Buying an old clock

  Brumas 18:02 09 Aug 2006

We have always had an old wooden mantel clock, chiming on the hour and half-hour, ticking away merrily in the background – the heartbeat of the home is what I call it.
My eldest daughter, living on the other side of the country, has decided that she too would like to own one and mentioned buying one at auction. I said, in my opinion, she would be far better off going to a specialist shop where all the clocks there would have had an expert appraisal by the clockmaker and would be ‘serviced’ and in full reliable working order and have a warranty.
My daughter pointed out that she could possibly buy one quite reasonably at auction and then take it to said specialist shop and have them appraise and repair/service it and it would work out cheaper!
I said that she wouldn’t necessarily know if the one she bought was A) any good , B) worth restoring or C) a reliable movement and that she would end up buying a ‘pig in a poke’ as it were!
By going to a specialist shop she would have the expert opinion and benefit of the clockmaker’s experience and would be advised accordingly.

I welcome your observations.

  Altruist 18:28 09 Aug 2006

I would look for one on ebay and choose a reputable seller (100% feedback)who states that it is in full working order.

  ade.h 19:01 09 Aug 2006

I'm with you, Brumas. She should go to a specialist. I don't like buying second-hand goods sight-unseen.

This is one of the more unusual Speakers' Corner subjects!

  ade.h 19:02 09 Aug 2006

By which I mean eBay, not an auction house (where you can at least see the item first-hand).

  Brumas 19:59 09 Aug 2006

IHMO I do not think sending an old clock, no matter how well packed, through the post is such a good idea!

  WhiteTruckMan 20:32 09 Aug 2006

I think its a combination of jarring, temperature and humidity changes. they never seem to work quite the same again. but thats just a personal observation.


  wiz-king 20:50 09 Aug 2006

Buy an old one, if it does not work you can get complete new movements from click here to replace it. It is the case that is the hardest thing to restore so get a good case and hope the movement is ok.

  oresome 21:16 09 Aug 2006

A bit like buying an old second-hand car. The repair bill can easily exceed the purchase cost, I would think.

So if you know of such a specialist shop with a clockmaker, I think it's the safest bet.

Our wallclock which is new as clocks go, is about 25 years old and was sounding somewhat laboured recently and only lasting about 3 days between winds.

I took the back off and lubricated all the gear spindles where they entered the 'chassis' and hey presto, it's like new if you do buy from E Bay and need restoration advice...........................go to the specialist shop!

  Brumas 21:34 09 Aug 2006

It's amazing really, should my old clock stop for any reason (only twice so far, both because I had forgotten the weekly sunday wind-up)I am immediately aware of the fact! It is situated in the living room of our bungalow, our bedroom is adjacent and should I wake in the middle of the night and the clock is chiming I can, of course tell the time (I don't have to switch the bedside lamp on to peer at the lifeless lump of plastic and chrome that doubles as a clock).
Also, and I know this sounds corny but, it sounds so reassuring - a feeling of continuity and all's well - not some thing one would immediately associate with some of these modern, yet highly accurate horological masterpieces!

  WhiteTruckMan 22:22 09 Aug 2006

Beware of the bells. Chimes actually. while you may think them charming, its more than likely your neighbours will not.


  Brumas 23:08 09 Aug 2006

They are not THAT loud !!

We live in quite an old,solidly-built semi-detached bungalow, the walls are not paper-thin like some modern houses I have been in, consequently they cannot hear any noises from us and neither can we hear any from them - just as it should be!

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