The world is changing and sadly, we are living in an increasingly throw-away society. We are taught at an early age that not many things are meant to last and using a throw-away product “guarantees” that the new product will function much better, but does it? I read a news article recently that Norway plans to introduce lower taxes on items that have been renewed or refurbished encouraging its citizens to reuse rather than dispose. Many would consider it a small but important step. It prompted me to write this article.

Here are a few reasons why you should buy a mechanical clock.

Great for the environment. Clocks do not depend on electricity. We all agree that cutting your carbon footprint is always a good thing. Yes, you might think that a quartz clock is great for the environment since it lasts a long time and is both dependable and reliable when the power goes out but what happens when that battery fails. Where does that battery go? The landfill site, of course! Think about it, every part of mechanical clock is fully recyclable, the wood, the metal and the glass.

Causes you to think seriously about our disposable society: We are living in an increasingly disposable society. Collecting antique clocks may cause you to think about how you view other things in life, your place as a consumer in our society and how you can do your little bit to further the cause of preserving our environment. In this age of excessive over consumption it is refreshing that some things like a clock can be re-used, repaired and renewed.

one-weight Vienna wall clock
One-weight Vienna miniature wall clock, unmarked, circa 1870

Great in a power outage; During power outages your mechanical clock will keep on ticking. And tick it will as long as you wind it regularly. And during that power failure you will also notice that the only thing you will hear will be the sound of your ticking clock above the eerie silence of the house.

Exercises the brain; Your curiosity about a particular clock might prompt you to research it’s history, or the era that the clock was made. Or, curiosity has led you to maintaining your own clocks. No one can argue that expanding your knowledge of mechanical things, learning new skill-sets, exploring new areas of interest, and learning something from the past is great for healthy brain development.

Centering prior to drilling
Learning to bush a clock plate

When it breaks you fix it: When it breaks you fix it rather than throwing it out which you would likely do for most other items around your home. That means learning new skills when fixing it yourself or helping the local economy by buying repair tools / equipment or searching out a clock repair person (horologist) in your community.

You can pass it on to your children. Clocks are memories by association. Children love receiving clocks from their parents not only because of their collectible and intrinsic value but as a keepsake, a reminder of good times and happy memories. Yes, they are timeless gifts!

Gustav Becker two weight regulator
Gustav Becker, a retirement gift that I will pass on to my children

It is a soothing sound in a room. Intoxicating to some, annoying to others perhaps. Some clocks have beautiful tones and melodies. I always ask guests who stay over whether they mind a clock ticking in their bedroom. A striking or chiming clock might be considered an annoyance when one is not accustomed to the sound. If they suggest stopping the clock I always comply without question. The exception, of course, is the anniversary clock which emits no sound whatsoever. My sister has a number of vintage and antique clocks, she has very little idea how they work but loves the look and the sounds they make.

rs-kundo
You would have to have exceptional powers to hear this 400 day clock in any room

Gets you out of the house; My wife and I do a lot of antiquing and that means getting in the car and driving around our beautiful province. We get some exercise, discover new places, meet new people, exchange stories and bring back memorable articles including our cherished clocks.

A conversation piece; It is a conversation starter; I have two clocks that are over 140 years old and many that are at least 100 years old. Can’t think of a thing to say when company is over? Well, I can tell you fascinating stories about many of my clocks. I often tell stories of our clock hunting adventures throughout Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada and some of the characters we meet along the way.

Go out and buy a mechanical clock! Clocks are not only good for the environment but they are good for the soul.

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