Tick Talk Tuesday #46 – I’m looking at a grandfather clock

Tick-Talk Tuesday is dedicated to addressing readers’ letters and comments related to clock issues, challenges, and recommendations for specific clocks. In cases where the comments and questions are particularly challenging, I seek advice from my fellow clock enthusiasts to provide the most accurate and helpful response.

It is important to respond to emails from interested visitors, as it not only cultivates a sense of community and engagement with my audience but also facilitates the establishment of relationships with individuals who share similar interests.

JB did not provide a photo but here is a Ridgeway clock from the 1990s

JB writes:

Just wanted to contact you for your professional opinion on a Grandfather clock I’ve been lucky enough to find for sale for $1500.00, it’s in near mint condition and works, it’s my understanding that the first 2 digits of the serial number is the year made if that’s true then it was made in 1986 listed is the information I have on the clock:

Ridgeway A.L. Latham Grandfather Clock

Dial Pg

Finish OKM3 U5

Setups 080586

Model 273

Registered Serial # 86036698

I have always want one and love to listen to them tic and chimes so based on what I’ve mention can you please tell me anything about this clock and if that is a good purchase value?

Thanks very much for any information you can share on this!

My response:

Hi and thanks for your email. The 1980s is correct judging from the last two digits. I would exercise a little caution on the price. If it was a particularly high end clock at the time it might be well worth the asking price but grandfather clocks of that period, the 1980s, have trouble fetching $500 to $1000 in today’s market.

The movements in these clocks do not last forever and if it has never been serviced it may already be very worn. Servicing, which involves taking the movement apart, addressing wear issues, reassembling and testing might be in the region of $400 or much more. If the clock has been serviced in the last year or two and the seller can provide receipts you can be assured that it will run reliably for a number of years. If the movement has been replaced recently with a brand new one (and that is not a bad thing) you can also expect years of reliable service.

For an unserviced clock of this vintage I would definitely haggle but even if serviced I would still haggle.

JB replied

I really appreciate your advice on the clock I mentioned in the email. Not knowing anything about something so tedious can be concerning especially when it is an item you’ve wanted to purchase. I did past the information on to the seller so she knows what she has because she too knows nothing about the clock only that it belonged to her late husband.

Your advice is greatly appreciated!


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