clock & barometer repairs
 
01277 658800   Billericay

 

quartz insertion movements

Most battery-operated mantel and wall clocks can be repaired, regardless of age, by replacing the failed 55mm movement with a modern one (Image 1) perhaps with some modifications. There are many different types - sweep, step motor, EuroFit, NEF, push-on , long shaft, pendulum, chiming, bim bam, radio control, high torque etc. and many different manufacturers in Europe, USA, China, Japan, Taiwan etc. Very few share the same hand fixings so they are not interchangeable but the majority all use a 1.5v LR6 battery (AA alkaline cell).

Some small clocks are different and have a drop-in one-piece movement complete with dial and bezel that is inserted into the front of the case.

There are tiny versions, the size of a watch dial, found in some cut glass micro clocks like the 135mm tall Waterford one (Image 2). These usually run on a watch or hearing-aid battery like the 395, SP626 or 377. And there are some unusual and curious skeleton movements from China that use an AAA cell (MN2400) with a much larger 100mm to 150mm diameter dial (Image 3).

But the midi size ones used by the potteries for the range of clocks standing about 15cm high can be more problematic. Like the Moorcroft example standing about 16cm tall illustrated in Image 4, they have a dial diameter of between 60mm and 70mm and run on a 1.5v LR1 battery (N cell). These are also popular in china clocks from Aynsley, Coalport, Masons, Royal Doulton, Wedgwood etc and glass clocks by Caithness, Swarovski and Waterford etc.

They are usually held in position by four spring clips or a silicone finned band wrapped around the movement, and just pull out. If the clock is relatively new, the makers will often have a stock of replacement insertion movements bearing their name on the dial and it's pretty easy to pop in the replacement.

But sometimes the makers cannot supply a replacement to fit and then you'll have to consider other possibilities. You might be happy with one without their name on the dial but whether the name is important to you or not, email me some photos and I'll see what I can do.

Sometimes, though, it's not whether it bears the name on the dial or not, it's all to do with size. This problem is not caused by the potteries or glassmakers so don't feel let down by them. It's mostly to do with obsolescence because they fitted a 49mm German Hechinger movement on the back of the dials/bezel and designed their castings and moulds with 56mm holes to allow a good friction fit once the silicone band was added. But a few years ago, Hechinger stopped making quartz movements so the potteries switched to UTS for supplies but found that theirs were bigger in diameter - too big for the then current holes in the clock cases. So the castings and moulds were redesigned with larger holes.

The problem now is that if yours is an older style designed for the 49mm Hechinger movement, the current movement will not fit; It's just too big. In Image 5 I have shown a close up of a bare Hechinger movement minus its dial, white back cover (not always used) and silicone band. Compare it with yours; it has the name Hechinger impressed into the plastic (where the white QC Passed" label appears on the one I've illustrated) and if yours is just like this one, the new UTS movement will not fit.

Hechinger are still in business but they sold off all their remaining stock to a German jewellry business that closed down during the Covid pandemic in 2020.

These glass and ceramic clocks were not cheap, often costing several hundred pounds, so I've been working (with Moorcroft in particular) on a solution. If you face this problem, email me photos (a) of the movement showing the front and back, and (b) of the case stating the exact diameter of the hole in it in millimetres. And tell me how many silicone bands are fitted round the movement and whether it has a white cover.

If I think I can help, I may ask you to post me the whole insertion movement (you can send the china/glass case as well if you wish); I might be able to adapt a modern one to suit, or repair the movement in yours, or fit a working Hechinger movement to it in exchange. Or I might be able to post out an original, complete.

As always, please do NOT post or bring anything to me without contacting me first.


INSERTION MOVEMENTS

  • Standard 55mm quartz movement
  • An example of a glass clock with insertion movement fitted
  • An unusual skeleton type of quartz movement from China
  • A typical ceramic case from one of the English potteries cast from moulds with hole for the insertion quartz movement to be fitted
  • An obsolete 49mm quartz insertion movement by Hechinger