How to Operate a German Anniversary Clock

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Things You'll Need

  • Calendar

  • Watch

Some of the inner workings of an anniversary clock are visible.

An anniversary clock—a clock you only have to wind once a year—is a bit of a misnomer, because most anniversary clocks run on a 400-day cycle rather than a 365-day cycle. These lovely timepieces are covered with a glass dome, and you can see some of the workings. The German company Schatz has been a prominent maker of anniversary clocks for some time, and the operating instructions for a Schatz clock should work with most other German clocks.


Step 1

Pick a standing date to rewind your clock. Whether it's New Year's Day, your birthday or your wedding anniversary, choose a day that is easy to remember and always rewind your anniversary clock on that date. To be sure you can remember the date, write it on your calendar.

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Step 2

Wind the clock. A new clock has been at least partially wound at the factory. If you have recently purchased or inherited an antique anniversary clock, you may not need to rewind it all the way if it is currently keeping time. To wind your anniversary clock, gently turn the winding key counterclockwise three or four turns. Once the key can no longer turn, your clock is wound for the next 400 days.


Step 3

Adjust the time. After your new clock has been running for at least 48 hours, you can adjust the time. On an already running clock, you can adjust the time at any point. There is a small disk at the top of the pendulum with the numbers 1-16 on it. There are also two arrows marked F and S. There should also be an indicated pointing at one of the numbers on the disk. You will need to move that disk to accommodate how many minutes per day your clock is losing in time. Each space between numbers is equivalent to 1/2 a minute. So if your clock is losing two minutes per day according to your watch, and the indicator is at 9, you will have to move it four numbers toward F to the number 5.


Step 4

Keep the dome clean. Because the dome prevents dust and household dirt from getting into the anniversary clockworks, you will not need to clean the actual clock. Keep the dome clean by dusting it with a soft cloth or feather duster on a regular basis.


Schatz suggests keeping the winding key under the base of the clock for safekeeping.


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