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Question
I have a Lava 31 day wall clock that I purchased in the early 1970's. The clock works perfectly and the chimes ring load and proud. I have a nice grandfather clock and therefore I don't need the Lava clock. I have taken very good care of the Lava clock and was wondering if you could give me your best estimate on the value of the clock. Thanks

Answer
Sherry:

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The first statement in my Allexperts personal profile states that I am not a certified appraiser and therefore do not give values of clocks.  On what I consider modern production clocks (WWII and later) there are very few of these clocks that have any available history of values, and a significant number of these clocks depreciate from the original selling price with time.  The values of a few limited production and top line models have risen.  Generally, the value of a modern production clock will depend on the original selling price (usually not the retail listed price), the condition of the case and movement, and most importantly, the area in which you are selling the clock, the demand and the economy.  I suggest you check listings for a clock similar to yours in local classified listings, selling venues such as Craigslist and Internet auction sites like eBay.  

I will say that your clock would probably be an Asian 31-day clock.  Most of the Asian clocks are wall clocks.  With the exception of a few much older ones, I have not seen them sell for more than $50.  I did go to eBay and looked under "Lava 31-day clock".  There were no current listings, so I went to "completed listings". One had sold for around $85, but it could be that the seller placed the first bid to set the price. This is a guess and I'm not sure that is true or is allowed by eBay.  One went for $5.50 and another did not sell for the asking price of $92.  This probably isn't great news for you, but this is all I could find.  If you do find someone that really likes it, you get more, given the history of good care.


John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

Clocks, Watches

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

Organizations
NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Publications
Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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