First rule is to always move the clock with the pendulum balls either in the locked position or take them off completely. To lock the balls into place, lift them slightly so the lock arm can be moved over to the locked position. These clocks are pretty touchy because of the suspension spring that holds the pendulum balls in the air.
This spring must not get kinked AT ALL and this is why the Anniversary Clocks Pendulum balls are removed or locked during transit. To operate this clock, first find a home for it on a shelf or mantle that does not shake or get bumped. Hang the balls on gently while the spring is sitting right where it normally sits. Adjust the feet of the clock base so the clock sits level with the balls centered in the middle of the cup below it. In this position the balls should be totally suspended in the air, not touching anything, even slightly. Let the Anniversary Clocks Pendulum balls settle down from jiggling around and notice where they stop. Now rotate the balls 1/2 of a revolution and gently let go. This should let the balls swing 180 degrees, one full revolution. Some miniature clocks swing a bit more than this, but most swing a bit less, being about 3/4 of a revolution upon settling down.
Do not bother to set the time until about 15 minutes have gone by and the balls are in there pattern of swinging back and forth with the movements power only. It is the speed in which these balls rotate that determine how accurate the timekeeping will be. The speed of the balls when you first start the clock will be too fast to have accurate timekeeping and therefore the time is set after they settle into there rhythm. Wait 15 minutes and set the time of the clock by moving the minute hand around until you reach the proper time. Put the dome back on the clock and its done.
When it's time to repair a 400 day clock, two things usually need to be done. The suspension spring gets replaced and the movement gets cleaned. These two procedures will fix most Anniversary Clocks.
If you just dug out your Anniversary Clocks from the cellar or attic and have no idea what to check first, the suspension spring is the place to start. If it is bent or distorted AT ALL then it is no good. The suspension spring is just a very thin piece of steel running down the back of the clock. Its purpose is to suspend the balls in the air and allow them to slowly rotate back and forth. If this gets bent AT ALL the clock will not work. The only bending this spring can do is twist back and forth with the balls as they rotate. The spring being bent is the number one cause for most of these clocks not working. I would venture to guess that this is the reason for about 80% of these clocks that need repair. They are cheap to replace and it is an easy fix if your the patient type. If your not patient and careful, or there is a lot of chaos going on around you, forget it. This is a VERY delicate process.
There are four pieces to a Anniversary Clocks suspension spring including the thin spring itself. First there is the brass bottom block that the Anniversary Clocks Pendulum balls attach to. Then in the upper middle of the spring there is the fork attachment that whacks the verge back and forth. (The verge is the wire that sticks straight up from the escapement). Then on top there is the top block that the entire suspension spring hooks onto to be suspended in the air. It is common for the fork and the bottom block to become lost because if the spring breaks, then the clock is usually stored somewhere because it is broken, and these small parts manage to disappear. If you need replacement blocks, they are available on the Anniversary Clocks parts page.
The suspension spring is usually attached to the clock with a screw or pin through the top block. After it is disassembled it's time to attach the blocks to the new spring that you cut down to size. It is very important not to kink the new spring AT ALL while putting these on. Leave the set screws in place, but still loose on the blocks, insert the new spring just enough into the block so the set screws will grab securely. It is easiest to do this step on the table laying the spring down flat, it will take a small hole in the table to support the bottom block to lay flat because of its cross pin. Either a small hole in the table will work or a staking block with various hole diameters could be used and would be ideal.
Now with the block ready to be screwed down, hold it with a pair of needle nose pliers to be sure it will not turn and kink the spring. Be sure to get a good solid grip on the block with the pliers, but without gripping so tight the block pops out of them. As you hold steady the block with the needle nose pliers, use your precision screwdriver to tighten up the set screws that secure the block together with the spring end inside. Do this to both sides of the new spring (top and bottom block) then your ready to put on the fork. The fork only has one set screw and is put on toward the top of the spring.
To find out exactly where this spring should go, hold up the suspension to the clock and get an idea on the height it should be put at. It should be able to whack the verge wire back and forth and should be positioned so it's sticking straight out of the spring at a 90 degree angle. Its height will have to be low enough on the verge to keep the clock running, but high enough so the clock will not flutter. Fluttering is the term used to describe the clock running 300 miles an hour even with the balls hung and is the result of having the fork set to low. After determining the approximate place where the fork should be on the spring your ready to tighten up the set screw that grabs on, not really tight however because it will most likely have to be adjusted again later. Best to use the pliers again to hold it secure while tightening.
