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Keywound Mantel Clocks

Keywound Mantel clocks come in a variety of styles and features. The better keywound Mantel clocks offer a movement made in Germany with a case made in Germany, the United States or Asia.  If you are pleased with the style, make sure the movement is made in Germany. The movement should be made by either Kieninger or Hermle. These are the two major brands of clock movements in Germany.  These clocks will last a lifetime if they are maintained properly by oiling (by a professional) and make a family heirloom that may be passed on from generation to generation. These clocks are mechanical and need to be wound with a key on a defined basis. This is usually once a week.

Kieninger Mantel Clock Movements
New Howard Miller models will use the Kieninger movement exclusively. You may download the manual by clicking here.

Kieninger mantel clock movement

Figure 1. displays the most common Kieninger mantel clock movement. This model uses a unique platform escapement which regulates the spring tension so the clock will keep the proper time. There is a lever that points to the right that may be moved up or down to change the tension on the wheel to change the speed - fast to slow. There is a clear plastic dust cover covering the escapement, but the control arm is still accessible. Move this arm (the Timer Adjustment Lever) ever so gently as it is sensitive. A very small change in the position of the lever will dramatically change the speed of the clock.

If the clock is fully wound and the wheel on the platform escapement is not moving, carefully take off the clear plastic cover and very gently, give the wheel a slight touch on the top just enough to start it moving. It should continue moving. If not, the platform escapement may need replacing.

Replacing the platform escapement

Try to let the clock wind down completely and remove the cover of the platform escapement. You will then need to remove 2 small nickel plated screws from the top left and bottom right of the platform escapement. Carefully pull the platform escapement straight out toward you and it should release and come out easily. Carefully install the replacement in the same location being careful not to touch the wheel or apply any pressure near the wheel. Once it is flush and tight against the back cover, replace the two nickel plated screws back in their original location. Wind the middle arbor above the 6:00 on the clock and the balance wheel should start moving back and forth rapidly. If you need the part itself, you may purchase it here.

SETTING THE TIME ON A KEYWOUND CLOCK: (moving the hands) To set the time, move ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counter Clockwise (backwards) until hour and minute hand are at the correct time. (See figure 6). DO NOT MOVE THE HOUR HAND WHEN SETTING THE TIME. The hour hand will move automatically when the minute hand is moved. By moving the minute hand counter Clockwise it is not necessary to wait for the Mantel Clock to chime as the minute hand passes each quarter hour. (See figure 6). The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. If after setting the Mantel Clock on time, it does not chime properly, permit it to operate 2 hours to correct itself. You may move the minute hand clockwise to set the chime, but you must pause at every quarter hour and let the chime complete before moving the hand to the next quarter hour.
Another way to set the time on a keywind clock is to move the minute hand slowly clockwise until you hear a "click" and then immediately STOP moving the hand...let the chimes complete their sequence, them move forward to the next quarter hour. Continue until you have reached the desired time.

 DO NOT ADJUST CHIME HAMMERS, unless the chime tone is incorrect. Chime tone may be affected by the hammers resting on the chime rods or striking the rods off center. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for them to get out of adjustment. For most clocks, it will not be necessary to adjust chime hammers. There are different types of chimes (rods, coils and bells). Chime hammer arms are made of brass and can be safely bent. If necessary, adjust hammers so that they do not interfere with each other while moving or striking the chime rods, chime coil or chime bell. This is accomplished by bending the hammer arms slightly in the middle so that each hammer rests approximately 1/8” from each rod or 1/8” from the coil or bell. (See figure 22). DO NOT bend the chime rods or chime coil. Chime volume cannot be adjusted.

If after several hours of operation your clock does not strike the correct hour, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and move it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not damage the clock. If the minute hand needs to be reset (to correct time), move the minute hand counterclockwise (backwards) as described in the “FOR ALL CLOCKS-SETTING TIME” section of these instructions.

1. Make sure that the selection lever is not in the “silent” position or halfway between two
chime melody positions?
2. Make sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area.
3. Make sure that the clock is wound.
4. Check hammer adjustment and correct chime tone as necessary.
5. Lift all hammers approximately one inch and then let them return to their resting position.


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