M.L. Shetler, Watchmaker
7676 Route 62
South Dayton, NY 14138

Among the many Amish cabinet makers, quilters, and contractors, you occasionally come across specialist businesses which fulfill a niche need or focus on some throwback trade which relatively few in society handle.

Taxidermists or shoe repair shops come to mind as examples. Today we have a look at an Amish clock and watch restoration shop, another rare trade which you sometimes see in Amish communities.

Tom took these photos of Mahlon Shetler‘s watch and clock repair business, found in South Dayton, New York (near the border of Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties, about an hour south of Buffalo).

As you can see by the sign Mahlon simply goes by the “Watchmaker” handle.

Amish Clock and Watch Shop

This business does a lot of specialty work focusing on high-end items, according to Tom.  During his visit,  “An English watch collector was dropping off several pocket watches and picking up watches that Mahlon had repaired and restored.”

Amish Clock Repair

As for Mahlon, Tom says that their conversations are highly interesting: “you could talk to him for hours”.  In lieu of that you can read his writings, as he is a scribe for Die Botschaft.

Amish Watch Repair

Mahlon is a big supporter of the US Postal Service, observes Tom: “He mails so much and receives so much by mail that the local post office will sometimes make a special second delivery of the day to show their appreciation for Mahlon’s business.”

I suppose all the mailing means the timepiece business is doing alright.

Clock Repair Shop

Hats.  Less essential for watchmakers than farmers?

Amish Hat Hanging

I have to imagine that if he weren’t an Amish clock specialist Mahlon would be some kind of engineer.  Among the Amish, talent that might otherwise be university-tracked in one direction can still thrive in a different, and even rarer, field.

Amish Clock Machinery

Additional services.

Clock Repair Notice

Imagining the attention to detail, steady hand and sharp eye that must be required in this trade…makes my head spin.   Looking more at these photos, I have to think this is actually part engineering, and part artistry.

Wall Clocks Amish Shop

It’s a high-level skill, and I’d have to bet it’s a lot more passion than drudgery for Mahlon Shetler. “It is said that all Amish are not the same,” writes Tom, “and Mahlon is a good example.”  Thanks Tom for sharing, and if you’re in upstate New York and need work done on your heirloom timepiece, you might give Mahlon’s place a try.

M.L. Shetler, Watchmaker
7676 Route 62
South Dayton, NY   14138

You might also like:

Get the Amish in your inbox

    Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.