Grandfather clocks are models that combine unsurpassed classics with modern trends of the era.
Principle of operation
Outdoor mechanical clock
The engine in mechanical devices is a raised weight or spring – a coiled strip of steel attached at one end to the drum and the other to the shaft. When the shaft rotates, the spring unwinds and twists, setting the mechanism in motion.
- The regulator is a round rim, in the center of which is the axis of rotation. It is used to stabilize the watch movement, thanks to it the mechanism rotates at a certain frequency.
- Anchor escapement is a part that transfers energy from the engine to the balance, ensuring uniform rotation of the mechanism.
The escape wheel, under the influence of a spring, advances one tooth, turning the fork, which pushes the balance, transfers energy to the motor and locks the escape wheel. Then the same movements are made in the opposite direction.
Watch with quartz movement
Quartz watches consist of an electronic unit and a stepper motor. The electronic unit sends an impulse to the engine once a second, as a result of which the arrows turn.
The accuracy of the hourly movement is provided by a quartz crystal. The battery lasts 1 year, so there is no need to constantly wind the device. Some models are equipped with a digital display.
Types, characteristics, functions of grandfather clocks
The following types of devices are distinguished:
- Stylized as an old clock. They consist of a tall and narrow body made of natural wood in dark colors. The silhouette resembles a city tower with a rounded top.
The case is divided into three components: the base, the showcase with a door and the top with a dial.
- Interior clock – designs that are matched to the style of a particular room. For the manufacture of such devices, wood, MDF and plywood are used. Frames are painted in light or neutral colors.
- Modern grandfather clock are models that transform the idea of a classic. These include devices on a metal support-rod, in the form of a street lamp or with a snow-white body.
Type of clockwork mechanical (with a spring or weight mechanism) and quartz devices are distinguished. The movement of mechanical devices is provided by a spiral spring, which unwinds and twists.
Quartz movements use a battery – a source of energy for the electronic unit and the electric motor.
- style (modern, classic, shabby chic, country, etc.);
- body color (from sand to dark brown);
- dimensions (height, width, depth);
- periodicity and sharpness of the sound battle (melodic, sharp);
- the number of played melodies;
- mechanism type (mechanical, quartz);
- material (wood, metal, plastic, mineral glass, crystal, MDF, veneer).
- chronographic – transmit changes in time with a sound battle;
- headset – showcases and shelves are used as a place to store things;
- aesthetic – give the design an aristocracy, stylize the room antique.
Outdoor products consist of a pendulum mechanism, a set of melodies, a dial, arrows, a pendulum, weights, a cable suspension, a gong. They often come with a special book about the purchased model, a passport-instruction, an advertising booklet, and batteries.
- manual switching mechanism,
- disable night battle.
- Devices will be able to profitably fill the free space in the room.
- You can choose a model that suits each style.
- Outdoor appliances are convenient and easy to clean.
- The devices will give you a melodic hour-long battle.
- The mechanisms work smoothly and rarely break if used correctly.
- Vintage models give status, testify to good taste.
- Products are heavy and weighty, so they take up a lot of space in the interior.
- They often break due to misuse.
- They are difficult to transport and move around the room.
- Not all models have the function to turn off the night battle.
- Mechanisms need to wind up yourself.
- Classic models are not suitable for all styles.
- In a small room they will create noise and clutter up the space.
How to choose a grandfather clock
- Grandfather clocks must match the style of the interior for which they are selected. Designs will fit well into such styles: classic European, country, shabby chic.
The ornate elements of gilded bronze are reminiscent of Rococo, while the ancient Empire style is monumental and luxurious. A sign of the Baroque will be splendor, the use of lacquered surfaces and interesting inlays.
Free variations on historical themes belong to Art Nouveau.
- Be sure to consider the size of the room and the specifics of the lighting. Floor-standing devices are bulky, take up a lot of space and create an atmosphere of crampedness in small rooms.
Such devices will ideally fit into the design of a country cottage or a spacious apartment.
- For rooms with high ceilings, choose wide models with additional shelves and stained-glass windows. This will give the room respectability.
In small rooms, models made of light wood with straight side posts without stucco and mirror inserts look favorably.
- For rooms with low ceilings, narrow elongated clocks with vertical decor are preferable. Thus, you will expand the space in height.
- Pay attention to the body material. For the manufacture of classic models, natural wood is used from light sand to brown-red shades.
Noble tree species are taken for production: oak, cherry, mahogany, walnut, beech. Beech, cherry, ash, oak and mahogany are considered the most environmentally friendly.
To bring vintage designs into modern design, buy pieces with metal, glass, or non-traditional elements.
- Consider the purpose of the devices and specific rooms. It is not recommended to install products in the bedrooms, because the clock fight will distract from sleep. Most often, such models are placed in spacious living rooms.
- There are structures that perform the function of storing things. Under the cover of the appliances there are shelves on which you can place a vase of flowers, souvenirs, photographs. Models decorated with floral ornaments will look good in the kitchen.
