Mechanical Clock Movement Beat-Setting

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Mechanical clock movement beat-setting

Mechanical clock movement beat-setting means the tick and the tock sound of the clock are even. In order to run, every mechanical clock that has a pendulum needs to be put in beat. It is amazing how many clocks have not run for 10 years or more just because this is not known. Often, clocks in tag sales, auctions, and homes only need to be put in beat to run but unfortunately they were left to sit for years. The setting of the beat is easy and takes less than a couple minutes to do.

Every mechanical pendulum unit needs it

Every mechanical clock that has a pendulum needs to be in beat to function. Part of owning a clock is to know how to do mechanical clock movement beat-setting. If this is not known how to do this, then whenever moving the clock from here to there it will stop after 5-10 minutes. So learning one simple solution will keep the clock running for years.

Putting a post WW2 German clock in beat

By over swinging the pendulum, most modern German mechanical clock movements can be put back into beat. This is also known as Auto Beat and is found in most post WW2 German clock movements. It's the first thing to try when a clock will not stay running. It is ok to try this even if the clock doesn't have auto beat built in. If the clock sounds like ticktock ticktock, instead of tick-tock tick-tock, or even tocktick tocktick, then it is not in beat. The clock may stop after 5 minutes, or even an hour, if it is still not in beat. Will also hear an uneven tick and tock. A rhythmic tick-tock tick-tock can be heard when it is correctly in beat.

Skinny clock case beat setting

If it is not an auto beat or the clock case has a narrow width, mechanical clock movement beat-setting is done differently. Push the top of the pendulum left or right as it hangs in its clock case. Hold a lower portion of the pendulum with the left hand and push the top of the pendulum left or right with the right hand. There will be some resistance in the pendulum when moving it left or right. The beat of the clock will change when the pendulum goes beyond this resistance. Don’t be afraid to move this pendulum top left or right as there is nothing to break. However, twisting the pendulum can break the suspension spring. It is only meant to go back and forth.

Mechanical Clock Movement Beat-Setting Notes

The beat is the rhythmic pulsations of the escape wheel clicking over one tooth at a time. This results in the tick tock sound as each tooth "escapes" from the rocking anchor that blocks it. The anchor rocks back and forth from the pendulum motion and is only on its arbor by friction fit. In other words, it will rotate independently of the arbor it is riding on. The tick or tock sends a jumping pulse action to what is known as a crutch. Then this crutch whacks the pendulum slightly with each swing. The back and forth momentum of the pendulum, in addition to the whacking motion made by the crutch, keeps it going and going. However, this is provisional depending on whether it's even, left and right. Or in other words, the tick and tock are even. Once this happens, the mechanical clock movement beat-setting should be complete.

Putting a mechanical clock movement in beat by Clockworks

Out of Beat

Putting a clock in beat by Clockworks

Push Pendulum

Putting a clock in beat by Clockworks

Beat Setting

Putting a clock in beat by Clockworks

Now in Beat

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

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Dave Ward
Dave Ward
5 months ago

No tick tock sound at all and pendulum won’t stay running. Is it time for a new movement. Current movement is 30+ years. It is is Hermle 450 050

Richard Siegel
Richard Siegel
1 year ago

Are new Hermle movements pre oiled when received from Clockworks? I just received a new Hermle movement and wonder if it needs oiling.

Ron Wallace
1 year ago

pendulum runs a short while and stops

Ron Wallace
1 year ago

how do I talk to someone to help me get my pendulum swinging with my new movement

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