Mechanical Clock Movement Identification

IdentificationIdentify the MovementWhy get a new movement?What Happened?Hermle Availability

Please view these information tabs to determine the Identification of the Mechanical Clock Movement .

Identifying a mechanical clock movement

To get anything for a clock movement from Clockworks we first need to know what the movement is. This is done by decoding the identification markings on the back plate of the movement itself. By knowing what the movement is, you can replace it with a new one. Subsequently, you can purchase parts such as a pendulum. It is very difficult to provide a pendulum or a dial to a movement without knowing what it is.

Where to get the identification information

The movement alone is what we need to identify. Once the identity is known, it is easy to know what other parts compliment that movement. The markings on the clock movement itself is what we need. In essence, the movement number is the DNA of the clock when it comes to Identifying a mechanical clock movement. It tells us all the information about the movement. All of the parts work together, so with the movement number we can recommend other parts.

What is not to used for Identifying

The paperwork or manuals that come with the clock upon purchasing does us no good. It has no bearing in the identification process. Neither does any of the stickers on the clock case. The reason being the clock case maker is not the same as the movement maker usually. In a typical modern post WW2 clock, such as a grandfather clock, it is possible to have a different maker for each of the components. In other words, the dial can be by one maker and the pendulum by another. The identity of the clock movement itself is what needs to be known in order to get a replacement. This is true for any of the other items such as the dial. So the identification is all about the clock movement only.

Confirm the country of origin

The country of origin will eliminate many possibilities for the manufacturer of the movement. All you have to do is look at the back plate of the movement. If the mechanical movement has a stamp of Germany, the availability for a replacement is quite high and we can help with a new one.

If it is not made in Germany

The majority of clocks after WW2 are German with the exception of 31 day China and Korean units. Thus, if the clock was made after WW2 and is not a 31 day then it is most likely German. If the clock is made in any other country besides Germany things are not as easy. If the movement has a stamp from another country, please email pictures of the movement. We can offer a repair or replacement parts. If you do have a German unit you need the numbers off of the back plate of the movement itself. It will be right off the brass back plate.

The German identifying markings

This is not always easy to get to. Sometimes the clock case has side access panels that come off. It is also possible to stick a cell phone up in the clock case to take a picture. Others ways include a mirror and a flashlight. The point being, we need those numbers. Often the movement numbers will be on the lower right of the back plate of the movement. Very few clocks have the identification information on the front plate. Only some antique American units have this type of information on the front plate instead of the back.

The German ID will allow us to do some things

The movement number on the back plate provides all the information about the clock. Although it may not say the manufacturer on the movement, the numbers will give this information. The movement number usually tells us the way the clock chimes, the location of the chime hammers, if it's weight or spring driven and much more. When the movement number is known, you can purchase a replacement and it will be the same movement as the old one.

Usually all the old parts such as the clock weights, pendulum and hands will work with the new movement. This is because the new one will be the exact same thing as your old movement. This is why it is important that the movement number is the first thing that needs to be known. Everything revolves around that number. Of course, this will always be the first question that we ask if someone needs a replacement movement. So if you call or email make sure you have this number ready. We will not be able to help you without it or at least a picture.

mechanical clock movement identification

Now done with identifying the clock movement

Use the examples to narrow down the manufacturer of your movement. Go to that clockworks web page to order the movement. The picture might not look the same as your movement. Do not worry if the picture is not exactly the same as your old movement. Matching the mechanical clock movement number is what makes the difference. If the old movement number matches the one on the list, then you will get that same movement. If there is any question, send an email so we can clarify things for you. It is better to ask a question than to not get the right item when Identifying a mechanical clock movement.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

New Clock Movement Benefits

New clock movement benefits far outweigh the benefits of an overhaul. This section will explain why that is and what the best course of action is to get your clock working.

