Do Not Unwind Your Clock if You Think It Is “Wound Too Tight!”

February 19, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

IMG_0235 IMG_9645 IMG_0966 IMG_1954If your clock has stopped working and you think it is “wound too tight”, DON’T TRY TO UNWIND IT! You will just break it worse.

I just received a Schatz 400 day anniversary clock that was made in April 1953. Someone pushed on the “click” (the device that clicks as you wind the mainspring). It unwound with a big bang, and damaged the barrel and broke one of the pivots (the small ends of the gear shafts. This added at least $70 to the repair bill!

In most cases, your clock did not stop because it was “wound too tight.” It stopped because it needs to be taken apart, cleaned, and other necessary repairs made.


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Category: Clock Operation and Care, Clock Repair

Last updated: December 22, 2013

Comments (3)

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  1. mary patton says:

    I recently acquired a Seth Thomas Westminster chime mantle clock. It keeps perfect time but the chimes have been wound too tight. What can I do?

  2. Bill Stoddard says:

    It is not a good idea to unwind the mainspring, as it can cause damage when it unwinds suddenly. The clock is repairable, but it may cost more than the standard price if some gears are damaged. The following web page describes my repair service:

  3. A NOHR says:

    We just purchased a great old Kundo Kieninger Obergfel anniversary clock at a rummage sale today. My husband was able to release the lock which was rather tight but proceeded to try to release the pressure on the main spring which he thought was the problem why the clock was not running. There wasn’t a key with our clock. Well he released the main spring and it made a terrible noise. And I am afraid he has caused more damage to the clock. It sounded like the entire spring unwound inside the barrel and rather quickly. Is the clock ruined ? I am guessing from what I have read on your site, it is repairable, but at a cost.

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