Antique and Vintage Clock Collecting & Repair

Collecting, repairing, restoring antique and vintage clocks and a little horological history

Why I Collect Clocks


 

 

clock movement
Forestville time-only plate clock movement

This is a hobby that has come to me relatively late in life. I have had a fascination with old clocks over the years but always considered them to be curious but impractical. After all, quartz clocks have been around for a while, are very accurate and who needs relics from the past? Well, I am pleased to say that my view has changed considerably.

In 2000 my wife and I were traveling around Nova Scotia and stopped in a little village called Blockhouse. We found an antique store, walked in and never intended to buy an antique clock that day but left with a Seth Thomas Adamantine mantel clock (circa 1910). It looked like it was worth many times more than we paid for it. We left the store thinking we had stolen it.

Shortly afterwards I learned that thousands were made and the price we paid at the time likely reflected its true value. The clock came home and sat on our piano and looked great. For a couple of years I wound it up religiously and marveled at its beautiful case and the sound of the strike on the hour and half hour. I then let it sit and ignored it. I took a second look at it some years later, wound it up and felt that it was made to run and have kept it wound ever since! My interest had been rekindled.

Later on when we found a Daniel Dakota wall clock at a thrift store in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. I knew at the time and know now that these cheap Chinese clocks are worth practically nothing but I cleaned it up, eventually took it a apart several times and successfully re-assembled it and it is running well to this day. In fact it is my office clock. Next came a Ridgeway Hamilton Country Westminster chime tall-case clock and then more mantel and wall clocks eventually followed.

In the past 4 years my clock collecting has blossomed to over 35 clocks, most of which are running daily though a few are in various states of repair and rehabilitation. I now have a pretty good sense of what most common clocks are worth when I scour the online sites and I am careful to purchase only those that I wish to keep in my personal collection.

During my clock journey I discovered a wealth of information on clocks of all types and have met very interesting people. Thus began my appreciation for the tremendously clever and talented individuals in the past who brought mechanical clocks into this world.

I am also building up a small collection of Canadian made Arthur Pequegnat clocks but realize that they are difficult to find and pricey. I now have three Arthur Pequegnat clocks, the last of which is a gingerbread clock that I purchased in the fall of 2015.

Otherwise, I have a variety of wall and mantel clocks which are mostly North American. One clock that I would like to add to my collection is a Martin Cheney clock (wall or tall case). Another is an Arthur Pequegnat No.1 regulator. Very difficult to find but my search continues.

I am now learning how to maintain, repair and restore clocks. In the past 3 years I have purchased a set of basic tools,  a spring winder and a bushing machine. This essential equipment will allow me to expand my hobby. Will I fix and sell clocks? Eventually, but not now. It was never my intention to make any money from this hobby. However, if I do decide to repair and sell clocks I must expand my knowledge and gain confidence in the repair and maintenance of my clocks.

I am also an amateur photographer, enjoy taking pictures of my clock hobby and I own all the photos on this site.

 

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