The first step is to measure the Anniversary Clocks springs thickness with a micrometer. Second step is to order this size from us at this LINK or from below. The new springs come very long and need to be cut down with sharp scissors. To cut them down, you need to determine the length needed. The length does not have to be absolutely perfect for the clock to run. The spring only must be short enough so the balls are suspended completely in the air, and long enough so the bottom block will not hit the bottom of the movement. The easiest way to find the correct length is to match the old Anniversary Clocks spring up to the new one and snip off the excess.
If you do not have the old suspension spring because it is lost, then you must use a different method of finding out the length and thickness. The only way I know to find the thickness of a missing spring is to use the Horolovar Anniversary Clocks Repair Manual and hope the clock is in it. Suspension Springs come in a Pack of 3
Item #AN7 -$10
This is a very helpful book because it has views of the back plates of various manufacturers as well as great repair information. While you have the book and the clock in front of you, match up the back of the clock with the picture in the book to determine what Anniversary Clocks is yours and see the suspension spring thickness it takes. Then order the correct size spring from us along with a mixed block and fork assortment. If by chance your clock is not listed in the book, you may want to try the popular spring assortment and give a guess to the size. Most seem to take the size .0032 which would be a good place to start. The thicker the spring, the faster the balls rotate. If the balls rotate too fast or slow, the clock will not keep proper time. Remove the old spring and take the blocks and the fork off with a precision screwdriver.
To see if a Anniversary Clocks is in beat, turn the clock so you are looking at the back of the clock with the dome off. Get yourself into a position so you can see the escapement action and see the balls go back and forth at once. Now start the clock as described in the operating instructions. Observe the pattern of the balls going one way and having the escapement give a tick then sway back the other way and tock on the other side. Now on the balls path to the outermost place it goes to, from this point start counting evenly until you hear the clock "tick" and then stop counting. This number you counted to, you want to count on the other side also. Now these numbers you counted to should be the same on both sides of the balls rotation or the clock would be considered "out of beat". The numbers counted to is to be the same for the clock to be "in beat".
As your looking at the top of the clock you will see how there is a screw that loosens to turn the whole pendulum a bit one way or the other. When loosening this screw be very careful not to kink the suspension spring. It is easy to turn it too quick or too far. Loosen the screw gently, just enough to be able to adjust. With trial and error of observing the action and moving the beat setter, you will get the beat correct and the clock will officially be "in beat" and ideally should be now running perfectly. If not, then check the Anniversary Clocks suspension spring for any kinks.
If you are willing to learn how your Anniversary Clocks operates and would like to clean and repair the clock yourself, it is best to start out with the simple kit we have put together for this purpose. It includes The Clock Repair E-Book that guides you through each step of this process and explains the components so you can reassemble the movement and have it run correctly. It is too much information to put in a typical HTML format such as this page because of loading time, so it is all in a downloadable zip file. This E-Book is included in the Basic Clock Cleaning Kit and you get the clock cleaning solution, the E-Book, a brush, a clock level, clock oil and a vision visor. The E-Book explains what to do with these items. More information on the Basic Clock Cleaning Kit is available at this link. This is a spring driven clock, so be sure to select the Mainspring Let Down tool also. These clocks have a huge mainspring in them so they will run as long as they do, so it is absolutely mandatory that the springs power is released before disassembly. Attempting to work on a movement that has not had the power taken out of the mainsprings will cause serious injuries.
To Lock and Unlock the Pendulum Suspension
Before the pendulum is put into motion, which is the way the clock is started, it is necessary to get it into a free-suspended position.
The pendulum should be very carefully hooked on to the pin block on the suspension spring. Attaching the pendulum to the pin block (and detaching it when necessary) is a most important operation, and great care must be taken not to bend the spring even the least bit! Don't try to do it with one hand. It's best to hold the little pin block in position with the finger of one hand while "hooking" the pendulum on it with the other. (When removing the pendulum from the pin block, remember that the pendulum "hook" has to be raised slightly before the pin can be eased out.
