Old mantle clocks, cuckoo clocks and grandfather clocks are frequently handed down in families. What makes them even more valuable is when they still work, still keep good time, and are over 50+ years old. If they are also from specific clock makers or specific regions, such as an authentic Black Forest Germany cuckoo clock, they are worth a lot of money. You will want to keep your family's clock tick-tocking for as long as you possibly can. However, old clocks tend to wear down and slow down, losing value with their loss of ticking and effective time-keeping. Here is how to tell for sure if your inherited clock needs repair or restoration work.
Compare the Time on an Accurate Digital Clock with the Old Clock
Computers typically keep effective and accurate time. Use the digital clock on your computer to see if the old clock is telling the correct time. If it is a few seconds slow, that is acceptable for old clocks with gears. If it is a few minutes slow, you might want to have a clock maker look at it. The internal guts of the clock might have worn down enough that they need replacing.
Ticking, but Not Tocking
Mantle clocks, grandfather clocks, and cuckoo clocks all have a steady rhythmic tick-tock sound. If the sound is off, there is more ticking than tocking, more tocking than ticking, or if the pendulum just stops even though the clock still has some wound time left to it, many of the internal parts may need to be restored to their former glory. While you can take a mantle clock or a cuckoo clock to be fixed, the clock maker may have to come and see the grandfather clock in person.
Evaluate the Clock for Full Insurance Value
When you have an antique clock expert evaluate your family heirloom for insurance purposes, he or she will automatically note where the clock has some mild to major damage and could do with a little restoration work. While the clock may look the same to you as it ever did, the expert will immediately notice a ding, scratches, missing glass, or pieces of carved wood missing. Be sure to get a list of the items that could be restored, thereby increasing the overall value of the clock. Then find a clock maker who also does professional clock restoration, and have your clock restored.
Contact a restoration expert like John Gill Clock Repair to learn more about taking care of an old clock.