I have never paid more that 30CDN for one but I see these clocks selling on EBay and other online for-sale sites at twice and three times what I typically pay
I have four anniversary clocks (otherwise known as torsion clocks). I have never paid more that 30CDN for one but I see these clocks selling on EBay and other online for-sale sites at twice and three times what I typically pay. In fact, I saw one on EBay this morning (Oct 3rd) for 119US plus 39US shipping. I smiled when I read the description:
When I tested it, I spun the balls about a full turn and it continued to spin back and forth for several minutes. From my understanding these things are supposed to go for a whole day without being spun again. I think it might need to be cleaned for it to do that.
The string still looks good; the cover is cracked a little where it connects to the clock but isn’t falling off.
Wow, a whole day! And the string thing! The ad says that it works but not reliably.
The Horolovar suspension spring arrived today and now to install it in on the movement. 400 day clocks are easy to disassemble/clean and re-assemble but getting it to work correctly can be frustrating for some particularly when setting the beat.
It is challenging to do any work on a 400 day clock unless you have the Horolovar 400 day Repair Guide as a reference. The guide takes the guesswork out completely.
The old spring was snapped off just above the bottom block and unfortunately it was not re-usable
I received my guide as a Christmas gift last year. For my first Kundo miniature (bought and serviced in 2015) I did not have the guide and after a lot of guessing and cursing I managed to get the suspension spring installed correctly the first time but it was more luck than skill.
Unfortunately, I needed a new suspension spring for this clock. The old spring was snapped off just above the bottom block and was not re-usable.
The guide tells me that this 400 clock is a Kundo Standard 53 that uses a .0032″ or .o81mm Horolovar spring. If you do not have the time to assemble suspension units, Horolovar will gladly sell you completely assembled units but you pay much more. In Section 10 of the guide there are templates for a number of clocks. Having a template at hand allows one to follow a pattern when screwing the fork and the upper and lower blocks to the suspension wire. This clock was template 3A.
The screws on the suspension assembly are very small and it pays to have good quality precision screwdrivers. It was not all joy, however. All went well until I got to the bottom block. The bottom block was seized and it took an extra effort to release the two block screws. However, once I overcame that little issue the completed assembly looked exactly like the template. One small note. The spring is longer than necessary and must be trimmed to fit. Now to install it on the movement.
The suspension spring assembly slipped into the top and bottom easily. There is a threaded thumbscrew on the top base that slips into the top block (arrow in photo above). The bottom block has two hanger pins that the pendulum rests on. Next is the back spring cover and the locking guard. The locking guard is an earlier design and looks a somewhat flimsy but should work.
Once installed on the movement it is time to test the beat. The beat should be 8 beats per minute.
Next few days
There is nothing fancy about the beat adjustment. The top block fits into a friction fit base that is moved left or right to find the best beat. Moving the base allows one to position the fork that rocks the pallets back and forth so that the beat can be set.
As of this writing the clock has been running for 48 hours but there is a slight variance in the over-swing on each side after the click (I use toothpicks to check the over-swing – see photo below) which means that while the clock is running and keeping reasonable time the clock is very, very slightly out-of-beat. Minute changes in the next few days will address that.
I rotated the speed adjustment dial just above the pendulum several times as the clock was losing 10 minutes per day and am now discovering that a previous owner or a child perhaps gave that dial a few spins to see what would happen. Setting the time is a slow process and it will take a week or more to set the time correctly.
Working on anniversary clocks is always very satisfying for me. Why do I love these clocks?
- Anniversary clocks are time-only with few gears,
- Relatively inexpensive to buy (though some Schatz and Gustav Beckers are less common, more desirable and more expensive),
- Very quiet (this is a clock to have if a ticking clock drives you crazy),
- Easy to dis-assemble/clean and re-assemble,
- Operate so slowly that there is seldom any pivot wear and therefore, easy to service,
- A great conversation piece,
- They run for 400 days or more on a single wind.
Final note: this clock will be gifted to my daughter in Victoria who has always been fascinated with the anniversary clock.