How To: Assemble a Quartz Clock Movement, Dial, and Hands Together

Have a clock with an old clock movement that has quit? Worried that you need to be a technical genius to change out the movement? Fear not! Allow us to show you just how easy it is to assemble a quartz clock movement. But before we go through the steps for mounting a new movement, let’s take some time to identify the key sections of the clock movement.

All quartz clock movements have a center hand shaft which is responsible for driving the clock hands for proper timekeeping. The center shaft is composed of sections: The threaded bushing; the hour hand shaft; the minute hand shaft; and second hand pin shaft. Note that the illustration is generalized (as some center shafts may not have a threaded bushing, and some minute hand shafts will vary from that which is shown). We will touch upon these oddities briefly within the assembly steps and illustrations below. With some terminology under your belt, it is time to dive into assembly.

Quartz Clock Movement Assembly

Step One

Place the rubber gasket over the center shaft of the quartz clock movement. Helpful Hint: The rubber gasket can be omitted if the need should be, more on this later.

Step One

Step Two

Insert the center shaft of the clock movement through the center hole of the clock face (dial) as shown. The battery compartment should be at the bottom (see back view). Helpful Hint: Some faces may be mounted to a board called a dial mounting board/panel. If so, you will need to determine the combined thickness of the dial board and clock face in order to select a clock movement that has the appropriate maximum dial thickness for the threaded bushing of the center hand shaft.

Step Two

Step Three

A portion of the threaded bushing of the center hand shaft should stick out through the front surface of the clock face (this does not apply to movements without a threaded bushing – more on that in a moment). Place the washer over the center hand shaft as shown. Washers are not typically used for movements without a threaded bushing.

Step Three


Step Four

The hex nut can be threaded onto the remaining threaded bushing which protrudes from the front of the dial face. A minimum of 3/32” (just under 1/8”) of threading is required to secure the hex nut. If you do not have enough threading sticking through the front of the clock face, try omitting the rubber gasket. If you still require additional threading, you may also remove the washer. The hex nut should be hand tightened + . turn. It is important not to over-tighten the hex nut (as it can actually restrict proper timekeeping if too tight).Step Four

Helpful Hint: Do NOT attempt to over-tighten the hex nut if the movement should want to pivot/rotate. Consider, instead, small dabs of hot glue overlapping the back of the clock face and each side of the movement to keep it from rotating.

NOTE: Clock movements with no threaded bushing will not include a hex nut, and will need to be secured by other means (double-stick tape or a couple dabs of hot glue work really well).

Step Five

The shorter hour hand can be pushed onto the hour hand shaft. Most hour hands feature a “sliced” mounting hub so that the hub can spread slightly for a tight friction fit. For most clock movements, the hour hand will be mounted at the 12 o’clock position (check chiming movement instructions for possible exceptions to this rule).

Helpful Hint: If the hour hand should be hard to mount, consider spreading the hub slightly. A small bend adjustment can widen the mount hole, but make certain to bend in small increments. Inversely, the center mount hole can also be decreased (if need be) by slightly bending the hub flanges (at the slice of the hub) closer together.

Step Five

Step Six

Mount the longer minute hand. For many quartz clock movements, the mount hole should be oval in shape (however, push-on minute hands will have a circular mount hub, similar to the hour hand but smaller in diameter).

In most cases, the minute hand should also point at the 12 position (once again, chiming movements may prove the exception). If it is not pointing to the 12, rotate the minute hand clock-wise to the 12 position. When adjusting the minute hand, you may find that the hour hand may move from 12. If need be, you can pull off the hour hand and re-mount it so that it points to 12.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 10.22.20 AM

Step Seven

Skip this step and go to step 8 if you plan to use a second sweep hand on your clock.

With the minute hand mounted, secure the hand with the cap nut provided. The cap nut simply threads onto the end of the minute hand shaft. Helpful Hint: Push-on minute hands may not require a cap nut to secure the hand (as a push-on minute hand is a friction fit, like the hour hand). Take a moment to use the time-set knob to rotate the hands to ensure they have proper clearance with each other. Also make certain the hands are not touching the clock (dial) face. If there is a glass panel in your clock case, ensure that the cap nut is not touching against the inside surface of the glass.

Step Seven

Step Eight

Proceed with use of the open nut only if you plan to use a second sweep hand. Thread the open nut onto the end of the minute hand shaft to secure the minute hand. Helpful Hint: Push-on minute hands may not require an open nut to secure the hand (as a push-on minute hand is a friction fit, like the hour hand). The stem on the back surface of the second hand can be slipped onto the second hand pin shaft (located in the end of the center hand shaft). Press the second hand on so that it points to the 12 position (as with the other hands mounted previously).

