In my many years repairing and restoring both modern and antique clocks, I have been asked on numerous occasions, "why fix an old clock when there are so many other ways to tell time?". Well, it really started with the clocks on the microwave ovens and the vcr's.
Digital clocks in kitchens and family rooms became the norm, and a short time later it became obvious that almost everyone had a cell phone and a computer, and it also became obvious that these devices were far more accurate than a wind up clock. So, to answer the question...personally, I find that those of you who choose to repair an old clock are doing so for reasons other than simply telling time.
When I had an antique clock shop it would never cease to amaze me how the sound of a ticking clock or the chimes it would sing could bring back such vivid memories for visitors. It was as if they were again sitting at their grandparent's kitchen table eating homemade cookies. For some of these visitors it had been many years since their loved ones passed on and they began wondering what became of that "special timepiece" they remembered. Or, they knew exactly where the beloved clock ended up, but it was being neglected and unloved. These ticks and chimes also had another effect on people, it got them thinking about acquiring a clock that could become a member of the family--something that could be handed down for generations to come.
It seems to me that it would be a stretch of the imagination that a family would treasure a beloved family member's cell phone or computer. Electronics have certainly served a purpose and generally have made our lives easier. However, computers and cell phones tend to become obsolete shortly after we acquire them and we are always in a race for the latest and greatest innovations. These items are cold, impersonal, and have no soul. How else could we simply trade them in or discard them without a thought?
Clocks are so much more than timekeepers. With a clock ticking in a room, one is never alone. The company of a clock is like a heartbeat and very comforting. Clocks are memories of a special person or of a special time in someone's life. Clocks are with us in good times and in bad--marking the passage of time with each tick and every gong.
We rely on our computers, cellphones, and IPads to educate, communicate and entertain us. Some cannot imagine going even a few minutes without some kind of electronic stimulation. We see all types of people texting while doing most everything--multi-tasking it is called-I call it not giving anything your full attention.
On the other hand (no pun intended), a clock encourages us to pick up a good book while listening to the soothing sounds of its heartbeat--to relax while alone with our thoughts--provides a stillness that captures and comforts...it gives us complete silence except for the reassuring tick tock. A clock is almost a renewal for your soul which is something that no electronic device can supply.
Why fix an old clock? Because in doing so you are bringing back to life memories of loved ones passed, cherished childhood memories, and honoring the love that went into caring for it for so many years before it was handed down to you. Bringing an old clock back to life is embracing and respecting all that has come before us. If you do some research I will guarantee that there were clocks made that are far more complex than most computers--and they were constructed without the help of any electronics whatsoever...but that is a discussion for another time.
So, the short answer is...while cellphones and computers need to be constantly upgraded, clocks deserve to be restored. But then again, that is just one clockmaker's opinion.
Clock enthusiast and dog lover bringing 27 years experience and training in the restoration of wall, tallcase clocks, barometers and more. You can trust your prized possession with me.