Beat Setting Mechanical Clock Movements

May 7, 2019 8:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Beat Setting Mechanical Clock Movements

Beat Setting Mechanical Clock Movements means the tick and the tock sound of the clock is evenly spaced in sound. Every pendulum clock that is mechanical needs to be put in beat to run. This is so simple but its amazing to me how many clocks in the world have not run for 10 years or more, just because this is not known. Often clocks in tag sales, auctions, homes, only needed to be put in beat to run but was left unused for years and years. The setting of the beat is easy, less than a minute to do, and the clock is fine again.

Every mechanical clock that has a pendulum needs to be in beat to function. Its part of owning the clock, is the learn this. If you do not know how to do this, whenever you move the clock from here to there it will stop after 5 - 10 minutes. Putting the clock in beat is very easy.

How to put a German mechanical clock in BEAT ? (Post 1950)

This is done on Modern German clocks by pushing the pendulum all the way to one side (doesn’t matter right or left) to go beyond its resistance, and then letting it go. Now listen to see if the tick and the tock are evenly spaced. If it is stick going ticktock ticktock, or even tocktick tocktick then it is not in beat and will stop after 5min to an hour. Repeat the process above of pulling the pendulum all the way to one side and letting it go. The clock should have a nice, steady, rhythmic tick-tock, tick-tock with equal time lapsing between the tick and the tock and the next tick.

Sometimes when there is not much room to swing the pendulum in the clock case, as there is a big round pendulum bob and the case is not wide, you will need to adjust the beat in a different way. This is also true on some movements that the beat will not automatically set when swinging the pendulum wide. You would adjust the beat by pushing the top of the pendulum left or right as it hangs in its clock case, just hold a lower portion of the pendulum with your left hand as you push the top of the pendulum left or right with your right hand. You will feel the freedom in the pendulum to move left or right, with some resistance at the sides at the end of your left or right travel. You are changing the beat of the clock when you go beyond this resistance and therefore changing the place of the freedom area. Don’t be afraid to move this pendulum top as there is nothing to break as you go left or right beyond the resistance on the sides of the swing.

Bottom mount westminster clock chime block

Putting it in beat

Bottom mount westminster clock chime block

Your adjusting these

Bottom mount westminster clock chime block

Crutch being called anchor arm

Bottom mount westminster clock chime block

Leader being called suspension arm


The beat is the rhythmic pulsations of the escape wheel clicking over one tooth at a time, and this results in the sound tick / tock. What drives the pendulum is the escapement. They call it an escapement because its just letting the power of the gear train escape one tooth at a time. This make the sound tick and tock. That tick or tock sends a jumping pulse action to what is known as a crutch and that wacks the pendulum slightly each swing. The pendulums momentum back and forth, with being wacked by the crutch that comes down a little, just keeps it going and going. Provided its even left and right, in other words the tick and tock are even.

At this point, you have the movement in the clock with the dial off still. You have the movement running good. Now its time to make it chime and strike.

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