It took decades, but one Canadian company is finally turning a humble antique clock into a $5,000 mechanical machine.
In a move that could have far-reaching implications for the lives of those living near the coast of Nova Scotia, the company behind the clock is selling the clock for $25.5 million.
“The idea is to bring the time forward, to show that the clock works as a clock, not as a device,” says Tim Bales, who owns the clock factory in the town of Derry, Ont.
“It’s not a clock that you have to operate.
You just turn it on and it works.”
Bales said the company has already sold about 30 of the clocks to local businesses and he expects that number to increase in the future.
“We’re in a time of transition where the technology is becoming more and more modern,” he said.
The clock company, which is based in the southern Ontario town of St. Catharines, says the clock will be built by a company called Modern-Day Engineering in Windsor.
It plans to turn the clock into an engine and a battery.
The company says it is hoping to get the clock back into use within a few years.
“They’re going to take this very simple clock and make it an engine,” Bales explained.
“There are a few different aspects to this, but it’s going to be an engine that is going to go around a town.
That’s the big part.”
He said the clock has been in the family since the mid-1970s and it was purchased for $1,500 in the 1980s.
The first time Bales was able to work with Modern-day Engineering was to restore the clock to working order.
“That’s how I met [their founder] Michael Bales,” said the owner of Modern-days Engineering.
“He said he had a clock in his attic that was just as good as the clock I built.”
Balfors’ business, which has been operating since 1995, started out by working with local communities to fix clocks.
“When I first started, we were able to get people to come in and fix the clocks, and that’s when it started getting popular,” said Balfor.
“People just wanted to fix their clocks.
People said, ‘I’ll go out and fix it.'”
Balfour says he was surprised by the response when he saw people coming out of the woodwork to fix clock clocks.
He said Modern-Days Engineering is the only company in Canada that has made mechanical clocks for more than $5 million, and the company currently has a staff of four.
“I can’t wait for the day that we can turn this clock into something that people will want to live with,” he added.
Balfours company also has plans to start working with businesses in other parts of the country.
He says he’s hoping to have a clock built for the Smithsonian Institution in the next few years and that he is working with the government to start a clock restoration program.