This late 1700's English beauty came in for repairs last week. I get so many common clocks that its always a pleasure to see something like this. Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Well it looks like the Clock Duck doesn't have enough business in Phoenix, so they are begging on Craigslist for work in the Prescott area. This is ridiculous on several levels as my comments under their CL ad will show.
So where to begin? In a previous ad they state that one of their repairmen drives to Prescott every 4 to 6 weeks to pick up and drop off work. This means you will wait at least 1 month for your clock to be returned to you and if you have a problem with it you will have to wait another 4-6 weeks for them to pick it up again and another 4-6 weeks for them to return it.
Then there is the problem with their claim that they have a total of 126 years of experience. Since the old Clock Duck in the picture above has not put a screwdriver to a clock in over 40 years except to drive around schmoozing with people and dropping oil on grandfather clocks, I'm not sure where they get that number from. I am unsure of the grandson Tyler's level of experience in the photo above, but I do know that he functions as more of an administrator than a mechanic. I also know that they hire people off the street with very little experience and that those individuals are practicing on your timepiece's as they learn (Joe and Christine. Joe finally went to watchmaking school and will be working for the Swatch Group and there is no way he will go back to working for the Clock Duck). They have or had one good repairman, Chris who I believe is the only one there with any certifications and although they make a big deal out of NAWCC and AWCI membership, the truth is that anyone with a few dollars can join those organizations.
How do I know all of these things? I did their watch repair for 2 years until they backhanded me for no good reason but I guess I should have expected that because they did the same thing to the watchmaker who proceeded me. I tracked a less than 1 percent comeback rate and yet they fired me because of one job which was well out of my 1 year warranty and yet they wanted me to redo it for free. And now I hear rumors that the Old Duck himself uses every opportunity to insult me and my skills. Terrible behavior.
So make sure you wave and smile when you see the Old Duck driving around Prescott. And give him some work please. Apparently he needs it.
I recently received a Richard Ganthony chronometer for service which has the helical overcoil hairspring with detent escapement invented by John Arnold around 1775. Well, apparently a "watchmaker" was unfamiliar with the balance and tried to knock out the balance staff and hub not realizing that the hub was threaded into the balance wheel arms and subsequently he split the arms and then epoxied in a poorly crafted balance staff, and so the repair was sent to me for recovery back to standard.
I had to repair the damage on the balance spar (arms) and then turn a new hub to accommodate a friction fit custom balance staff. You can clearly see the butchery of the ignorant "watchmaker" who actually reamed out a divot in the balance and then tried to slam an improper staff into the already weakened arms finally trying to glue the staff in place.
Here are some pics and a video of the completed repair. Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Here is a picture of our new bench jeweler settling in. Kimberly is a graduate of the Norman Studios in Phoenix; has studied with local artisan and teacher Bill Ford; is currently taking courses in diamonds and gem stones with GIA and is being mentored by our friend and master jeweler Steve Ruiz.
Please feel free to stop in and say hello to this beautiful and talented young lady.
I have dozens of Swiss, English and American pocket watches for sale. Here are pics of 3 very nice Americans, a 12 size Howard in 14k with a chain and knife in the original box with papers, an 18 size Ball 19 Jewel Railroad, and a pristine Hamilton 992B in a SS case.
Thank you Michael for sending me these superlative English chronometers from Maryland.
The A. Milne that I turned the custom balance staff for as well as the Guillaume and Mitchelson fusee pictured below are beautiful examples of London workmanship. I commend you for expending the time and money to bring them up to standard.
Please watch the video below the pics to see the action of the Guillaume after its service.