How to Inspect a Used Clock

by Michael Nestell

Flea markets can be exciting to sift through, especially when you spot some old treasures - like a beautiful old clock. But before you get too excited, remember that appearances don’t always reflect what’s happening behind the surface – and the same goes for a clock. Whether it’s ticking away or not, here are some things to watch out for and keep in mind when you’ve spotted the perfect clock to take home for your collection.

How to Inspect a Used Clock

Check That It Actually Works

Sometimes at flea markets, even though a clock might not be running, it could still work. Simply ask the vendor to wind it up to make sure it actually does. Or, if allowed, ask to set it in motion yourself if they seem unsure. Take a look at your watch to see that it’s able to keep time for a few minutes.

Check For Damaged Or Missing Pieces

Clocks are very delicate timepieces, and often even if there’s one tiny piece missing, it can set the entire piece off kilter. Give the clock a thorough look over to identify any damage or missing elements like the dial, gears, and hands, or even cracks in the glass pane.

Check The Casing For Damage

In addition to the interior workings, don’t forget to check the case for any signs of damage, cracks, or split wood. These are common signs of wear and tear and neglect over the years, but the good news is that they can usually be restored quite easily, depending on circumstances. But if it does need repair, then it’ll end up costing you more, so you might want to start bargaining or contemplating whether it’s really worth your while to buy.

Check The Pendulum Swing

If you’ve found something like a Grandfather clock, or another design with a pendulum, check the movement of it. In particular, check to see whether the pendulum is rubbing up against anything, including the back of the interior. It shouldn’t be touching anything. Also, ensure that its tick-tock swing is on time and not out of rhythm.

Are There Any Guarantees?

When you’ve found a clock at a flea market, there are often no guarantees of authenticity that come along with the clock. But it never hurts to ask for it. If they don’t have one, then you can’t really be sure of its authenticity. In that case, you might be better off saving your money and purchasing the real deal with a reputable clock company that can provide one, and won’t sell you something that might not even work properly.

Always be diligent and mindful of these factors when deciding whether to take home a clock that you’ve found at a flea market. Or, if you’d rather skip the uncertainty, contact us! Frankenmuth Clock Company can offer you a variety of options to select from, along with repairs, maintenance and of course, guarantees of authenticity and return policies for your satisfaction.