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Caring for your clocks

Clock Maintenance

It is important that your antique clock movement is properly serviced. A full movement overhaul , if carried out properly and correctly, can last a generation. If your movement requires cleaning this is a separate issue and should be carried out as and when necessary. This is usually every 15 years or so. This should always be carried out by a qualified horologist. I am going to advise on general maintenance in this blog, that can be undertaken by the owner. This general care should be carried out every year or 18 months.

Service every 10-15 Years

I am assuming your clock has had a proper service in the last 10/20 years. Running a dirty or worn clock movement can lead to further wear and is not advisable.

Oiling your clock movement

It is important to oil your clock movement every year or 18 months. I recommend using a good Swiss clock oil, like Moebius Clock Oil. This can be found at good clock part suppliers or on the Internet via companies like eBay. Do not use poor quality oil substitutes, as these can dry out and may require your movement to be cleaned to remove deposits.

Where to oil?

Correctly oil your antique clock movements. This will therefore extend the life of your movement before a major service will be required. The wheels of the movement do not require oiling. It is important to oil where the pivots go through the front plate and backplateĀ of the movement. The wheels are fixed onto to arbors and at the ends of these arbors are called pivots. Tiny oil sinks are on the outer side of the front plate and backplate to hold the oil.

Little and Often

Apply a drop of oil using a fine artist brush. If you cannot oil the oil sink on the outer side of the plates, oil where the pivot goes through the plates on the inner side. At the top of the movement, there is the anchor. The pivot for this is attached to back-cock and is not on the backplate of the movement. It is also good to oil the anchor pallets, this is the part which goes tick / tock. At this service you can oil the pulleys, which the clock weights are attached and other places like hinges of the clock door etc.


Customers should never use aerosol spray polish on your grandfather clocks cabinet. Furthermore only use beeswax polish as aerosols can have added chemical and propellants which can damage your patina. I have known customers use spray polish and this has literally stripped the wax finish of the cabinet. Use pure beeswax polish, this is essential, for proper care. You should contact us concerning antique clock repair.