I’m passionate about and care for clocks. Their art, science, history, sound, presence and mystery captures me.
My interest and zeal started in the Netherlands, where I lived in the southern Dutch province of Limburg in the charming city of Brunssum.
Theo, the local clockmaker, sold his clocks at the entrance of the US Army Garrison base store (the Exchange) in the nearby village of Schinnen. He had a modestly sized stand, but what he had on display was overwhelmingly impressive – at least for me.
He was (and still is) an old world clockmaker mostly selling clocks to US and Canadian service members because locals had all but lost interest for them. This didn’t make sense to me. I mean, these Dutch and German-made timepieces that hung in that corner were amazing.
To make a long story short, within 60 days of meeting Theo I had a gorgeous custom-built Belgium grandfather clock, a traditional vintage Dutch Zaanse pendulum wall clock, and a Dutch mantel clock in my home. There it started. My eyes, ears and mind were cocked and set to take notice of all klokken that crossed my path.
Over the course of the next several years, as I had opportunities to travel all over Europe, you bet I was looking and collecting all the clocks I could find, I could afford and that my family tolerated; from Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Athens, London, Cologne, Amsterdam….across a multitude of villages, markets, shows, thrift shops and antique stores.
Unfortunately, clocks were almost completely out of fashion in the area of the Netherlands where I lived. They had lost their value. American and Canadian service members were the only ones buying what was being sold.
An entire week-long vacation through North Holland was pivoted on this museum…and it was not a disappointment. What was disappointing was that it had virtually no public traffic. I loved taking my time examining, appreciating and having the museum curator available to me for the 20,000 questions I had! But it was like cheering for your favorite Superbowl team to victory all alone.
Fast forward: I’m back in the US (and a bigger house with more wall space – nice!). Clearly, I have no doubt there’s more interest in clocks here than what I saw in Europe…but, it concerns me we’re on that same road to: few clock owners, fewer clockmakers, and even fewer who really value clocks.
What I’ve learned is this:
1. Clocks are amazing – for the art, science, heritage and history hidden in each and every one of them;
2. The mechanical clock is slowly loosing its value and place in homes everywhere – it’s becoming more difficult and more expensive to find clockmakers. And for many who still have a clock, it’s perhaps collecting dust due to the bother of keeping it running.
3. I want to see clock ownership grow, not decline. Because I value and care about clocks, I would like to encourage others to experience, learn, value and preserve clocks as an exciting and important part of our cultures.
Yes, I’m passionate about clocks…and I don’t want to see more clock shops close their doors and clocks lose their place in our culture(s).
I know there is a multitude of clock forums, storefronts, antique dealers, horology sites and “circles” dealing with different angles of this niche …..but there is little to nothing out there promoting the joy of owning a clock (outside of those circles). Especially without the deep horological discussions.
I hope you find ClockOwner.com an encouragement to appreciate and preserve that treasure in your home.
Thank you immensely for visiting – hope to hear from you! I would love to hear your story. Contact me if you would like to hear on a specific topic or contribute with your own.
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