Is My Antique Clock Worth Repairing?

Is it worth fixing your clock? This depends on many factors, which I will discuss in this article.

There are many reasons people acquire antique and vintage clocks. In this article, I will discuss four reasons your clock may be worth fixing.

Sentimental value

This is a clock that has sentimental or emotional value.

The clock could be an antique passed down from a family member. The current owner plans to pass it on to their children. A clock could also have a special meaning or sentiment to the owner, such as an anniversary gift, retirement gift, gift from a friend, and so forth. Its emotional value is more important than its replacement value. This clock is considered unique and irreplaceable. Hiring a professional clock repairer is worth it. It is worth it if the repair is done correctly by a professional certified repair person (horologist) and you love your clock.

A decorative item.

A clock has no emotional value and is simply a functional clock that doesn’t work anymore but still has decorative value.

You might have intended it as a decorative piece. There are two options: either leave it alone or fix it. The replacement value of the item should also be considered when you make a decision to repair it. It is worth replacing the clock if it costs more to repair than to replace. You have the skills and knowledge to fix it yourself.

If the clock is of high quality, even a complete overhaul of its clock movement will cost less than its actual value. Common antique clocks, such as American mantels and wall clocks, will often cost close to or even more than their actual value. Rare or unusual pieces will have a lower repair cost than their actual value.

Collector Value

The clock’s value must not exceed its purchase price if it was purchased as an investment, resale or personal collection. You should consider whether the clock should be repaired if it is of high quality and in dire need of repair. It is important to remember that buyers will almost always want a working clock if you intend to sell it.

It can be difficult for collectors to determine the value of a clock. Although clock prices have fluctuated greatly over the years, there are some clocks like carriage clocks, English lanterns, French brackets, and jeweller’s regulators which have managed to keep their value. One-of-a-kind clocks that are unique, hand-crafted, and low-production are more valuable than mass-produced clocks.

Rapid re-sale  

There are many people who trade in antique and vintage clocks. Many people sell clocks online and on for-sale websites. If you are looking to make a profit, it is important to factor in your time as well as the cost of repair and parts to purchase a clock at a fair price. A working clock is desirable by buyers almost all the time. A fully serviced clock is worth more than one that has not been serviced.

The Ingersoll Waterbury mantel clock (see above photo) was purchased at a flea marketplace for a very affordable price. The clock was fully serviced. It must be sold to recoup its initial cost and my time.

Numerous clocks are sold online to unsuspecting customers. Sellers will often claim that the clock is in “excellent running condition, but may need adjustment after shipping”. You may not get the clock you want, but buyers will often offer a better deal if you’re in the buy-and-sell market.

Final thoughts

People acquire vintage and antiques for many reasons. It all depends on whether they are valuable and can be fixed or not.