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Hettich Clock


Michael1962
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Well, it's me again.

This time I am going to throw myself at the mercy of everyone because I have a brass clock that my Grandmother owned. That makes it over 58 years old. To be honest I don't know how long Gran had it before I ever knew about it.

Anyway, it stopped a long time ago. Why, you may ask?

The movement is kept going by a battery which triggers a very simple electromagnet when a small weight gets to the bottom of its fall and returns the weight to the top and then the weight powers the movement again as it falls.

Battery. Well we all know what happens when batteries are left to their own devices? It had leaked and taken all the chrome off the battery holder. The spring that held the holder tight against the battery also succumbed to the battery goo. The rear door is steel. The battery goo made its way down the clock into the base and then over to the rear door and made a mess of that as well. The little catch that the door had to open and close it was sort of riveted into a single unit through the door. It has become two parts. In my haste as a younger man to beautify, I removed the paint from the clock face. THAT was probably the stupidest thing I have ever done.

I am thinking now that I will mask all the hour markers and repaint the face to the pearl colour that I remember it to be.

What I loved about it and spent many hours watching was the, and here is where my ignorance shines brightly, the part of the clock that oscillates back and forth in the bottom of the clock behind the glass where you can watch it turn one way, stop, and then return the other way.

I have looked online but can't find a picture of this particular clock. I have included some photos for you guys.

Is there anything n particular that I need to be really cautious of as I embark to return the clock to what it should be like?What sor of amplitude should the 'bslsnce wheel(?)' have?

Thanks for any information

Michael.

Front.thumb.jpg.d88fbde853dd3911ca4afc261f04293d.jpgBack.thumb.jpg.c6d75944d65175f356ea5872536d75d2.jpg

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Hi What an old beauty that is with the double Helical balance spring, never had my hands on one but suspect they operate like the 400 day clocks with a 360 rotation plus a little overdrive. The following link hs some info  http://www.mridout.force9.co.uk/ecw/hettich.htm#:~:text=Hettich&text=The Hettich mantel clock has,movement is a pin pallet.&text=Thus%2C as one part eof,move in the vertical plane      Timesavers in the Usa have some Hettich parts see link    https://timesavers.com/c-1158728-clock-repair-replacement-parts-balances-escapements-components-balance-forks.html

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Thanks for the links @watchweasol.
 

 I understand that @oldhippy as I saw other clocks yesterday where I got the other photos that I put up and I am not interested in any that have the little black box with an AA battery.

I suppose the saving grace here is that the battery resets the weight which powers the clock. Sort of like a Grand Seiko spring drive is not a quartz watch.

 And it was my grandmothers. ? 
 

Edited by Michael1962
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Hi Michael   Its a clock whether it has a battery or not. I repair Quartz clocks and watches no problem but I understand some people dont like them. I stripped and repaired a quartz movement just yesterday, It was a wedding present and held some sentimental value so therefore worth doing in my opinion.   The Hettich is an unusual clock and yes I would restore the dial to its former glory, Handle the balance and spring carefully as I don't think there are replacements except from scrappers and I guess they are scrapped because the spring was damaged. Carefully dismantle and clean the mech. From photos I have seen of these clocks they look good working away just like a 400 day the balance rotation is mesmerising.     There was a post on the forum from TMuir a fellow Australian from perth , on one of these clocks so have a look through the search function at the top right of the home screen   Nov 6th 2016 was the posted date.    best of luck and take care.

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Now I am a bit wild with myself. Could I have fixed the issue that was in front of me when I was given the clock? I don't know, but what I am fairly certain of is that the clock was gilded brass, with the rear door (steel) painted black.

The leaking battery had made a mess of several internal parts. The gilded brass and the chromed battery carrier. The insulated spring that held the battery cover when a battery is in it was also destroyed.

If you have a look at the picture from the rear of the clock and specifically at the hexagonal head on the right column, that may indicate to people far more knowledgable than myself whether it is gilded.

I have contacted a firm here in Melbourne regarding 24K plating kits as well as Hettich in Germany re the clock face colour, the minute markings and the fonts used for HETTICH and Made in Germany.

Boy, has a leaking battery and my 'how hard could it be?' attitude got me into a bit of strife.

Good news though is that my brother in Darwin, Australia is sending down the Black Forest cuckoo clock that my dad bought 49 years ago in Germany, down to me. Another restoration project which I will be much more careful with. I already know that the roof panels have separated from the clock body. Don't let anyone tell you that Darwin is a great place. They obviously haven't lived there. The climate is so humid, that everything gets attacked by it.

My wife also has a very old pendulum clock on our buffet that would be at least 130 years old. It is up there at the moment ticking away quite happily. I have to open the back up and have a look inside and I will get some photos as well. I can quite safely say that it will have never been serviced in its life. One of the hands has been damaged another than that I am not sure.

So if everything works out, we will be going from just a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock to:

1) out Howard Miller Grandfather clock (Westminster chime with strike)

2) Liz's Great Grandfather's clock

3) my Grandmother's Hettich table clock (which makes a 'doonk' sound every time the weight is lifted)

4) my mother and father's Black Forest cuckoo clock. (which obviously goes 'cuckoo' and then plays a tune every hour which I just cannot remember)

I think I need to learn a bit (a lot) before I go near any of these. (some again) And here I was thinking that I was going to look into watches. Looks like I will have my work cut out for me with clocks at first.

So could any of the 'clockies' on here let me know what I need do from now? Books, tools etc.

