How to Adjust Time on a Grandfather Clock

How to Adjust Time on a Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clocks are beautiful and classic pieces that add character to any home. However, keeping them running on time can be tricky. Whether you've inherited one or bought a new clock, knowing how to set the time correctly is important to keep it working well.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through the simple steps to adjust the time on your grandfather clock. From moving the clock hands to fine-tuning the pendulum, you'll learn everything you need to ensure your clock keeps accurate time. Let's get started and make sure your grandfather clock stays a reliable and charming part of your home.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Adjust the Time on a Grandfather Clock

Step 1: Stop the Pendulum

Gently stop the pendulum to avoid interfering with the clock's mechanism.


Step 2: Determine the Correct Time

Check the correct current time using a reliable source.


Step 3: Move the Minute Hand

Forward Adjustment:

Use your fingertips to move the minute hand (long hand) clockwise to the correct time. Move the hand slowly and allow the clock to chime if it is a chiming model.

Stop at each quarter-hour (3, 6, 9, and 12) to allow the clock to chime. For example, if you are setting the clock to 3:15, move the hand to 3:00, wait for the chime, then move to 3:15.

Backward Adjustment:

If you need to set the time back, some clocks allow you to move the minute hand counterclockwise, but it's important to check the manufacturer's guidelines. Generally, it's safer to move the hand forward and cycle through the hours to avoid damaging the mechanism.


Step 4: Adjust the Hour Hand

If the hour hand is off, you can gently move it independently to the correct hour. Hold the hour hand close to the center and move it to the desired hour.


Step 5: Restart the Pendulum

Gently restart the pendulum by giving it a small push. Ensure it is swinging evenly.


Step 6: Adjusting the Speed

If your clock is running too fast or too slow, you can adjust the pendulum's bob (the weight at the bottom of the pendulum).

To slow down the clock, lower the pendulum bob by turning the adjustment nut (usually found beneath the bob) to the left.

To speed up the clock, raise the pendulum bob by turning the adjustment nut to the right.

Make small adjustments and observe the clock's performance over 24 hours before making further changes.


Regular Maintenance

Ensure your grandfather clock is regularly maintained. This includes cleaning, oiling, and inspecting the mechanism to keep it running smoothly. With the proper maintenance, a grandfather clock can last for years and become a family heirloom.



➤ Always move the hands slowly and gently to prevent damage.

➤ Avoid touching the clock mechanism directly to prevent oils and dirt from affecting its operation.

➤ Consult your clock's manual for specific instructions, as some models may have unique features or requirements.

➤ If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing these adjustments, consider consulting a professional clockmaker or horologist.

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