Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
Local Businesses on the Southern Oregon Coast Featured in the South Coast Shopper
Fine Timed Collectables
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 

John Boatman is the owner of Fine Timed Collectables, located at 85877 North Bank Lane near Bandon, just 5 miles off Hwy. 101 on the north bank of the Coquille River. If you're looking to get your antique watch or clock repaired, he's the man to take it to. He's also the only person on the south coast of Oregon who is professionally trained to change watch batteries. "I used to train people from department stores to change batteries, but the stores don't send them to me anymore.  A lot of watches are broken by clerks trying to change batteries who don't know what they're doing," said John.

John Boatman stands by some of his vintage autos in front of his warehouse at Fine Timed Antiques and Collectables. 

John is a mechanical engineer by trade, born in rural Oregon.  As a small child, every time his family would take a trip to Portland or Eugene, he'd get dropped off at the junk store and spend any money he had on broken clocks and watches. That began his interest in anything mechanical and at 12 he built his first car engine and drove to school in the 8th grade. He still has a big shop with a bunch of old hot rods and cars.

But back to the watch-making business, where John is one of the only horologists (watchmakers) in the country. He repairs and makes parts for antique watches and clocks, and "I've got one in here right now from the 1500’s that's worth from $150,000 to $200,000," he said. "I'm making parts for a clock that was probably made for a king or somebody very important a long time ago. We get clocks and watches from all over the world. I just bought a big collection of musical watches from Hawaii dating from the 1700’s. They're repeater watches: pocket watches where you push a button and it rings a certain amount of times so you can tell what time it is, even in the dark. Electricity wasn't around in those days," said John.

John is a member of a dying breed of watchmakers in this country. "I would like to teach somebody watch and clock repair, but young people aren't really interested..you can't use a computer to find things out.  All someone needs is higher math skills to learn this trade. People come out to my ranch and wonder how I afforded it. Would you ask a doctor or lawyer the same thing? Everything here is because I fix clocks and watches."

I had a fascinating conversation with John about horology (the science of time-keeping) being the oldest exact science in the world. Horologists from the 1700's and 1800's also made intricate music boxes, of which John has a whole collection. He told me that almost all mechanical industries grew from the clock-making industry, which focused on tempering metals so they could have a spring, and gear reductions so energy could be transferred.

Fine Timed Collectables has been advertising with the Shopper "for about 15 years," says John. "I'd like people to know that we do free estimates, online appraisals, and I love having a good conversation with people. Our service is prompt and we guarantee our work.  We don't charge customers until they're satisfied!"

Don't take a chance with your fine clock or watch...call Fine Timed Collectables at 541-347-2234 and get the service and satisfaction (and maybe an interesting conversation) that you want!

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