‘Heartbeat of the home’
Village Clock Shop owner sells, repairs timepieces

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

July 8, 2015

 Clockmaker Karyn Critelli works on a clock at The Village Clock Shop in Genesee Depot on Thursday.   
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

GENESEE DEPOT -  They may seem old-fashioned and outdated, but even in the 21st century clocks have an important part in many people’s homes and hearts.

“Everybody has some clock that is very sentimental to them,” said Village Clock Shop owner Karyn Critelli. “(They are) almost like the heartbeat of the home.”

Critelli quietly opened the shop at S42-W31360 Highway 83 in May and plans to have a grand opening celebration this weekend.

Before moving to Wisconsin and working out of her home in Muskego, Critelli had a clock business in Connecticut for many years.

Critelli buys, sells and repairs clocks and is well-versed in the different makes and kinds after training in Texas and Switzerland.

 Karyn Critelli, owner and clockmaker at The Village Clock Shop, with some of the clocks in her store.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

In years past, people would save their money to purchase a clock and display it prominently.

“It was quite nice to have a running clock so they worked for it. Like people now saying someday I want to own a Mercedes,” she said.

Nowadays, people are more interested in restoring an antique clock than purchasing one, Critelli said. The majority of clocks she works on are American made and date from the mid-1800s to modern times.

Repairing a clock, Critelli said,  takes knowledge and skills because replacement parts are not available. She said a part must be fabricated, meaning that sometimes the repair can exceed the clock’s monetary value, but for many people it’s worth it because the clock holds such sentimental value.

“It’s not just the visual; it’s audible and it’s a memory. They wanted to grow up and wind the clock,” she said. “I think it’s the whole aura or awe.”

 A clock with weather gauges in the shape of a diving helmet at The Village Clock Shop in Genesee Depot.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Critelli repairs wall clocks and mantle clocks in her shop and can do house calls for grandfather clocks. She doesn’t do many cuckoo clocks and doesn’t work on electrical clocks, which aren’t her expertise. 

As a teenager, Critelli said, she worked at a jewelry store doing repairs and engraving. The young Critelli decided she wanted to be a jeweler and gemologist, but felt she should learn how to repair watches. By studying timepieces, she earned a scholarship to attend school in Switzerland and later worked for an English master watch and clock maker.

“Clocks are my passion. I really just love them,” Critelli said, adding she finds it comforting to help someone repair a clock for which they have sentimental feelings.

There are some clocks for sale in the Village Clock Shop that belong to Critelli and that she took off her home’s walls to sell.

Her focus is providing strong customer service and working with a strong sense of integrity.

“People need to be comfortable giving (the clock) to someone who would take care of it as they would,” she said.

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com