Your clock’s movement is a mechanical device which requires a service schedule to keep it running. You may relate its workings to your car’s engine. As with your car’s engine, your clock’s parts are metal on metal. The main determining factor in how many years the parts last is how well you keep the oil that is lubricating the movement. As time goes by oil starts to break down and dry out. By running a clock movement that isn’t sufficiently lubricated you are cutting short the life of the movement. We recommend an oiling every 3-5 years for all mechanical clocks. With the proper service a well made clock movement should last many lifetimes passing down from generation to generation. We are in the 2nd generation of this trade. Over these 50+ years, thousands of clocks have passed through our repair bench, some are brought in critical condition. Most, if not all, are repaired and restored to the full satisfaction of the owners.
Some customer may prefer to keep the original movement intact for sentimental reasons even after the time involved and the labor costs have been explained to them. Restoration is normally meant to include complete disassembly of the movement and giving detailed attention to all of the component parts that are likely to have been affected by wear, oxidation or other factors that would affect its reliability. Specifically then, a properly restored movement should have the appearance and reliability of a new one. As every component must be removed and disassembled completely, a proper cleaning must always be a part of the restoration process.
During the course of performing a service or repair operation it may be discovered that the whole movement is so badly worn or damaged that it is in the customer’s best interest to replace it entirely. Replacing a movement in a modern clock with one of the specifications is an entirely acceptable procedure and should not be confused with the undesirable act of destroying an antique clock by substituting an improper movement or sometimes the unforgivable act of replacing with a battery operated one. One advantage to replacing the movement is that the cost of labor and the cost of the movement can be computed quickly and accurately in most cases.