The Broken German Seth-Thomas Clock

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The Broken German Seth-Thomas Clock

Repair a broken German Seth-Thomas Clock by replacing the movement with a new one. Seth-Thomas went out of the clock business about 40 years ago. So having a movement with the Seth Thomas name on it means the lifespan is over for that movement. The average life expectancy of a clock movement is 25 years. The Seth Thomas from WW2 and prior had American movements. However, after 1950 they had German made units. So they did not make any movements themselves after the 1950's. Instead Hermle made them. The Hermle clock company is flourishing so the movements are still available to replace a broken German Seth-Thomas clock.

What happened to the old one

After 25 years, the oil becomes a solid instead of a liquid. This will cause too much resistance in the movement for it to run. Eventually the movement will stop working. Just having the name Seth Thomas on the clock means it is about 40 years old at best. There are two choices to save the broken German Seth-Thomas clock. Restore the old movement or get a new one if possible. Obviously, a new movement is the best choice. A new unit costs a fraction of the price of a movement restoration. It usually ships the same day instead of waiting up to 6 months for a restoration. A new one will last another 30 yrs without much complaint.

After 25-30 years this happens

Why does age affect the operation of the movement? A broken German Seth-Thomas clock has oil that solidifies with age. What was once a lubrication to the Seth Thomas movement has now become a sticky black abrasive. This creates both resistance and wear on the movement and it ends up broken. This wear and resistance will ultimately stop the clock from functioning properly. The pivots that ride in the holes of the brass plates will not be able to spin freely as they did in the past. The holes have become oblong instead of round, which causes the pivots to pinch inside of the hole. The pivot then cannot spin and therefore the oil is an abrasive rather than a lubricant.

Conclusion for the Broken German Seth-Thomas Clock

So now you see the choice is pretty clear. The new movement, when available from Clockworks, is the best choice by far for fixing a broken German Seth-Thomas Clock. The movement will be the same movement for a fraction of the price, brand new, oiled, tested, and last decades longer than even the best restoration.

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

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