“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there”, Yogi Berra

This unknown time and strike movement has been out of its case and lying in drawer for the past year or so. I remember meeting the seller in a parking lot 3 years ago, giving him $20 for this Dugena mantel clock and as he climbed into his car he said, “I hope you don’t expect much for $20; it’s not perfect”. He was correct!

It was keeping poor time, losing an hour or so a day but I thought, what a great clock to practice on and practice I did.

Oiling it did not improve its running. There may be a number of reasons why the clock ran slow; a weak spiral spring, a worn jewel on the floating balance, a power issue such as a weak mainspring or pivot wear. I took the movement apart several times and serviced the springs once my Olie Baker spring winder arrived. I successfully hooked one but had difficulty re-hooking the strike side mainspring because it refused to catch in the barrel and so, discouraged, I put it aside.

Dugena time and strike German made mantel clock

Dugena. Seems like an obscure German name; just what is a Dugena clock?

Dugena was a German retail clock name only, not a maker of movements or cases. Dugena was a registered cooperative society, a “Genossenschaft”, that bought clocks of other makers to sell them under their own brand. In short, a run-of-the-mill, generic department store clock.

Dugena floating balance
The clock runs slow, this bent spiral spring does not help

Floating balance clocks are much more accurate and above all, they do not have have the disadvantage of the pendulum; these clocks work even when the case is at an oblique angle

The floating balance movement in this clock could have been made by various movement makers; Urgos, Jauch or Hermle. Hermle was one of the leading companies using the floating balance escapement. The invention was prior to WW II, but the patent application was in 1941 and it took another 10 years or so for the patent to be granted in the 1950s due to the war and the challenges of industry recovery following the war. Floating balance clocks are much more accurate and above all, they do not have have the disadvantage of the pendulum; these clocks work even when the case is at an oblique angle.

Time and strike movement, maker unknown

Months passed. I took the movement out, looked at that strike side barrel a second time and thought; let’s take a second look. I popped the barrel cap off and using my smooth pliers gave the inner part of the mainspring a turn and it finally hooked onto the catch. Before I installed it in its case I straightened the spiral spring and oiled the movement. The mainspring barrels can be removed without dis-assembly of the movement, so, it went in easily. I wound it and it started just fine. Despite my minor triumph with the strike-side mainspring, straightening the spiral spring and adjusting the balance wheel to its fastest set point, the clock ran only marginally better. It is now losing about 5 minutes per day, however, it is now able to run the full eight day cycle.

Will I get this clock running as it should? Someday, but at his point I am inclined to put it aside as I have other projects on the go. However,my preliminary analysis is this; I have looked at the pivot holes and do not see any that require bushings. The mainspring gives enough power to run the full cycle. Each time I think about the problems I am having with this clock it always comes back to the balance wheel. Something is amiss, but eventually I will make this clock run right.

 

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