How to Wind Three Winding Holes on a Clock

Wind-up clocks can have up to three winding holes. If the clock has one winding hole, it is for the main time spring. If a clock has two winding holes, the second hole is for the hourly chime. If the clock has three winding holes, the third hole is for the chimes every 15 minutes. Wind-up clocks typically have 1-day, 8-day or 31-day movements. The movement length is specified when you buy the clock. Small clocks like cuckoo clocks often must be wound daily. Mantle clocks usually have 8-day movements, and larger pendulum clocks may have 31-day movements. Although clocks may run a few days longer than specified, they should be wound daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the type of clock, to assure the most accurate time.

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Antique clock

Step 1

Check the holes with the clock's key to see whether to turn clockwise or counterclockwise; the direction in which the key turns easily and clicks is the correct direction. If the key won't move in either direction, the hole is fully wound already.

Step 2

Insert the key in the right hole and gently wind until you cannot wind anymore. Do not force it. The right hole is usually the time mainspring, but it can vary. Count the number of turns so next time you can wind carefully when you reach the end.

Step 3

Insert the key in the left hole and gently wind until you cannot wind anymore. Do not force it. The left hole is usually the hourly chime spring, but it can vary. Count the number of turns so next time you can wind carefully when you reach the end.

Step 4

Insert the key in the center hole and gently wind until you cannot wind anymore. Do not force it. The center hole is usually the 15-minute chime spring, but it can vary. Count the number of turns so next time you can wind carefully when you reach the end.