German Mechanical clock hands Installation

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German Mechanical Clock Hands Installation

German Mechanical clock hands Installation is easy and fast. Germans used bushings in both the hour and minute hands. Where as the American units have the bushing in the hour hand only. This section describes the German style with bushings in both. The hour tube will have the round bushing installed, the minute hand will have a bushing that has a square hole in it instead. For most clocks mechanical post WW2 the hour hand has a 4.5mm round hole, and the minute hand has a 2.2mm square hole. There are exceptions to this such as the larger tubular bell grandfather clocks. Also some movements made by Jauch of Germany. The rest is pretty consistent with the hand attributes as described.

Installation of the hands

Installation is easy. Hour hand (short one) has the round bushing and is only a friction fit. Put it on first, twist and push, dont worry about where it points to yet. Now the minute hand with its square mount hole onto the square post on the end of the hand shaft. Now comes the minute hand nut to secure the minute hand on the post so it will not flop around or fall off.

Set the time with chime

Its now time to set the hour and minute hands to point to the right place when it chimes. Make the clock strike out the hours by turning the minute hand with the fingers. Going slow past the quarters and let it chime as it goes. At the top of the hour it will strike out the hours. Count the how many times so it is known what hour the clock thinks it is. Lets pretend the clock struck out 3 times. This means the clock thinks its 3 o'clock. The thing to do here is put the hands on three o'clock and then set to time. Point the hour hand to the 3 first because it can just spin that one as its only a friction fit. Now remove the minute hand off the clock and put it back on its square post so it points to the 3. Tighten the nut finger tight and then a little more with needle nose pliers.

German clock hand adjustment

The time the German clock hands point to is hopefully at the place it is supposed to point to when it chimes. However this is not usual situation and upon installing the new hands they will point to some other time other than the exact quarter. The adjustment for this is in the minute hand itself and has nothing to do with the clock. If the minute hand is removed and flipped over it will be clear that there is a way to adjust it. There is the square mounting hole and this resides in a round bushing inside the minute hand itself. This bushing will turn with a pair of needle nose pliers. It does not look like it will turn but it most certainly will. Grab it with the needle nose and simply turn the hand on that axis.

  • Take off the minute hand
  • Bring the minute hand itself, only the minute hand, to the garage and far way from the clock
  • Flip the hand over and notice the square hole it mounts with, is in a round bushing
  • Take needle nose pliers and turn that bushing while holding the hand still
  • Walk back to the clock and put it on, and see if its now pointing to the right spot,/li>
  • Repeat until its perfect

German clock hand installation success

German Mechanical clock hands Installation is now complete. The reason I have to explain it that way, is because most people want to mess with the clock instead of the hands to fix this. Now realize this fix has nothing to do with the clock at all, and only has to do with the minute hand alone instead.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2022

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Grant Stevenson
Grant Stevenson
6 months ago

You had repaired my Urgos pendulum movement in July of 2021.

The movement is working fine however when the hour hand gets past 4 O’clock it slips and falls free. I have followed the Hand Installation instructions but and unable to get the hour hand to not stop slipping. Any thoughts on what needs to be done to correct the problem.

Thank you for your assistance

Grant Stevenson

[email protected]

2 years ago

My clock has a square hole cut into the hand and has no bushing. How do you adjust that?

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