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Glossary of Clock Terms

Kieninger is the oldest existing manufacturer of mechanical movements for floor, wall and mantel clocks in the world. Kieninger movements excel with a high level of design and manufacturing quality.

Numerous innovations and patents (16-rod chimes; second indication for pendulum lengths under 116 cm; automatic beat adjustment, night-time shut-off systems for 1/2-hour and 1/4-hour movements; automatic chime sequencing; various manufacturing processes and components) are the measure for design quality.

Manufacturing quality shows in every movement: All movement plates are made of a special brass alloy which is hard and has a tensile strength of 53 kp/mm2. The holes for the journals are reamed and smoothened after lacquering and then receive an oil sink.

Pinions are made of high-quality steel or stainless steel. Fast turning pinions are hardened. All journals are roller burnished in a special process. Some movements feature bronze-bushings and/or jewels in critical positions. The gears are made of a very tough and hard brass alloy with a tensile strength of 62 kp/mm2.

A high level of corrosion protection for all components is assured. Brass components are pickled and receive a coat of clear lacquer. Steel components are made from stainless steel or receive a galvanic nickel coating. Each movement has a laser engraved serial number. In the following material you will find an overview of the movement series structure and detailed information for each of the Kieninger movement groups.

In addition, selected pendulums, weights, weight shells, weight fillings and dials as well as mounting and other accessories are listed. For additional or customer specific movement applications, please contact Kieninger directly or one of our representatives.

  1. Automatic beat adjustment (Kieninger Patent)
  2. Automatic night shut-off (Kieninger Patent)
  3. True Second
  4. Regulator & Escapement
  5. Maintaining Power
  6. Lyre pendulum
  7. Moon Phase Dial
  8. Compensation Pendulum
  9. Automatic Chime Sequencing (Kieninger Patent)
  10. Pendulum length (PL)
  11. Roller Burnishing
  12. Tempus Fugit
  13. Pendulum leader

Automatic beat adjustment (Kieninger Patent)
The term automatic beat adjustment refers to a automatic adjustment of the anchor position relative to the escape wheel through an overswing of the pendulum. This is achieved with a precisely tolerated friction between anchor and anchor shaft and an additional disc attached to the escape wheel. Because of the automatic beat adjustment a perfectly even tic sound will develop after the overswing period of the pendulum is completed.

Automatic night shut-off (Kieninger Patent)
When activating the night shut-off the chimes or strike are/is automatically turned off between 10.00 P.M. and 7.15 A.M. movements with quarter hour chime) or 10.00 P.M. and 7.00 A.M. (movements with half hour strike). The night shut-off incorporates an additional mechanism and a special time curve to interrupt the release of the chime and/or strike mechanism(s).

True Second
With a "true second" feature the second hand moves in precise second steps. This is only possible for movements with a second pendulum, that is, with a pendulum length of nominal 116 cm. For movements with shorter pendulum lengths Kieninger uses a special second module (Kieninger patent) for a correct second indication.

Regulator & Escapement
The term "escapement" refers to the combination of the clock components anchor and escapement wheel. The anchor is either made in one piece (solid anchor) or consists of an anchor body with inserted pallets (pallet anchor). The special gearing of the escapement wheel is matched for the type of escapement and the anchor. The escapement regulates the otherwise uncontrolled run of the time drive with the help of the regulator oscillations and at the same time provides the regulator with the necessary drive impulse. Depending on the type of movement the regulator can be either a pendulum or a balance wheel. The oscillation rate of the regulator determines the rhythm for the movement of the hands. Kieninger movements use a stationary escapement (Graham) or an escapement (Swiss escapement).

Maintaining Power
The time drive of weight powered clock movements with maintaining power continues to run during winding. This is achieved through a counter locking gear with spring, which provides a power reserve for the time drive during winding.

Lyre pendulum
A pendulum style which includes multiple, vertically oriented bars joined by a bridge in the middle and which has a harp shaped structure above the pendulum bob.

Moon Phase Dial
A dial which tracks the moon's phases through the 29 1/2 day lunar month. As the rotating moon dial passes behind representations of the eastern and western hemispheres, the phases of the moon (new moon, full moon, wasing crescent, etc.) are represented as they appear at each stage of the cycle.

Compensation Pendulum
Due to temperature fluctuations the different metallic components of normal pendulums expand at different rates. Therefore the length of the pendulum changes and triggers fluctuations of the running speed (time keeping). Through a specific arrangement of metals with different expansion coefficients and a corresponding design of the pendulum these differences of expansion rates are compensated.

Automatic Chime Sequencing (Kieninger Patent)
When activating the automatic chime sequencing the motion of the hand shaft automatically shifts the melody drum of triple chime movements to the next melody every hour after the hour count is completed.

Pendulum length (PL)
For identification Kieninger uses nominal pendulum lengths with a defined rate of beats (oscillations) per hour for each length (see table on page 6). Depending on design and method of measuring actual pendulum dimensions differ from nominal dimensions.

Roller Burnishing
The term refers to a special, traditional process for the surface treatment of the axle journals of pinions and arbors during clock manufacturing. In doing so the surface of a turning component is smoothened and compressed with a rotating ("roller burnishing") hard metal disk. With this process a very high life expectancy and soft running characteristics of the bearings are achieved.

Tempus Fugit
Latin for "Time flies". Traditionally these words are often inscribed on a decorative clock dial.

Pendulum leader
Through the pendulum leader, which is attached to the anchor and engages into the pendulum extension, the power is transferred from the movement to the pendulum.

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