Take a moment to use the time-set knob to rotate the hands to ensure they have proper clearance with each other. Also make certain the hands are not touching the clock (dial) face. If there is a glass panel in your clock case, ensure that the second hand hub is not touching against the inside surface of the glass.

Step Eight

Last But Not Least…

Congratulations! You have successfully mounted your quartz clock movement. See, we told you it would be easy. Generally speaking, all that remains is to insert the battery (or batteries) and set the time (noting that chiming movements include specific instructions for synchronizing the chimes with the time).

Just a couple of additional notes: Keep in mind that disassembly of any quartz clock movement will reflect the preceding assembly steps in reverse. Also, if you use hot glue to additionally secure the movement, use hot glue sparingly. Only a couple of dabs overlapping each side of the movement and dial back are necessary, as the movement should be able to be removed if ever the need should be.

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 15 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written and illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

18 thoughts on “How To: Assemble a Quartz Clock Movement, Dial, and Hands Together

  1. Ruth June 18, 2016 / 4:28 am

    What to do if the second hand moves, it chimes, the pendulum moves but the hands do not move?

    • Klockit June 21, 2016 / 9:47 am

      Hi Ruth, there are several trouble shooting tips we can try to get your clock movement running properly. We’ll reach out to you soon via email with more details.

  2. Pam February 25, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I have a clock with glass over the face and I can’t get to the hands. The battery box in the back is accessible, but is just spinning. I am afraid if it spins much more the hands are going to fall off inside the glass?

    • Klockit February 27, 2017 / 8:29 am

      Hi Pam, thank you for reaching out! We’ll need more information on how the glass panel is attached to the frame. This will give us an idea of how to help you remove the glass to get access to the clock hands. We’ll be in touch soon via email.

      • PT February 27, 2017 / 1:38 pm

        Thanks for your help!
        I was able to pry the glass off the front and replace the clock mechanism! Just needed the OK from the owner that I could risk possibly breaking the glass trying to get it out, but I got it!
        Thanks again!

  3. Sebastian October 6, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Thanks a lot. This has been a great help!!!!

  4. Georgia Fuller December 14, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    The hex nut that came with the other parts is to big in the center, what do I do to secure the clock parts ( hands ) on the clock? I tried to find a hex nut that was a bit smaller with no luck.

    • Klockit December 18, 2017 / 8:35 am

      Hi Georgia, we can send you new mounting hardware in the case that the hex nut was stripped. Please contact us at 1-800-556-2548 and we’d be happy to assist you with that.

  5. Jennifer Leifeld December 14, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    Instructions say to adjust hands by turning the dial on the back side of the mechanism “Clockwise”. Is this clockwise as you look from the front/facing clock dial or turning the dial clockwise as you are looking at the back of the clock.

    • Klockit December 15, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Hi Jennifer, turn the dial on the backside clockwise as you look from the back of the clock

  6. Emily February 6, 2018 / 9:21 am

    How long does it take to assemble?

    • Klockit February 6, 2018 / 9:26 am

      Hi Emily, if you have all of the supplies (movement, dial, hands, hand mounting hardware), it should take you no longer than 5 minutes. Our customer service team can also help you over the phone if you prefer. We hope this helps!

      • Emily February 6, 2018 / 3:27 pm

        How hard is it to build a clock?

  7. Emily February 6, 2018 / 3:25 pm


  8. Juli Clark May 13, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    There was no rubber gasket included in the kit I received. I think I have all the other parts. The directions list a gasket, nuts & rubber gasket. I guess I have what is referred to as the rubber gasket. I would call it a plastic disc.I don’t have any other parts beside that, the hands and the red plastic disc. I do have the numbers & a template. The numbers go on the wall & the quartz movement in the center.

    • Klockit May 14, 2018 / 8:12 am

      Hi Juli, the rubber gasket is also sometimes referred to a black plastic spacer, and that is what was included in your hardware package. It sounds like you have everything you need to get started on your clock project. Please let us know if we can help in any way!

  9. jack dully October 2, 2018 / 1:48 am

    Mr.Akright,Chris thanks you made the installation a breeze.Step by step simply presented.I was not sure that I was going to find a quartz movement to fit this 1962 silver coin clock from Marion Kay.Klockit had it and you sales rep,over the phone narrowed down my choices to one that fit and works.Thanks again to all.Jack Dully

  10. Dave March 13, 2021 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks for this you helped rescue a clock that my Dad made for my in-laws memories of two departed families restored.

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