Copyright © 2005 Classic Clock Shop, All rights reserved.
How long have you been working on clocks?
I grew up seeing my father doing clock and watch repair and spent countless hours looking over his shoulder. I
started working with him in 1982 while we were living in Athens, Greece. Shortly after moving to the United States
in 1986, we operated a shop on Historic Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri. In 1995 I moved to the Houston area
and started Classic Clock Shop. My father visited often and we enjoyed working on clocks together. Unfortunately,
he passed away in March 2012.
Why did my clock stop after running perfectly for so many years?
Clocks work great…until they stop. Over the years, the holes in the movement plates become worn and
elongated, therefore misaligning the gears and wheels, causing the amount of force required to run the clock to
be so great as to stop it. The oil dries up and becomes gummy, causing the clock to work dry and have excessive
wear. Even with regular oiling, every clock will eventually wear out and stop working. Without regular oiling, they
wear out even faster.
My clock is over 100 years old. Can you still get parts for it?
As you might guess, parts for antique clocks are not always available. Most clock repair shops do not have the
expertise or equipment to fabricate or rebuild worn and damaged parts that were manufactured in the 18th or 19th
centuries. I have both the expertise and equipment to customize the necessary parts from raw materials.
What kind of warranty do you give for a restored clock?
Due to the high quality of my work, I give a 3-year warranty which is the longest in the industry. You will not find
another clock shop that will give this length of warranty. New clock manufacturers only give a 1-2 year warranty,
with the exception of Hermle which gives a 3-year warranty on floor clocks only.
How many years will you expect a clock that you have restored to run?
Once I have restored your clock, I expect it to run 10-20 years, and longer for a grandfather clock. Proper
maintenance (oiling every 2-3 years) will extend its life even further.
Do you fix wall, mantel, and electric clocks?
Yes. I repair and restore ANY kind of clock. It doesn’t matter where or when it was made, or what condition it is in.
Can you clean my clock in my house?
No, and neither can anyone else. If someone tells you they can do this, I suggest you look elsewhere (call me!).
When I clean (restore) your clock movement, it is completely disassembled and every part is individually
inspected and cleaned by hand. Every worn bearing surface is drilled and replaced with new bronze bushings.
Each pivot on each shaft is ground and polished to a smooth, hard surface and hand fitted to its new bushing. The
escapement pallet faces are reground and polished, and all springs are tested and replaced if they are weakened
or fractured. I do not do quick-fixes on badly worn clocks because such repairs represent poor value and result in
unreliable clocks that cannot be guaranteed. Many shops provide cleaning and adjustment services which do not
involve disassembly and detailed inspection of the movement. They simply dip the movement in an ultrasonic
cleaner, dry it, oil it, and adjust it to get working again. In this case, you’re clock may run well for the moment, but it
has the same worn parts. Bottom line, if someone cleans your clock at your house, it won't run for very long.
Is it important to keep the same clock movement to maintain the clock’s value?
Yes & no….
Pre-1960’s era clocks: The movement should be restored in order to maintain its value. NEVER replace the
movement of an antique clock with an after-market movement.
Post-1960’s era clocks: The clock most likely has a mass-produced movement from one of the three major
movement manufacturers (Urgos, Keininger, Hermle). These movements were made of a lead alloy, nickel-plated
steel that is useless once it has worn out. In order to rebuild one of these movements properly (so it would last
another 15-20 years), we would have to replace several wheels, the mainspring, and numerous other parts. By
the time you pay for parts & labor, you would have higher costs than what a replacement movement would be.
Replacement movements are identical in design, made by the same manufacturers, and have new & better-made
brass & steel formulations. Therefore, installing a replacement movement will give you a clock that is literally
better than when it was new, will run for another 15-20 years (or more with proper maintenance), and will be
increased in value once it is working again.
There are some exceptions to clocks from post-1960’s where you would not replace the movement, such as
limited edition clocks or clocks without available replacements.