Getting the movement worked on

Clocks need to be oiled after 10 years or so. Then, after 20 or 30 years, a full break down of the movement is necessary. This is all well and good and can be done with the old movement. The movement will run for another 5 or 15 years with no issues but then it will be time to do it again.

Every time the movement is worked on and re-bushed, it will last less and less time before it needs attention again. The repair process is expensive because it takes time to separate the plates, remove all the gears, do the necessary work, and then put them all back together again. This process may need to be redone if not perfect the first time. The turn around time to complete an overhaul could be anywhere from 1 to 3 months, and in some extreme cases, a year. It is a slow moving venture that costs twice as much as a new movement would. If a new movement is not available, then this is the best, and only, way to handle a clock repair.

Replacing with a new clock movement

If the movement is still in production, it is far better to just get the new one. Mass production makes the movement so affordable it will cost a fraction of the price of the repair work. The movement will be the same one but brand new and ready to run 30 years without much complaint. There is absolutely no way to repair an old movement so that it is better than new. Even the best clockmaker using the best equipment cannot make the movement better than a new one.

A new one is a factory fresh restart. The clock will be like it was originally when it was purchased from the store. The new movement will be made by the same people, with the same machines, and the movement is the same. It is not a close replica or made somewhere else besides Germany. It is the same movement. Not a knock off or replica. So wouldn't it make sense to get the new one instead of chasing the old? The choice is clear and obvious. The new movement will cost a fraction of the price and the clock is up and running in no time.

Movements to consider getting repaired instead

If a unit is no longer in production and not available new, then a repair is most likely your only option. However we will try to convert it to a new unit that is close and easy to adapt. If it is not an easy one to adapt, or would take too much case work, then the best solution is to get it worked on.

Another movement to consider getting overhauled instead of replaced is the tubular bell, which is a high end movement. The price of a tubular bell unit makes an overhaul more attractive. This is because of the high price on the new ones which is currently around $1600. Usually the price is less for the new unit but instead these units are more costly than the overhaul by clockworks.com anyway. We can charge only $900 for the complete overhaul on these units. Ultimately the choice is yours. There is a good argument in both directions that makes sense on these expensive units.

Clockworks.com = The best repair service

We would love to do the overhaul here at clockworks.com and we do the best job. There are two ways to fix clocks; the easy way and the hard way. We only do it the hard way with no short cuts. It is even more important for us to do your repair than another company because we do not go to your house. There is no one being intrusive in your home and possibly damaging your clock case.

The movement itself is the only item that gets sent to us. No components need to be sent since we have everything else here such as weights, dials and pendulums. It is a great advantage to have clockworks.com work on your movement for this fact alone. A clock supply depot such as us does not need to wait for parts. We possess everything we could possibly need to complete a thorough, professional clock repair right here.

The new movement

New clock movement benefits usually do indeed outweigh the repair option. The movement will already come lubricated with clock oil so there is no need to oil it. The clock comes with cables and pulleys, or chains, the leader, and suspension spring. This is everything that comes out when you remove the two screws that are under the movement, besides the dial and weights.

Once you get the hands and the clock dial out of the way (instructions included) it's only a matter of removing the two screws from underneath. The new movement can be swapped out by an experienced person in 10 or 15 minutes. An inexperienced person will take longer, but the point is that it isn't hard to do. There are some instances where a clock case was made in an annoying way that makes it more difficult, but for mass produced clocks this is not the situation. This more related to a few individual clockmakers who may have designed the case to make it more tricky to get the movement in or out.

Summary

A new clock movement is typically less than half the cost of an overhaul. It will also be on its way to the customer instantly instead of months later. A new clock movement will last the longest of any other choice.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

Mechanical Clock Movement Wear

Mechanical clock movement wear after years go by because the oil turns solid. With age, the mechanical clock movement's oil solidifies and becomes black and sticky. By the time 20 or 30 years go by, the oil has solidified and is creating wear on the movements brass plates.

