The speculation tossed forward by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens back in 1656 revolutionized the art of clock making: instead of relying on weights, he hypothesized that the movement of a swinging pendulum can be used to effectively and accurately keep time. From the first invention of pendulum clocks, the mechanism is still deeply appreciated, with many clocks still using the principle to keep time even at the present, at hundreds of years from the first pendulum clock that was invented.
Pendulum clocks are no longer limited to antique clocks. Although they first appeared on longcase clocks, or more popularly known as grandfather clocks, the swinging pendulum has also made its way to wall clocks, anniversary clocks, and mantel clocks. Whereas antique pendulum clocks needed to be wound on a daily basis, modern pendulum clocks come with a wide variety of choices for the average buyer, including battery-powered or electric clocks, in addition to the old-fashioned windup clock. It seems that every lifestyle possible now has a pendulum clock to suit its taste.
If you are considering buying a pendulum clock, it is crucial that you understand proper care and handling techniques, assuring you of your investment lasting you for many years:
- Always secure the pendulum in place before you move the clock. You can do this by using an included pendulum clip. If this is not possible, you have two options: remove the pendulum from inside the clock prior to moving the clock, or set it in place with scrunched up paper. Place the clock on a level surface before you move it.
- When you hang the pendulum again on the hook, access it through a door on the backside of the clock, or if the clock provides access from the front, through that access. This varies depending on whether your clock is a shelf pendulum clock, like the Beautiful Kassel 15-Day Wood Wall Pendulum Clock with Glass Front, or a mantel pendulum clock. For a mantel clock, lift one side of it at an elevation of two inches, and then set it down; this will get the pendulum to start swinging. For a shelf clock, just nudge the pendulum slightly and it will start to swing.
- Take note of how often you need to wind your clock. Some clocks need to be wound everyday, while others will do with a winding once a week. When you wind the clock, be sure to turn the key in a smooth and slow manner, releasing the key after you make every turn. When you find resistance as you try to twist the key, it means you can stop winding at that point.
- When you need to adjust the speed of the pendulum swing, you can turn the pendulum night to the right to make it go faster and to the left to make it go slower. You can find this nut at the bottom of the pendulum, and it allows you to regulate the beat of the pendulum swing.
- When you set the time, move the minute hand of the clock clockwise in a slow manner, making sure to pause at every 15-minute mark to let the clock make its scheduled chime.
- If you need to adjust the resonance and tone of your clock’s chime, use needle-nose pliers to hold the chime hammer rod in the middle. Then use your other hand to adjust the end of the hammer rod up or down, leaving a small space between the bell and the hammer head.
- When you clean your pendulum clock, use a feather duster, and try to do so once every week. Meanwhile, two times every year, use the soft brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner hose to get rid of dust from the nooks and crannies of your clock. For the glass face, you can use a small amount of glass cleaner applied on a piece of cloth, wiping it dry afterwards using a paper towel or a dry cloth.
This should give you a clear idea of how best to care for your pendulum clocks, so that whatever you decide to purchase, you can be sure it will last you a long while, making your investment worth it.