There are very few people like Philip Wirsching left. His skills just aren’t in great demand anymore. But they used to be.

There was a time, not long ago, where a clockmaker was one of the most important artisans in any community.

Timepieces were not only tools, they were functional works of art.

Accuracy required delicate craftsmanship, intuition, creativity and patience.

Today, a clockmaker has a bit of a different role. They are the only ones who can keep antique timepieces alive.

If parts exist, they are usually scarce. Many times, the clockmaker will have to craft his own.

Today, clockmakers focus on preservation and restoration. Their dwindling numbers make people like Phil more and more valuable. 

As you watch this story, pay particular attention not just to what you see, but to what you hear.

Telling time used to be aural as well as visual. The sound of each clock was as different and unique as a fingerprint.

Now, the personalities of each clockmaker are just as distinct. We know you’ll enjoy this look at Phil Wirsching.

***UPDATE: GB is sad to report Phil passed away on 3/23/10. He was 91 years old. This story will help keep his memory alive.