Mechanical Clocks have two essential elements; a mainspring and a pendulum. When the clock is wound with the key, the mainspring is tightened. As the mainspring unwinds, it turns the gears, which move the minute and hour hands at different speeds around the face of the clock. The pendulum ensures that the hands move at a regular pace. At the top of the pendulum are two hooks called pallets. As the pendulum swings, the pallets allow the escape wheel to turn slowly and evenly.

Parts Found In A Clock

This is the escape wheel. Notice the teeth on the wheel. They are long and come to a point.

This is the clock train. In the middle of each wheel is the pinion.
The mainspring is wound with a key. It becomes smaller and smaller until it fits into the barrel. ;

This is the mainspring barrel. The hole in the back is where the key to wind the mainspring is inserted.

Two Types of Escapements Used by Our Clocks
 This photo shows the escape wheel and the pallet. The pallet in this case is like a lever. Notice where the fulcrum is. It is different than the photo to the right. It is an in and out motion.

The pallet in this photo moves in a rocking motion. This motion allows rotation in one direction only and prevents rotation in the opposite direction. It is also called a ratchet motion.





This is the pendulum. At the very top is the suspension spring. It is attached to the rod. At the very bottom is the bob. The very tip is the rating nut.





This is the hour hand.



Winding Key





This is the minute hand.


Journey In Time || Clock Basics || The Science of Gears