The main function of our business is the repair and restoration of ANTIQUE CLOCKS. It’s what we have been doing for more than FIFTY years, and we do it very well. We carry on a tradition which goes back hundreds of years, nurtured by the apprenticeship system in which a master shares and passes on his knowledge, thus perpetuating the craft from generation to generation.
We also design and make clocks for those who would own a clock made to their specifications, or to replace a unique piece lost or destroyed by theft or fire. These clocks adhere to the quality of traditional antique hand-craftsmanship, combined with the efficient techniques provided by our modern machine shop facilities.
There is really no need to promote our restoration business. We are constantly backlogged year around and routinely turn away more work than most other clock shops take in. (See below for “What We Do NOT Do!”)
The reason that we take this space to discuss the repair and restoration of clocks is to try to educate the owners of fine clocks as to the damage and loss of value that is done by careless and incompetent so-called “experts” who set up shop with little or no training and who literally charge customers for the privilege of practicing on their clocks!
The fact that qualified craftsmen are very hard to find becomes very obvious when one sets out to select one. There are no standards or licensing arrangements set up to protect the public as there are for other trades and professions. Beware of people who list letters after their name indicating membership in collectors’ organizations. Such associations are open to anyone who pays the membership fee, and who has an interest in clock collecting. However, membership confers no qualifications whatever and the implication that it does is very misleading.
The simple truth of the matter is that anyone can hang out a shingle and declare himself or herself a clockmaker or repairer. We know, because we see the results daily when the owner finally realizes that he or she made a costly mistake, usually because they thought they could get the job done “cheap”! Unfortunately, by then it’s often too late to rehabilitate the clock without extensive repairs and sometimes replacement of wheels and pinions and other parts, all of which devalue the antique value of the clock.
We estimate that fifty percent of our work consists of undoing this kind of avoidable damage. The customers ultimately find themselves in the position of having to pay several times what it would have cost if they’d had the job done properly the first time.
Why not do it right to begin with? It’s kinder to the clock, and easier on your wallet!
What We Do Not Do!
- Modern German clock movements found in all grandfather clocks sold in department stores, furniture stores, and sold by catalogue. These are so poorly made that they can be expected to last about 20 years maximum.
- Cuckoo clocks.
- Anniversary clocks, usually described as: “the one George brought back from Germany 40 years ago, has little balls that go around under a glass dome!”
- Electric clocks.
- Clocks made by your uncle.
- Clocks repaired by your uncle.
- American mass-produced shelf clocks.
- Partial repairs: we either do the job completely and correctly or not at all.
- Trade work or supplying parts.
- Cabinet work. We will, however, refer you to a first class cabinet maker.
- Ordinary watches.
- Quartz clocks and watches.
- Disk music boxes.
- Toy trains, umbrellas, bicycles.
- Provide information about clocks that the owners can easily look up themselves.