- When choosing a watch, be sure to check how their fight sounds. For the production of products, resonant tree species are used. You can select fixtures by melody.
Popular motifs: the battle of the Chimes, the battle of Big Ben. Pay attention to whether the night battle is disabled.
- It is better to place devices in a space free from furniture. This is necessary for practical, technical and aesthetic purposes.
- Pay attention to the color of the product; modern designers use patination of planes for decoration.
The golden patina on solid wood visually reduces the dimensions of the product, the dark finish gives a fundamental and makes the devices visually larger.
- Choose devices with legs at least 50 cm long. Such models will work for a long time, since they will be provided with proper air circulation and the necessary temperature conditions.
- It is up to you to choose a model with a mechanical or quartz movement that runs on battery power. Classic versions are equipped with a pendulum and are suitable for many styles.
- In the room intended for the installation of floor products, there should be a minimum amount of furniture. A heap of antiques can cause a double impression.
Which is better
The best grandfather clocks have the following characteristics:
- pendulum and clock hands work smoothly, without failures;
- the sound of an hour-long battle is melodic, unsharp;
- the design is made of durable and environmentally friendly wood;
- the device has a varnish coating that protects against mechanical damage;
- glass inserts are shock-resistant and reliable;
- the device is practical and easy to maintain and transport.
Grandfather clock operation
Product care tips:
- In the room where the device is installed, an optimal microclimate must be maintained. Careful care of the furniture is necessary, keep the surfaces clean. Adjust the humidity and temperature in the room.
- Floor standing appliances must be stable and level. Buy a device with adjustable legs, this will protect the mechanism from falling and damage, save the body, internal mechanisms and flooring.
It is impossible to mount structures on soft surfaces (carpets), this will lead to shrinkage of the fabric and disturbances in the operation of the mechanism.
- Follow the set interval and frequency of the battle. A mechanism that works too often or infrequently will quickly become unusable. The best option is to start the device once a day.
Do it at the set time, then there will be no problems. A minimum error of a few minutes is acceptable. For models with automatic winding, 25-30 revolutions are enough.
- Caring for a wooden case involves wiping the surfaces with special polishing agents or wax, depending on the type of coating.
- Products must not be splashed with water. It is strictly forbidden to hit the body or shake the device. This will cause the mechanism to malfunction.
- It is not recommended to turn the hour or minute hands in the opposite direction. This will cause the mechanism to fail or break.
- When transporting, be sure to remove or fix the pendulum fork, hold the case so that the pendulum rests on the clock mechanism.
- When installing the chassis, choose a location away from direct sunlight. Wooden surfaces burn out and wear out from an overabundance of the sun.
- Do not install devices near radiators and air conditioners, this threatens to dust the structure. In this case, you will have to clean and lubricate the devices more often than expected.
- Do not install appliances near stoves and fireplaces. Lack of air circulation and high temperatures cause cracks in the wood and rapid evaporation of the lubricating oil.
- Do not place devices directly at the entrance, vibrations will affect the operation of the mechanisms. It is better to install devices in the center of the room in a conspicuous place.
Warranty for floor models ranges from 2 weeks to 36 months. Warranty service is provided in the presence of a manufacturing defect. It can be a free repair, replacement of parts or exchange of goods.
Conditions for the fulfillment of warranty obligations:
- The rules for using the design are observed, there are no signs of wear and tear on the devices (scratches, abrasions, mechanical damage, the functionality is preserved in its original form).
- The packaging is complete, labels and factory markings have been preserved.
Warranty not available:
- if the operating rules were not observed during use or transportation;
- in the presence of traces of external mechanical damage, shock, deformation of the body;
- traces of exposure to high or low temperatures are visible;
- in the presence of internal damage caused by vibrations or mechanical stress (broken glass, deformation, chips, scratches, scuffs in parts);
- when chemicals, foreign objects, insects get into the products;
- if damage to the hull or parts resulting from accidents and natural disasters is revealed.
Faults and repairs
Repair of mechanical watches:
- If the cuckoo figurine is stuck and does not return to the body of the device, open the back wall of the structure, return the mechanism to the required position and fix it on the bracket.
- If the chimes sound weak, unscrew the fastening screws and pull the bellows out of the case. After checking the sound of the mechanism, clean the sound gap of the bellows so that a pleasant sound can be heard.
Move the lever up if the sound is strong, or down if the sound is too weak.
- If the sound of the cuckoo on the clock and half hour does not match the indications of the hands, you need to check the pin of the rotary roller. To troubleshoot, open the door on the right side of the chassis and bend the pin up.
- If the number of strikes of the battle and the indicators of the arrows do not match, you need to remove the weight from the battle and rearrange the arrows on the dial.
It is better to entrust the work of polishing and restoring the hull coating to specialists.
