Every now and then something new catches our eye. How about giving someone not a finished ready-to-hang clock, but instead a comprehensive clock building kit. That’s right, a complete start to finish guide and range of parts, everything you need to make a working timepiece. It doesn’t get much more unique or personalised than that.
These kits aren’t a new phenomena (they’ve been around since grandfather clocks were still in fashion) and you can get virtually any design and style. So far I’ve been particularly impressed with the skeleton clocks produced by the Johnathon Knowles clock company (do a search on line), and there are plenty of others.
In terms of accuracy, there are a few considerations to make. If you are after a really interactive and in depth kit, you will find yourself assembling everything including the clockwork mechanism. Now to be fair, anything hand built, no matter how much care is taken, can often have some small degree of error. This isn’t necessarily a huge problem, it just means the timepiece may lose a few seconds a day. This might mean tweaking the time one a week. Still, it can be a small trade off, and can add a bit of charm. Just consider that if you (or the recipient of the kit) are not confident that you can work with great accuracy on what my be a tiny scale, such a detailed kit might not be ideal.
Instead consider a kit with pre-assembled clockwork mechanism, which will still require a significant amount of assembly. These come with the fine and very delicate parts (like gearwheels and the stepping mechanism – the thing that allows the hands to move in “steps”) already put together and sealed inside a gearbox. This is a better option for people with limited workspace, and time of course (no pun intended).
Who can you give a clock-kit to? How about a family member who is obsessed with punctuality.
Or how about giving a kit (appropriate to age and skill) as a child’s birthday present. Not only can it be a lot of fun to assemble, but it can be a really educational gift as well. Teaching your child to read the time is one thing, so imagine them learning how a clock works at the same time.
While basic kits can be found in electronics and hobby shops, such as Dick-Smith and even places like Wall-Mart, these are usually more like toys. A higher quality unit can be found online at any number of stores.
Think of all the possibilities – a retirement gift, an educational toy, or even just a challenging project to while away the winter months. Take your time!