Planned or random?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by zedric, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. zedric

    zedric Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 8, 2012
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    Just wondering how your clock collections evolve? Are you looking for particular pieces to complete a collection, or do you just buy what takes your fancy?

    I always aim to buy within a theme, and my current theme is early travelling clocks, the types of clock that came before carriage clocks became standardised.. The type of clock I want to buy this year is shown below...
    Leroy pre-pendule - Cornette de Saint-Cyr May 2016.jpg
    But as these are not all that common, and cost enough that I need to save for quite a while before I can buy one, I am always distracted by "bargains" - so much so that most of my collection falls outside the bounds of what I had planned to buy....

    When I buy a "bargain" I tell myself that the aim is to tidy it up, and then once I have had my enjoyment out of it, to re-sell, boosting the money I can use for clocks in the theme.. But as I tend to sell far fewer of these bargain clocks than I buy (usually because I find something interesting in them, rather than being unable to find a buyer), my collection grows in odd ways...

    Wondering what other people's experience is?

    Here are a few clocks I bought last year - two on theme (a small early travelling clock by Duval, probably around the early 1800s, and an Auguste multi-piece clock from around 1840) and one "interesting" clock - an Austrian carriage clock with calendar and grande sonnerie strike, probably from the 1870s...

    IMG_2129.JPG
    Front view.jpg
    IMG_1923.JPG
     
  2. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Apr 25, 2005
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    Pennsylvania
    I believe that many people, myself included, do not start as collectors, per se, but are accumulators. That is, whatever may strike (no pun intended) their fancy is added to the collection. As such, they have an eclectic collection of clocks.

    As time goes on, and more knowledge is gained, the collection becomes more focused.

    Also, as time goes on, some people's disposable income increases and the focus may then turn to more expensive pieces. As such, the collection's growth slows down and becomes even more focused.

    Clocks can also become pieces of art work and / or furniture, which could influence collections.

    Regards.
     
    lpbp likes this.
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    oakland, ca.
    you've got your craigslist and eBay shoppers like myself, and then you've got the collectors who frequent auctions. you've got those with limited budgets, and those with disposable income. you've got people who live closer to more clocks (i.e., east coast), and those who live in the boonies.

    having shared photos of my clocks with others i've met online, i would say that you also have collectors with taste, and some not so much. :emoji_relaxed:

    (and those with piles of clocks vs. clocks displayed tastefully and/or artfully)
     
  4. zedric

    zedric Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 8, 2012
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    So what are you guys looking for next?
     
  5. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User

    Dec 26, 2012
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    N. Mariana Islands
    Neither planned or random; situational and serial. I will collect clocks of a certain type or with certain traits (such as open escapements or bell chimes) for a period until I have decent representation, then move on to the next type. What type I seek depends on information gleaned from sources such as this board and what I happen to find available from online auctions.

    Eventually, I'll have enough clocks so that I have a constant flow of maintenance sufficient to satisfy my need to tinker. At that point, I'll seek to begin to upgrade as opportunity provides.
     
  6. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Zedric,

    Trying very hard to move from the random to planned collection! Its not easy as I find myself being distracted by nice clocks outside the planned category.....

    Cheers
     
  7. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
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    #7 Chris Radano, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    Writing my response after some thought and a few years experience....I collect whatever I want, my collection is eclectic. I like interesting, unusual, different, etc. Usually mechanical and pre-20th c. My collection is themed to a certain point, then many instances it's not practical to pursue beyond reason.... whether due to price, space availability, repetitive nature, etc. But, collect what I like. I like too many clocks, so some planning is needed. Also, I've turned down some nice clocks if they are "too different" from what else exists in the collection. Probably like many people here, if my clocks were photographed to be sold at an auction, viewers would be able to recognize a cohesive collection...but there are many types of clocks in the collection. My collection is my pride and joy of things on Earth, it's almost like entering another world for me to view my collection. How fortunate we all are.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    Dorset
    I had a plan, I particularly like provincial 30 hour longcase, and particularly local clocks where possible.

