How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Clock?

Last Updated on February 6, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The cost to repair a clock can vary quite a bit depending on the type of clock, the extent of the repairs needed, and who you hire to do the work. This article will provide an overview of average clock repair costs and the key factors that influence pricing for clock service and restoration.

Whether you need a routine cleaning and oiling for your antique grandfather clock or a full overhaul of a complex mechanical clock movement, understanding what goes into clock repair work can help you budget for maintaining your timepieces properly.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Clock?

Basic clock repairs tend to range from $50 to $300 on average. Here are some common repair costs:

  • Clock cleaning – $50 to $150
  • Quartz movement battery replacement – $10 to $75
  • Repairing pendulum swing – $75 to $250
  • Replacing clock hands – $50 to $100
  • Replacing a winding key – $30 to $75
  • Adjusting chime timing – $100 to $300
  • Full movement overhaul – $200 to $600+

More extensive repairs like replacing damaged gears or fabricating custom parts can cost $500 to $1,500 or more.

According to Yelp, the average price for all clock repair jobs is about $240, with costs ranging from less than $100 to several thousand, depending on the type of repair.

Clockworks.com offers cleaning, oiling, and inspection for $200, with additional fees for delayed movement submission. They have specific prices for different types of clock movements.

Webnode.page writes that prices for clock repair vary by the type of clock. For example, mantel clocks can cost $75-$100, wall clocks $100-$120, and grandfather clocks $180-$200.

Walkers n’ Daughters Jewelers provides a detailed price list for various types of clock repairs, such as non-striking, time-only clocks for $95, hour and half-hour strike clocks for $110, electric mantle clocks for $75, and others.

Tulsaclocks.com mentions that typical repairs cost between $25 and $55, and they offer a service, oil, and adjust package starting at $150.

Antique clocks often have a higher repair cost due to needing obsolete parts fabricated or sourced. Damaged veneers, marquetry, and inlay on antique cases also requires expert restoration skills.

Quartz clock repair is generally cheaper than mechanical clock repair. But if the circuit board is damaged, quartz movements may need full replacement.

Factors Influencing Clock Repair Cost

Several key factors determine the total charges for clock repair and restoration:

Type of Clock

  • Grandfather clocks – Large floor clocks have complex inner workings. Routine maintenance costs $200 to $600.
  • Cuckoo clocks – Intricate bellows and automata mechanisms increase repair costs. Price range of $100 to $1,000 or more.
  • Antique clocks – With unique parts and aging. Repair costs tend to start around $250.
  • Wall clocks and mantle clocks – More basic designs with average service costs of $75 to $300.
  • Mechanical vs. quartz clocks – Mechanical repairs are more labor intensive. But quartz movements may need full replacements.

Parts Replacement

  • Availability – Rare parts for antique clocks are expensive and difficult to find. Modern clock parts are easier to source.
  • Cost of parts – From $10 for a gear up to $500+ for full clock movements. Unique antique parts fabrication is very costly.
  • Labor time – The repair time and skill needed to disassemble, troubleshoot, replace parts, lubricate, reassemble and adjust the clock adds to the total bill.

Skill and Labor Rates

  • Master clockmakers – $100 to $200 per hour for their specialized expertise working on the most complex timepieces.
  • Advanced repair technicians – $60 to $120 per hour for challenging repairs requiring precision work.
  • Apprentice technicians – $40 to $80 per hour for routine maintenance and basic repairs.

Additional Costs to Consider

Beyond the base repair work, additional services and fees may apply:

  • Emergency or rush repairs – Premium rates for urgent repairs within 24 hours, often 25% to 50% surcharges.
  • Shipping costs – For transporting tall grandfather clocks or large grandmother clocks safely to the repair shop and back.
  • House calls – For repairs done on-site, travel expenses and minimum service call fees ranging from $75 to $150 apply.
  • In-depth diagnostics – If troubleshooting and analysis is required before estimating full repair costs, shops may charge a diagnostic fee of $50 to $100.
  • Certified appraisal costs – For insurance claims or to establish the current market valuation. Appraisal fees typically start around $150.

Choosing a Clock Repair Service

Selecting a qualified repair shop and clockmaker is key to getting quality work done on your timepiece within your budget.

You might also like our articles about the cost to reupholster a chair, reupholster a couch, and repair dry rot.

  • Check experience – Look for clockmakers with 10+ years of dedicated training and practice in clock servicing and repair.
  • Review credentials – Certified master clockmakers have passed extensive exams on movement repair, fabrication skills, and conservation practices.
  • Get estimates – Reputable shops will provide free repair estimates, so you know the expected costs upfront.
  • Ask about warranties – Many shops provide a 1-year warranty on the workmanship for any repairs completed.
  • Inquire about maintenance plans – Some shops offer maintenance packages to keep clocks in good working order and minimize repair needs.

