Although nearly all of my work is on vintage wristwatches, I received this Smiths car clock from a well known Jaguar restorer. I rebuild these as they have some interesting aspects and they were used in many British cars in the 1950s and 1960s. As usual, this doesn’t run but the condition looks fair so I’d hope it will not have too many issues.
The dial is dirty but should clean up. As usual, the hands are stained, although it’s not particularly clear here, so will be re-painted.
All parts are removed and cleaned, generally with the automatic Elma machine I use for watches but some parts are cleaned by hand. This shows the underside of the balance before cleaning and there is grease on the central spring steel that will drive the clock and burning on the balance from electrical issues.
After hand cleaning this is looking far better.
These parts make up the balance and hairspring support.
The balance jewels are oiled and the balance re-installed to check the hairspring and end shakes.
The train consists of two additional parts and both are checked under the microscope for wear.
The electrical parts are cleaned by hand – of interest here is the pin where the sprung ring will pivot. This supports the electrical connection that contacts the pin on the underside of the balance.
A microscope view of the pin shows it as scored and corroded but the ring will need to be free to pivot here for the clock to run well.
It gets polished.
And the electrical connection which is dirty and covered with carbon deposits also need cleaning.
And looks much better.
Then the circuit can be installed.
The balance is replaced and the clock runs – there is some adjustment of the various parts to maximize the balance swing (amplitude) .
The dial side parts are added and the movement re-fitted to the case.
The cleaned dial is added.
The hands need painting and will be added later but the clock is now running and can be adjusted for approximate rate on the watch test machine. This shows an average rate of +15.6 seconds/day. The lines are nothing special but this is not a high quality timepiece and these results are fine here.
A more detailed explanation of a rebuild for these clocks is shown here.