Miller Clock Services and Sales was founded in Oshkosh, Wisconsin nearly 70 years ago by Ray Miller, who began the business out of his garage repairing radios on Bowen Street. In the early 1950s, Don “Grandpa Don” Bartelt, who began repairing 100-year-old clocks for a local jewelry shop, joined the business.
A decade later Grandpa Don purchased Miller Clock from Ray, and Grandpa Don’s dream to create a family heirloom began.
Grandpa Don working on repairing a table-top clock mechanism.
To keep Miller Clock rocking ’n’ rolling, Grandpa Don’s son, Jeff, earned his license as a horologist (aka watchmaker) in Milwaukee and joined the business in 1970. Jeff’s daughter, Letty, joined the family business in 2000, creating a three-generational family business.
Outside of developing merchandise sales, Letty enjoys bringing a sense of humor to the family business by poking fun at Grandpa Don’s floor sweeping days at the local jewelry shop, where he began the clock repairing trade. My how times have changed.
From left to right: Grandpa Don, Letty, Maddux (Letty’s son), Easton (Letty’s son) and Jeff.
Each month Miller clock repairs nearly 150 clocks and watches. It’s one of the places in the world certified to repair German cuckoo clocks, which originate from Bavaria, Germany. Franz Anton Ketterer is credited for making the first authentic cuckoo clock. As one of the only places in the world certified to repair German cuckoo clocks, Miller Clock receives national and international cuckoo clock repair orders.
After all these years, Jeff still has an appreciation for working with his hands.
“Working with your hands and helping preserve a family heirloom is an accomplishment,” Jeff said. “It’s rewarding to see customers leave with a smile and gratitude for helping them continue a family legacy item.”
Each project is unique. Grandpa Don still enjoys working on projects from 150-year-old clocks to modern day clocks. Although some may feel clock repairing is a dying trade, Letty remains optimistic.
“Everyone needs to keep time, so there will always be a need for the industry,” Letty said. “We will continue to adapt to changing times.”
Jeff examining a wrist watch.
Beyond clock repairs:
Although clock repairing is at the heart of the family business, Miller Clock has grown to provide a selection of gifts and home decor items for its customers, such as jewelry, silverware sets and picture frames.
As times continue to change, Miller Clock will continue to provide its clock repairing services, along with modern merchandise for its customers. Before the holidays roll around, stop in to explore its gift items.