What wear and where

If you look at your old clock movement, you will see holes in the brass plates where there are small pivot arbors sticking into these holes. These pivots are what the gears of the clock ride upon and as the pivots spin in the solidified oil, this makes the holes oblong instead of round. With the pivot holes oblong, the holes are pinching the pivots and creating resistance in the gear train. With the solidified oil and the pinched pivots, the clock will eventually stop working or chiming.

Invisible clock movement wear

This wear takes place in the holes that are in the brass plates and is hard to identify sometimes. These holes in the brass plates become oblong instead of round and this pinches the pivot arbor going into it. Between this, and the solid oil, the clock ceases to function. To have this repaired is an expensive and long process. To have a mechanical movement serviced can cost two times as much or even three times the amount of the new one.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

Hermle Mechanical Clock Movement Availability

Hermle Mechanical Clock Movement Availability is excellent. We stock all Hermle Clock Movements, with very few exceptions. Some special CM lengths may be a special order. If it's not on the charts we may still have it, just contact us. You can call or email a picture or the numbers to [email protected] If a CM option is not listed, we can still make it up special for you.

Who is Hermle?

Hermle is one of the largest movement producers in the world today. Not only do they have the most movements being made, but they also have the best part availability. This is good for when you need a component such as a pendulum or a dial, or a complete clock kit. A Hermle Clock Movement generally lasts 25 to as much as 40 years. We usually get calls to replace units that were built in the early 80's or late 70's.

Why get the new one?

Replacing these units rather than getting them cleaned and oiled is usually the smart way to go. It has been factory improved, brand new, factory lubricated, easy to install. The new one would cost the fraction of the price of an overhaul on the old unit. Keep in mind however, that there are different grades of the same movement number. Some are cheaper, but they contain plastic parts. The Hermle units that we offer here at Clockworks are the best grade available.

What numbers to get

The movement number has three or four numbers, then a dash, and some more numbers, then a CM length underneath it if there is a pendulum. They are all consistent as they always have the numbers, then a dash, then more numbers. Basically if there is a dash in the movement number, and it's all numbers in the beginning with no letters like "A", it's a Hermle unit for sure. If there is an A before the number then it can still be a Hermle, but with the Seth Thomas name and numbering system.

What the numbers mean

On the back plate of the clock movement you will see the numbers such as 451-050 94cm. These numbers let us know everything we need to know about the mechanical clock movement itself. This tells us if the clock is weight driven or spring driven, if it has a pendulum, the size of the movement and the length of the hand shaft and much more. To match up the numbers to the new movement numbers is to get the exact same movement you have now but brand new. Since the new movement will be the exact same and not some knock off imitation, all of your existing clock components will usually fit just the same as the old unit.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

Mechanical Clock Movement Identification Assistance = 800-381-7458


Hermle movement availability

Excellent availability and all Hermle mechanical clock movements. All units are in stock with very few exceptions. A certain pendulum CM length that was available in the past may not be available off the shelf however. This would be called a regear and we would separate the plates and alter the CM length to match the old unit if required.

Hermle identification

They are all consistent as they always have the numbers, then a dash, then more numbers. Basically if there is a dash in the movement number, and it's all numbers in the beginning with no letters like "A", it's a Hermle unit for sure. If there is an A before the number then it can still be a Hermle, but with the Seth Thomas name and numbering system.


Kieninger movement availability

Most Kieninger mechanical clock movements are available and in stock. Some fluctuate from not being made to being made such as the H series. Other units are no longer available such as the popular 5 tubular bell Grandfather unit and repair is the only option.

Kieninger identification

Kieninger clock movements are sometimes a bit tricky to tell what the exact movement is. The movement provides only part of the movement identification and then it is up to us to use the chart to figure out the rest of it. This narrowing down to the correct movement by selecting if chain driven or cable, the pendulum length, and so on.


