We're glad you stopped by to visit our site! Hope you find just what you're looking for, or will let us know so we can find it for you! While you're at it, be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page... most people find it helpful or at least entertaining... you can decide for yourself!
...is based on a small (8.25"h x 5"w x 2.5"d) painted, all-metal, wind-up German alarm clock by Friederich Mauthe, circa 1900. Suggesting a portly dignitary sometimes known as "John Bull", the consummate cartoon character representing England, (the physique of which Mrs. Clock Guy has occasionally, unfairly and under protest, equated to The Clock Guy), the figure sports a jaunty hat that serves as the alarm bell housing. The clock "stands" on the feet of the burgher. It is an arresting design and a rare collectible that we're proud to own. We've only seen two others of this clock in all our years in business and both of them came from South America. We purchased this one from a collector in Sweden. Click to hear his persistent wake-up call...! Click the photo above to see a catalogue sheet of this clock as imported by the George Kuehl Clock Co, that was located on North Wabash in Chicago.
We are a clock dealer located in Vista, in San Diego North County. We offer clock purchases, clock consignments - both physical and digital - estate clock purchases, and occasional trades. We also offer clock service within San Diego and south Orange County and south Riverside County.
A significant portion of our business comes from what we call "pre-estates", where families are downsizing their collections (or lives). We work closely with them to maximize what they can get from their clocks. We also do a lot of work with estates, helping families through the difficult process of sorting through family "stuff" the value of which is unfamiliar turf for those involved. Our goal is to help them avoid ending up dealing with unscrupulous estate-hunters, auctioneers and buyers who are seeking to pay them ten cents on the dollar. There's more about this on our estates/pre-estates page.
Often, when we meet new "clock people" or "music box" people, ultimately, the conversation turns to "Tell me a little about yourself," or "How did you get into this Clock Guy business, anyway?" The latter is a crazy story, really, of a re-kindled hobby run amuck. But that seems not unlike others we have heard of in the past.
So here's a little about us...
We live in a rural area of northern San Diego County (Vista) with a Giant Schnauzer (Brubeck), a Standard Schnauzer (Stormy Weather), a pair of feline garage creatures (Tinkerbelle and Simba), and an Alexandrine Parrot named "Joplin" (as in 'Scott', not 'Janice', thank you very much)! Our home is in an idyllic setting (1) (2) (3) with giant oaks and a creek in the back yard; a perfect place for Margie's tropical plants and a quick dip in the summer. What a relief it is to be away from the hustle and bustle of Southern California.
The valley where we live has its own micro-climate especially suited to growing tropical plants. There are many commercial nursery growing grounds near our home, ranging from cactus to roses to orchids and other tropicals.
Here is our Night-Blooming Cereus in August 2006. It blooms for one night only and gives off the most incredible scent you ever smelled. We often invite the neighbors to gather at about 9pm to watch the plant in all its glory. These photos were taken with our pocket-sized Nikon 5200. Click the photo to see the high-resolution version.
We came home from a Fall 2011 carnival at Margie's school and noticed what we thought was one of our cats under a Philodendron just off our patio. We were both shocked to discover an 11" high Philodendron bloom and three more about to bloom. Remember as you click the thumbnail below that this flower is 11" high. (Photo taken with our pocket-sized Nikon S9100) Note the patterned impression that the stamen made in the white petal. It is a spectacular sight... no scent! Did a little research and discovered this split-leaf Philodendron, technically, Monstera Deliciosa, is also called "Mexican Breadfruit".
Philodendron Bloom ~ Oct 2011
And here's our "Fourth of July" plant, the Hymanthus, or "Blood Lilly". It is always ready to go during the first week of July – meant to be! These shots are from the blooms in 2007.
(click photo to enlarge, or here for closeup)
And in the early Spring the Clivia burst into bloom under our kitchen window in wild orange and yellow. Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. Common names are Natal lily or bush lily. Here's the first bloom of 2015:
(click photo to enlarge)
Family: We have ten wonderful grandkids who are spread from San Diego to Big Sur to Indiana and Baltimore. Keeping up with photos here would be a full-time task. We just wish they all lived locally.
