Top 12 Clock Movements

A clock’s movement refers to the delicate moving parts found inside the clock’s case that drive the needles around the face. Modern, battery-powered clocks use quartz movements, which are precise, durable, and easy to maintain compared to their mechanical predecessors. Repairing a quartz clock is easy as most quartz movements come pre-assembled.

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Clock Movements Buying Guide

Even today, in the era of the digital timepiece, analog clocks are a common sight in our lives. Most of these modern clocks use quartz movements to power their needles--a battery electrifies a small quartz crystal, which vibrates in a precise frequency that a programmed circuit translates to seconds. The manufacturer does most of the assembling of this mechanism, which significantly simplifies making and repairing clocks. This guide should help select one most appropriate for one's project.

Nature of the project

The primary consideration here is the intended use of the movement. If the DIY-er in question is planning to restore an old clock or repair one in current use, they will need to make sure that the dimensions of the case and the shaft match perfectly. Most timepieces come with a small cut-away section in the back of their case where the movement is stored; the new movement should fit in this space. Similarly, if the clock has a transparent plate over its face, the shaft must fit within the gap under it.

In contrast, if one plans to use the movement in a custom clock project, the options are much broader. They can look for movement sets with dials and needle pairs that match their project's colors and themes. If the clock requires a pendulum or hourly chime, the DIYer can opt for movement kits that incorporate a pendulum attachment and a battery-operated music box. Some movement kits come with metal hooks and wall mounting tools to help hang up a completed project.

The clock’s signature sound

What is a clock without its tick-tock? Some users find the sound to be calming background noise, while others could do without it. As it comes down to personal preference, there are solutions for both. The standard quartz movement lets out a soft ticking as the second hand moves a second at a time, while “silent sweep” movements allow second hands to glide noiselessly around the dial. The silent variety is perfect for those who find that the ticking disturbs their concentration.