Monday, April 23, 2012

Untimely Service

Our mantle clock stopped working last week. Gone were the familiar quarter hourly chimes that had become part of our household rhythm. Even in a day and age of digital clocks, mechanical timepieces have endured.

They are high maintenance devices compared to their digital cousins. In addition to regular winding, the clock requires a lube job about every two years. If you don’t keep it well oiled, it will eventually freeze up. That’s exactly what happened to our clock.

It’s a pretty common problem according to Ben, the Hands of Time service manager. People simply forget to have it done. I asked Ben if they sent out regular clock lubrication email reminders to their clients. “We just started sending postcards,” he told me though he expects they will eventually switch to email. Apparently change comes slowly in the clock repair biz.

So do repairs.

The good news is that you can still get these clocks serviced right here in HoCo. The Hands of Time clock shop in Savage Mill has a staff of four fulltime horologists. The bad news is that they are one of the last remaining clock repair shops in the area. That means they almost have too much business.
Even a seemingly simple lube job can take a couple of months. Most repair work takes longer, like five months longer.

It looks like its going to be awhile before we hear those soothing quarter hour chimes in our house again.
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