Sandberg Jewelers  LLC
Clock and Watch Repair

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  I wound my watch/clock too tight and now it does not run.  Can you release the mainspring for me so it will run again?

Short answer : No, releasing the main spring will not solve the problem.

Full answer : Most likely, the watch or clock did not stop because it was wound too tight, so releasing the mainspring will not solve the problem.  The problem lies elsewhere.  Read the next Answer.

Q: What is the proper way to wind my time piece?



When winding a watch, grip the crown with your thumb and first finger and roll it between your fingers with just enough grip to get traction to turn it.  When the watch is fully wound, your fingers will begin to slip, so, you will not be applying too much force. Manual wind watches have a recoil click which allows the mainspring to unwind a bit when you stop winding preventing overwinding.


For your key wound clock, likewise,  do not use excessive force and you will be OK.  When the clock is fully wound, it would require considerably more force than the first few turns did to do any damage.  Excessive force typically tears the end of the mainspring preventing the clock from winding tight.  Again, if the clock stopped and is fully wound, something else has caused the stoppage and releasing the mainspring would be no help.


Typically, the fault with key winding is to let go of the key too suddenly so the ratchet does not catch and the key kicks back damaging your knuckles and/or clock.


Some clocks with two or three places to wind, the one place will wind clockwise and the other counter clockwise.  Sometimes, people will think they wound their clock and only one side is wound because the run down side needed to be wound the opposite direction!  


When winding your weight driven clock with chains, it is best to stop and inch from the top.  With some clocks, it is possible to jam the weight hook in the board which the movement sits on if wound as tight as possible, and the clock will stop.

 Pull the chain smoothy and release the chain carefully.  A jerky pull with a sudden stop can cause the weight to bounce slightly and in time damage the chain.


Some people will help the weight up with one hand while pulling the free chain with the other hand.  That is not necessary if the previous advise is followed.  A problem  with helping the weight up is, if you help too much the weight could lift off the hook and drop into the case and damage the case.


Weight driven clocks that have cables wound with a crank typically have a stop mechanism that will prevent you from winding too far.  If not, observe the same technique of stopping  an inch before hitting the top.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare my clock for a move?

A: This is generic advice, your clock may require special handling.

If your clock has a pendulum it needs to be removed or secured.  For some clocks such as Atmos by Lecoultre this must be done even when moving it to dust under it.  Any move that would cause the pendulum to swing an abnormal amount or direction requires the pendulum to be removed or secured first.

If your clock has weights they need to be removed or secured.

If the clock will be getting jolts or vibration such as in a vehicle, any chime rods should be secured to keep them from vibrating and breaking off. Some clocks will have a chime locking device for this purpose.   If not use paper or spongy foam to keep them from vibrating.

Q: Will my watch batteries last longer if I pull the stem out when I am not using it?

A:  Perhaps but it may not be best.

Modern quartz analogue watches typically draw 1 microamp or less when running.

With the stem pulled it may drop to 0.1 microamp.  That does not necessarily mean the battery will last 10 times as long because the battery itself has a shelf life and will eventually discharge on its own.

A watch used seasonally like a  Christmas watch may last an extra year or so by pulling the stem when not in use.

For a watch that will be used more frequently consider that the setting mechanisms were engineered with the idea they will need to be set once or twice per year.  If you use them every week or two and stop them in between you will be setting your watch more than they were designed for and may wear out the setting parts.

If it has a calendar you will also have to set that.

If you leave the watch run, then when you pick it up next week and it is running and on time chances are good it will continue to run when you want to use it.  If you have pulled the stem you do not know it will start up and be reliable when you want it.

Q:  Should I oil my clock periodically?

A:  Some manufacturers recommend it. 

 If you do, use an oil intended for clocks.  Do not use lubricants containing spreaders and never use WD-40.  Most clock repair people will charge extra to repair a clock that smells of WD-40!

Consider that to get the oil where it needs to be you will nearly always need to remove the movement from the case.  Never just spray lubricant into the clock.

Also consider that abrasive contaminations (dirt) gets into clocks and adding oil to a dirty clock may drive more abrasives into bearings causing accelerated wear.

Proper repair involves complete disassembly so old oil and dirt can be completely  removed.

My recommendation for most clocks is to leave them alone as long as they are working properly.  If the clock stops, or does not keep time as well as it once did, or requires winding more frequently, or the strike or chime gets sluggish then it is time to decide whether to just add oil or to repair it properly.

Q:  Do you do appraisals?

A:  No, we can not give you a professional valuation of your time piece.

We may give you a general idea of relative worth.

Q: My clock ran down and now it does not strike the right time.  Is that something I can correct?

A:  Yes you may be able to.   For some instructions click here: Setting my clock's strike

Q: How do I set my Ithaca Calendar Clock?

A: Okay, not a FAQ but I could not find it readily so  click here: Instruction Page