E. N. Welch Marine clock – why is this clock running so slow?

Some months ago I cleaned the case of this 30-hour marine clock and even polished the bezel. While it looked absolutely stunning on the wall it did not run well, losing upwards of 10 minutes per hour, and of course by any measure that is significant. It is time to find out why.

Case cleaned and bezel polished but what lurks inside

The 30-hour brass movement with a balance wheel escapement is accessed by removing the dial and bezel (4 screws) and releasing 4 screws that hold the movement to the backboard.

A balance wheel escapement should be no surprise as this is a marine clock, designed to be used on ships and trains. Not a ships bell or watchkeeper’s clock but a marine clock that simply tells the time.

Just in case I missed something I checked and the speed regulator lever was set in the fastest position.

I separated the plates to discover that the movement had been worked on previously. The regulating screw for the balance escapement is glued in place. Not good. However, I am reluctant to mess with it at this point for fear of creating a larger problem. We shall cross that bridge when it comes.

I suspect part of the reason the clock is slow is a kink in the hairspring. I straightened it as best as I could. I should have taken a photo to show how kinked it was.

Movement in the case

There are no punch marks around the pivot holes which is generally expected on these old movements but no newer bushings either. In any event, the movement is definitely worn. Most bushing holes are enlarged and new brass bushings are on the list. A good cleaning combined with new bushings and a straightened hairspring should make things run better and improve the timing. So, a combination of factors, let’s hope!

A time-only movement

Here is where I am. I am at the point where the parts have been cleaned in the ultrasonic, the pivots have been polished and I am preparing for the next step, the bushing work. I should have completed the movement weeks ago but unfortunately, so many things have conspired to get in the way that I just haven’t had time.

Let’s call this Part I and a post regarding the completion of servicing will be in a week or so.


2 thoughts on “E. N. Welch Marine clock – why is this clock running so slow?

  1. Ron appears the regulator is on the typical tensioned small cup washer to keep it in position. Puzzled why it was glued? You have come across lots of bad or cheap fix repair jobs, as “punching” pivot holes. Never heard of this one before. Ideas?


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