Do you charge to give an estimate to repair a clock?
In-shop estimates are free & given while you wait. For floor clocks, there is a housecall charge depending on the
distance (minimum $100). If you agree to the estimate I give you during the housecall, you will not pay the
Do you take the whole floor clock to fix it?
In most situations, yes. I clean & wax the cases and fix any minor scuffs or damage, and I prefer to test the
movement in the case. In some situations when the clock is extremely large as in a curio cabinet, I may take only
the movement. In other situations, the customer is uncomfortable letting go of the “whole” clock so I may only take
How do I reset my clock?
Since there are some older antique clocks whose hands cannot be turned backwards, there is a common
misconception that you must never turn the hands backwards on any clock. It is okay to move the hands
backwards on all modern clocks and most antiques. If you try to move the hands backwards and you feel
resistance, don’t force them. It is always okay to move the hands forward, waiting at each hour, ½ hour, or ¼ hour
for the chimes & strikes. If you have any doubts about how to reset your clock, give us a call and we’ll help you over
the phone, or bring it by the shop.
I took off the weights and didn't keep track of which went where. Does it matter?
Yes. Normally, the weights are hung as outlined below; however, there a few exceptions.
Clocks with 3 weights: The heaviest weight will go on the right to operate the chimes. The 2nd heaviest weight will
go in the center to operate the time. The lightest weight goes on the left to operate the strike. Some clocks will
have the same weight on the time & strike, with a heavier weight for the chimes.
Clocks with 2 weights: The heaviest weight goes on the left side and operates the strike. The lighter weight goes
on the right and operates the time. Some clocks will have the same weight on both time & strike.
Before you go to the trouble to weigh the weights, check the bottom of the weight for a R, L, or C marking/sticker.
I accidentally dropped a weight through the bottom of the clock. Can you repair this case damage?
Yes. I repair anything that is wrong with your clock whether it be the movement or the case, including wood &
finish, glass, brass polishing, hands, dial repair or restoration, and more.
Should I squirt a lubricant like WD-40 onto the movement to keep it running?
No! WD-40 dissolves any oil that is on the movement causing it to run dry and wear out faster. A clock movement
must be lubricated with oil. WD-40 is NOT oil. Although it is advertised as a lubricant, WD-40 dries out in a short
period of time and then your clock will be running dry.
What kind of money are we talking to bring a typical modern clock which has stopped back to working
Although there are only 3 major clock movement manufacturers, each produces several dozen different
movements so it’s difficult to give a solid estimate without knowing which movement it has.
I wound my clock too tightly and it is not working. How do I fix it?
Winding a clock too tightly is a myth. There is no such thing as winding too tight, or overwinding. If you have wound
your clock and it is not operating, it is in need of servicing.
Do you fix watches or pocketwatches?
Why is your clock shop in your house and not in a commercial space?
Years ago when my wife and I decided to have children, we committed to each other that one of us would be at
home. Her skills are better utilized at a career outside the home, and my profession is more suited to being at
home. My garage has been converted to my workshop with its own entrance. This situation allows me to best take
care of my customers and their clocks. Rather than being confined to “business hours,” I am available just about
any time it is convenient for customers to drop-off or pick-up clocks whether it be weekend, weekday, morning,
afternoon, or evening. Additionally, my home base allows me to check on customer’s clocks often during the
important testing phase of the process, and allows me to sell clocks at extremely competitive prices since I do not
have the overhead of a traditional retail shop (see Clocks for Sale). Although there are some people who initially
feel uncomfortable coming to my home-based shop, once they have been there and have seen my shop, they are
at ease with the situation. Among the numerous family benefits are being able to take a break in the afternoon to
pick my daughter up at school, and having the flexibility to eat dinner at the family table, then go back to the shop if
More Questions? Contact Michael Koutsobinas at Classic Clock Shop.
Phone: (281) 290-0959