Frequent malfunctions of quartz watches:
- contact oxidation;
- radial touch of the clock hand on the glass case;
- insufficient battery charge;
- mechanical damage.
Quartz Watch Repair Tips:
- After disassembling the mechanism, it is necessary to wash the parts of the stepper motor and gearbox in gasoline.
- When repairing, use special brass tools to avoid magnetizing parts.
- If the coil wire breaks, dissolve the varnish of the broken end in amyl acetate, then remove the remaining wire from the terminal with a soldering iron.
After making 2-3 turns around the terminal, solder the wire again. Clean the soldering area with a brush soaked in a solution of alcohol and gasoline, then varnish it.
- If the electronic block of the clock breaks, replace the components. Use wooden spatulas to clean the mechanism.
- Defects in the wheel system are corrected according to the principle of a mechanical watch.
Grandfather clock manufacturers
Models combine American and European styles. They are distinguished by impact resistance, have antimagnetic properties, and are resistant to mechanical stress.
For the manufacture of devices, stainless steel materials, leather straps are used, and 23-carat gold is used as a coating.
The bracelets are made of durable steel with a water resistance of up to 200 m. Products are certified and marked according to the US standard.
A German company specializing in the manufacture of watches since the 20s of the 20th century. The range includes floor, fireplace, table and wall appliances. The company is a global supplier of dials and pendulums, and is engaged in the production of decorative weights.
Models with complex mechanisms are represented by the “Tellurium” collection. These are astronomical mechanisms that show the position of the planets, date, month, zodiac constellations. The warranty is provided for 1 year.
An American company that produces interior clocks. The motto of the company became the words of Howard Miller: “Unsurpassed quality. The pursuit of excellence”.
The range includes floor (66 mechanical and 13 quartz models), wall (about 160 options), fireplace (about 84 models), table (up to 170 models), marine and weather devices.
Models are made of durable glass and 16 valuable wood species, the cases are polished by hand. The quality of the patterns and coatings is high. The dial is decorated with bronze casting.
The side and front parts of the structure are finished with crystal glass. Assembly takes place in Germany. The warranty card for brand products is valid for 2 years.
The following product lines are offered:
- classic floor,
- quartz instruments.
Models of this brand are made in the Doric or Ionic style. The shape of the products is a strict square with short arrows and no numbers. The decor element is four columns that enclose the building.
The mechanisms are made of stainless steel and are polished. The functions of automatic installation, turning off the hourly battle at night, switching melodies are provided.
In short pendulums, a stopwatch is installed. Products have strict labeling and quality certificates.
A Japanese watch manufacturer that combines traditional and modern trends in design. Products are made only by hand and in limited quantities.
The following types of wood are used: cedar, beech, poplar, plane tree, bamboo and pine. Additional materials: mineral glass, quartz sand, metal, ceramics.
In each set, along with the device, there is a special booklet, which reveals the symbolism of the product through a haiku poem, a passport-instruction, an advertising booklet, fasteners (for wall mechanisms) and a battery.
A branded carry bag is provided. The brand’s products are presented at international exhibitions.
Manufactory watch production, located in the old German town of Haigerloch. Products are characterized by simplicity of technical solutions and original design.
Among the latest achievements is the clock for the foyer of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Berlin. They are made of polished brass and impact-resistant glass, the materials protect the structure from moisture and dust.
The height of the product is three meters, the width is 1 meter, the length of the pendulum is 2.2 meters. The device starts up for 6 months. The Table Clock Birdcage changes color depending on the weather.
Models of the brand are outstanding products with precise movement. Products are certified and labeled according to international standards.
The Chinese watch brand is part of the oriental industrial giant SHENZHEN COFFER INDUSTRIAL LTD.
The floor products of the company are made of natural wood, plastic and MDF, mineral and plastic glass, equipped with Japanese and German mechanisms for setting melodies and a function to turn off the night fight.
Some models have a luminous dial, rotating figures with a light sensor, quartz movements that imitate the cuckoo and the sounds of the forest.
A number of devices with illumination, digital indication, thermometer function are presented. “Floating arrows” provide quiet devices and ease of use.
The company’s products are certified according to international standards, it combines Japanese and Chinese production technologies. A 1 year warranty is provided.
A Japanese company that specializes in the production of desktop and wall products and alarm clocks, founded in 1950. The style ranges from classic to modern.
The peculiarity of the brand is the moving dial, which demonstrates the well-coordinated work of the mechanism. Products are equipped with a night fight off mode, 6-18 musical compositions.
Products have the necessary quality certificates and labeling. The warranty card is provided for 12 months.
German watch company. The motto is “Just a good watch”. Non-standard conceptual models for rooms, offices, halls, equipped with quartz and mechanical mechanisms are presented.
A feature of the brand is the unique design of the dial. The devices resemble paintings, posters, flowers, stars, fantastic constructions.
The production uses environmentally friendly wood, MDF, metal, plastic and glass elements.
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