No serious collector would admit that they have a Daniel Dakota wall clock in their collection. I have two!
One was converted to quartz. The other was gifted to a family member. Are they attractive clocks? The functional styling is borrowed from American and German box clocks; they are not what one would consider a beautiful clock.
One Daniel Dakota clock was given to me. I took it to a local clock repair person. I will not say he was a competent clock-maker because he was not at all interested in repairing this clock or any other clock for that matter. His method of maintaining a profitable business consisted of replacing every mechanical movement with a quartz one. However, with my blessing he pulled out the movement because it was “broken” and installed a quartz movement. I found out later that a very little work was needed to make this mechanical movement run again.
A previous owner attempted to wind the clock in the wrong direction using a pair of pliers and popped the mainspring out. Though a simple to fix I now have a working movement with no case.
The case was in sad shape. Not surprising since clocks such as this one were never taken care of properly. I removed tacky plastic trim, added two rosettes, re-stained damaged sections of the case and cleaned the glass.
The quartz movement is a Westminster / Whittington chime with auto night shut off. Although many quartz movements can be found around the $10 range this was well over $100. Although there not marking on the movement I believe this one was made by Sieko. Quartz movements can be pricey when you factor in 2 chime tones, a pendulum, auto shut off and so on.
My other Daniel Dakota is in the midst of a good cleaning and undergoing some slight adjustments. It is missing a bottom trim piece but I doubt that it will ever be replaced. The bottom piece was likely taken off so that it could sit on a shelf.
Chinese movements are not made to the same tolerances as a fine German or American movements. The plates are thin, there are plastic parts (though not on this movement) and no supplier has replacement parts. They have an amazing ability to last almost forever and the manufacturer knew that they would never be serviced. A throw-away mechanical clock in the Chinese tradition of mass marketing. However, you can breathe new life into these movements with a thorough servicing.
Although Daniel Dakota is a successful marketing brand name, you will not find a company site anywhere online. There are many suppliers associated with the name and no single factory where they are produced. Daniel Dakota clocks are sold by many a variety of retailers across North America and they are regarded as a low cost, low quality utilitarian clock for the average home.
The next time you hear someone criticize Daniel Dakota clocks remind them that although they are very inexpensive or can be picked up for almost nothing they will run for many years with very little care.