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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Clock and Watch Restoration - The Genius of Wood Street, Walthamstow E17 3HX

Those of you who follow me will know of my and my friend Peter's adventures in Antarctica in March. Besides the usual extreme climate stuff ( snow boots, masses of woollen clothing, hats and gloves)  I took my Oris Automatic watch with me. This watch has been everywhere. When my phone froze in Svalbard my watch didn't miss a beat. On my allotment it tick tocked away as I covered it in soil, sprayed it with bug killer and dropped it into a bucket of horse poo.

When I came back from the Southern pole it had stopped. Alas, I thought, it has succumbed to a mixture of penguin poo, sub zero ice and Drake's Passage. That was it  - dead. No doubt rusted solid or else encased in festering poo. It went into the "Irreclaimable" drawer by my bed. A drawer crammed full of victims of accidents, misfortunes and sheer bad luck. My twice dropped iPhone, the mini disc player that chewed up Bob Dylan and spat out The Cowboy Junkies. The Sony mini Walkman that never recovered from downloading from my desk top "Alien Ant Farm", and saddest of all my Window "Expedia" CD ROM - not damaged just back dated.

I would lift my left arm up and expecting to see a smiling clock face would find a bare wrist. Time and time I repeat the action and each time a knife would pierce my heart. I'd have to rummage around for my mobile - getting strange looks as I played pocket billiards retrieving the phone. For three months I endured this torture.

Why you ask? Why put myself through such agony? I will tell you why. A mate also had an Oris which he sent off to be serviced - it cost more than he paid for the watch in the first place. I may be a pensioner with an inflation proofed occupational and a triple locked State Pension but I'm not made of money. I resigned myself to being watch less.Except....

If once you've owned a nice mechanical watch you're hooked. I'd find myself looking on line at new Oris watches,walking down New Bond Street dreaming about going in and buying a disgustingly expensive timepiece. I even looked in pawn broker's window to see what they had on offer by way of a traded in Rolex. This couldn't go on. I was on the brink of nervous breakdown - my mainspring had been so over wound I was in danger of a total seizure.

Then I remembered there was a watch restorer in Wood Street, Walthamstow. That quiet backwater full of quaint shops and ghosts of ages past.

What was there to lose. Hesitantly I phoned him. Yes he repaired Oris watches and mine wasn't that old. Heart thumping, my main spring fully wound I headed for his workshop. I was shaking as I handed over the watch. It wasn't rusted, it wasn't dead - it needed a new shaft and a through cleaning and servicing but he'd repair it. I swear I heard Haydn's "Clock" Symphony when he said that.

Today I went to collect my watch. Cleaned, reset and full of joy and vim. I now risk suffering from repetitive lower arm strain since I look at it constantly. I am so pleased.

The man is a superstar. This morning he'd been out on an emergency call. A public clock in Higham Park had failed to chime. Len Pavitt, soft spoken, watch magician extraordinaire was there to restore the beating heart of a venerable timepiece. And he had time to fix my Oris!! A man in a million.

Walthamstow salutes you! 

 

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