Mechanical Clock Hands

Mechanical Clock HandsHand RemovalHand InstallationOrdering Mechanical HandsChime On Time Fix

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Removing Mechanical Clock Hands

Removing Mechanical Clock Hands is fast and easy to do. The following are instructions for German mechanical movements post WW2 hand removal.

German Post WW2 wall, mantle and floor models

Turn the hand nut to the left while holding the minute hand with your fingers. Some small needle nose pliers may be needed to loosen the nut first. Once the nut is loose, you can turn it with your fingers until it comes off. The minute hand will be able to wiggle straight off its square arbor and off of the clock. The hour hand is a friction fit, so just twist the hour hand back and forth and pull toward you until it comes off. If you have a second hand bit, that is only a friction also, so just grab it with your fingernails and pull toward you.

American Antique time and strike

These type of movements come in two styles. if there is a minute hand nut, the first style is the same as above. Be very careful not to lose this hand nut. They are very hard to find and replace. The second style will have a pin holding the minute hand on instead of a nut. This pin is tapered, meaning it's fat on one side and skinny on the other usually. Just grab the fat side with needle nose pliers and yank the pin out. The minute hand will fall out with a washer. Save the washer and the tapered pin for ease of reinstalling the hands.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

German Mechanical Clock Hand Installation

The installation of the clock hands on a German mechanical movement is reverse of removal. If either the movement was replaced, or the hands are new, the minute hand must be adjusted. This is so it will point to the correct time when it chimes.

Installing the hour hand

First comes the hour hand as a friction fit. Put the hand on its round post and twist and push toward the front front of the dial. Be sure it is not in contact with the dial at any point of its travel in the circle. This includes the base of the hour hand, it cannot rub against the hole in the clock face itself. As its only a friction fit, it can be turned to point to whatever hour it is, just with your fingers.

Installing the minute hand

The minute hand installation is done by putting the square hole in the hand, on the square post of the hand shaft. The bottom of the minute hand cannot be rubbing the hour hand tube or the hour hand. If it is, the hour hand has to be set lower on its tube. With the minute hand on its square post now its time to put the nut on. The nut goes on finger tight and then a little bit more with needle nose pliers to make it secure.

Mechanical Clock Hands

The German mechanical clock hands are sold by the time track diameter. When ordering these mechanical clock hands, you will need this measurement. The dial diameter is the measurement of the time track, and this means from just outside the 9 to just outside the 3. For example, if this explained time track diameter is 6 inches, you would order hands for a 6 inch time track in the option list. When you get the hands for a 6 inch time track you will have a minute hand about 2 7/8 long from the mounting hole to the end. The proportionally smaller hour hand will come with the minute hand. This is a vastly different way of measuring than the quartz clock hands.

Ordering Hands

After getting the time track diameter measurement as explained, its time to choose a style of hand. On the style you choose, drop down the option menu and see if your measurement is listed. Remember, the minute hand will come a little less than half of this time track measurement.

How they are sent

Comes as a pair, hour and minute hand both. Ships the next business day from Clockworks.com in Huntington MA USA, via the method you chose upon checkout.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

Mechanical Clock Chime On Time

These are the directions to get a German mechanical clock to chime on time. This means having the clock hands point to the right spot when the clock chimes. When replacing a clock movement, or getting new clock hands, either one, you will notice it will chime 5 minutes before it is supposed to, or 10 min after, something like this. This page explains how to correct this situation. It is unbelievably fast and easy to do.

Working with the minute hand

After a new mechanical movement is installed, or if you are just installing a new set of hands, you will notice the clock will not chime at the time it's supposed to. To correct this, take the minute hand off of the clock. This is the longer of the two hands. With this minute hand off of the clock, turn it upside down and you will see it has a square hole where it attaches to the clock. This square hole is in a bushing that will rotate WITHIN the minute hand itself.

The correction

So, all you have to do is just use needle nose pliers to turn this bushing ever so slightly. Put the hand back on the clock and see if it’s pointing to the correct place where it chimed. If it is, then you are all set. If it is still not right, take the hand off and try again. Once you get the minute hand to point where it just chimed you then set to the correct time.

