Dugena Mantel Clock Dis-assembly, Cleaning and Adjustment

Dugena was a German retail clock company. The name Dugena still exists today but whether or not it is related to the Dugena company of the 1950s is anyone’s guess. This particular clock has a Hermle floating balance movement which is both reliable and dependable. Dugena, like many other clock companies at the time contracted out to a number of movement manufacturers during it’s heyday.

I bought this Dugena mantle clock for very little money. The previous owner assured me that it was an old clock and not to expect it to be perfect. He was right, it is not perfect. It is a 2-train time and strike Bim-Bam clock. When I got it it had no trouble starting. However, I could not get the clock to keep time (ran too slow) despite numerous adjustments to the balance wheel which was a little frustrating. I had to remind myself that the previous owner did say it was not perfect. There is also something amiss about the strike train side because it  strikes incessantly till the clock winds down. No doubt something is either worn, broken or misaligned. Misaligned rack and snail, I hope!


Dugena clock movement showing floating balance escapement
Dugena clock movement showing floating balance escapement
Hermle movement showing balance wheel escarpment

My first attempt at cleaning the clock involved taking out the movement and placing it in an ammonia bath with some Murphy’s soap, the so-called Dunk and Swish method. The net result is that once I dried it completely it functioned no differently than before, maybe even worse.

As mentioned it has a balance wheel escarpment and I am assuming the spring might be weak because the wheel does not spin more than 180 degrees. Either that or the darn thing is losing power from somewhere else. The bottom line is that it needed to be taken apart and cleaned properly. That is exactly what I am in the process of doing. My first assessment is that the clock is pretty tight and the pivots, pivots holes, pinions and arbors are in pretty good shape with a minimum of oily gunk. The springs are in barrels and at this point I am not going to service them. Reason, I don’t have the tools.

I have taken clock movements apart in the recent past and I have a pretty good understanding of what goes where and why as well as a basic set of tools to get me through. I can clean and oil but I don’t (can’t) do bushings. My hope is that once I have finished cleaning, assembling and oiling the clock it should work correctly though if it doesn’t it is no great loss. Good learning though.

So, I have a couple of choices. I can get the clock to function or I can investigate a replacement movement if it doesn’t.  The replacement movement (last photo) is $128CDN for a pendulum movement or $198CDN for a balance wheel escarpment. I will go for the pendulum movement since it is easier to work on, has fewer parts and makes that distinctive tick-tock sound. There is a third option, throw the movement into the parts pile and junk the case. We’ll see.

Balance wheel escarpment


possible replacement movement from Hermle

If I bought a new movement the clock would likely run trouble-free for years. Is it worth it? I am not sure. The case is in pretty good condition for it’s age and it would not take much to make a few cosmetic improvements to make it presentable but obviously not brand new looking.

Leave a comment for me if you have any advice.

All photos (except the last on) were taken with an Olympus E330, Zuiko 50mm F2 macro lens


2 thoughts on “Dugena Mantel Clock Dis-assembly, Cleaning and Adjustment

  1. My Hermle 340 020 mantle clock has worked for years. The chime is delightful,
    the floating wheel has stopped working, It will spin manually but stop, The chime still works when I move the minute hand. I really miss the chime of this clock, it is like a friend has died.


    1. There is no simple method of repairing a balance wheel that no longer spins. It must be taken out and cleaned. However, it is a sign that there may be other issues with your clock. The movement might be worn out. It would be cheaper to replace the movement in your clock than have it repaired. Replacement movements are available at Clockworks in the US.



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