Classic Clocks Etc. About Us / Repair - Wayland, MA
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135 Boston Post Rd.

Wayland, MA

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Repairman Races Time in Shop and on Track


By Linda Saulnier

News Correspondent, The Middlesex News

March 20, 1997


WAYLAND-What do race cars and clocks have in common? Timing would be the logical answer. But a more interesting link would be clock dealer Lee Smith.


A former race car driver, Smith veered off the speedway 20 years ago to apply his mechanical skills to fixing clocks, and he has never looked in the rearview mirror. He was just out of college at the time and racing open wheel sprints when Brookline clock dealer Richard Povall, recruited him.


"Povall came looking for me," says Smith. "He knew I was real good at repairing race cars and mechanical things tend to work the same way. I began repairing clocks as his apprentice."

Today, Smith owns Classic Clocks Etc. in Wayland, where he repairs, buys and sells new and antique clocks. He started his own company seven years ago opening his first shop in Wayland center. Five years later, he bought his present location at 135 Boston Post Road.


He repairs all kinds of clocks and never tires of their intricate beauty though cuckoo clocks quite frankly drive him cuckoo, he admits.


Smith spends his days watching the clock-or rather, 10,000 of them. That is how many clocks he estimates he sees each year at regional, state and national meets held by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. At his shop, he repairs about 600 clocks a year.


Most mornings he is on the job by 6 a.m., doing service work for several hours before his shop opens.

"It's very time consuming work," he says.


A French carriage clock, for example, has a built in alarm and a mechanism that repeats every 5 to 10 minutes. Austrian clocks, circa 1760, have a quarter hour repeat mechanism. Experience helps him determine a clock's age.


"I have seen so many clocks I can tell how many different steps were taken in the manufacturing process through the years," he says. "Some clocks are dated."

Victorian clocks are well made, according to Smith, who collects clocks as a hobby. Very early English clocks are among the most beautiful. French clocks are very popular with Bostonians.

"I think Boston was such a big port that a lot of French clocks ended up here," says Smith.

Time and again Smith's workday ends many hours after his shop has closed and he has delivered the grandfather clocks he sells.


"When people spend that much money for a clock they should have it set up properly," says Smith.

Smith's life might be ruled by the clock, but whenever he can, he races against time on the speedways of New London and Waterbury, Conn. Asked if he beats the clock, he muses, "I've won enough."


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Get to know us and our services


Please note the manufacturers we represent warrant the performance of their grandfather clocks for 2 years, mechanical wall and mantel clocks for 1 year. Battery operated clocks are warranted for one year, as well. Case warranties are generally applied to grandfather clocks for one year but, as with all fine furniture, if care is taken to keep the environment from becoming too dry, a clock case should hold up well for longer than that. Specific warranty information and exceptions are described with the instruction manuals packed with each and every clock.


In order for the warranty to be valid, the clock must be unpacked, set up or hung and operated properly, according to those very detailed instructions.


Get in touch with us to find out more about us and the services we offer for taking care of your clocks.


Please use our catalog to select a particular product. After you have provided us with contact and shipping address information, we can answer any questions you have and provide a final price which includes the appropriate shipping charge associated with each item and its manufacturer. Please note that shipping charges will vary, depending upon the individual manufacturer’s policies, the transport distance involved, and the weight of the item.


Requests for payment information will not be made until you agree upon the terms of the sale.


Clocks will be delivered to your home or office in the original factory crate, with easy set-up instructions included. Normal shipping time is anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks, if the clock is in stock at the factory. If shipment is going to be delayed, you will be notified immediately by email or phone. We will do everything possible to get your order out as quickly as we can. We advise you that meeting any specific deadlines will not always be possible, especially during the high selling season (September through February), since we cannot control the manufacturer’s production schedules or shipping backlogs.


Classic Clocks Etc. Ltd. reserves the right to change or update information and/or prices at any time. Although we work very hard to avoid errors in any information or pricing, we reserve the right to correct errors and cannot honor pricing errors in our product listings at Since we sell these clocks at our brick and mortar store, we are notified promptly by the manufacturers of any price increases and will make all efforts possible to replicate that information on this site, as soon as is possible. By using this site, you agree to be bound by any such revisions and you agree to these terms of use.




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Clocks are both vocation and avocation for Lee Smith, who has been repairing them for 20 years. He demonstrates here his rare Dent skeleton clock.