Time for per­fec­tion

This Sum­mer Michlmayr clock and watch­mak­ers cel­e­brates its 32nd year of qual­ity and crafts­man­ship.

Norfolk - - Great Norfolk Homes -

Si­mon Michlmayr’s ca­reer as a clock and watch­maker be­gan as a young boy, help­ing out with chores and er­rands in his dad’s work­shop. He started his own busi­ness at the age of 21 – and this sum­mer Michlmayr Clock and Watch­mak­ers cel­e­brates its 32nd an­niver­sary.

“My fa­ther, Fritz, was a watch­maker and I was do­ing jobs in his work­shop in Nor­wich, like sweep­ing up and mak­ing tea, from when I was five or six years old,” says Si­mon.

“Then as I got older I de­liv­ered watches around the city to the shops we worked for and started do­ing clock re­pairs.”

When Si­mon’s orig­i­nal ca­reer plan to be­come an RAF pilot was grounded (he didn’t meet the eye­sight re­quire­ments), he de­cided to fol­low in his fa­ther’s foot­steps and trained in horol­ogy in London and in Switzer­land, the home of watch­mak­ing.

While Si­mon was do­ing his train­ing his fa­ther be­came ill and sadly died. Aged just 21, Si­mon opened his first work­shop in Law­son Road, Nor­wich.

“It was Au­gust 1986, I ran it all on my own and I lived above the shop,” he says.

Since then the com­pany has ex­panded. It has moved premises twice – first to Lady­smith Road in the city in the 90s and then to its new pur­pose built fa­cil­ity Tem­pus Works, on Fletcher Way, in 2012 and now has a highly skilled team of pro­fes­sion­ally qual­i­fied horol­o­gists.

Many of them are long-stand­ing mem­bers of staff and each has their own area of ex­per­tise.

Prin­ci­pal clock­maker Stu­art Smith joined Michlmayr Clock and Watch­mak­ers in 1987 as an ap­pren­tice straight from school and se­nior watch­maker Craig Baird has worked with Si­mon since 1988.

From straight­for­ward main­te­nance such as a watch bat­tery change and pres­sure check, to restor­ing pre­cious heir­looms to build­ing new clocks and watches from scratch, each time­piece is in safe hands.

Our watch ser­vic­ing de­part­ment is the largest in the re­gion and Si­mon Michlmayr is proud to have been a fully ac­cred­ited Rolex watch­maker for over 28 years. We are also a cer­ti­fied Omega Ser­vice Cen­tre of­fer­ing Omega watch re­pairs and ser­vic­ing. Other qual­ity brands we take care of are Longines, Tissot, Rado and Tag Heuer. Michlmayr clock and watch mak­ers looks after a num­ber of high pro­file public clocks, such as City Hall in Nor­wich, and churches all over the coun­try, which re­quires aerial work.

One par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable project was at Nor­wich Cathe­dral.

“I love what I do. In this job I get to see lots of places that the public wouldn’t nor­mally see. It was an in­ter­est­ing clock and I got to have ac­cess to the spire,” says Si­mon.

As well as keep­ing watches tick­ing over, Si­mon is at the fore­front of the Bri­tish watch­mak­ing re­vival.

He launched the Merid­ian brand in 2012 and is co-founder of the Gar­rick brand, plus he un­der­takes be­spoke watch­mak­ing com­mis­sions, all of which are built at the Nor­wich work­shop.

“One of my proud­est mo­ments was when we man­u­fac­tured our first watches here in Nor­wich. It was al­ways my aim to make watches in this coun­try.”

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