    I seem to have several London clocks now, which is where I was born but by local I meant Dorset. Two are 30 hour so I did stick to the theme a bit.

    The problem is that I really like early longcase and they came quite late to Dorset. I have one of the earliest and that is about 1700. (and 8 day)

    I started collecting verge pocket watches because I thought I could never afford a verge clock, but I have two verge clocks now as well, both London.

    My pocket watch collection expanded as I tried for different escapements, but I am still a sucker for a local signature, some are chosen because the signature relates to somewhere else I have lived.

    So basically still Dorset, with a very healthy dollop of London, which sums me up too.
     
  9. zedric

    zedric Registered User
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    Aug 8, 2012
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    Hi Dean

    Was that a German table clock you bought just before Christmas? I guess the plan is to go backwards in time?
     
  10. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    95% retired from the ad business.
    Boulder CO
    Good evening, all!

    For what it's worth, my situation has evolved. At first, I was interested in any clock I could manage to afford to buy that was clearly an "antique."

    Like many, I bought shelf clocks until I ran out of shelf space, then switched to wall clocks until I ran out of wall space.

    Later, I went after what I would term "the weird and strange" (to me). For a long while, I coveted a clock with a simple calendar. Then one with retaining power. Then a variety of self-winding electro-mechanicals (When I worked in radio, we had "Self Winding Clock Company" clocks in the studios). Then an Atmos. Then a Sonora Chime. Then a ship's chronometer.

    After the great Nashville flood of 2010, in which I lost many, many clocks, I saw the wisdom of what the watch people had been telling me: You can pack hundreds of watches into a single suitcase and run – if need be.

    I now like weird and strange wristwatches, and I like to wear some of them regularly, usually for at least a week at a time. Today, I have on a Hamilton automatic with an Illinois movement and a power reserve indicator window (weird and strange – for me).

    I rarely buy clocks anymore, unless they are truly weird or strange. Too much PTSD, I suppose.

    I used to work on my clocks, and now am learning, at a painfully slow pace, to work a bit on my wristwatches.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  11. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Yeap....that pretty much covers the plan! its become an eclectic mix after starting as English only.....
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    Dorset
    I did suggest a 16th century turret clock to Dean but I think he is holding out for 15th or 14th century.
     
  13. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
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    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Started collecting advertising clocks seventeen years ago and after many temptations to stray, have stuck to it. Having a focus has really help to keep the collection size under some control. Since my wife and I landed in our new digs about nine months ago I have sixteen on the wall, three alarm clocks on the shelf, and four window hangers that I still haven't figured out how to display. Not to mention over a half dozen project clocks in the back room waiting for some TLC (most of which I hope I will have the good sense to sell once I've finished goofing around with them). It has been difficult to stay on course, but then the very reason I chose a focus/theme was to try and limit my usually limitless desire to add to a collection. If it would have been a collection without a focus I probably would have a hundred clocks by now and no wife. Now, instead of branching out into new collecting areas, I watch with great interest what other people find, collect, and describe here on the Message Board or at our Chapter 34 meetings. Some of the stuff that has shown up lately both on the board and at the meetings has been amazing.

    As to what am I looking for next, I have to say since my most recent Sidney Clock addition, I am pretty satisfied and if I never find another clock to add to my collection, it wouldn't bother me in the least. I do have to admit I still have a soft spot in my heart (or head) for tin face Baird clocks, and that I always keep an eye out for the ever elusive "good" copy of the Ithaca advertising clock. Knowing what I know however, I'm not holding my breath waiting for either of those to show up any time soon. And if they do, I can't imagine that they will be laying on the "discount table" so that I could afford them (although I do have a great spot to hang that Ithaca clock... :rolleyes: just sayin'). But that's the fun of collecting; trying to find the next one. Even if most of the time, you're only window shopping.

    Bob
     
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