8 Day Clocks: All About Them

A picture of a 8 day clock to better elaborate on 8 day clocks

8 day clock is basically a second name for the types of pendulum clocks that need to be wound only once every week. The name in itself is quite self-explanatory as, these clocks are wound every eighth day.

A picture of a 8 day clock to better elaborate on 8 day clocks

How Do 8 Day Clocks Work?

Eight Day Clocks conventionally work the same as the other pendulum clocks and consist of the same parts as well.

The Escapement

One of the integral parts of the conventional pendulum clock is ” The Escapement ” This is what transferred the energy of the gravitational force from the weights to the clock’s counting mechanism. One of the most popular escapements that are used are verge-and-foliot.

A picture of verge and foliot to better elaoborate on 8 Day Clocks
The verge-and-foliot is the most common mechanism for controlling the descent of a weight in a weight-driven clock.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

In a typical verge-and-foliot escapement, the weighted rope unwinds from the barrel, turning the toothed escape wheel. Controlling the movement of the wheel is the verge, a vertical rod with pallets at each end. When the wheel turns, the top pallet stops it and causes the foliot, with its regulating weights, to oscillate. This oscillation turns the verge and releases the top pallet. The wheel advances until it is caught again by the bottom pallet, and the process repeats itself. The actions of the escapement stabilize the power of the gravitational force and are what produce the ticktock of weight-driven clocks.

The Wheelwork

This is the series of wheels/rings or gears that would transmit motion from the original source to the instrument that showed time, and that would be the hands of the clocks. The power is first transmitted by the main, big wheel which is attached with a gear with smaller teeth and whose arbor is attached to a further second wheel, which will be passed on the movement just like gears move. The ratios of the gears involved are such that the one arbor, most of the times the second or the third arbor completes its whole revolution in an hour and it can be used to maneuver the smaller arbor which would be in control of the minute hand. Moreover, the arbor carrying the minute hand comes with a slipping clutch that allows the hands to identify the accurate time.

This is basically what is used in nearly every Pendulum clock that you might have seen. The main wheel of the frame is engaged with the center pinion on the arbor and the front pivot of this wheel is stretched. This then carries the minute hand the gears necessary to make the hour hand move. To better elaborate, down below is an elaborative picture

A picture of the components of a traditional pendulum clock to better elaborate on 8 Day Clocks
A Picture Of The Main Components Of A Mechanical ( Pendulum ) Clock

The central wheel also engages with the pallets fixed to the arbor. Moreover, fixed along with the pallet is also a crutch that ends at a fork that is connected with the pendulum rod. 


A picture of pendulum to better elaborate on 8 Day Clocks

A pendulum is the main timekeeping element of a pendulum clock. Clock pendulums are usually made out of weights suspended on a wood rod or a metal rod. In better clocks, the weights are usually heavier as it increases the accuracy of a pendulum. The pendulum is kept in its momentum with the help of an escapement. Each time the pendulum swings through its center position, it releases one tooth of the escape wheel. The force of the clock’s mainspring or a driving weight hanging from a pulley, transmitted through the clock’s gear train, causes the wheel to turn, and a tooth presses against one of the pallets, giving the pendulum a short push. The clock’s wheels, geared to the escape wheel, move forward a fixed amount with each pendulum swing, advancing the clock’s hands at a steady rate.

Usually, the pendulum can also be adjusted, mostly with an adjustment nut. Moving it up causes the pendulum to move faster and so the time is increased while moving it down causes the pendulum to go slower and so the time is decreased.


An indicator, more commonly known as a clock dial is used to record how many times the escapement has rotated and hence how much time has passed. This is usually shown with three different hands, a second hand, a minute hand, and an hour hand. Mostly, the second hand is used to rotate all the other hands.

Striking Train

The striking train is used to operate the strike of a gong in chiming clocks. It enables the clock to strike a gong every hour or half an hour. The famous types of chimes are Westminister and Whittington, the less commonly used chimes are as follows: St.Michael’s, Ave Maria, Beethoven.

How Do You Wind An 8 Day Clock?

Turn the key with a smooth movement, halting when the spring is tight (roughly 7 turns following multi week of running). Never let the critical snap back in your grasp, consistently discharge it delicately after every half turn.

What Is An Eight Day Clock?

Like we discussed above, this is just another name for the type of pendulum clocks that need to be wound every eighth day, or after a week.

8 Day Cuckoo Clocks

These are basically cuckoo clocks that need to be wound every week just as the name suggests. The main thing that separates these kinds of clocks and the conventional 8-day clock is the fact that these come with a cuckoo bird, which sings every hour or so

Hopefully, this article was helpful in informing you a bit about Eight Day Clocks, if you have any questions feel free to use the comment section below. And last but not least if you are interested in knowing why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devices” Hopefully, this article was an interesting read, stay tuned to ohmyclock for more interesting articles regarding clocks

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