Careers... and all that stuff...
Richard's pre-Clock Guy background was in sales and marketing management in high technology, primarily software. During his college years he spent 19 months on the road with Cast "B" of the international youth music show, Up With People!
Margie is a gifted, two-career lady. She was the principal of a visual and performing arts public elementary school for twelve years. Her devotion to kids, along with a master's degree in reading and advanced training in reading techniques, brain theory, phonemic awareness and visualizing/ verbalizing equipped her to make a real difference that was reflected in the school "corporate culture" as well as state testing scores. She is a much-loved leader who officially retired January 10, 2014... yippee!
Exercising our faith, together we attend a local Christian church where Margie regularly plays the pipe organ. She also has two CDs to her credit. "Reflective Meditations" is quiet, meditative Christian piano music; traditional and contemporary hymns. A favorite for many on that recording is an arrangement that intertwines "Jesus Loves Me" with "Clair de Lune". This CD is available for $12 + $3 shipping.
(click for a sample tune)
Here are some miscellaneous YouTube links with Margie playing the big Wurlitzer pipe organ at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, CA. (The Ives prelude has people entering the church in front of the camera.)
Charles Ives, "Variations on America"
Organ/Piano Duet: "America the Beautiful"
"Crown Him With Many Crowns"
"ReJoice, The Lord is King" (practice session)
Retirement should bring a new CD...!
Clocks... and all that stuff
In 1971 or thereabouts Richard "slipped out the back, Jack", purchased "our" first antique clock, and brought it home. Like most collectors, it was nothing special, but apparently it was to me, even though I can't now remember which one it was (age is definitely the first through tenth thing to go)! Some 30-40 others appeared that following year. Again, nothing special.
|In 1972, making plans to build a new home, we decided that a tubular tallcase clock would look great in the entry. A search turned up a magnificent American-cased eight-foot clock in mahogany crotchwood that takes four strong men to move... sans weights and tubes. The nine-tube movement is of German origin. The purchase necessitated liquidation of most of the typical “beginner’s” clocks in this fledgling collection in order to pay for the new tallcasereally a blessing in disguise. Today the clock graces a high wall in our Vista entry foyer.
During the kid-raising years we were "non-Vietnamese boat people"! Most of our free timeand certainly all of our moneywent to support a sailing habit and cruises in the waters of Southern California. Thus, not much time (or funds for clocks back then). But that was okay...
So, back to the story, and moving forward a few years with adult kids out of the house and the "hole in the water into which you pour money" long gone: In 1997 it became clear that an elderly aunt was suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer's, an insidious disease, to say the least. So, we divided responsibilities: My brother was in charge of money, my mother was in charge of worrying, and I was in charge of schlepping! Among the items to be liquidated as we prepared to move her to a fulltime care facility was a beautiful champlevé clock and matching urns, signed "Tiffany". Some local clock dealers thought they might get fifteen hundred dollars or so for the clock on a great day in their shop, and were prepared to pay less than half that amount for the set... all seemed to be in the same ballpark; all seemed ridiculously low to me.
We hired an appraiser to assist us with valuation of a Boulle table and some other pieces. We had the opportunity/pleasure of visiting with her and her husband at their Rancho Santa Fe, CA estate. What an experience. It was like walking into a museum of French art history... from the (some signed Boulle) furniture to the paintings, porcelains, sculptures and clocks. This lady was a specialist in French antiquities. Near the end of the fact-gathering session for her research we told her about the Tiffany piece, which was not in the car with us.
The next morning she was on our doorstep wanting the clock and urns. She happily paid $3,000 for the clock. That small event sparked the desire to work with people selling clocks... simple as that. One thing led to another, and, voila, here we are.
Thanks for taking time to get to know us a bit. We look forward to getting to know you, too. Give us a call if you want to talk about clocks or mechanical music. The cell phone is almost always available: on Mon-Sat during business hours and often during "yard labor" on Sunday afternoons!
Questions about our business? Enjoy our FAQ section.
--=Richard & Margie