Owners sought for lost and found clock
For four decades, Stuart Latimer has felt guilty about the family heirloom he lost while working as an apprentice watchmaker.
Now, after discovering the antique clock in the back of a wardrobe, he wants to reunite it with its owners.
Latimer was an apprentice watchmaker in 1977, and through some acquaintances he met a couple who asked him to overhaul and fix their antique oak clock.
He was taken to the couple’s house to pick up the clock – and then lost it.
‘‘I’ve always felt guilty and looked for it everywhere.’’
His last memory of it was in the back of his car.
Recently Latimer has been staying at his mother’s house in Timaru as he and his partner prepare to move into their new house in Queenstown, from Auckland.
While cleaning out his childhood bedroom wardrobe he was surprised to find the clock intact at the back. He does not recall putting it there. ‘‘I want to get it back to them [owners].’’
Though he had not worked on the clock he was surprised that it had started ticking again without any intervention.
He is unable to remember the clock owners’ names or where they lived, except that it was in a villa. He has walked around that neighbourhood hoping to jog his memory – but to no avail.
Latimer, 19 at the time he took possession of the clock, estimates the couple were about 15 to 20 years older than him. ‘‘I never saw them again [after picking up the clock].’’
One of the acquaintances who introduced them no longer recalls the owners’ names either. They were left with the difficult task at the time of informing them the clock could not be found when they inquired six months after Latimer took it.
He estimates the clock is possibly more than 120 years old and still looks in excellent condition, with no damage from its unexpected retreat.
‘‘I just want to find them,’’ Latimer said.
Stuart Latimer with the clock he was meant to fix, but lost instead. Forty years later he found it in his family home. Now he wants to find the owners.