Bill's Clockworks is in Flora, Indiana (about an hour north of Indianapolis). Besides local repair work, we are happy to have smaller clocks shipped to us for repair (such as mantel clocks and smaller shelf clocks).
We warranty pendulum clock overhauls for two years and guarantee all replaced parts for two years as well. We keep your clock as original as possible and replace parts only when necessary.
We repair antique and modern American, German and French clocks, 400-day (Anniversary) clocks, Schatz 1000 day clocks, Seth Thomas antique clocks and windup chime clocks, Schatz cuckoo clocks, and some German Ship's Bell clocks.
See my clock information blog for examples of clocks I've repaired recently.
Many of my repair jobs are family heirloom clocks. Customers come in and explain how their clock came to them - often from a grandparent or other older family member. They want the clock repaired correctly so they can pass it down in the family. I describe my philosophy of repair, including making sure the mainsprings are not too strong for the clock. I keep the clock as original as possible, not doing any drastic cosmetic changes - I will touch up the case finish and clean the surface if desired.
I try to limit the number of pending repair jobs in my shop. Storing too many clocks will be a liability concern and I have a fixed amount of room to store clocks. I keep a waiting list of repair jobs, and it peaked at a one year waiting period in 2021 to 2022. As I notified potential customers that I was ready to repair their clock, only about one-third responded after waiting a year. Thus, my repair backlog has decreased to perhaps 4 to 5 months as of Summer 2023. This repair backlog seems cyclical, and whenever it gets down to the 4 to 5 month range (or even 3 months at one time), it has always increased again. My goal is to have a steady supply of clocks to repair, of the types I enjoy most.
You want to take your clock to someone experienced. If you take your valued heirloom antique American clock to someone inexperienced, they may install mainsprings that are too strong, causing excessive wear. I replace excessively strong mainsprings with longer, thin ones that will make the clock keep more uniform time and develop less wear in the future. My repair prices reflect my expertise.
I've repaired clocks full time since August 1995; and about half time from April 1991 to August 1995, while I moved twice and renovated and fitted up two clock repair shops (Lomax, Illinois and my current shop in Flora, Indiana). Before that, I repaired clocks as a hobby, starting as a teenager.
Some clock repair shops "do it all". I don't repair everything, but specialize in 400-day clocks and American antique clocks, and also repair French and German clocks. Currently, I'm not doing house calls on floor clocks, but will repair those brought to me (as I have time and space to take them in). My favorite types of clocks to work on are Seth Thomas with No. 89 or No. 124 movements and Schatz and Kundo 400-day clocks. You can see what else I repair on the menu at the top of this page.Our repair backlog is about 4 - 5 months. Please contact us about sending a clock for repair.
On antique clocks, it is impossible to give a precise estimate up front, which is why we give a price range. After I disassemble and clean your clock, I examine each part and do the repair work it needs. Once we start, we do all the repair work required to put the movement into proper running condition. We think you agree it makes no sense to skip some needed repair work while the clock is apart. If you ask us to "cut corners" and skip some repairs to keep to a certain price, we cannot guarantee the work. We do our best to give you an accurate estimate, but for the reasons explained below, some repair jobs exceed the high estimate given. We will be pleased, of course, if we can properly do all the repair work for less.
We do the following steps to restore your clock to excellent operating condition:
As dust gets into the mechanism, the oil becomes an abrasive paste, which causes wear. The longer the clock runs in this condition, the more repair it will need. Many American clocks have very strong mainsprings which will run the clock for many years after the oil has gone bad, causing severe wear to pivots and pivot holes. When the clock finally stops, it will take extra work to bring it back to proper condition so we can guarantee it. Previous repair work by unskilled personnel causes more work for us and will increase the repair bill. And some clocks never ran well when new because of factory defects. Often these problems are not visible until the movement is apart and cleaned. Less than one out of ten clocks we receive for repair are in such good condition that the repair bill is near the minimum! Many clocks will need so much work that the repair bill is near the maximum. Sometimes we go over the high estimate due to wear or damage much more severe than average.