The conclusion

It is really that easy. You do not have to mess with the clock at all, only the hand itself. In other words, to put it in a silly way, take the minute hand off of the clock and walk to the garage with it. Take it far, far away from the clock. When in your garage take needle nose pliers and turn the bushing within the hand itself. Then walk back to the clock and put it on. See if it's now pointing to the right spot.

Grandfather chime on time
Grandfather chime on time
Grandfather chime on time
Grandfather chime on time
The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire
Clock Hand Measurement

Hands For Mechanical Clocks

The Mechanical Clock hands in the list below are sold by dial diameter size. Alternately, this is not the same method as a clock that operates on a battery. Instead, determine the hands for mechanical clocks as an after effect of measuring the dial diameter. Furthermore, a time track is the outer ring that clocks sometimes have just outside the numerals. Measure the dial diameter from outside of the 9 to outside of the 3. For example, if you come up with 6 inches for this measurement, then order hands for a 6 inch time track. So, for a pair of hands made for a 6 inch time track would have a minute hand around 2 7/8 inches long.

German Mechanical

These mechanical clock hands are for German mechanical clocks that are post WW2 and includes most mechanical clocks after 1950. Post war clocks are made in either Korea, China, or Germany. Of course, the Korean and China clocks are pretty easy to identify as they usually say 31 day on it. If this is the situation and the clock says 31 day, these hands will not fit. If you would like to be certain the clock is from Germany, look at the back plate of the clock movement itself. There will always be a stamp with an engraving that says Made in Germany. These mechanical clock hands will fit 90% of these clocks. Although there are some exceptions. Some tubular bell units and some of the older German units are a couple of examples. To be absolutely 100% sure these hands are correct, measure the width of the mounting post on the movement and match it up with the sizes they specify.
The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire

German Spade

Hermle german mechanical spade hands

For many dial diameters. These fit most German mechanical clock movements. The minute hand has a 2.2mm square mounting hole, the hour hand has a 4.5mm round hole.

CH1: $15.00$20.00
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German Maltese

Hands For Mechanical Clocks

For Hermle mechanical movements as well as Urgos. 5" Dial diameter only.

CH12: $15.00

German Serpentine

German Serpentine Clock Hands

The most popular choice for German clock movements. These black Serpentine hands come in 4 to 10 inch dial diameters. These fit most German movements in existence. The minute hand has a 2.2mm square mounting hole, the hour hand has a 4.5mm round hole.

CH3Hands: $10.00$20.00
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German Regulator Style

Hands For Mechanical Clocks

These fit most German mechanical clock movements. The minute hand has a 2.2mm square mounting hole, the hour hand has a 4.5mm round hole.

CH8: $18.00
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German Spade Variant

Clock Hands

Hands for German mechanical clocks such as Hermle, Urgos or Kieninger. These hands are for a dial that is 6 inch (15cm) to 6 1/2 inch (17cm) wide from outside the numeral 3 to outside the numeral 9.

RC30: $15.00

American Mechanical

American Mechanical hands for Seth Thomas, Sessions, Ansonia, Gilbert, Bristol, Ingram, Welch, New Haven and others. These are for American made mechanical movements produced prior to the end of WW2 because they did not produce many clocks after this time. The hands come in a couple minute hand mounting styles such as Oblong or Square. The hour hand just has a round hole every time.

The further back in time one goes with USA antiques movements there was less mass production. This means the older the clock the weirder things can get. So these hands are not going to fit every clock that is old and from America but they do cover the mass productions instead. Sometimes is it required for the older antiques to make something work from what is available. Such as soldering two hands together to make one good one that fits or filing a hole bigger with a needle file.

Pierced Spade

Pierced Spade American Clock Hands

For 5 inch dial diameter. Choose square or oblong hole in the minute hand. For American antique movements. (Seth Thomas, New Haven, Ansonia, Gilbert, Waterbury and so on)

CH7: $10.00
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Seth Thomas

ST Style American Clock Hands

For American antique movements. (Seth Thomas, New Haven, Ansonia, Gilbert, Waterbury and so on) This has a square hole in the minute hand.

