It's a business that takes you back in time… literally. Hawkins Clock Center has been in clock business for 45 years.
Clock connoisseur and owner, Gloria Hawkins, has a passion and a sixth sense about these time-keepers and travels all over the world to find them and bring them home to West Allis.
“If you don't have a passion, you can't sell the clocks and you can't believe in it. But if you do have a passion, then the clocks speak to you. Every time I go to a different country, I look for clocks. Certain clocks do speak to you,” explained Hawkins.
There are thousands of clocks to choose from or just gaze upon when entering the clock shop.
“There are over 4,000 clocks in the store; from the tiniest mantel clocks to the largest wall clocks and grandfather clocks too,” said Hawkins.
“Let's walk around and show me some of your clocks,” said WTMJ's Melissa Barclay.
“These are the traditional clocks and they start from two thousand dollars and go all the way up to twenty four thousand dollars. This one over here is a limited edition from Howard Miller. The movements are made in Germany and the clock cases are made here in the United States,” Hawkins explained.
It's a serious search for those trying to find the perfect grandfather clock; an investment of time and money.
“It's something that you buy once in a lifetime. You don't upgrade with this. You choose what you want, go for it and hopefully have one that will last a lifetime.”
Grandfather clocks specifically, can be considered heirlooms and are handed down from generation to generation.
Hawkins says if you're in the market for a grandfather clock, it's best to see them in person.
“I think the key thing in a grandfather clock is that you actually have to feel it. Shopping online is not something you should be doing. You really can't feel the texture of the clock, you can't hear it as well, as when you see it, touch it, hear it and feel it and then get the feeling that this is what you're looking for.”
Clocks can be very deep.
“That's why I tell people, when they have a very old clock and you don't know just how long you'll be around and you know the history of the clock… do yourself a favor. Write everything you know about the clock so that one hundred years from now when a family member gets it, they can read about it and they can say this clock actually belonged to my great-great-grandfather and this was given to him for a wedding or what have you.”
Hawkins Clock Center is located at 7301 W Greenfield Ave. in West Allis.