Time's up for local Edmonton clock shop after 48 years

Hess Nyenhuis has repaired clocks and watches in Edmonton for 48 years — and he’s been working in the trade even longer.

But that doesn't mean Ronnie and Hess Nyenhuis will stop repairing clocks just yet

Hess and Ronnie Nyenhuis kept the Golden Hour Clock Shop ticking away for 48 years. The store may be closing, but they don’t expect to stop fixing things quite yet. 1:21

Hess Nyenhuis has repaired clocks and watches in Edmonton for 48 years — and he's been working in the trade for even longer.

But as time ticks away and he and his wife close their business, Golden Hour Clock Shop in the west end of the city, he doesn't expect to be done fixing things any time soon.

"I enjoy what I'm doing. I enjoy coming in in the morning," Nyenhuis said.

Time is up in the Golden Hour Clock Shop after 48 years. (John Shypitka/CBC)

For the 85-year-old and his wife, Ronnie, the decision to close the business was a difficult one. But the building they're currently in is being sold, and they said it's time for them to move on.

Golden Hour Clock Shop closed its doors Friday. They've fixed close to 10,000 clocks and more than 4,000 watches in nearly five decades.

"It's going to be very difficult to leave after this length of time," Ronnie Nyenhuis said. "[But] it hasn't been a crying session yet."

Started off young

Hess Nyenhuis started repairing clocks and watches when he was young — his father owned a radio shop in Holland, and there was a jewelry store next door.

"I would come home from school, I'd look through the window and see that little old man repairing watches," he said. "And I thought, 'I'm going to ask him a question.' "

He wanted to learn how to repair watches and clocks himself — so the man told him to come back the next day.

Hess Nyenhuis learned how to repair watches and clocks in Holland - and he's been in Edmonton doing so for almost five decades. (John Shypitka/CBC)

Hess remembers the first time he took an alarm clock apart. The man teaching him told him to be careful, as the parts in the back of the clock could fall out.

He unscrewed the back and next thing he knew, the pieces were everywhere. "It just fell apart," he said. "Blew up."

The man who was teaching him said that was lesson one.

Hess later went to school to study repairs, but he never forgot what the man in the jewelry shop told him. "An elderly gentleman taught me what to do and what not to do, and that will stick with you, you know?" he said.

"That's how it started."

'I'm always busy'

Ronnie Nyenhuis said though the business is closing its doors, that doesn't mean the two will stop repairing watches and clocks anytime soon.

But the 77-year-old said not seeing regular customers anymore will be different.

Ronnie Nyenhuis said she'll miss the interactions with people the most. (John Shypitka/CBC)

"You know what I love the most? The interaction with people," Ronnie said.

Hess shared the same sentiments. "I feel very bad, because a lot of people come in the store and say, 'Why are you leaving?' "

But he's not quitting.

"If people come in and say, 'Can you repair my watch?' I'll say yes — but I can't do them here," he said.

Both Ronnie and Hess have plenty of clocks in the house, and they both hope to be working for many years to come.

But don't expect it to be around the clock.

"I'm always busy," Hess said. "It takes a little time to take a clock apart."

One of the old clocks in the store. Both Hess and Ronnie will have to move this clock back home. (John Shypitka/CBC)

With files from Gareth Hampshire