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Home > Frequently Asked Questions > Glossary of Clock Terms

Glossary of Clock Terms

Glossary of Clock Terms

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You will want to familiarize yourself with some of the terms used in our catalog and web site. This will allow you to know exactly what you are buying and what features each product offers.

Arabic Dial Numbers: Adapted by the Europeans in the Middle Ages, this style of numeral (1, 2, 3...) quickly replaced the difficult-to-use Roman Numeral system (I, II, III...).

Atomic Clock Movement: (Battery-operated) This remarkable quartz movement contains a miniaturized radio receiver that monitors a low frequency time signal broadcast from Fort Collins, Colorado. That signal enables the movement to self-correct everyday so it always shows the exact time according to the national time standard.

Bezel Dials: A metal rimmed (usually hinged) glass-faced dial.

Bim-Bam Chime: The two-note chime that sounds at the hour and half-hour.

Bob: See Pendulum Bob.

Cable-Driven Mechanical Movement: A gravity-powered movement in which the weights are suspended by cables wound over the drums.

Chain-Driven Mechanical Movement: A gravity-powered movement in which the weights are suspended by chains running over the gears.

Chime Rods: Musically tuned metal rods of varying lengths which, when struck by the movement hammers, produce the musical sound or melody a clock plays on the quarter, half, or full hour.

Dual Chime Movement: A movement which features a selection of two chiming melodies.

Fit-up: See Insert.

Grandfather Clock: A tall pendulum clock which stands directly on the floor, usually 80 inches high or taller.

Half-hour Strike: The "chime" notes struck on the half-hour.

Hands: The hour, minute and second indicators which point to time markings on a clock face.

Insert (also Fit-up): A complete clock movement/dial/bezel assembly that mounts in a hole with the movement portion recessed. When inserted in the hole, the dial bezel is flush with the front of your clock case.

Key-Wound Mechanical Movement: A movement that relies on mainsprings which are wound with keys to provide power to operate the clock gearing.

Mechanical Clock Movement: A clock driven by a mainspring or the pull of gravity on a weight.

Moon Dial: A dial with a moving moon symbol geared to the hour shaft of the movement which indicates the current position or phase of the moon.

Movement: The timekeeping mechanism in a clock.

Pendulum: A body suspended from a clock movement. The free swing (from side to side) requlates the time or accuracy of the mechanical movement. Note: The pendulum on a quartz battery-operated movement is not a mecessary element in timekeeping, but simply decorative. It is driven from side to side by electro-magnetic impulses.

Pendulum Bob: the weight (often disc-shaped) on the bottom of a pendulum stick or rod. Can be adjusted down or up, increasing or decreasing pendulum swing, causing the clock to speed up or slow down.

Pendulum Swing: The distance the outer edges of the pendulum bob reaches from left to right as the pendulum swings to and fro.

Quartz Clock Movement: (Battery-operated) A movement that utilizes electrical impulses from a battery along with a quartz crystal to keep a regulated "beat" more precise than virtually any other element know to mankind.

Quarter-Hour Strike: The "chime" notes struck on each quarter hour.

St. Michael Chimes: The melody of the chies in St. Michael's Church in Galveston, South Carolina.

Stepper Second Hand: A clock hand that indicates time in one-second increments. Requires a special movement.

Sweep Second Hand: A clock hand that moves around the clock face in a continuous motion to indicate time.

Tempus Fugit: A Latin term meaning "Time Flies," often applied as a decorative motif above a dial.

Time Ring: The 360-degree outer circle on a dial with 60 evenly spaced increments to denote minutes in an hour and seconds in a minute.

Triple-Chime Movement: A movement which features a selection of three chiming melodies.

Tubular Chimes: Musically tuned, hollow metal tubes of varying lengths, which, when struck by the movement hammers, produce a musical sound or melody the clock plays on the quarter, half, or full hour.

Waisted Clock Cabinet: A clock cabinet formed of three sections, the center section being the narrowest.

Westminster Chimes: The melody of the chimes in the Victoria Clock Tower of the House of Parliament in London.

Whittington Chimes: The melody of the chimes of St. Mary Le Bow Church in London.

Winchester Chimes: The melody of the chimes in the cathedral in Hampshire, England.

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when someone states :  from the top of the dial to bottom of the pendulum the drop is 14 3/4 ".......are they referring the top of the inner....or....outer dial ?  

Asked by: atkinso99
Most likely the outer dial or edge from the information presented. If you have any further questions or need assistance with your clock project, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-556-2548.
Answered by: Klockit
Date published: 2016-05-21

Is the measurement of a clock hand from where it mounts on the movement to the end or the length of the hand from end to end

Asked by: Sugarbear
The measurements listed on our website are a measurement of the minute hand, from the center of the mounting hole to the top of the hand.
Answered by: Klockit
Date published: 2016-02-23

I have an Ungor Grandmother/Grandfather clock with missing chime rods. Is there anyway I can find them? It has 4 or 5 rods on each side. Please help. Thank you

Asked by: Frank Vicuna
Hi Frank, we need more information about you clock. Our Mechanical Clock technician will be reaching out to you shortly via email.
Answered by: Klockit
Date published: 2016-01-20
  • 2016-10-25T10:24CST
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