When your clock is in the shop, its sojourn here consists of waiting its turn to be worked on, hands-on repair time, final function tests and regulating.
We are very fortunate to have a steady demand for our services. As a result, there is always a backlog of clocks awaiting their turn on the bench. Wait times for clocks requiring major repairs can occasionally be quite long due to the depth of the work, and the number of waiting jobs in that dedicated category. Clocks that require less time to return to reliable working order are placed in a queue that tends to move more rapidly.
In order to accommodate all of our clients and their respective needs, we have developed a 3-tiered system of wait times, as follows:
In general, simple repairs and basic maintenance may be performed while the customer waits in our intake room or patio, or for house call work, in their own home. In these cases, the customer reaps the benefit of the effort on the day that the work is performed. While we are always glad to service a clock with problems so minor that reliable repairs can be made in so short a time, more than half of clocks that have been in service for a prolonged period require more in-depth work, due to common factors of advanced age: Wear and tear, neglect, dirt and potential internal damage.
Clocks that are brought to the shop and left with us for regular maintenance and/or minor adjustments are typically ready for pick up in 3 – 4 months.
When clocks require more repair time than what may be practical for a customer to wait, a claim check will be issued upon approval of the estimate, which is based on a preliminary evaluation. Taken in order, most Intermediate-level clock repairs will be ready within 6-8 months.
This level of service applies to vintage and antique clocks in which we are repairing and preserving the original movement, as well as contemporary ones that have run for a generation or longer, and are simply worn out. For the latter, we can usually provide a new, imported German movement that exactly replaces the original equipment that was installed by the manufacturer.
Whether the clock’s movement is repaired or replaced, upon completion of the job it is run for 1 to 2 weeks, and adjusted to improve the timekeeping accuracy and optimize functions such as chiming, moon dials and calendars. Wait times may be longer if parts have to be sourced, or fabricated.
Many antique clocks have provided a century or more of steadfast service, during which time they may have had prior maintenance and/or several repairs, minor and major, long before the current owner acquired them. The quality of old repairs ranges from ill-advised amatuer patches and shortcuts (“fix it only if it can be done cheap”), to refreshingly professional (“I want the job done right so we can eventually pass it down to the kids”).
Clocks that have a high number of significant faults usually require total disassembly and restoration of each component in order to restore reliable operation to the whole. These faults may include but are not limited to: Contaminated with severely degraded lubricant and/or dirt, excessive wear, have a number of damaged or missing parts, several failed prior short-term fixes, or shipping/dropping damage.
Wait times for this top level repair are approximately 12 to 18 months, based on the average number of comprehensive rebuilding jobs in the queue.