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Lesson 3 -- How to Disassemble a Mechanical Clock
19 Nov 2006
Tools Required: Screw Drivers, Pliers, Tweezers (optional)

The mechanism of a clock and that of a watch are the same. We use a clock to learn the mechanism because of its bigger size.

This time we only emphasize on the most basic part of the clock; therefore, the alarm system will be ignored.

Hand-Winding Clock

Mechanical Alarm Clock

HK$ 51

Clock Back

Step 1

Set the alarm to ring until stop in order to release the power of the alarm.

Unscrew the T-shape handles (red circle) in the opposite direction as shown (blue circle). Then open the back cover. clock


Clock Movement

Step 2

Unscrew the knobs and the feet (red circle) by a pliers. clock

Clock Movement front

Step 3

Pull out the "heart" of the clock carefully.

And pull out all the hands carefully with your hands. clock

Hand-Winding Clock Movement

Step 4

Put the clock face down and you can find several metal plates (red circle).

Use a pliers to make it straight and pull out the face very carefully.

Step 5

After remove the face, you can see there is a big white gear if it did not fall off during step 4. clcok

Hand-Winding Clock Mechanism

Step 6

Pull out the big white gear (Blue 1), there is a small white gear (Red 1).

The parts in blue are parts of the alarm mechanism.

The Red 2 trasfers the power from the 2nd Wheel (introduced later) to the center pole - miniute hand.

The Red 1 transfers the power from the Red 2 with proper gear ratio to the center pole - hour hand. clock

Clock Balance Spring

Step 7

Pull out the pin (Red circle) in order to release the balance spring.

Clock Balance Wheel

Step 8

Turn the balance wheel (Blue 1) to make the balance spring (Blue 2) coming off the hole and the slit (Red circle).

Clock Balance

Step 9

Unscrew the screw (Red circle) and pull out the Balance wheel (Blue 1) very carefully. watch

Clock Pallet Fork

Step 10

Unscrew the nuts (Red circle) a little bit (Not completely) and pull out the Pallet Fork (Blue 1) carefully.

If you succeed, the power of the main spring will be released. clcok

Clock Mainspring

Step 11

Main spring (Red A), Main spring for the alarm (Blue B).

Unscrew the nuts (Red circle) and pull out the metal plates.

Clock Alarm Mechanism

Step 12

Alarm mechanism (Blue area) watch

Clock Movement Disassembled

Step 13

The main parts of the clock. clock

Clock Mainspring

Step 14

Main Spring


Main Wheel

The main spring stores the power and let the clock run about 48 hours.

Clock Gear Train

Step 15

Red 2
2nd wheel

Red 3
3rd wheel

Red 4
4th wheel -- second hand

Red 5
Escape wheel

Red A
Pallet Fork

2nd Wheel 2nd Wheel clcok
2nd Wheel 2nd wheel transfers the power to the white gear and transfer to the center pole to run the miniute hand. watch
Gear Train

Step 16

2nd wheel is removed.

3rd Wheel 3rd wheel watch
Gear Train

Step 17

3rd wheel is removed.

4th Wheel 4th wheel clock repair
Gear Train


4th wheel is removed.

Escape Wheel Escape wheel watch repair
Pallet Fork

Pallet Fork

For a watch, there will be two jewels instead of two metal pins.Except for some cheap watches.

Clock Escapement

Escape wheel, Pallet Fork, Balance Spring and Balance wheel form the ESCAPEMENT which controls the time of a clock.

Balance Spring oscillates and Balance Wheel swings as a result they divide the time.

Pallet Fork and escape wheel control the power release according to the "divided time".

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