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Grandfather Clocks: Setting The Time

 

How to set the time on your Grandfather Clock

 


Setting the time on your grandfather clock is quite easy. The following instructions work on major brands made in the last 30 years or so.
Most grandfather clocks have a Westminster chime that plays part of the Westminster melody on each quarter hour, then plays the entire melody on the hour, then counts the hour.

Grandfather Clock Dial

Setting the time on your grandfather clock. You may move the minute hand Counter-Clockwise without stopping, or move it Clockwise stopping at each 1/4 hour and letting the chime play before advancing to the next quarter hour.

To set the time, move ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counter Clockwise (backwards) until hour and minute hand are at the correct time. DO NOT MOVE THE HOUR HAND WHEN SETTING THE TIME. The hour hand will move automatically when the minute hand is moved.
By moving the minute hand counter Clockwise it is not necessary to wait for the Grandfather Clock to chime as the minute hand passes each quarter hour. Most movements have a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. If after setting the Grandfather Clock on time, it does not chime properly, permit it to operate 2 hours to correct itself.

You may also move the minute hand clockwise, but you probably hear a “single click” sound at each quarter hour point. If you hear the click…stop and let the chime complete it’s sequence before advancing to the next quarter hour. Continue a quarter hour at a time until the proper time has been reached and allowing the chimes to play at each quarter hour.

CAUTION ON MOVEMENTS WITH AUTOMATIC CHIME SEQUENCING:
Automatic Chime Sequencing is a feature found on the most expensive clocks that will play one melody (ie: Westminster) on a given hours, the automatically change to the next melody (ie: Whittington) on the next hour. When it completes all of the melodies on that grandfather clock, it will start over again. The chime selection lever should not be in the “Auto” position when moving the hands on a clock with Automatic Chime Sequencing. Moving the hands in either the Clockwise or counter Clockwise direction while the automatic chime sequencing is in operation could damage the chime mechanism.

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