Why I Collect and Repair Clocks


Well in advance of retirement I began clock collecting and repair though not as a serious hobby at first. As I immersed myself into the world of horology I began to realize that I love the challenge of repair and restoration.

It all began in 2000 when my wife and I were traveling around our home province of Nova Scotia. We stopped at a little village called Blockhouse. We found an antique shop which is no longer there, 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.

Seth Thomas Adamantine mantel clock circa 1910, my first “real” clock

Not so long afterwards I discovered that thousands of these clocks were made and the price we paid likely reflected its true value. The clock came home and sat on our upright piano and looked great. For the first 2-3 years I wound it up weekly and marveled at its beautiful case and the sound of the strike on the hour and half hour. Eventually it went quiet. Years later I wound it up, felt that it was made to run and have kept it running ever since.

Daniel Dakota wall clock, one of Tempus Fugits more popular models
Daniel Dakota wall clock, made in China

Later we found a Daniel Dakota wall clock at a thrift store in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. I knew at the time that Chinese clocks are worthless but I cleaned it up, eventually took it apart several times for practice and with great joy got it running. I gave myself a good pat-on-the-back. Mission accomplished; now on to the next challenge.

Next, came a Ridgeway Hamilton Country Westminster chime tall-case clock that was in great shape and needed no work. More mantel and wall clocks followed until I began to realize that my modest collection was growing. Where to put all these clocks, I thought.

Ridgeway Hamilton Country, tall-case clock

In the past several years, I have amassed close to 100 clocks, many of which are running daily and a few are in various states of what I call, rehabilitation. As my tastes change I have confined my purchases only to those that interest me.

Of course, my clock journey has enabled me to acquire a wealth of information about clocks of all types. Meeting interesting people along the way and listening to their stories has given my hobby added value.

Arthur Pequegnat Moncton 15-day wall clock

Learning to maintain, repair and restore clocks is an ongoing challenge. No matter how much I think I know I am constantly facing unique challenges. Along the way I have acquired the necessary equipment to further my hobby because those of you have hobbies know that having the right tools make all the difference.

Will I fix clocks for other people? Yes, for friends and family but a money-making business would take away all the fun.

Contact me at ronjoiner@gmail.com if you have any questions.