CH10: $10.00
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Spade Hands

American Spade Mechanical Clock Hands

For American antique movements. (Seth Thomas, New Haven, Ansonia, Gilbert, Waterbury and so on). Specify if the hole in the minute hand is oblong or square. Measurement is the dial diameter

CH9: $10.00
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Maltese

American Maltese Mechanical Clock Hands

For American antique movements. (Seth Thomas, New Haven, Ansonia, Gilbert, Waterbury and so on) Specify if the hole in the minute hand is oblong or square. Measurement is the dial diameter

CH11: $10.00
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Mechanical Seconds

Second Hand

Clock Hands

Second hand sweep for a mechanical floor clock with the second hand option. Please choose the movement number that is on the back plate of the brass movement itself for the correct second hand to be shipped.

CH13A: $10.00
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How to measure the minute hand

Quartz Clock Hands

Quartz Clock Hands that will fit any battery movement we offer. There are two types of quartz hands in the world. One is China standard and one is American standard. The China way of using the hands is with round holes in both the hour and minute hands. Comparatively, the American style has an oblong mounting hole in the minute hand and a round hole for the hour hand that fits what is known as an "I" shaft. All of the hands offered here fit "I" shaft movements only. In other words all of them will fit the quartz movements that we sell.

Quartz clock hand compatibility

When replacing a quartz clock movement, the old hands may fit the new movement just fine. If there is an oblong hole in the minute hand, chances are good that it will fit. The hour hand will fit the new quartz movement either way. To clarify, it is the minute hand (the longer of the two hands) that is a concern. In any event, if in doubt, it is best to order new hands for your new movement upon checking out. This way it will be all set and you will have everything you need for a smooth movement swap out.

Measuring and Ordering New Hands

Quartz clock hands come together as a set, and only the minute hand is measured when replacing them. Measure it, the long hand, from the mounting hole to the tip. The shorter hand, the hour hand, comes with the minute hand and is proportionally smaller. For larger dials, more than 10 inches wide, see our High Torque movement and Hands section. As for Second hands, they will fit the high torque clock movements, however they do not come in long lengths like the minute hands do.

Mounting Quartz Clock Hands

Mounting quartz clock hands is easy. First put on the hour hand, with it’s round hole. As a friction fit, just push it on. The minute hand, with it’s oblong mounting hole, and goes on next. Fit it onto the “I” on the top of the shaft. To tighten the hands use the nut with a hole if using a second hand. Use the cap nut if not using a second hand.

Item #H1

Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 2 1/16" (52mm)
  • 3" (76mm)
  • 3 1/8" (79mm)
  • 4 1/8" (102mm)
  • 4 11/16" (119mm)
H1: $1.00$9.00
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Item #H2

Sizes =
  • 1 7/8" (47mm) or 2 1/8" (54mm)
  • 2 1/2" (64mm) or 2 7/8" (73mm)
  • 3 3/8" (86mm) or 4" (101mm)
  • 4 1/2" (114mm) or 4 3/4" (121mm)
H2: $1.00$5.00
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Item #H3

maltese Sizes =
  • 1 3/4" (44mm)
  • 2 1/16" (52mm)
  • 2 3/4" (76mm)
H3: $1.00
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Item #H4

Tapered Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 1 1/2" (38mm) or 1 7/8" (47mm)
  • 2 3/16" (55mm) or 2 9/16" (65mm)
  • 3 1/8" (79mm) or 3 5/8" (92mm)
  • 4 1/2" (114mm)
H4: $1.00
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Item #H5

Tapered Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 2 1/8" (54mm)
  • 3 3/8" (85mm)
  • 4" (101mm)
H5: $1.00$10.00
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Item #H6

Clock Hand Straight Sizes =
  • 1 5/16" (33mm)
  • 3 3/4" (95mm)
  • 4 1/8" (105mm)
H6: $1.00
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Item #H7

Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 2 1/4" (57mm)
H7: $1.00
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Item #H8

Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 1 3/8" (35mm)
  • 1 13/16" (46mm)
  • 2 1/4" (57mm)
  • 2 3/4" (70mm)
  • 3 3/8" (85mm)
h8: $1.00
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Item #H9

Clock Hands Sizes =
  • 1 3/4" (44mm)
  • 2 1/2" (63mm)
  • 2 7/8" (73mm)
H9: $1.00
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Item #H10

moon hands Sizes =
  • 2 1/2" (63mm)
  • 3 1/8" (79mm)
H10: $1.00
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Item #H11

Wiggle Sizes =
  • 1 1/2" (38mm)
  • 2 3/8" (60mm)
H11: $1.00
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Item #H12

clock hands Sizes =
  • 3 1/4" (82mm)
  • 4 7/8" (124mm)
H12: $1.00
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Quartz Clock Second Hands

Quartz clock second hands are mounted with a tube under the hand that fits by friction fit onto the quartz clock movement. To install the hand all that is needed is to put it in hole at the end of the hand shaft. If by chance it is not climbing the hill from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock, it may require tightening for a better fit. This is not the usual situation, but it does happen. To tighten the post for a tighter friction fit is easy because the tube that mounts the hand is split. Just squeeze slightly with some needle nose pliers and it will be tight again. Remount the hand as before and it should climb the hill no problem.

