clock & barometer repairs
01277 658800   Billericay


what will it cost to repair?

Probably four out of every five of the clocks brought to me for "repair" have stopped working because the old lubricating oil in the pivot holes has degraded into jelly or become thickened by mixing with dust. Without lubrication, the pivot holes wear oval and this impedes the rotation of the wheels. Dissolving the sludge loosens the wheels and if wear is minimal the clock will run again. But in a spring-driven clock you cannot simply plunge the movement in a bath of solvent because it will seep into the mainspring barrels and remain there for months causing more damage. The barrels and mainsprings must be removed and in most clocks this means that the whole movement must be stripped down completely. All the loose parts can then be cleaned properly and worn bushes replaced as part of a routine overhaul every 7/10 years.

After removing the hands and the dial, I take out the movement, let down the mainspring power before stripping the movement down into its many separate parts. I give all the parts (including mainsprings) an ultrasonic clean in a tank of warm solvent followed by a rinse in a separate ultrasonic tank and then dry everything so I can check each part for damage or wear. By loosely reassembling each train of wheels separately, I locate worn pivot holes by checking for side shake, ream them out on a bushing machine and fit new Bergeon bronze or hard brass bushes. Next I check, redress and burnish the pivots on a Rollimat and broach the new bushes to fit before giving the plates a final clean and rinse in the tanks to clear any swarf or debris. The pivot holes are then all pegged out before the final re-assembly begins. I lubricate the pivots as I fit each wheel using synthetic oils to avoid future degradation. Before refitting the pallet arbor, I check the pallet faces for wear and polish out any ruts. Now I test each wheeltrain under finger pressure to ensure no stiffness and then give the movement a partial wind on the key and let it run for a couple of hours. Once I'm satisfied with performance, the motionwork is refitted followed by the pendulum so that I can start the electronic regulation. I then reinstall the movement in the case, fit the dial and hands and set it in beat before giving it a final test and real-time regulation over a full cycle, usually 8 days.

Rates vary according to the particular movement but these are typical:


Most mantel, bracket and wall clocks :
Non Striking
Hour Striking
Quartz (repair/replace movement)
Electro-mechanical (repair/replace movement)
Most movements with pendulum
Most movements with platform (no pendulum)
Most fusée dial and bracket clock movements
Pre-1870 longcase movement (8-day or 30-hour)
Parts, where required, will typically add (including fitting):
New pendulum suspension £5
Bronze or hard brass bushes £6 each (£15 for barrels)
Mainsprings £25 each
Gut lines £15 each
400 day Anniversary torsion clocks
Supply/fit new suspension and set in beat £60
Clean, polish and wax base stand £80
Jaeger LeCoultre ATMOS clocks
526/528 cal.
540 cal.
Routine strip down service of movement only
Replace suspension at same time
Recharge bellows if possible
Replace failed bellows (exchange)
Routine service of movement only

Chiming Clocks: For early English bracket clocks, the cost will depend on the complications. Post 1900 quarter-chiming mantel and wall clocks (like Napoleon Hat mantel clocks and Edwardian wall clocks) have cheaper mass-produced movements (mostly German in design, if not build) but they are equally complex and will almost always cost more to perform a full strip-down overhaul than the clock is worth. But for £150 I might be able to carry out a part-strip clean to remove the sludge and dirt because many are designed to allow the mainspring barrels to be removed without a complete strip down. Quickly removeable barrels also means that replacing a broken mainspring is much cheaper at £70-£90. Do bear in mind, however, that cleaning alone will not address issues of wear so no guarantee is given. Here's a link to more about part-strip cleaning of 20C chiming clocks.

Note that no work to the clock case, or hands, or dial is included in any of the above rates. If you'd like these included I might be able to help but I'm an horologist not a furniture restorer so you might do better to seek out a specialist. Glass can be replaced in most clocks and barometers; see the separate page on Glass.


One in five clocks may have different problems; some can be simple and cheap to fix like being out of beat, a lack of lubrication, a broken suspension or a worn click spring but others will have more serious problems like bent teeth, a broken fusée gut line, a damaged mainspring or a bent arbor. Because these will require dismantling the movement for access, it usually makes financial sense to carry out a service/overhaul at the same time. I also offer a simple lubrication service for £40 three years after a service to help minimise wear but there is no guarantee with that of course.

If there is a small but very specific problem that you've already identified, like a hand that has fallen off, a pendulum suspension that is broken, or a broken glass, and the clock is otherwise in working order so you just want to know how much it will cost, please email me with a photo or two. And if I carry out the small repair, I'll guarantee it afterwards (but not the entire clock, of course). But general enquiries, such as "It's been overwound" or "I think it just needs a little TLC" do not really give me any guide other than to suspect that it probably needs stripping and cleaning, for a complete overhaul.

Estimates are not carved in stone because your clock might need extra work so I add a 15% margin but if I think it will exceed that, I will always contact you before proceeding further.

Naturally, you should search repairers' websites for comparative prices (don't be afraid to ring them if they don't publish their rates); a cheap repairer might be every bit as good as an expensive one so don't forget to look for reviews left by previous customers; there are many directories apart from Google and TrustPilot where reviews can be found. but above all you must feel comfortable with your repairer as you'll have to trust him so always be careful before trotting off your prized heirloom to the very cheapest; we are not all the same! And don't be afraid to ask about the way the service will be carried out. Will it be done in his own workshop on site, or will he send it off to a private repairer (and then add a markup of his own)? Will the clock be completely stripped so that each part can be cleaned in an ultrasonic tank and dried off individually in sawdust (or will the movement be left assembled and just dunked straight into a bucket of paraffin or petrol and stirred round for a few minutes, and allowed to dry)? Will he remove, inspect and re-grease the mainsprings and the pallets? And what 'extra costs' might you be letting yourself in for once he has your clock, such as bushing worn pivot holes, levelling and burnishing pivots, redressing pallets, replacing the spring suspension and gut lines etc.? And is there VAT on top of all this? How long will all this take? After five minutes' discussion you should know if he's the repairer for you.