Of Clocks and Time

My grandmother's clockI love writing the Clock Shop series. I am in the middle of a blog tour for Chime and Punishment, and I’ve been gathering stories from people about clocks and watches that mean something to them. It is very rare that the meaning is because of monetary value. Usually it is because of connections. I have a clock that my grandmother left to me. It is electric, and from the 50’s. Not worth much money, but worth the world to me.

I’ve also adored the research I’ve done for the books. The research for Chime and Punishment was particularly fun, since it required a field trip to a real clock tower, with a real clockmaker, the ever patient David Roberts of the Clockfolk of New England. I thought I’d share some of those field trip photos here.

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I’m on vacation today, so it will be a couple of days before I get to respond to your comments. But do let me know, is there a clock or watch you love in your life?

29 Thoughts

  1. The Jaeger/Lecoultre/Atmos (not sure which model it is) perpetual clock that was my grandmother’s. She always loved it, and it had a proud place in her apartment. The only drawback is, it’s very sensitive to movement, and I live in a wooden Victorian that jiggles every time anyone walks by. So I admire the clock daily, but I don’t keep it running.

  2. We have a lovely clock in a case about 18 inches high, with a pendulum behind glass. It belonged to Hugh’s mother and I’m honored to have it ticking away in my office as I write.

  3. I have a blue-greenish hard cased gold interior traveling clock that probably has little money value, but great sentimental value as it was my father’s traveling clock, but it has a story. I received my first wrist watch when I was 4 or 5. I wore it religiously. Time was always of the essence. The year we went to the New York World’s Fair, my watch broke and I constantly kept asking my parents the time. After day of this and not able because of where we were or simply financially to get me another watch, they decided it would be more enjoyable to them if I had a time piece with me — so they handed me the traveling clock. We dubbed it Big Ben as it filled my pocket. I carried it with me for the rest of the time we were at the Fair and until I got a new Timex. Other than joking about Big Ben when remembering the trip or when I visited the real Big Ben, I forgot about it until I found the clock in my father’s drawer after his death. Big Ben has sat in my desk drawer for far longer than I would have liked.

    1. That’s very sweet, Debra. I remember my father having something similar (or maybe it was his father’s), but I don’t know where it landed after his death.

  4. I’ve got a lovely, small-oval faced Pulsar watch I splurged on when my old watch refused to accept the third replacement stem crown.

  5. These photos are fantastic!! And fascinating. I love how I learn through your books. I don’t have a clock or watch I value, but I do have a funny story. For some reason, I’ve always broken out from wristwatches so in high school, rather than wear them, I’d loop them onto my jean belt loop – and forget about them. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my mother yell, “Ellen, I just washed another damn watch in the laundry.”

    And in the eighties, when I was doing a lot of back-and-forth between NY and LA to interview celebs for magazines, I got watches that had two faces on them for East and West Coast times. I wore them only to show off. You know, la di da, look at me, I’m so important I need to wear both time zones. But the universe put me in my place. Again, I’d break out from them so I’d wear them on my jeans belt loop… and wash them.

  6. I don’t have a special clock or watch in my life. But reading your books has made me wish I did have something like that.

  7. We have a chime clock from my grandparents. It was down in their basement not out anywhere. My daughter hated the chiming so we haven’t had it running in years. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

  8. My great grandmother had a clock sitting on her mantle that she gave to grandma as a wedding gift. It was passed to Mom and now I have it. There are lovely hand-painted decorations on the protective glass, it needs to be wound by hand, and it chimes loud enough to wake the dead. We don’t wind it, but I do enjoy passing it several times a day.

  9. I have 2, actually. My clock is very like the one you have, and also came from my Grandmother. I was only 5 when she died, so I don’t remember a lot about her, but I do remember being fascinated with the clock when it was standing on her mantle. It’s traveled with me in all my adult moves and sits in pride of place on top of my livingroom bookcase. It ticks so loudly you can hear it all over the room, and I never feel lonely when I can hear it. The other is a wristwatch that my father’s students, past and present, gave him when he retired from teaching. It doesn’t run any longer, but I keep it as a reminder of his commitment to his students and to education.

  10. I bought a new grandmother clock wishing I could afford an old one. Well, that was 48 years ago. It’s starting to be that old clock I was wishing for. It’s been moved and repaired any number of times. It’s got a new clockwork mechanism, but it’s latest trick is to chime only once when it is two o’clock (AM and PM), but chimes correctly at all other times. We’ve just got used to saying it is one o’clock, again.

  11. I love the Clock Shop Mystery series. I posted 5 star reviews for Chimes and Punishment on both Amazon and Goodreads. Keep researching Clock and please keep writing more good books about Ruth, her friends and shop.

  12. Thank you for asking. I too have a penchant for clockworks as well as their artful cousin: the music box. Back in 1992 we purchase an old, tired, yet grand home built in 1904. (It even has a library with built in bookcases and a cozy fireplace.) However, I digress.

    The previous owner had lived well into his 80s and passed away peacefully one night in the comfort of his own bed. Needless to say, there were many items left behind and his surviving family was not interested in an old man’s detritus. We purchased the home “as is” for an extremely affordable price as we had more energy than money back in those days.

    As I was clearing out the master bedroom, I noticed a lump under the aubergine colored carpet and reached under to removed the offending article. Much to my surprise and delight, it was a sterling silver Omega pocket watch. Sadly, it was no longer operative but it had its own 100 years of charm about it. For me, it was though I had found buried treasure in this grand old house.

    We’ll never finish restoring our behemoth of a home as we’ll soon have to start over with the things we took care of in the beginning. That is the way with grand old houses. But we’ll always enjoy the many memories of discovery she’s give us over the years.

      1. Thanks; It truly is a treasure chest and more. Don’t get me started on the paranormal happenings the first two weeks in the home…now there’s a story!

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