Clocks of all shapes and sizes occupy every possible nook and cranny of this two-storey shophouse. Some have been restored to their former glory, but most are waiting for their turn to be tinkered by second-generation owner David Lim, 55, or his son and protégé Shawn, 23.
Located at the end of a sleepy, sun-drenched street in Upper Serangoon, the shop is quiet, punctuated only by lulling chimes as the duo work on mending timepieces. It’s a job that requires fine tools, intense concentration and years of experience passed down through hands-on practice since the shop opened in 1947.
Despite his store’s name, David doesn’t deal in watches. He gave that up about a decade ago, deciding to focus on antique clocks instead – they’ve a longer and more interesting history that appeals to him. Sourcing from overseas dealers, regular customers and even karung guni, David has amassed a collection so vast that it extends into his home and, at one point, into his toilet. Asked how many he has and he simply shrugs: too many.
David Lim and his son
While repairing and restoring clocks – from grandfather’s clocks to a rare 19th-century, French-made Oriental clock – is the mainstay of the business, the father-son pair also handles gramophones, musical boxes, or, as David so succinctly puts it, ‘Anything with gears in it’.