• What: Watch and Clock Collectors Public Day
• When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30
• Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B, 1100 Carter St.
• Admission: $10 to mart ages 18 and older, free for lecture and watch/clock appraisals
• Website: www.nawcc.org
Nearly 500 watch and clock collectors will be in town Friday-Saturday, Aug. 29-30, and they're inviting the public to spend some time with them.
As part of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors' Mid-South Regional meeting, members are hosting Public Visitors Day on Saturday in Exhibit Hall B of the Chattanooga Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the mart in the exhibition hall is $10 for ages 18 and up, free to ages 17 and younger.
Renee Coulson, event spokeswoman, says more than 150 tables of clocks, watches, parts and supplies will be on display in the mart. In addition to browsing all the timekeeping material, mart visitors are eligible to bid in silent auctions, buy from vendors and win door prizes.
A highlight of this year's mart will be the exhibit "Marine Chronometers and Military Timepieces." This a showcase of chronometers used in marine navigation and timekeeping as well as historic timepieces used by all branches of the military. Coulson says most of the items in the exhibit come from the personal collections of NAWCC members.
The collectors are also offering a free lecture and watch/clock appraisals.
The Antique Watch and Clock Show - an appraisal event much like PBS' "Antiques Roadshow" - will be held in a separate, cordoned-off area of the exhibition hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring in family pieces they've inherited, but know little about, as well as timepieces they have collected.
NAWCC members will evaluate pieces for no charge, share any history of the piece they may find in reference books (such as who made the piece, when or where) and give their estimate of its value. Each visitor will receive a completed evaluation on paper, which provides documentation for insurance coverage as well as provenance for the piece as it is passed down through future generations.
"If you have a grandfather clock that's too big to bring in, take pictures of the case, dial and movement inside of the clock. Bring those for our members to evaluate," suggests Coulson.
Guest speaker Walt Wilson will lead a free lecture on the history and development of marine chronometers at 10 a.m. in Room 19 of the Convention Center. This will be followed by a walking tour of the marine exhibit in the mart at 11:30 a.m.
The NAWCC is a nonprofit founded in 1943. Its members range from hobbyists and casual collectors to educators and retail professionals who all have a common bond in their fascination with horology.
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6284.