Urgos movement availability

Three weight floor clock movements are still being produced only. The rest of these units are obsolete and no longer available new. Often a conversion can be put together to enable a movement made by Hermle to be used instead in this situation.

Urgos identification

Narrowing down a three weight Urgos clock movement can get complicated as the movement numbers change every production run. What used to be called a UW32/1 is not called a UW32319 and so on. This is described better on the Urgos page and can be pulled up by clicking the picture.


Seth Thomas Availability

If the Seth Thomas mechanical clock movement says made in Germany, then use our list to see what the real clock movement numbers are so you can price it out and order it. The company did not produce any modern clock movements however their name is marked on them as their own. If the clock says Seth Thomas but it was produced after 1960 it is made by someone else with the Seth Thomas name.

Seth Thomas identification

The Seth Thomas name has been sold many times and the name could be on any style of clock case. The ST name can be seen on battery movements, novelty clocks, German mechanical units and so on. If the clock is very old and made in the USA with an ST marking in a diamond shape it is an original Seth Thomas. There would be no replacement movement for this and the only option is to get it repaired.


Jauch movement availability

The Jauch clock company is no longer in business and nothing is available new. Since these are no longer made, we may be able to help with a Hermle mechanical clock movement retrofit instead.

Jauch identification

Jauch clock movements have little identification markings to go by. Often it will be as simple as a 77 or 78 before some other numbers. It may only say PL 77 or PL 116 also. If the movement says Jauch and some other numbers, it is the Jauch clock movement company who made it.


Mason and Sullivan availability

Mason and Sullivan did not make any clock movements themselves so their Mechanical Clock Movement Identification is a bit different. They purchased an abundance of mechanical clock movements from manufacturers and were able to have their name put on the movements with their own numbering system.

Mason and Sullivan identification

The Mason and Sullivan page is needed to look up the M+S Mechanical Clock Movement number. This chart will help find the real Mechanical clock movement number from the true manufacturer.

Hermle Movement Date Codes

Hermle Movement Date Codes
Hermle Movement Date Codes
Hermle Movement Date Codes

Date Code Explanation

Hermle clock movement date codes are explained in this section. This is to know when the movement was made and decide if the clock has lived its life and is time for a new one. After finding the date code it can be figured out how old the clock movement is. If the clock is over 20 years old it is time to replace it. If the clock is under 20 years old is the only time to consider fixing the movement instead.

Hermle code change

Early movements prior to the year 1987 have just the stamp of the year on the back of the clock movement, 81 just means 1981. From 1987 on they used letter codes instead of numbers to represent the year made. Such as the year 1988 is only marked with the letter A instead, and 1989 is the letter B.

Letter Code Definitions

This section explains the letters that sometimes come after the movement numbers on a Hermle clock movement. These letters often can be ignored when replacing a movement with clockworks.com. The letters on the new movement may or may not be the same on the new one but this is not a concern. The features of the movement will be the same, such as if there was a second bit before and the movement number did not have an S, but the new one does have an S.

  • DB = Dead Beat
  • CS = Small Suspension -OR- Seconds and Made in Germany
  • C = Engineering Code
  • D = Engineering Code
  • K = Calendar -OR- Made in Germany
  • S = Seconds -OR- Kit Format 132-071
  • SE = Swiss Escapement
  • N = Low Bridge
  • H = High Bridge
76 = 197677 = 197778 = 197879 = 197980 = 198081 = 198182 = 198283 = 198384 = 198485 = 198586 = 1986
87 = 1987A = 1988B = 1989C = 1990D = 1991E = 1992F = 1993G = 1994H = 1995I = 1996J = 1997
K = 1998L = 1999M = 2000N = 2001O = 2002P = 2003Q = 2004R = 2005S = 2006T = 2007U = 2008
V = 2009W = 2010X = 2011Y = 2012Z = 2013AA = 2014AB = 2015AC = 2016AD = 2017AE = 2018AF = 2019