Caring For Your Antique Clock

Caring for an antique clock is a delicate business, and if performed hastily can damage the mechanism. Antique clock care follows a few central rules, most important of which is when setting the time, never move the minute hand counterclockwise. Adjusting the hour hand in any direction is permitted, gently of course, and is helpful in setting the bell ring. When setting the time, use the minute hand to advance the hour hand and stop just prior to the hour and half hour to let the bell adjust.

Always remove the pendulum before moving your antique clock, as failure to do so could place excess stress on the internal mechanism. Wind your clock every five to six days to ensure that time is not lost or the clock slows. If the time needs to be reset, remember that adjustments to antique clocks never require large amounts of force.

When preparing any antique clock for mounting, the most important factor is the location. If the clock is to be placed on a surface such as a mantle, always verify that the plane is flat else the clock will not tick properly and will be off. If the clock is to be wall-mounted, make sure that it is set at a wide enough angle from the wall so as to prevent the pendulum from rubbing against the wall and locking up.

Next, when installing a clock, placing the pendulum is the last step before starting the device. The pendulum rests on the pendulum rod and is suspended by a hook. When placing the pendulum, do not move the rod, but slide the pendulum carefully onto the hook.

To clean the clock, a simple feather dusting is recommended once weekly, and every six months use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean the outside of the unit. To clean dial glass, spray a small amount of Windex on a soft cloth and rub lightly, using a paper towel to dry.