Fixing Clocks, Saving Memories

 Profile Picture
Categories: Other

Article Photo 1

Horologist Jonathan Schultz repairs clocks of all shapes and sizes, from the smallest to the largest grandfather clock, at The Clock Store in Broken Arrow, located inside “My Papa’s Barn” at 2039 W. Houston.

When a customer recently brought Jonathan Schultz a clock to be repaired, he was inquisitive.

“What seems to be the matter with it?” Schultz asked.

“It doesn’t work any more,” answered the man. “It was in the tire store where my grandfather used to work, but now it doesn’t seem to be working. It’s not worth much in money, but it’s worth a lot to me because of my sentimental attachment to it.”

Schultz takes the man’s name, contact information and asks another, not usually asked question:

“Could you share with me a memory about the clock?” he asked.

At The Clock Store in Broken Arrow, clocks of all sizes and ages are received, repaired, and restored, but more important than the clocks themselves are the memory, according to store owner Jonathan Schultz.

“We don’t just fix clocks – we fix memories,” Schultz said. “We want people to know that when we take care of their clock, we’re mending the memory associated with it. It might be a really valuable clock, but to the person, it’s an even more valuable memory – it could even be an inexpensive clock, but so many of them still have important memories that come with them – it could be a hand-me-down from a relative, a family heirloom, a clock that reminds you of the one that used to sit on your grandmother’s mantle.

“You can’t believe the number of people who will come to me with a clock they found in their grandparent’s attic, all beat to heck, but wanting me to make it work because it reminds them of their grandmother or grandfather, or it reminds them of Christmas or it reminds them of a special relative,” he said. “So, that’s kind of the business we’re in. Other places just fix clocks, but we’re in the memory fixing business instead.”

Schultz, a semi-retired pastor, said he’s been in the “memory fixing” business for roughly four years, accepting clocks out of an antique mall in Broken Arrow.

“I started out of my home, and then I worked for another clock store in town, finally ending up here at My Papa’s Barn Antiques – we’ve been here probably two years,” he said. “They (My Papa’s Barn) are open seven days a week and people can bring in their broken clocks, have them checked in, and we’ll do what we can to fix them.”

Schultz learned the finer points of clock repair from the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, and has had a private tutor to come help further his personal education.

A quick glance around Schultz’s store is a literal tour of a clock shop, with clocks of all sizes, from hand wind-up clocks to larger grandfather clocks on display, many of them for sale, all of them, repaired by Schultz or one of our six clock repair employees.

“On the inside, many (clocks) are basically the same – it’s gears, drivetrain, two plates holding the gears in, etc.,” he said. “The school I started helps teach people, many of them from the Department of Rehabilitation Services, how to fix clocks – that way, it’s not just me doing the work, but the students who will be hired, which benefits the customer in having a faster turnaround in getting their clocks repaired, but it also teaches the students a useful skill. It also helps me, because we take in between 75 and 150 clocks a month.”

Although Schultz says there’s “no typical turnaround” on a project, noting many of the clocks he receives are over 100 years old, he said he prides himself on being able to get to and repair clocks anywhere from four to eight weeks – compared to six to eight months of many of his competitors.

“And if I can look at a clock and fix it while the customer is waiting, I won’t even charge them for it,” he added, smiling. “The thing about us is we’ll fix just about anything. There are these rhythm clocks, they move around, have motion to them, and you can’t get parts for them – once they break, they’re broken – we fix those. We fixed a $1600 Walt Disney collector clock that we had to reprogram the mother board for – we have an employee who can do that.”

While Schultz’s students vary in age, he said he’s been seeing a growing interest in the younger generation in an appreciation for traditional clocks.

“I’ve got a thing I like to say, which is ‘Although it keeps accurate time, no one wants to inherit their grandfather’s cell phone’,” he said. “The young man who reprogrammed the Walt Disney clock mother board is 18, so it’s good to know there are young people carrying on this clock repair skill.”

In addition to clocks, Schultz also does some repair work on music boxes. The Clock Store offers one year warranties on clock repairs.

The Clock Store is located inside My Papa’s Barn Antiques at 2039-B W. Houston Street (81st Street). Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Article Photo 2

Student Leslie Weeks repaired this grandfather clock brought to Clock Store owner Jonathan Schultz. Weeks, who is legally blind, is learning the craft of repairing clocks of all sizes from teacher and shop owner Schultz.

See more about Fixing Clocks, Saving Memories:

« Blog Home


For Free!