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Hermle 8 day movement only lasts 2 days

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I have been given my parents table clock which I think is around 40 years old. Its very similar to the one in the link below. It has a makers mark that looks like 'Deju' on the dial which I cant find anything about?

The clock has a Hermle ' FHS' 130-020 floating balance movement. It didn't work, hence I was given it!

I work on watches on an amateur/fun basis so have a little knowledge. 

Ive dismantled the clock and cleaned the movement as a whole, I didnt tear down the movement. I have reoiled it and it works and chimes and is astonishingly accurate. 

Its temperamental to get going but once ticking will run perfectly for 2 to 3 days then stop. 

The mainspring barrel housing has a slight bulge in it! Im wondering if the spring is partially broken inside? Is this likely?

Cousins do a new movement for £150 but that a lot and I wan t to keep it original, they do a new barrel with spring for £30.

Im assuming as when it runs, it runs perfectly it must be the power section ie the bulging spring housing thats the issue?

It this a common fault. 

Thanks for reading.



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the bulge in the mainspring barrel is the reason it only runs for a couple of days the spring is probably binding, you need to remove the barrel then remove mainspring then depending what hook it has , if it has a steel hook drill it out straighten barrel then make a new hook and drill and fit it 180 deg round the other side , if the hook is part of the barrel then i would still do above as it’s easier than straightening the barrel then trying to re position the hook as it will make it weak and if i snaps off it can do a lot of damage.


PS you can still get new barrels try h s Walsh or cousins 

Edited by Dell
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Sounds like the mainspring has slipped off the barrel hook, at some point in the past, when the clock has been near to fully wound. As the spring has slipped it has reattached itself to the hook and the tension on the spring has bent the barrel hook. As the clock is 40 years old and only running for 2/3 days i would replace all 3 barrels as the springs may all be weak. stamped on the barrel gear you will see a 2 digit number. quote this number when ordering and Cousins should be able to supply.

Hope this helps, if not give me a shout.

Regards Simon.

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Hi Dilly,

I must disagree with two other opinions above.

By only replacing the spring/barrel, the clock will probably run for 3-4 days instead for 2-3 with the old spring….

See, if a clock or watch is running, this still doesn’t mean that it is in good order. The same if a man is breathing, this will not mean that he is in good health.

If a clock movement is in a good condition and with new strong mainspring, then the amplitude of balance oscillations will be more than 250 degr. If the mainspring is old and weaker, then the amplitude will be probably 180 degr. , but movement will still work for 8-9 days and will keep time good.

If the movement is in no good condition, then amplitude will be weak and will stop occasionally.

My advice is to strip all the movement and to clean it right. The old hardened oil will not dissolve in petrol and other solvents. Use sharpened  wooden sticks to clean bearing holes.

Main attention must be paid to balance bearings ant to mainspring.

Balance bearings are in the ends of the hollow balance staff.  This kind of balances are hard to disassemble even for experienced watchmakers, so don’t try to disassemble it. Deep it in petrol and move the balance along the string,  hoping that this way the hardened oil will go off…

The mainspring must be taken away from barrel and perfectly cleaned, then lubricated with thin layer of graphite or molybden-disulpnite grease.

The pivots and pivot holes must be inspected for wear. Pivots of Hermle clocks of that time are of very bad quality. They are of soft steel (sooner of iron) and chromed for hardness. The chrome layer is thin and wears for several years of work, then the soft iron wears very soon and damages the hole too. If there are such worn pivots, they must be drilled and replaced, bushings must be placed on plates…

Movement must be assembled, oiled and regulated and then checked for amplitude and period of work from full winding.

Only then, if still amplitude is weak, consider replacing the mainspring.

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We didn’t say just repair or replace the barrel of course the movement should be stripped cleaned and checked prior to re assembly, all we were commenting on was the lack of power, and yes probably not just the bulge in the barrel but that was what Dilly was asking if the bulge could be the problem.

I have had this with a few Torsion clocks and the safest way is to make and fit a new barrel hook and fit 180 deg around the other side but I don’t replace the mainspring very often.


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The bulge itself is not a problem at all. It is only a consiquence of mainspring break in the past. If now the mainspring can be winded to the end, then it is attached to the barrel and no reason to think that there is a problem there.

BUT , if the mainspring has been broken once, I would check if it has been 'repaired' and  in the barrel is only a short piece of it for example, or if the mainspring in the barrel is proper for the movement at all...

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