General Clock Information
Q: How often should I wind my clock?
A: Wind your clock every 7 days unless stated otherwise. Make sure you wind all the holes on your clock until ther are tight. You cannot overwind a clock!!
Q: Do I need to remove the pendulum if I want to move my clock?
A: YES!!! Never move your clock with the pendulum attached. Always remove the pendulum first.
Q: I just picked up my clock from your shop, but I'm not sure how to set up the pendulum.
A: If your pendulum was not taped down, set the clock up on the wall, mantel, or table before reattaching the pendulum. After, hook the pendulum on very carefully causing as little disturbance to the spring as possible. Once this is finished, give the pendulum a swing and it should start ticking.
If the pendulum was taped down to the back of the case, hang or set the clock where you want it to go. Then carefully pull the tape off while holding the pendulum in place with your opposite hand. Do not allow the pendulum to be pulled with the tape, then give the pendulum a swing.
Q: My clock is running too fast, is there anything I can do to fix it at home?
A: There's a nut at the bottom of the pendulum that is responsible for the rate at which your clock keeps time. Before adjusting the nut, gently stop the pendulum. Then, turn the nut down and to the left.
If your clock is running too slow follow the same instructions, except you will turn the nut up and to the right instead.
(One turn per minute per day)
Example: Your clock runs one minute per day fast (7 minutes fast in one week). Turn the nut one full turn to the left. Then set the clock to the correct time and check back in 24 hours to see how the clock is running. Make any further adjustments as necessary.
Q: What if the hour strike does not match the actual time?
A: Bring the minute hand (the long hand) to the hour and count the number of strikes. Move the hour hand (the short hand) to the number the clock has struck - you may go forward or backward with the hour hand. Set the clock to the correct time.
Example: If the clock reads 2:00 and it strikes four times, then move the hour hand (the short hand) forward to 4:00.
Q: My grandfather clock is keeping good time, but the chimes sound really slow or don't chime at all any more.
A: This is very common. This means that your grandfather clock is beginning to wear out and is in need of a service call and a rebuild in the future. The first symptom of a grandfather clock wearing is the chimes not working properly because the weight that powers the chimes in a floor clock is actually a little heavier than the other weights on the clock. This causes the bushings on chime side of the clock to wear down a little bit faster than the other bushings.
Q: My grandfather clock is running great, but the hour strike is consistently off a certain number of hours. For example, the clock reads 1 o'clock, but the clock chimes like it is 2 o'clock. Then an hour later when the clock reads 2 o'clock it chimes like it is 3 o'clock, and so on and so forth.
A: This typically occurs after the clock has been allowed to wind all the way down and stop running. This happens frequently when a clock owner leaves on vacation for over a week. This is a simple fix, but each clock is different and we recommend calling in (714.578.0089) for instructions on how to properly set your grandfather clock so the chimes and the hands reflect the same time.
Q: I have inherited or recently my grandfather clock and am unsure of how to properly set it up.
A: No problem. We set up every kind of grandfather clock, from brand new to centuries old every day. We also provide the clock servicing while we set the clock up for you.
Q: I have a Tempus Fugit brand grandfather clock. Does The Clock Man service this brand?
A: Tempus Fugit actually just means 'Time Flies' in Latin. This is a very common inscription on the dial of a clock. This is not a brand name, however, and the brand name of a clock is often on the very back of the clock or is on the inside of the front door of the clock. If you open the door the name or logo of the maker of the clock should be somewhere on the inside of the door. And, yes, we do service any clock with the phrase 'Tempus Fugit' on the dial.
General Watch Information
Q: Is my watch worth repairing?
A: That is totally up to the individual. Any solid gold watch is certainly worth repairing. If the watch has been in your family for a long time then it is probably worth the attempt as well. A lot of modern quartz watch can be repaired, but the cost is often more than the watch is worth monetarily. If, however, you like the watch, by all means ask about having it repaired! If you are searching for a watch to buy to pass-down through your family please see the watch shopping page for more information.
Q: How are your repair rates set?
A: Watch repair is not an easy trade to learn, it takes time and patience. It also takes a lot of money to buy the equipment and tools to do the work right, and to get the training needed to do the work properly. This all must be factored in to labor rates. The other consideration is time to do the work properly. It takes a minimum of 2-4 hours to service the average American pocket watch properly and do all the required checks and adjustments, complex watches take much longer (chronographs may take up to quadruple the time).Therefore, I you are quoted $35 to overhaul your watch (or anyone else's), what kind of job can they really be doing? I will let you be the judge of that.Our rates are more than some, but a lot less than others are. We feel that we offer very competitive prices, and industry leading quality, I hope you will too.
Q: Do you give free estimates?
A: Yes, just come into our shop and we'll give you a free estimate right there at the counter.
Q: Do you buy watches?
A: Yes, but not always. Bring your watch in and we'll let you know if we're interested.
Q: Do you guarantee mechanical watches to keep "perfect" time?
A: No we do not. I know others do, but personally I doubt they accomplish it in reality. Why? Because watches are easily affected by the environment, and can vary by a few seconds in a day during normal usage. Almost every clock you run across will read something different, and so will most watches. The truth of the matter is people have been spoiled by cheap, but accurate, quartz watches that keep nearly perfect time (I say "nearly" because in reality most quartz watches are off at least a few seconds a week +/-). Most mechanical watches, especially the vintage ones, never kept perfect time when new and they certainly will not now after years of use and wear (most of them were regulated to +/- 10-20 seconds a day from the factory when new). The specs for a mechanical chronometer only call for + 6 / - 0 seconds a day in at least 5 positions to pass a COSC certification, and most 40-year-old chronometers are not even capable of that without many new parts being put into the movement. Therefore, my honest advice is that if you need a watch that is accurate to the second, buy a quartz watch or one of those new "atomic" watches or clocks.
Q: Do you have a retail shop or storefront?
A: Yes, we have two! Visit our Contact Us page to find one of our shops near you.
Q: Will you work on any watch?
Q: Will my watch be "like new" after it is repaired?
A: I have seen others claim "After we repair your watch it will be like new!". Obviously this is at the very least an exaggeration. Your watch will not be "like new" just because you had it cleaned and oiled. The only way to make it "like new" is most likely to replace every single worn part, send the case out to be replated, and get the manufacturer (most likely no longer in business in the case of old watches) to provide a warranty. All that would cost a GREAT deal of money! Now, your watch most likely will run a LOT better after it is cleaned. Your watch may look a LOT better after the case/band is cleaned or buffed. You may be able to see the time a LOT better after the crystal is buffed or replaced. In addition, certainly a new band can go a LONG way to make your watch look a LOT better. However, please, do not expect a "brand new" watch out of a 50-100 year old one. We will have it looking and running in excellent condition!
Q: Do I have to pay for the parts and labor even if you are unable to repair my watch or get it to function 100% perfect?
A: No, if we are unable to repair a watch we will return it to you at no charge
Q: Can I e-mail about the status of my repair?
A: Yes you can, but please be courteous with the e-mails. Some people e-mail 2 days after they have sent us the watch asking for an update on the repair, obviously the answer is not something they like, but the truth, "I haven't even looked at it yet". E-mailing for repair updates on the weekend is also not appreciated, we need time off too, so please respect that. Please remember we give repair updates by e-mail as a courtesy; if you took your watch to a jeweler, and he sent it away for repair you would receive no updates until the work was done or the watch came back. Thank you for your understanding, we aim to offer you the best possible experience!