According to Heritage Crafts, There are currently fewer than 250 professional clock restorers left in the UK, less than 100 of them make their full income from the trade, with fewer than 20 apprentices between them.
We are now a red-listed endangered craft, with more retirements than apprenticeships each year.
What was once a bustling industry with a clockmaker on every street corner, has been in a steady decline since the introduction of the reliable and cheap quartz clock. The only clocks worth repairing suddenly became either of sentimental or collectible value. Everything in between became scrap.
I myself see one or two local repairers retire or pass away yearly, whilst I have only known of one apprentice in the area (aside from myself ten years ago).
The affordability of an apprentice is generally beyond the scope of most clock repair shops, although there are some apprentice schemes that may cover basic costs, they do not cover loss of earnings by the master, and the apprentice would be rushed to meet a standard of affordability, rather than given the time they really need to perfect the basics.
All of this suggests that clock repair is going to get busier, prices will inevitably go up to slow the workload (if this doesn’t happen, quality will go down as jobs are rushed), and waiting times, which are already often in the months, will go up. Whilst this is great news for the individual repairers, it is terrible news for the longevity of the industry.