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our place Keeping Auckland’s time-pieces ticking

If you think something is missing from the public park between New Lynn's Totara Avenue and Great North Road, you're right. The town clock was taken down more than a month

ago and a new version will go up later this month with all its mechanisms reconditioned, a brand new stainless steel case and electrical fittings so it can be illuminated at night. The work is being done by the Precision Watch Co

Ltd that's been a go-to watch and clock repair business in New Lynn since 1971. The business was established in 1942 in Grey Lynn by Jim MacKinnon whose son Jamie MacKinnon is now its managing director. Jamie also runs the firm's other business, Olympic Swiss Watches Ltd in Newmarket. "We have the contract to look after many of

Auckland's clocks such as the one in the Ferry Building at the bottom of Queen Street, and the University of Auckland clock with its ornate tower is one of our babies too," he says. "We're the caretakers of these clocks and we can and do fix them if anything goes wrong. "We recommend that all street clocks have regular

maintenance. The problems don't just arise from the weather but also vermin like rats, mice and pigeons. There can even be human problems. We care for one clock in South Auckland that's been shot at night by a

.22 on a couple of occasions." The New Lynn clock has

been in the same place since the 1960s and Jamie doesn’t think it has had any significant maintenance since then. "The moving parts will have gone through some wear and tear so it's done pretty well in that time," he says. Jim MacKinnon and Jamie

were well-known 'window workers' in the Totara Avenue store in the 1970s. "I did my watch making apprenticeship with Dad and we'd work in the shop's front window. We were unique with that. People would stop and watch us. Sometimes they'd even see their own watch being worked on," Jamie says. "People say watch and clock making is a dying

trade," says Jamie. "But someone has to look after all these mechanical clocks and watches, and replace batteries correctly. We do a traditional job." And in the good old-fashioned tradition of every

village having a clock, watch out for New Lynn's smart new offering later this month.

– Moira Kennedy

Jamie MacKinnon - traditional job still ticking over

Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa: Standing up for the Waitākere Ranges

Lorraine Haslam

The Waitākere Ranges Local Board invites you to a community forum on the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area.

The forum is your chance to find out about council initiatives in the heritage area and to get involved in protecting its future.

Te Warena Taua, chair of the Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority, will deliver a keynote speech. There will also be presentations and discussion on environmental issues, as well as people’s relationships to the area.

Where: Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 500 South Titirangi Road, Titirangi

When: Thursday 15 October 2015, 6pm light dinner; 6.30 to 9.30pm main programme

RSVP or find out more: Contact Sharon on or 09 813 9150

please support our advertisers – they support us The Fringe OCTOBER 2015 25


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