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When and Why to use C cell clock movements


When should you consider a C cell clock movement?  The primary reason to use a C cell clock movement is longer battery life. Changing a common battery in your clock every couple of years is usually not a problem. But, when it’s in a hard to reach clock high up on a wall, or inside a case that’s hard to open or access, it can become a solvable problem. These larger C cell batteries simply store more electricity, so they last longer.

A C cell movement is larger than a AA battery powered movement. It has to be to hold the larger battery. If you have room for it in your case, you can double the length of time between battery changes, especially if you use fresh Alkaline C cell batteries.

We offer standard C cell time only, time and pendulum, time and chime as well a high torque movements. We even offer a continuous sweep high torque C cell movement. We simply have the best C cell movement selection anywhere.

When using mini quartz  (AA battery) or standard quartz (C battery) time, or time and pendulum movements, there is a difference between the torque (or turning power) of C cell movements and the smaller AA battery versions. In this case the C cell movements will drive slightly larger hands easily.

That’s why we offer optional hands in the 5” to 6” range in gold or black for use with our C cell standard movements. The C cell pendulum movements have a 3-1/2 once capacity, which is more than the AA movements.

If you are using hands under 6-1/2” (measured from the center of the mounting hole to the tip), and want the longest possible battery life,   then a C cell movement  is your best choice. We even offer a FREE choice of 45 pairs of hour and minute hands under 5” in both black and gold. Just tell us which pair you want.

All of our C cell quartz movements use the American “I” shaft system for the clock hands. This means that the minute hand is not pressed on, but rather held in place by a small nut. It’s a very secure system.

When using high torque movements for large hands, the turning power, or torque is actually the same for either the AA battery or C battery movements.  So the only difference is the battery life, and the C battery can last up to twice as long. It still might be a good trade for the increased size of a c cell movement.

If you are using your own pendulum, our AA pendulum movements will operate pendulums up to 2-1/2 ounces in weight. The capacity of our Cell pendulum movements is 3-1/2 ounces. The extra ounce capacity might make a difference, and is something to consider.

To weigh a small pendulum, a food scale works quite well. If you don’t have one of these, or have a friend or neighbor that has one, then a trip to the local post office may be in order to ask them to weigh it for you (hopefully with a big smile from you).

C cell movements definitely have their place in the world of quartz clock movements. Hopefully this article has answered any questions you may have had.  We also have a video on this on our website.