My Pet Clock

by Josh on April 27, 2012 · 7 comments

in Journal,Living Room

Before I go on and on about the antique clock I bought recently, I’m going point out the elephant in my living room: an antique mechanical wall clock is truly, hopelessly obsolete.

  • It requires regular winding and care.
  • It keeps woefully inaccurate time compared to even the cheapest modern quartz watch.
  • It is only usable in one place.
  • It doesn’t correct itself or update for daylight savings time.

In short, the cellphone that is already in your pocket or purse is a superior timepiece to any antique clock like mine.

antique clock in living room

At this point, you’re probably asking, “Josh, if this antique clock is so lousy, why own it at all?” Well, consider this: although it may not be great as a timepiece, an antique clock makes a fantastic pet.

  • It is well-behaved and makes a good impression on houseguests.
  • It doesn’t shed or aggravate allergies.
  • It makes a variety of endearing sounds.
  • It requires feeding only once per week and leaves no messes to clean up.
  • It it a better timekeeper than any other pet.

See– mediocre timepiece, brilliant pet.

clock winding key

Of course, this mission style clock is also a great vintage accessory for the living room where it fits in perfectly between the piano and the archway trim. It winds with a brass key that is really a kick to use, and now that I have fine-tuned the pendulum weight I only have to correct it by a few minutes each week.

But chiefly, the charm of the clock is its sound. That’s a hard thing to convey with words and pictures only, so I recorded a video clip talking about the clock and sharing all its ticks, tocks, dings and bongs in case you, too, might be thinking of bringing a pet mechanical clock into your home.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara @ Live The Home Life May 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I love this! Completely understand giving inanimate objects in my house names and petting them on occasion. No pesky hairs on black pants is also a major plus. You and I are clearly excellent pet parents.



Deanna @ TheChangingHouse May 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

I had a clock like that. Somewhat useless to us because we would always forget to rewind it, but the sound it made was why we loved it.


Josh May 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Sounds about right, Deanna. I only remember to wind my clock because the chimes slow down when the spring tension is low.


threadbndr May 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I have a mantle clock that is a ‘wind up and chime’. I love the tick-tock sound that you can hear all over the living room.

My sister has our grandfather’s old office clock – I had a clock specialist repair it for her for Christmas last year as it was no longer even a ‘pet’ clock. The gears in the winding box had frozen, but for about $90 it was all put to rights. So even if you can’t find one in working order, talk to an old school jeweler/clockmaker to see if it can be fixed before rejecting it.


Janet August 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

I love the clock! The old sounds of them is well worth keeping it around.



Elizabeth December 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

So…. I watched your clock video and immediately became inspired to have one of my own. I found one on eBay – good price, good condition, but when it arrived no key was included. I know I can purchase one, but I’m not sure of the specifications. Do you happen to know the size/type of key that you have for your clock? Any insight would be helpful.



mliddle January 12, 2013 at 3:53 am

Hello Josh!
I am so glad I found your blog today. It was on “Young House Love’s” blogroll. I especially enjoyed this post, because it reminded me of my peculiar relationship with European clocks.
I have a love/annoying relationship with clocks like yours. I cherish the charming look of these clocks and the various sounds the clock makes to communicate with us. My parents have a shelf-clock from the 40s in England. It is my Nana’s. This clock sits in a cherry box with a lid. They display the clock w/the lid open.
When I visit them, I get the room with that clock. However, as I fall asleep at night, I need it to be as quiet as possible. (When I’m asleep, noise is not an issue.) So, it is not enough to simply close the lid because I can still hear the ticking of the clock! I have to put the closed clock in the hall & close my door. So, despite my appreciation of these clocks, I probably could not sleep on your couch, Josh. I would have to sleep in a room that has a door that I can close! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing your lovely clock & letting me reminisce on my past experiences with clocks from my countries of origin: Canada & England!



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