8 day carriage clocks
8 day carriage clocks, are traditional key wound clocks, usually of brass construction. Invented by the French in the 19th Century and rapidly taken up as a successful lucrative product with clock makers across Europe.
To be more accurate, the 1st genuine carriage clock was invented in 1812, for Napoleon by Abraham-Louis Bregue.
Designed to solve the problem of portable clock, which can be used on the journey and at the places you stay along the way. Sometimes called Officers Clocks, their design has remained fairly consistent since their inception. A rectangular brass case, sometimes gilt with gold and with a carry handle on the top.
The key to its success is that it is powered by a main spring, and does not use a pendulum-based regulation but a ‘balance spring’.
Traditionally constructed from heavy gauge brass, with a window to view the intricate mechanism, partly to be able to admire the new mechanics but also to keep a check that it is still running during the journey.
Often incorporating jewels in their construction, the jewels are used in certain moving part. To avoid metal moving on metal, particular at pivot joints, polished jewels are used, with holes in them, allowing the metal pints to pivot against the very hard gem surface rather than against other metal.
This had less friction generated; the movement lasted longer and needed less lubrication.
I am very glad to say the mechanical 8 day carriage clock industry is still very much alive. We are very proud to be authorised retailers of the three remaining English Carriage Clock making companies. Woodford (est 1860), David Peterson and Henley Clocks.
Each of these fine brands of eight day clocks, have their own merits, and we can recommend them to our customers.
An 8 day clock is just that, a clock designed to run for 8 days on one wind of the main spring. This is done with a brass key and in my home I wind all the mechanical clocks on a Sunday evening, this gives them one day ‘in hand’, in terms of running time.
In terms of accuracy, there are limits to mechanical clocks of this design, but if you are prepared to do a little work in calibrating your carriage clock (once you have let it settle into your home) then they can be very accurate. My DP_AG Carriage clock for instance is never more than half a minute away from GMT by the time I wind it on a Sunday.
In the year these clocks were designed, such a difference would not be noticed for at least a month, at which point it may have accumulated to a couple of minutes.
Calibration is easy, a small lever with markers on it, is accessed in the rear door of the carriage clock, and moving it a set amount, increases or decreases the speed of the regulator. Doing this is part of the beauty of owning one of these times-pieces, and once you have it correct, the clock runs with great accuracy.
The clocks of course, calibrated by the clock-maker, but with a mixture of shipping the clock to you and the environment of your home, you may need to make a small adjustment, once the clock has had time to settle in.
Our 8 day carriage clocks are either supplied with a presentation case, or have one available for you to buy separately should you wish. These are perfect for presenting a carriage clock to a loved one in, or for general storage when transporting the clock. Made from high-quality materials and with a velvet or silk padded interior; they really are a very fine accessory.
8 day carriage clocks are not for everybody, they take a little more care than a modern electrically powered clock, but they also give out more in return to their owners. A mechanical ticking is the heart-beat to my home and they a feature of life I do not wish to be without of in our digital age. To view our selection of 8 day carriage clocks click here.
Quartz Carriage Clocks
As an alternative, to those who love the look of a brass carriage clock, but do not wish to wind them each week, many of our clockmakers have taken the same wonderful brass case used to house the mechanical movement, and fitted it with a high quality quartz regulated movement.
These quartz carriage clocks run on a single AA battery for a year or longer; need no attention and keep very excellent time. They have the look and feel of a mechanical eight-day clock, and some models have and exposed mechanical movement powered by the battery. The effect is superb! It looks like an 8-day clock.
One of my favourite additions to the Woodford range is a small Petite Quartz carriage clock, made with a solid brass case but fitted with a fine quartz movement, this wonderful small sized carriage clock, really exudes quality and is made in a solid brass case. They are for sale at the very attractive cost of £69.00
So, no matter what budget you have, or if you prefer an 8 day clock or a quartz powered one, we are sure you will find something to give you real pleasure in owning in our online shop.