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Clock Times, Issue #003--Starting a Clock Collection
December 15, 2007
Starting a Clock CollectionHave you ever thought about clock collecting as a hobby? When I first started with a couple old clocks left to me by a family member, I didn’t even know this hobby existed. But, there are thousands of clock collectors worldwide that own every type of clock imaginable. Clocks are not only enjoyable to collect, but you are also preserving a history that would certainly be lost if not for this great hobby.
In recent years, I have noticed that collecting in general, as a hobby, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today it seems that there are people collecting just about everything. Most collections start out modestly, and build slowly over time as the collector becomes more knowledgeable about his (or her) particular items of interest. After a while, sometimes without even realizing it, they have a valuable and enjoyable hobby.
Whatever you decide to collect, dolls, pez dispensers, Hummels, model railroads, or clocks, a lot of the same rules apply. One of these universal rules is that the more common items, or those in poor condition will be much easier to find than the ‘good find’ we are looking for. That’s not to say you won’t be lucky and find the perfect clock in the first place you look. It’s a numbers game and eventually you'll stumble on a good deal.
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No matter what it is you decide to collect, the first thing you need to do is learn all you can about the product. It will be much easier for you to know what to pay if you can tell if the clock has been altered from it’s original form in any way, or if a different movement has been ‘married’ to the case. Has it been refinished, or are their major mechanical problems? Answering these and other important questions will give you a feel for the value of the clock, and help you decide if you want to buy it or not.
One way to learn about interesting clocks to collect is by reading DiscoverClocks.com. As a collector myself, I am always adding more information to the site that may be of help to you. Another way is to buy some books about clock collecting. At the major book stores, the selection will most likely be slim though. I have had much better luck with Amazon.com where there is a good variety to choose from.
With the next several issues of Clock Times, I will tell you where I find my clocks, and how to evaluate the ones you find. Armed with a simple checklist and some knowledge about the types of clocks you want to collect, your chances of paying too much, or worse, being scammed, will be greatly reduced.
In the next issue, we’ll look at the best places to find antique, or collectible clocks, and what you can expect to find as far as condition, rarity, and price at each place. In the meantime, you could really benefit by learning all you can about the type of clock you are interested in collecting. If you’re not sure what this is, reading through DiscoverClocks.com will give you some ideas.
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