The Welcoming Sound Of A Chiming Clock

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So, what do you do when you’re too busy to wind the clock?  Actually, it wasn’t that I was too busy. It had more to do with the fact that the mantel clock I had at home had a broken spring. Was it repairable?  Sure it was, but at what cost?  At some point you have to consider the law of diminishing returns.

When it comes to windup clocks, I’m a junkie.  I’ve actually got two mantel clocks that are identical.  Several years ago I decided that since I spent more awake time at the office than I spent at home, why not bring the ambiance of home into the workplace? How better to do that than through a chiming mantel clock? 

Can you imagine what it was like for Corrie ten Boom growing up in a clockmaker’s home?  In the ten Boom household, being a clock maker was a family tradition.  Corrie’s grandfather was a clock maker.  He opened a clock shop in Haarlem, Holland in 1837.  With the shop on the ground floor, the family lived upstairs.  Later the shop was inherited by his son Casper, Corrie’s father.  He, too, was a clock maker. Corrie also was a clock maker. In fact, she has the distinction of being the first female clock maker licensed in Holland.  The year was 1922.  It is good work if you can get it and it is always timely.   In addition, there is something about the sound of a chiming clock striking on the hour that adds ambience to a home.

When it came to a mantel clock for my office, I wanted one exactly like the one we have at home.  Under the auspices of good news, Howard Miller still produces the same mantel clock that we first purchased over thirty years ago.  In fact we bought Craig and Becky one exactly like ours as a wedding present. It is now over twenty years old. Does their clock still work?  I don’t know.  They still have the clock.  Yet I haven’t noticed the chiming sound at fifteen-minute intervals since they’ve moved to Texas.

It was my intent to purchase an identical clock as a wedding gift for my daughter and son-in-law to be, but they opted out. The desire for a mantel clock like mine wasn’t on their list of things they wanted for their home. Of course, at some point I’m hoping they change there minds since I now have two and I won’t need the ambiance on the other side of eternity.

When I went to a local clock shop to purchase a Howard Miller mantel clock for my office, I choked when I saw the price.  Wow!  I should have been investing in clocks all along. They appreciate in value.  When I saw the price, I decided to go with “Plan B”. Why not check Craigslist before I doled out all that dough?  My hunch paid off big time.  I found a Herman Miller mantel clock identical to the one we had at home.  In fact, the family selling the clock still had the original box the clock came in.  They were shocked when I paid what they were asking without attempting to bargain them down. At least that’s what they told me. I figured they’d even be more shocked if they knew what their clock was selling for new.

Okay, so the mantel clock I had at home subsequently stopped working because it had a broken spring. Now that I’m not working, I brought the other mantel clock home. Presto, it was nice having a mantel clock on the mantel again. I had moved the other clock from that place of prominence since it didn’t’ work.  Of course, I still had it elsewhere in my home, but not obviously visible.  Nothing is worse than a clock that doesn’t work.

What about the first wind-up clock that Treva and I bought?  It, too, had stopped working.  It dates back to the 1920s and probably had been purchased from Sears Roebuck & Company. At least that is what I was told when we purchased the clock in 1974.  Wow! We’ve had that clock for a very long time. My experience in clock repairs is the reality that whenever you get a clock repaired you pay more for the repair than you originally paid for the clock. 

Treva and I purchased our first grandfather clock for our fourteen wedding anniversary.  To date, it is my favorite clock. When I sent it in to be cleaned and oiled a few years back, the cost for repair and restoration was more than we originally paid for the clock.  Ouch!  Would I do that again?  Probably, in all likelihood I would. What good is a grandfather clock if it doesn’t work? In addition, because of their size, it is really hard to store one out of sight.  Nothing is more unsightly than a clock that doesn’t work.

So the bottom line is this: “I have eight wind-up chiming/striking clocks.  Of those eight, three are grandfather clocks.”  Week before last, one of the grandfather clocks stopped working.  Okay, so it was time to gather up the non-operable clocks and get them all repaired. 

Before I went back to a repeat of previous experiences, I thought I’d check out my options.  Could I find an independent clock repair-person working out of his or her home?  Why not check Craigslist before I went to a storefront location?  Bingo!  I found a clock repair-person who worked from home on the other side of Bastrop.

He matter-of-factly said to me, “I clean and oil clocks. That is generally all they need.  My charges for doing so are uniform. I charge $125 for grandfather clocks and $75 for smaller clocks.”  Could that really be true?  Surely not!  Where has this man been the last twenty years when I needed a clock repaired?

True to his word, his charges are uniform. He shared with me that he recently cleaned and oiled a clock that the owner, the grandson of the original owner, had inherited from his grandmother.  The clock had stopped working.  The clock repair place with a storefront operation found lots of things wrong. They wanted $700 for the repairs.  Why not? After all, the clock had sentimental value. People are willing to pay for sentimental value.  The grandson decided to get a second opinion.  At it turned out a $75 cleaning and oiling is all the clock needed.

Miracle of miracles, the same was mostly true with the three clocks I took to him for repair last Saturday. He telephoned yesterday to say the clocks were ready. He did have to replace a broken spring in the mantel clock, but that was only an additional $35.  With that exception, his pricing was exactly as it said it would be.  The grandfather clock was $125 and the two smaller clocks were $75 each.

I’ve never had a clock repaired in such a timely fashion. Normally, I’ve waited weeks for from the time I took it in until it was ready for pick up.  At any rate, if you live in the greater Austin/Houston area and need a clock repaired, this is the go-to guy.  Give me a call I’ll provide his name and number.

All My Best!

Apple Computer, Inc.




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