How to Save on Clock Repair Costs

Repair a ClockWhile shortcuts aren’t advisable for the intricate mechanics of clock movements, here are a few ways to reduce your repair expenses:

  • Have quartz clocks serviced every 3-5 years to avoid untimely breakdowns.
  • Schedule annual maintenance for antique clocks to catch minor issues before they worsen.
  • Learn basic oiling and adjustments to do yourself on less complex clock mechanisms.
  • Shop around for quotes, but prioritize experience and qualifications.
  • Take advantage of warranty coverage through a manufacturer or repair shop when available.

Final Words

Keeping your clocks in optimal working order does come at a cost, but regular maintenance helps minimize major repair expenses and extends the life of your timepieces.

When it’s time for professional servicing, understanding what impacts the prices for parts, labor, and specialty skills allows you to budget accordingly.

Finding an experienced clock repair professional you trust helps ensure your clocks receive the expertise they require within reasonable rates for a well-functioning heirloom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth fixing a wall clock?

Yes, it is often worth fixing a wall clock rather than replacing it, for a few key reasons:

  • Sentimental value – Wall clocks, especially antique or heirloom clocks, have personal meaning that makes preserving them worthwhile.
  • Quality craftsmanship – Many vintage and mechanical wall clocks are built to last with all-metal movements. Proper repair and care extend their lifespan significantly.
  • Cost savings – Basic wall clock repairs like oiling and setting pendulums or replacing hands costs $75 to $150 on average, much less than buying a new clock.
  • Environmental impact – Repairing and maintaining products prevents additional waste and disposal when possible.
  • Improved appearance – Refinishing or restoring wall clock cases and faces often provides a dramatic visual improvement over a brand new budget clock.

For high-quality wind-up and mechanical wall clocks, the inner workings were built to be serviced and maintained with basic care. So tight budgets need not prevent bringing a well-built wall clock back to life.

How long does it take to fix a clock?

The time needed to properly repair a clock can range from 1-2 hours for a simple cleaning and oiling up to several weeks for extensive overhauls, depending on the clock’s condition and complexity.

On average, basic clock repairs take 2 to 5 hours:

  • Battery replacement on quartz clocks – 1 hour
  • Adjustments to pendulums – 2 hours
  • Repairs to stuck or worn gears – 3 to 5 hours

More extensive repairs tend to take 10 to 25 hours:

  • Full disassembly, cleaning, and overhaul of the movement – 15 to 20 hours
  • Replacement of multiple components like chains, springs, or escapements – 20 to 25+ hours
  • Full refinishing or restoration of antique or vintage cases – up to 50 hours

For complex antique clocks, combined case restoration and movement repairs can take a professional clockmaker over 100 hours spread across several weeks or months.

Proper diagnosis is also essential before beginning, which can add 1 to 3 hours to identify all underlying issues affecting the clock’s timekeeping and operations. Rushing the meticulous mechanics of quality clock repair risks causing further damage. So having patience for the process ensures an effective, lasting fix.

How much does it cost to clean and oil a grandfather clock?

A basic cleaning and oiling service for a grandfather clock typically costs $200 to $600 on average. The exact price depends on:

  • Clock’s age and complexity – Simple modern clocks $200 to $300. Antique clocks with elaborate movements $500 to $600.
  • Extent of servicing needed – Quick cleaning of moving components vs. full disassembly and ultrasonic cleaning.
  • Clockmaker’s expertise and rates – Master clockmakers range from $100 to $200 per hour. Apprentices charge $50 to $80 per hour.
  • Parts lubrication – Type of high-quality clock oil used and number of friction points to lubricate.
  • Location and transport – On-site service call versus workshop rates; may include pickup/delivery fees.
2 replies
  1. John Bailey
    John Bailey says:

    I have a Kieninger balance wheel mantel clock. It was running fine until I decided to
    take 2 weights from the wheel because the clock was losing 2 minutes a day. Well,
    when I put the clock back together. It sure wouldn’t run. I tried to move the balance wheel back and forth with my finger, but that doesn’t seem to help. What could I have done wrong?
    Thanks, John

    • Ciera Partyka
      Ciera Partyka says:

      Hi John, I’m a clock repairman. I’ve worked on many balance wheel movements at my family’s clock repair shop. Unfortunately, it sounds like your balance wheel is messed up for good. The wire on a balance wheel is incredibly sensitive, and it’s functionality is vital to the clock running. Doing work on the wheel itself is the equivalent of doing open heart surgery on your clock with gardening tools. Even professionals tend to avoid that work. I recommend contacting a clock repairman in your area about a new balance platform, which they can install for you. Depending on the repairman and the available stock from suppliers, they might decide to put an entirely new movement in the clock.
      For future reference, you can adjust how fast or slow your clock runs in a much simpler way. If you have an open air balance wheel at the top of the movement that turns horizontally on a vertical axis, you can adjust the clock by turning the adjustment screw that should be to the upper right of the balance wheel. There will be + and – symbols that indicate which direction goes faster or slower. If your balance wheel is in a little clear box or screwed onto the back plate of the movement (kinda looks like a record player) you can adjust the silver arm that extends from the center of the wheel. Again, there will be symbols that indicate which direction does what.
      I hope this helps, even though it’s been a year since you asked your question.


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