Nielsen’s passion for horology, or the study of time, and the intricacies of a clock’s pivots, wheels, springs and pendulums came at an early age, when a retired watch-maker named O.C. Price moved next door to his family’s home.
“I was probably about 13 years old and he had set up a watch bench in his garage and was working on a watch, and I just walked right in and said, ‘What are you doing?’” Nielsen said. “He was working on a watch and said, ‘Would you like to see?’ and I said, ‘Sure,’ and then I just got the bug.”
Nielsen said he then began reading all he could find about clocks and studying with the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, though it was not until 2016 when he decided to make clocks more than a hobby and opened Pocket Full of Time.
Unlike many businesses, one of the problems Nielsen faces is not a lack of demand for his services, but a surplus of it. Finding an assistant to help him with his work has been difficult, as the shelves of clocks needing repair keep getting more and more backed up.
“It’s going to be 10 months before some people get [their clocks] back, and that’s because of all the clocks ahead of them,” Nielsen said.
While Nielsen waits for an apprentice to help him with the store’s workload, he will keep working on restoring clocks that he said are often family heirlooms for his customers.
“The vast majority of clocks that come in are family treasures, clocks they’ve had for two, three or four generations, and they all come with a story,” Nielsen said. “These [clocks] can be so near and dear to them. People who are 70 years old will come in and say, ‘I remember watching my granddaddy wind this clock when I was a kid.’”
Pocket Full of Time
402 E. Edgewood Drive, Friendswood
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun., Mon. by appointment only