There are two types of quartz movements that run these hands. Step motion is a movement that the second hand jumps from one second to the next. Sweep motion, this is when it sweeps around with no stopping right around the dial.

Item #SH1

Quartz clock movement second hand clockworks.com

Sizes =

  • 1 7/16" (36mm)
  • 1 13/16" (46mm)
  • 2 1/2" (63mm)

SH1: $1.00
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Item #SH2

Quartz clock movement second hand clockworks.com

Sizes =

  • 2 3/8" (60mm)
  • 2 3/4" (70mm)
  • 4 1/2" (114mm)

SH2: $1.00
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Item #SH3

Quartz clock movement second hand clockworks.com

Sizes =

  • 3" (76mm)
  • 3 1/2" (89mm)
  • 4 1/2" (Black)
  • 5 1/4" (133mm)

SH3: $1.00
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High Torque Hand Information

In the first place, use High Torque Clock Hands on larger clock dial diameters. Subsequently, these hands require a high torque clock movement that is run by a battery. Of course, these hands are for the American standard "I" shaft quartz movement that use a battery. The minute hand will have an oblong mounting hole and likewise the hour hand will have a round one. Altogether, the minute hand mounts on the oblong shaft of the clock movement. High torque hand information is important to know in order to choose the right ones.

Mounting the clock hands

The first piece of high torque hand information is mounting the clock hands. All in all, mounting the high torque hands to the high torque clock movement is easy. First, the hour hand is a friction fit so push it onto the post. Furthermore, push it down as far as it will go without it touching the clock face. Second is the minute hand which has the oblong hole. Similarly, it mounts on the tip of the oblong shaft of the movement. Finally, secure it with one of the hand nuts.

High Torque Hand nuts info

The second piece of high torque hand information is selecting the correct hand nut. There are two hand nuts that come with a new clock movement from Clockworks. One is a donut, which you use with a second hand, and has a hole in it. Likewise, the other nut is a cap nut which has no hole and covers the entire tip of the post. Of course, a second hand requires the use of a donut and not a cap nut.

High torque hands checklist

That concludes the high torque hand information on the mounting procedure. To sum up, some things to look out for: the hour hand is not rubbing the dial and the minute hand is not rubbing the hour hand. Equally important, be certain the minute hand is not rubbing the glass door or anything else during its sweep around. In fact, these hands should be parallel and cannot come in contact with anything. If any of these things occur, the movement will not run. Not to mention, causing frustration in the process.

Sold as a pair with both hour and minute hands. Styles vary depending on length and the longer hands will have a tail with counter balance.

How to measure battery operated hands

Item #HTH1

Tapered battery operated long hand

Tapered High Torque Hands

Sizes =
  • 5" (127mm) - 9 1/2" (244mm)
  • 6" (152mm) - 11" (279mm)
  • 8" (203mm) - 17.5" (444mm)
HTH1: $3.00$13.00
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Item #HTH3

Long High Torque Clock Hands

Spade Style High Torque Hands

Sizes =
  • 5 1/4" (133mm) - 8" (203mm)
  • 5 3/4" (146mm) - 8 3/4" (222mm)
  • 6 3/4" (171mm) - 7" (178mm)
  • 12" (304mm) - 17 3/4" (451mm)
HTH3: $3.00$15.00
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Item #HTH7

Long High Torque Clock Hands

Howard Miller Design High Torque Clock Hands

Sizes =
  • 8" (203mm) - 10 1/4" (260mm)
HTH7: $7.00$10.00
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Item #HTH8

Long High Torque Clock Hands

Serpentine High Torque Hands

Sizes =
  • 9" (229mm)
HTH8: $9.00
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