Seth Thomas “Solna” Small Mantel Clock, 1940

Here’s a cute little Seth Thomas mantel clock I repaired. It is called the “Solna”, and this example is dated 7-40 (July 1940). It is 12 3/8″ wide and 6 3/4″ tall, with a 2 3/32″ minute hand (from center to tip). The mahogany case has symmetrical diagonal grained veneer with three holly wood inlays across the front. The 1940 Seth Thomas catalog shows this clock, in both windup and electric versions, retailing for $20. It strikes the hour and half-hour.

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Repair job 8704. This clock has the U.S.A. made movement that came after the No. 89, with the very strong mainsprings (see posts Plymouth (by Seth Thomas) Round Top Mantel Clock, 1940 and Plymouth (by Seth Thomas) 1940 Mantel Clock). The gears (particularly the mainwheels and second gears) in this clock were not too badly worn and didn’t need replacing. I did replace the mainsprings with thinner ones to reduce future wear. The original mainsprings were both 11/16 wide x 0.0183″ thick. I replaced both with mainspring MS298 (from Merritt’s Antiques or Ronell Clock). This spring is 11/16″ wide by 0.015″ thick and 108″ long. I removed 22″ from each spring and installed the loop ends from the original mainsprings.

I polished the pivots, installed 18 bushings, and installed four new movement mounting grommets. The mainwheel teeth have about 10% wear.

These are nice little movements, with diamond-pin deadbeat (or almost deadbeat) escapement and rack and snail striking. Movement assembly is done most easily by laying the front plate face down on a movement holder and inserting the parts into that. Position the mainspring clamps so when a mainwheel is inserted, the loop aligns with the hole where the pillar will go.

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