Do Grandfather Clocks Need To Be Wound?

Well, if you’re wondering “do grandfather clocks need to be wound?” then we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over the internal mechanics of a grandfather clock. We’ll see how it works and if it needs to be wound. Furthermore, we’ll also go over briefly how to actually wound it.

Basically, there are two types of grandfather clocks based on mechanism, battery-operated and mechanical. Battery-operated grandfather clocks do not require any winding on the other hand mechanical grandfather clocks do require winding.

First, let’s go over the types of grandfather clocks and we’ll see how they work, then we can talk about how to wind a grandfather clock briefly.

Types Of Grandfather Clocks

In this article, we’ll focus on differentiating grandfather clocks on the basis of their mechanism. There are two types of grandfather clocks. battery-operated and mechanically operated grandfather clocks. First, let’s talk about the battery-operated grandfather clocks.

Do Grandfather Clocks Need To Be Wound? Grandfather clock

Battery-Operated Grandfather Clocks

Battery-Operated or Quartz grandfather clocks are powered by a battery, due to this they do not require any winding. So how do they work? Basically, Quartz clocks are powered on the basis of piezoelectric properties of Quartz crystal which means that if the Quartz crystal is squeezed it will vibrate and it goes the other way around meaning if the crystal is supplied with some voltage it will vibrate. These vibrations are converted to electric pulses which are then used by the clock mechanism to operate the clock.

Quartz grandfather clocks have a severe advantage over the mechanical ones because they are much more accurate and do not require to be wound. Furthermore, as battery-operated clocks do not have many mechanical parts they are much more durable and require very little maintenance as compared to the mechanical ones. The chime of these clocks also comes from a small speaker, but it’s usually pretty good quality and you hardly notice any difference from the mechanical ones. So a one-word answer “No”, battery-operated clocks do not require any winding.

Mechanical Grandfather Clocks

Essentially, grandfather clocks work on the same principle as the pendulum clocks, they are driven by a mechanical energy source. This energy source in most cases is either a tightly wound spring or a suspended weight. Mostly in case of a grandfather clock, it’s a tightly wound spring. So how does a mechanical grandfather clock work? Basically, when the clock is wound, the spring stores a lot of potential energy. This energy is then supplied to the clock mechanism as the spring slowly unwinds, to regulate the clock movement and for the clock hands to move at a certain rate, an escapement is employed. The escapement slows down the hands so the move at the correct speed.

Do Grandfather Clocks Need To Be Wound?, Grandfather Clock

A major disadvantage of mechanical pendulum clocks is the fact that they need to be regularly wounded. But why is that, as the spring unwinds the potential energy is used, eventually it finishes up and so it needs to be wound again. Moreover, due to all the mechanical parts, it requires regular maintenance and is much less durable than the battery-operated grandfather clocks. In short, the mechanical grandfather clocks do require winding.

How To Wind A Grandfather Pendulum Clock?

We’ll go over this briefly because it’s a whole another topic and it would be out of this article’s scope.

First, you will need to open the door of the clock, this is usually locked and requires a case but in many cases, it can also be just pulled open. You might see a chain for your grandfather clock, you need to pull it a couple of times until you feel some resistance. This resistance shows that the clock is wound. Secondly, you might see a crank on the clock face you will need to turn it clockwise. As in the case of a chain, you need to turn the crank until you feel resistance. This action properly winds your clock. Lastly, if the clock has a pendulum and is weight driven, you need to make sure the pendulum starts moving.

In case the clock is spring-driven and requires a key to be wound, you need to follow these steps before you follow the above steps. First, you need to insert your key into the winding holes and then the process is the same as above.


In this article, we have come to the conclusion that there are two types of grandfather clocks, mechanical and battery-operated. The mechanical clocks are less accurate, require more maintenance and are less durable than the Quartz clocks. We also got an overview of how to wound a clock. Furthermore, the answer to this question “Do Grandfather Clocks Need To Be Wound”? was also found in this article. Quartz Clocks do not require to be wound while mechanical do.

AK Iqbal

A University of London’ student with a passion for writing. Clocks have always intrigued me and the importance that they have in our lives is way beyond phenomenal. So, on this site, I write everything about clocks, everything from answering any clock-related queries that you might have along with recommending some of my favorite clocks accordingly. Moreover, I will also be conducting some researches on clock related topics and sharing the things that I learn. So stay tuned to ohmyclock for all the fun clocks related content

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