At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, where we offer the widest selection and savings on all kinds of new and antique grandfather clocks, wall clocks and mantel clocks, we are always on the lookout for any special news story featuring clocks of all types and sizes.
We were recently informed by a customer that some clocks, including a grandfather clock and wall clock, still partially intact, reached the shores of the western continental USA, and are thought to be from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated so much of Japan just a little over a year ago. While the mechanisms were mostly all gone and ruined, the grandfather clocks and wall clock cases themselves, while also effectively no longer of use for much of anything, still maintained their overall shape and grandfather clock construction and wall clock case design. These antique clocks effectively acted like a combination of ships and driftwood and different points in their journey. We have yet to see any actual news reports on this, but we are hopeful it may be covered by some of the major media outlets including television and newspapers that have recently done stories on debris washing up on different parts of Hawaii.
Given Japan’s culture and rich history and reverence for antiquities, we know from first-hand experience that many Japanese citizens collect both many types of clocks, including mantle, wall and grandfather clocks, and also pocket watches and even sundials. We have sold many antique clocks to customers in Japan, and we have heard from many individuals who are looking to replace a cherished heirloom clock that may have been in their family for many generations, and they hope they can find one that is nearly identical in form and design if not the very same clock.
When natural disasters strike, including Hurricane Katrina and the more recent Hurricane Sandy, we tend to hear from good numbers of individuals who are looking perhaps not only for insurance claims, but also to replace a treasured item in their home with something that will be meaningful to them. While we most shy away from doing grandfather clock appraisals, and antique clock appraisals in general, because it can be such a murky area, we usually try to help these individuals to the extent we can. Sometimes we get great new customers for grandfather clocks that way, as well as those replacing mantel clocks and wall clocks, but we do it to try to keep the spirit of antique clocks collecting and grandfather clock ownership alive and hopefully thriving in our ever more modern society.
Grandfather clocks, much like a fireplace in Winter, were seen by many families as the gathering spot in the living room around which to congregate. Now that grandfather clocks and mantel clocks have more competition from televisions and computers, not to mention telephones, grandfather clocks are less the heartbeat of the home than they used to be.
We hope to keep the grandfather clock heartbeat tradition and ticking alive in homes around the world through good times and bad, through periods of vast technological progress (think atomic clocks), and with natural disasters that seem to be coming ever more frequently. But let us hope and cherish the safe time together.