Moon Dial Product Notes
The clock moon dials are specific to a particular movement series usually. To get a clock moon dial for your clock you would need the movement numbers off of the back plate of the movement itself, Not off of the paper work that came with the clock, not off of the wood case, but off of the clock engine itself.
These moon dials are for German mechanical floor clock movements, post 1960 only. If the clock is cable driven, it will have the holes to wind the clock in the dial, if it is chain driven it will not have winding holes.
Moon Dial Mounting Posts Note
All of the moon dials on this page have the four posts on the back of them unless specified. These four posts lock into the clock movement's front plate.
There are two styles of locking the posts, some movements have levers that slide and lock the post, and sometimes the post will have a hole in them for a tapered pin to lock it in place.
Grandfather clock sized 11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dial with Arabic gold time track and raised spandrels. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime options at 3 O'clock. This dial fits either the Kieninger KSU series or the Hermle 1161-853. This is the best quality phase of the moon dial available for these units.
Item #MDPR $175
11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dial with Arabic gold time track. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime option at 3 O'clock. This dial fits a variety of clock movements.
Item #MDBRTOP $125
Grandfather clock sized 11 x 15 1/2 phase of the Moon Dial with Arabic silver time track. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent and triple chime options at 3 O'clock. This moon dial fits the 1161-853 Hermle movement.
Item #MDYA1161 $150
This 11 x 15 1/2 inch phase of the moon dial has Arabic numerals. This dial has the holes for the crank key to fit the 1161 Hermle Grandfather clock movement series. The difference between this one for the 1161-850 and a dial for a 1161-853 is the stand off feet are shorter on the 850, as the 1161-850 has the shorter hand shaft and therefore need these shorter feet. At 3 o'clock are the chime selections for the three songs as well as the silent option.
Item #MD1161 $125
Moon dial that is 11 x 15 1/2 inches. This moon dial has raised corners and the wording silent / chime at 3 o'clock. The numerals are Arabic and the dial is gold with a silver time track. This will fit either the Hermle 451-053 or the 451-033 movements.
Item #MD451053 $125
11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dials with a silver time track and raised corners. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime option at 3 O'clock and has Arabic numerals. This dial will fit many Hermle clock movements. The pic does not show the cable driven style, this style has the holes to wind the cables and also a second hand bit on it.
Item #MDMOON $125
This 9 7/8 x 13 inch phase of the moon dial is made for the 1151-053 movement series. There are 4 stand off feet on the back of this dial that attach to the clock movement itself. This low arch moon dial is a uncommon size and hard to offer sometimes for this movement.
Item #MD1151053SM $125
Tempus Fugit dial has three sizes available with either Arabic or Roman numerals. This has no phase of the moon function, instead says Tempus Fugit on the top hump. This dial has no feet to lock into the movement, as it is designed to drill small holes for screws in the corners. The dial would then attach the wood case instead of the movement.
The Story of the Moon Dial
In the late 17th century, the moon dial was added to most long case clocks so that people could plan ahead for when the moon was full and travel at night was not so hazardous.
The arched dial was first used in clocks at the beginning of the 18th century, and presented a real challenge to the makers of fine clocks. By approximately 1720, moving figures began to appear in this space, figures which moved back and forth with the swing of the pendulum. Among them were prancing deer, rocking ships, and Father Time with his scythe. At the time, there was no practical value to this feature on the clock, it was done simply for the delight of those viewing the clock. After motion had been added in the arch above the dial, the next step was to reproduce the progress of the moon from phase to phase.
The proverbial “Man in the Moon” was used on most dials with a landscape and/or seascape on the other half of the circle. A rocking ship was a frequent symbol of the sea, with a deer often representing the land. In our very modern world today, the moving moon section of the dial is more decorative than useful, but it is still a very sought after feature. Many beliefs concerning the moon and its effects have been recorded. Among them:
- Sweep the house in the dark of the moon and you will have neither moths nor spiders.
- Trees planted at full moon will bear fruit.
- Plant peas and potatoes in the increase of the moon.
Moon Dial Removal
To remove the clock movement, or to work on the front portion of the movement for any reason, the clock dial has to come off. If you follow these steps, taking off the moon dial is really not a problem.
1. Remove the hands. To remove the hands off of the clock, first thing to do is remove the second hand bit if there is one. Some larger clocks will have this feature and to remove it you only need to grab it with your finger nails and pull straight out. It is only a friction fit with a post on the back of it, so if you pull it straight out it will come out. Next are the hour and minute hands, to remove the minute hand, hold it still while using needle nose pliers on its nut just to loosen it. Turning the nut to the left a little bit will loosen it so you can just take the nut off with your fingers. When the minute hand nut is off, you can remove the minute hand. This is only on by the minute hand mounting square hole on the movement’s square shaft. When the nut is removed it will come off if you wiggle the hand around. Now for the hour hand, this is on only by a friction fit, it has a round hole in the hour hand and presses on to a round shaft. This comes off by twisting back and forth and pulling toward you at the same time. Although you may not be able to tell, the hour hand tube is tapered wider as it goes into the movement. This means the more the hour hand is pressed down onto this post, the tighter it will be and harder to come off.
2. Taking off the dial trim. There are so many clock case designs, but the most common method of surrounding the wood around the dial is to just have a trim that comes off. Most floor clocks have this trim around the dial and must be removed to get the dial off of the clock. Usually there are just two Phillip head screws that come off of the front of the dial trim, and the trim can then lift up, pull the bottom of the trim out some, and then it will come down and out. Other case designs are that the entire hood of the clock will slide forward and off of the clock case with its trim. If this is your case design then you may have to lift up with the back of the hood before you slide forward as there may be a locking feature designed with the wood backing of the clock case.
3. Unclipping the dial. Now it’s time to get to the back of the dial, where it’s mounted to the movement. You will see that there are four posts coming out of the back of the dial, going into the movement. Most movements are equipped with clips behind the front plate of the movement, that move left or right as to lock in the dial feet. To remove these types of clips, just move them out of the way and the dial will come off in a forward motion. Another dial locking method includes taper pins. These are steel or brass pins that are tapered from fat to skinny. The skinny end goes through a hole in the dial feet and lock it in place to the movement. To remove these pins will let the dial come off and you only need to grab the fat side of the tapered pin and yank it out of its hole in the dial foot. Then the dial will come straight forward and off the clock.