Based in Berkshire, he will be standing at Love Fairs’ antiques, vintage and collectables’ fairs at Lingfield Park Racecourse on Sunday, August 6, and again at Brighton Racecourse on Sunday, August 27.
Wilkinson said: “At the moment, smaller ‘40s and ‘50s striking and Westminster chiming utility clocks are very popular; also the Napoleon hat-style mantle clock is popular with younger buyers.
“Men’s and women’s watches from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s sell well, particularly rectangular ‘tank’ watches.”
Military watches are also in demand, Wilkinson added, and “there is always interest in the high-end brand-name watches”.
Pocket watches are selling well, as are ladies’ small fob watches. Nineteenth century fusee and chain-driven pocket watches “are still a favourite with the collector who is prepared to spend a little more for a quality piece”.
Wilkinson’s stock is priced at up to £150 for clocks and pocket watches, with a top price of £600 for wristwatches.
“I have customers who return to me wearing a watch they have bought previously and it is always heartening to hear how pleased they are with its performance,” he said. “Selling either to collectors or to those purchasing for the first time gives me great pleasure to know that this is not a dying trade.”
Dealer goes back to the future
This is a story about coincidence. Craig Johnson has a cabinet in the Lewes Flea Market and lives in a period terraced house in Kensington Place, Brighton.
Six weeks ago, a new stallholder brought in a reconditioned oak-cased drop dial clock with a fusee movement priced at £650. Nothing unusual in that, you would think. But there was.
Johnson (pictured above with the clock) was working at the counter in the market that day and takes up the story: “This was a clock made in the house I have occupied for the past 40 years.
“Having in my possession all the deeds and census reports for the house, I know that James Rich owned and occupied the house from 1888 until 1920. He is listed on census returns as a ‘clock jobber and watch maker’.
“Eventually Mr Rich did well enough to move from a workshop in the house to a store in Trafalgar Street, around the corner.”
Johnson bought the clock and it is now reunited with the house where it was created. Very timely.