate due to wear or damage much more severe than average.
They are not doing it for a living or are taking shortcuts in the repair process.