We Are A Collection Of Old World Craftspeople Who Can Meet All Of Your Clock Repair And Restoration Needs.
The German Clockmaker restores clocks and barometers up and down the west coast of the United States, Canada and in China for museums, private owners, collectors and on behalf of insurance companies.
Restoring a valuable heirloom like an antique clock or barometer is more than a casual tinkering in someone’s garage. True restoration requires a methodical process of disassembly, cleaning and reworking of worn parts such as pivots, pinions and bearings. It may involve the manufacture of broken or missing parts. We maintain a complete machine shop brought in its entirety from Geneva, Switzerland to do just that. Replacement of worn bearings with new bronze bushings is an art form in itself. It should be done in such a manner that a lasting friction free bearing is created but the movement is not defaced in any manner. That work is followed by an ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, gentle polishing, reassembly and finally lengthy testing and adjusting. With a valuable antique timepiece, anything less could compromise the integrity of the clock! We also maintain a staff of the fine antique restorers and refinishers. We have one restorer from Italy who can French polish. His backlog is currently approximately eight months, depending upon the size of the piece.
Skills and Services We Offer Our Clients
Passion For Antiques
We are old guys, but have the skills and a complete Geneva workshop that enables us to restore your clock to its former glory. Often instead of searching for missing or broken parts, we simply make them.
With our lead clockmaker alone having over 50 years experience, feel free to contact us with any questions in either German or English.
My name is Maxine, and I used to play various characters on the Howdy Doody Show and Mister Rogers. My husband had a clock collection that was destroyed in a flood in our home. We were heartbroken to see the veneer peeling off of an Act of Parliament clock that had been our pride and joy. The insurance company’s restoration people sent in John, who restored every piece to look and run just as they once did. He was great and so nice.
So the thing about John is that not only can he lovingly fix any clock built within the continuum of time keeping - he usually can - through his vast knowledge of everything interesting - transport you back to the era in which it was built. I first met him when I brought in my 1931 Westinghouse radio/grandmother clock - after he took off the back cover to reveal the fairly complicated innards to this time piece - he explained: “ The year before this radio came out Westinghouse’s competition, General Electric, was the first to put out an electric clock in their radio but people complained about the clock because it hummed; so when Westinghouse made their own model the next year they actually made their electric clock radio tick - but making it tick was done in a very complicated way”. John then went on to describe how they got it to tick but I quickly became lost so he tactfully shifted the conversation eventually into a prism of other topics (from civilian detention centres in North Korea to Bing Crosby). Maybe in part it’s because of his PHD in Theology - but both my clocks and myself always left John’s shop totally enriched by the visits.
We had a family heirloom that we were shipping from the British Virgin Islands to our new home near my daughter in Canada. The clock was carefully packed and sent to the local port to be shipped. Unfortunately the crate with the clock was swept from the dock in a hurricane, and had to be salvaged weeks later from the bottom of the ocean. The damage done to the case by the salt water, and further damage done by a forklift to the movement was a nightmare of one incompetent action after another. Everyone thought it was a hopeless cause. But The Germanclockmaker took us on as a client, patiently restored what had been a soggy mess of mahogany stripped of all colour, even finding old glass for the top door, until it looked even better than before. They had to cut three gears for the movement (as a careless forklift driver had gored the crate) and it now runs perfectly. We are very grateful.
I bought a single weight one year Biedermeier Vienna regulator at auction that was a tremendous challenge to restore. John was able to patiently resolve all of the issues and it now runs as the centerpiece of my home in Shaughnessy and keeps close to perfect time. I only need to return once a year to wind it up! For another hall clock he machined a mercury like jar to replace the poisonous liquid in the pendulum (see the Blog section on this website – editor). John works on all of the clocks in my collection and is currently restoring a regulator built by Edward Dent in 1852, the same year as he was building Big Ben. Both clocks are virtually identical in design, although mine is of course much smaller in size. My Dent regulator will be shipped to China when it is done, and John has promised to come to Shanghai personally to set it up.
John has been repairing my Vienna clocks for many years. Many of them I bought at auction and they arrived presenting a number of issues. He has resolved all of them.
I didn’t want to let just anyone service my great-grandfather’s long clock and had been putting it off. John and his team were so professional and the work is perfect!
I knew the clock I found at auction was something special and didn’t know what to do with it. The people at The Germanclockmaker knew exactly what it was, told me the age and a bit of history on the clock. The clock works went with their skill from a ball of rust to beautiful instrument of perfection. There is nothing like a mechanical clock and there is no one I would trust more than the Germanclockmaker.
We’ve been meaning to have my father’s Dutch Staart Clock rebuilt for many years and when I found John at the Germanclockmaker and heard of his reputation for complicated movements, I knew it was time. He was patient and considerate and the clock is now in as good as new condition. I am so happy with my clock.