Edited by Michael1962
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Hi Michael You will certainly be busy for a month or two, Regarding Clock books there are plenty, but I would recommend Donald De Carles Practical clock repairing , Clock and watch repairing again by DeCarle, Clock repairers Handbook  Laurie Pennman, Clock repairers Manual  Mike Watters, anything by Brian Loomes,  electrical time keeping  Eric Hope-Jones. There are several books on the cuckoo clocks  all contribute to your knowledge with valuable information  .       All the best and good luck.

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Thanks @watchweasol. I am browsing the internet now looking at the titles.

A question for people. Is there any advantage to either e-books or to the printed version?

I presume once you have an e-book you just need to make sure that you have it backed up somewhere as computers can tend to just quit.

Something to having a tactile book though.

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Hi  An E book does need backing up or a collection putting on a flash drive for safety.  I must admit that I like the paper versions as they are easier to reference and to run through the pages in a search. But Information is the same, but still a sucker for the printed word.        cheers

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watchweasol mentions these guys and I agree. 

These are the best to start with  DeCarle, Laurie Pennman and Brian Loomes. Loomes is the one if you want to learn all there is to know about Longcase clocks (grandfather clocks).

I don't know if you can get this in Australia. Here in England we can buy this each month its called  clocks magazine. Many years ago I had a few papers published in there magazines. You won't find anything better.  

http://www.clocksmagazine.com/

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I've restored one of these clocks, same brand but different style, mine was in a glass dome similar to anniversary clocks.

Be careful with the pendulum, besides the obvious double helical spring it has a jewel in the top of the rod that the wire passes down through and a sideways jolt to the top can crack the jewel.

If the wire breaks that holds it up go measure it and you will find that the metal superfine guitar string will be the perfect size. I think it is the 'E' string, but a quick measure of the broken string will prove that.

Also be aware that the copper 'hairspring is also the electrical contact to energise the relay.

Yes it is battery powered but in essence all the battery does is lift the weight, so in some ways its no different to a tower clock that has had sensors fitted to the rope for the wight that triggers an electric motor to wind the weight back up. Yes this make the tower clock electrically powered but I don't think anyone would dare say it wasn't still a mechanical clock.

The one I repaired was also owned by my grandmother and now my father. I'm told my grandmother bought it in the 1970s whilst on a trip to Germany.

Here is the link to the post I made about mine.

https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/5442-hettich-floating-balance-aniversary-style-repair-help/?tab=comments#comment-55048

@oldhippy You can't buy the clocks magazine in Australia from any newsagents but you can subscribe to it.

I have a subscription which I must remember to pay the renewal fee on

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did ask, but the question seems to have slipped through to the keeper.

Are all brass clocks gilded in gold? I have had an answer back from a firm that supplies plating kits and I am also looking into the process of gold leaf.

The parts of the clock were always very polished in appearance. I presumed the brass to be polished and then lacquered (or similar) to prevent the brass from tarnishing. This thought, obviously, may be completely incorrect and it may all be gilded?

So far, I have still not had a reply from Hettich themselves. I will try them again.

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Thanks @oldhippy.

I was fairly sure that was how this clock was finished. What is used to finish the brass to a high shine so that you can then lacquer over it?

I would presume that something like Brasso (which oddly I can't find in Australia anymore) would leave a protective layer and interfere with a lacquer adhering properly?

Please forgive the ignorant questions.

Edited by Michael1962
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  • 3 weeks later...

I was 9 when I went to Gove. That is when dad bought the clock in Germany. I am now 58.

In Gove, the clock mainly lived in air conditioning. From the time in Darwin, circa 1986, in humidity. And a lot of it.

It would have never been serviced. So now I will be on the bushing learning curve as well. ?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/1/2020 at 3:40 AM, watchweasol said:

Hi What an old beauty that is with the double Helical balance spring, never had my hands on one but suspect they operate like the 400 day clocks with a 360 rotation plus a little overdrive. The following link hs some info  http://www.mridout.force9.co.uk/ecw/hettich.htm#:~:text=Hettich&text=The Hettich mantel clock has,movement is a pin pallet.&text=Thus%2C as one part eof,move in the vertical plane      Timesavers in the Usa have some Hettich parts see link    https://timesavers.com/c-1158728-clock-repair-replacement-parts-balances-escapements-components-balance-forks.html

Ok. I need some assistance. As I have made you aware, I tried to 'fix' this clock after a leaking battery episode. I have managed to really mess things up. The first link in @watchweasol's post shows a clock with exactly the same dial as the clock that I have.

Is anyone able to give me any ideas on how to go about repainting the dial? I can mask the hour markers and paint the dial the silver/grey, but then I am not sure how to go about the minute spots in between the hour indexes. The individual minutes are there in a slightly darker grey and circular. I have actually just thought of something to try. I won't say anything as yet. I'll muck around with my idea and then let you know how I go.

I am not sure how to recreate the HETTICH brand name or the Made in Germany at 6 o'clock. I may line the lettering out in pencil on the dial and handpaint it. I am not sure if I would be able to find lettering decals in the correct font. Even if I knew what it was.

I did get a reply from HETTICH in Germany which basically said 'This clock has been out of production for 40 years and we have no information.' I was hoping to get some help from them. At least with the font name.

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Posted (edited)

I did some searching. How does everyone think this font looks?

http://www.fontsplace.com/square-721-extended-bt-free-font-download.html

I expect that Hettich would have used the same font for the HETTICH parts as well as 'Made in Germany'?

Now I just have to see if I can find it online in decals that I can use that are the right size.

Edited by Michael1962
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Hi Michael  the name would probably been the main font and the made in germany a size smaller so as not to detract from the brand name. Best to try and find an example on the net to be sure.

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The 'Made in West Germany' is definitely smaller.

The font I have found is not the right one. It is real close, but the C is not correct. In the original the C is quite round. In the one I found the C is a bit squarer.

To be honest, I doubt it will matter.

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