Clocks with Detached Pendulums and with Suspension Spring Guards that Can Be Locked
These spring protection pieces, or guards, all located at the back of the movement, have different designs. Some just cover the pin block attached to the lower end of the suspension spring; others actually clamp the pin block so it can't be moved. The guard itself may be held in place friction-tight, or by a thumb screw. Whatever the design, this protection device must be raised up and away from the pin block and kept away.
With the pin block on the Anniversary Clockssuspension spring thus exposed, the Anniversary Clocks pendulum should then be very carefully hooked on. Attaching the pendulum to the suspension spring (and detaching it when necessary) is a most important operation, and great care must be taken not to bend the spring even the least bit! Don't try to do it with one hand. It's best to hold the little pin block in position with the finger of one hand while "hooking" the Anniversary Clocks pendulum on it with the other. (When removing the pendulum from the pin block, remember that the pendulum "hook" has to be raised slightly before the pin can be eased out.
Clocks with Attached Pendulums and with Pendulum Locking Devices
The pendulum locking lever is in the back, under the movement. A "safety" cotter pin may be in position (to prevent the lever from opening accidentally during shipping) and this pin must be removed before the locking lever can be opened. (If the clock has been factory packed, a brass clamp may be attached to the upper part of the pendulum. It should be pulled off and discarded.) The pendulum should be carefully held, when the locking lever is pushed to the side, allowing it to be lowered gently into the free position: a drop of about 1/8".
Caution: When this action is reversed; that is, when the pendulum is to be locked again for moving or shipping, remember that it must be carefully raised (about 1/8") into its socket so that the locking lever will hold it in a firm position. If you pull the locking lever over without first raising the pendulum into its socket, no locking takes place. In such a case, the suspension spring is quite likely to be seriously bent if the clock is tipped.
If the clock is to be shipped, it is advisable to replace the "safety" pin in the hole by the lever. If the original cotter pin that came with the clock is not available, a satisfactory pin can be made from a slightly opened paper clip. (If no hole for a "safety" pin is provided, the locking lever should be held in the locked position with a rubber band.
The pendulum of this clock is locked and unlocked by a lever which is located in front, or in back, of the clock at the bottom of the base. When the lever is moved to an extreme right position, the pendulum is raised and locked; when it is moved to the extreme left position, the pendulum is lowered and is "free".
A second and more secure Anniversary Clocks pendulum lock is provided for use when the clock is shipped. This lock is at the back of the movement, located in the lower piece of the tubular suspension spring guard. This lower guard can be adjusted - either locked (lowered) or unlocked (raised) - by means of a thumb screw. Except when the clock is being shipped, this adjustable guard should be raised as high as it will go, and held there by tightening the thumb screw.
To lock the Anniversary Clocks pendulum for shipping, loosen the thumb screw and lower the piece in such a way that the two prongs provided not only go through the two holes in the pendulum locking bracket, but also through two holes in the disc at the top of the pendulum. (It may be necessary to rotate the pendulum slightly to find a pair of matching holes through which the prongs will go. When the two prongs of the piece have thus been fully seated, the thumb screw should be tightened to hold it in place.
There are many different types of Anniversary Clocks pendulum locking mechanisms, most of which provide some means of raising the pendulum against a bracket, at the rear of the movement, thereby supporting the pendulum at the top and bottom during shipping. If the method of operating the mechanism on your clock is not clear, read the instructions in the paragraphs above which explain other types of locking devices. If they don't help you to determine how yours works, take the Anniversary Clocks to your local clock repairman who will be glad to explain the operation to you.
To Place the Clock
The clock should be placed in a position free from vibration. Television sets, pianos, unsteady book cases or tables are all unsatisfactory places. A mantel, a steady piece of furniture, or even a wall bracket, is to be preferred. It will not help its timekeeping qualities if the clock is placed directly over a radiator, or in a window where it will be subjected to direct sunlight or to drafts.
To Level the Clock
The surface on which the clock rests does not have to be completely level. But the clock itself must be level. You don't need a leveling tool if the clock is level when the tip of the pendulum is directly over, or inside, the guide cup.
To Start the Clock - Very Important!
