General notes for the winding and care of clocks

Few people nowadays now how to care for their clocks, in fact some don’t even know how to wind them properly, so here are a few tips. Every clock is unique so these tips can only be generalisations that may not actually apply to your clock; however if you follow them you will certainly do no harm, and that is what is most important to me – the preservation of artefacts from a bygone part of our heritage.


Setting to time

Strike and chime synchronisation

Moving your pendulum clock


Adjustment of pendulum clock rates

Adjustment of balance wheel clock rates

This is done by moving the lever attached to the balance spring, thus altering the effective length of the spring. In older clocks the back of the clock must be opened to gain access to this lever; in newer clocks this lever will extend through a bow shaped hole in the back.

The location of your clock

Pendulum clocks need particular care in setting up; while balance wheel clocks are far more tolerant and need no special precautions.

Service intervals

Ideally your clock should be cleaned and oiled every five years to maintain the best performance and to minimise wear, however they will commonly run for much longer, albeit with the risk of a higher repair bill if left too long. I recommend you leave it no longer than 10 years depending on the type of clock and the environment in which it operates.