Adjustments to a Smiths Enfield mantel clock

This is a Smiths Enfield Art Deco style clock that requires a few adjustments before I sell it.

Smiths Enfield mantel clock
Smiths Enfield mantel clock

The Smiths Clock Co. became Smiths Enfield in 1949 and the Smiths Enfield name first appeared in catalogs from 1950 onward. This oak cased time and strike shelf clock was made somewhere between 1949 and 1955, vintage, but not antique.

The clock keeps good time although there is definitely something amiss with the strike side. It has a pleasant strike sound but the striking is erratic. Perhaps an adjustment issue but it requires taking the movement out of the case.

Once out of its case I ran the strike side going through each hour observing the action. The setup is conventional but there is no rat tail per se on this movement just a pin or striker point midway along the rack arm. The rack pin was hitting the sloping edge of the plateau part of the snail, the pin not hitting the flat section of the snail.

Smiths Enfield
Smiths Enfield movement

To make the adjustment, I removed the clip and washer to release the snail. I advanced the snail to the one o’clock position and lifted the snail out and moved it approximately where the rack pin hits midway along the plateau of the snail. This will permit the snail to fall in the midpoint throughout the 12-hour cycle. On the test stand, I monitored the strike sequence. While not a hard and fast rule so, determining the sweet spot in other movements that have a similar rack and snail arrangement will take some experimentation.

That went as expected. However, what I noticed that when advancing the strike the paddle was hanging up on one of the points of the star wheel. This could either stall the strike train or cause an extra strike on the hour.

Although it is a simple adjustment the mainsprings must be let down and the plates pulled apart enough to relocate the paddle arbour so that the paddle is between two points of the star wheel. In the process of manipulating the levers, one or two other wheels may or may not pop out. Once all the wheels are relocated, screw down the corner of the plate and test the strike side action.

Smiths Enfield movement
Smiths Enfield movement, testing

The clock was clearly out of sorts and had been for some time. Now that everything is right with it, it can be sold without that dubious phrase, “might need some adjustment”.


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