At least a handful of times a day, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS get inquiries from prospective customers asking whether we sell grandfather clock movements or other clock parts, especially those which fall into the category we call project clocks. Our answer is that we will only sell grandfather clocks movements if the customer knows exactly which model they of clock they have and exactly which mechanical clock movement they are seeking. This can also be true for wall clocks and mantel clocks, particularly mechanical mantle and wall clock movements. If a customer does not have an exact match, while there are a small number of professional mechanical clock movement sellers out there who can tell you what clock movement will be the equivalent and fit into your xyz john doe clock. we are not one of those clock movement companies. An exact clock movement match, yes. The functional equivalent which in many instances may require some tinkering, no. Does this mean that we cannot repair most any kind of antique grandfather clock or new mantel clock or antique wall clock, no. It just means it is particularly hard to know, unless that is all one does, what movement will absolutely or even very likely replace a movement that may no longer be made, for example. A tough clock trick.
Ironically perhaps, from the 1950s through the 1980s, probably the majority of clock repair people who brought their clock into a clock repair shop with a mechanical movement simply had their what might now be considered valuable antique movement taken out rather than repaired and simply replaced with a then modern mechanical movement. Many people even heralded in the quartz or battery operated clock movement era by simply having their mantel clocks and wall clocks movements replaced with battery operated movements.
The sad reality is that this approach essentially destroys the large majority of any collectible value for serious clock collectors, as a clock being all original, aside from its condition, is undoubtedly the single most important criterion in evaluating an antique clock purchase. Some of these earlier owners had the foresight to keep the original movements even if they were not working, while many other clock owners did not. One of the worst things a serious and knowledgeable clock collector or clock dealer can refer to is a “clock marriage”, which simply put, means, say, the grandfather clock case and grandfather clock movement are not original to each other, but instead were brought together sometime later during the clock and the clock movement’s lives.
We at 1-800-4CLOCKS also get many people who are looking for very inexpensive battery operated quartz movements, frequently to use for a group school project or even as part of a birthday activity. We do not sell these parts, nor do we sell clock keys or clock winders or pendulums or clock weights. There are people again who specialize in these areas, and we feel it is best both for the customer and for these clock specialists to deal with each other to make certain both parties are satisfied to the maximum extent.