When discussing advances in timekeeping, analog clocks don’t get very much attention. It’s easy to fast forward from sundials and hourglasses to digital readouts and Wi-Fi connections, yet a recent improvement in analog clock movements is both boosting their performance and virtually eliminating their familiar tick, tick, ticking noise.
American Time’s engineers went straight to the heart of our clocks to make the change, overhauling the component that literally makes them tick. They redesigned the solid state clock movement – the part that moves the hour, minute and second hands around the dial.
“The new component ticks quieter, is better constructed, and is more convenient to maintain,” according to Tim Leung, American Time’s director of engineering.
For easier operation and maintenance, the redesigned movement allows the clocks to more quickly calibrate to the correct time when they are powered on, Leung explained.
“It corrects a lot faster,” he says. “The old movement, when it got the time from a receiver, could take about 18 minutes.”
Now, the time it takes for the clock's hands to spin until they find the correct time has been drastically reduced. It now takes six to twelve minutes to correct, Leung says.
“The reason why it’s so much faster is there are two motors – one for the second hand and one for the minute and hour hands,” Leung explains.
New buttons for better control
American Time's redesigned movement comes with three new buttons to help you keep the clock on time.
- The “home” button realigns the hands in case the clock is jostled. Pressing the “home” button spins the hands back to the 12 o'clock position so that they accurately reflect the time as they tick around the dial.
- The “reset” button essentially powers the movement on and off, allowing the clock to set itself to the correct time.
- The “sync” button tells the clock to re-sync with the time system's signal.
On top of making the clocks easier to operate, the new movement means the tick-tocking that can prove a distraction in a quiet room is no longer an issue.
“If you're sitting in a room with the old clock, you could just hear it tick, tick, tick,” Leung explains. But the new design makes for a “substantially quieter” clock, he says.
According to the engineer, the new clock movement is so quiet that you have to put your ear next to the device to hear it working.
Improved manufacturing process
In any manufacturing process involving the construction of tens of thousands of devices, lemons are expected. But with the new clock movement, the percentage of faulty builds has been “drastically reduced,” Leung says. “We had a significant quality improvement in our own testing,” he reports.
Clocks featuring the new movement
The following models of American Time analog clocks feature the new movement:
- PoE (power over ethernet)
- SiteSync IQ Wireless
- AllSync Plus
In case you are replacing movements in older clocks, we have installation instructions here, for American Time and many other brands. We also provide AllSync Plus mechanical movement kits so that you can swap out the movement in your Lathem, National, American Time, Simplex and Standard Electric branded clocks.