Home Sell Us Your Stuff What’s My Grandfather Clock Worth?

What’s My Grandfather Clock Worth?

by Christopher Lancette
Published: Last Updated on
A typical light-oak colored grandfather clock with sun and moon motif at the top of the clock.

Grandfather clocks sell about as fast as sap drips down a tree.

Tick-tock: the grandfather clock era is over.

“What’s my grandfather clock worth?” you ask.

For the answer to this question, we turned to Matt Stohlman, second-generation owner of The Watch Pocket in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is an authority on all antique clocks (not to mention modern clocks and watches). We’ve brought Stohlman in to buy items from our clients. We’ve used his services to repair clocks for resale, and to repair family heirloom clocks that mean the world to us. This is what he told us about the value of grandfather clocks:

Grandfather clock market overview

“The market for grandfather clocks and antique clocks, in general, is not so hot, to put it mildly. It’s very small — minuscule, really. We only sell two or three grandfather clocks in an entire year but we keep some here just in case people come in, fall in love with them, and have to have them.

“People ask me to buy grandfather clocks all the time but I just can’t do it. It doesn’t make financial sense for me to pay even $50 for one, put $500 worth of repairs into it, and hope I can sell it for $600. Unless it’s a truly rare and extraordinary clock, it’s just not worth the time or money for me to take it on.

“Having a clock is a very personal situation, a touchy-feely purchase. Buyers want to touch the clock, feel it. It’s like buying a car. You have to see it, feel it. It has to go with your personality.

What do I do with my old clock?

“Typically, old clocks get donated. If an old grandfather clock happens to make its way to me and I tell the owner how much it’s going to cost to repair, the clock ends up getting donated because the person doesn’t want to put that much money into a grandfather clock. A lot of old clocks, unfortunately, end up in a landfill as so few people want them.  The newer generation, sadly — it’s a throw-away society. They don’t want an old clock. They don’t want to spend $500 to restore it, and they don’t want a giant clock like that taking up so much space in their homes.

Matt Stohlman, owner

“There are some people who grew up with old clocks. They have an emotional attachment to them … experience with them. For them, generational clocks mean something. They might buy a clock and pass it down from one generation to another. But those kinds of buyers are rare.

“Are there any antique clocks of any kind that are worth people selling? Of course. One example is a Maison Marquis Mercury Pendulum Clock (France) because you can’t get mercury anymore.

“You’re looking for a clock that has some uniqueness to it, that’s better. It may have some value. Calendar clocks for example. Or you find a clock that’s a unique swinger — the way the arms swing. Something unique will drive value.”

Looking to buy a great watch, or to get a watch or clock repaired? Contact Matt at The Watch Pocket.

Got some great stuff (but not grandfather clocks) that you would like to sell? Contact us.

Learn more about selling all kinds of collectibles in Sell Us Your Stuff.

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