Carefully rotate the Anniversary Clocks pendulum, in either direction, so that it is about one complete turn from dead center, then release it. This will start the pendulum rotating more than is usually required. Depending upon the clock, the normal rotation may be as little as three quarters of a turn or, for some miniature or midget clocks, as much as a turn and a half. After the pendulum has continued to rotate for a half-hour or so, it will have "settled down" to its normal cycle. Once you know how far the pendulum normally rotates in one direction, always give it just a little more than this amount whenever you have to start it in the future. But never rotate the pendulum more than one and one half turns from dead center. If you do, a permanent twist may be left in the suspension spring which will prevent the clock from running. (No clock repairman can be expected to replace a Anniversary Clocks suspension spring, free of charge, if the spring has been permanently twisted or otherwise bent.
To Set the Hands
Set the time by moving the minute hand in either direction. The hour hand will automatically follow. If the hour hand does not point exactly to the hour when the minute hand is on 12, shift its position, in either direction (it's on only friction tight) until it does point to the hour. Don't be alarmed if the escapement "flutters" when the hands are being moved.
To Regulate the Clock
On 3-ball and 4-ball pendulums, a round, "regulating disc" (about the size of a nickel) is at the top. When turned, it will make the balls go toward, or away from, the center of the Anniversary Clocks pendulum. The direction in which the regulating disc should be turned to make the clock go faster or slower depends upon the design of the pendulum. Look for the letters F (fast) and S (slow) on the top of, or near, the regulating disc.
To make the clock go SLOWER
Turn regulating disc clockwise to Adjust for Accurate Timekeeping
If the clock is to be used as a timekeeper, the final regulating has to be done when it is in its position and leveled. The most practical way of regulating the clock is as follows: At least a half-hour after the clock has first been set up and started, at which time the Anniversary Clocks pendulum should be rotating back and forth at its normal rate, set the hands to some accurate time source such as a quartz watch or electric clock. Cover the clock with its dome or case and don't touch it again for a week. Start keeping a record with a table with Date, Right Time, Clock Time, Minutes Difference (fast and slow), Amount of Regulation and Direction. At the end of the week (or sooner, if the clock is gaining or losing time rapidly), compare the time with the accurate source and note the number of minutes that the clock has run fast or slow. To correct its rate of gain or loss, stop the Anniversary Clocks pendulum at the point where it reverses its cycle, and adjust the regulating disc on the pendulum (or regulating rod on disc pendulum clocks) as described above. (A half turn will make a significant change in the timekeeping, so if the clock is only 5 or 10 minutes fast or slow, start with a quarter or 1/8 turn.) Then, release the pendulum at, or just a little beyond, the place where you stopped it. (By making the regulating adjustment while holding the pendulum at one end of its cycle, you avoid over swinging it when you start it again. An over swing prevents accurate regulation.) Reset the hands to the correct time and let the clock run without further correction for another week.
Be sure to make a note of the amount the clock ran fast or slow, and the amount of turn you gave to the pendulum regulating disc, i.e., quarter turn, eighth of a turn, etc. After two or three weeks, you will reach a point when a 1/8 turn of the outside edge of the regulating disc will change the timing from fast to slow (or from slow to fast). You have then reached the maximum possible regulation. Do not make any further regulating adjustments unless the clock is moved to another position. Don't expect the clock to keep accurate time for 400 days! Every two weeks, or whenever necessary, remove the dome and nudge the minute hand to the correct time. With this attention, the clock will keep as good time as an 8-day mantel clock.
To Clean Glass or Plastic
Most 400-Day Clocks are covered with glass or plastic domes, or by glass or plastic sided cases. The clocks are a lot more attractive when the glass or plastic is kept clean and bright.
Wash occasionally in very hot water and wipe off with a clean, dry towel. The dome can be kept bright over long periods by just wiping it off with a clean, damp, paper towel while it is on the clock. When removing the dome from the clock, always grip it as near to the bottom as possible. This will keep your fingerprints in an area where they won't show
Glass Sided Cases
Wipe both sides with a soft cloth, wrung out with hot water. Wipe off with a clean, soft, dry towel. Do not dip the case in water. The sides can be kept bright over long periods by wiping occasionally with a clean, dry cloth while the case is on the Anniversary Clocks. Avoid putting your fingers on the glass when removing the case.
Plastic Domes or Cases
Follow the same suggestions as above, but avoid extremely hot water. Always use a very soft cloth when wiping. Plastic is relatively soft and will eventually become dull if wiped repeatedly with a rough cloth or paper towel.