My name is Eric Unselt, and welcome to my website.
I am a former electrical engineer who happily quit my job several years ago to restore watches professionally, and like the majority of my customers I am also a dedicated collector of our American timepieces that date from the mid to late 1800s.
I'm a firm believer in the preservation of our history and that American heirlooms should remain here in America. I'm always in favor of doing things right the first time and think that quick fixes have no place in horology or in any other vocation.
I also own and maintain the Seth Thomas Research website, which was launched in 2015 to reconstruct the factory's 30-year run of pocket watch production in the 1890s and was grudgingly recognized by the NAWCC as an online resource in 2017.
Pocket watches were not only an engineering marvel in a time before electricity and automobiles, but they were also a very personal item to their owners, who used them to mark all their daily events as well as life's milestones. These people carried them as they went about their time here on earth in sickness and in health, youth to dotage, at work and at play, in good times as well as the tragedies. There is history in pocket watches, not just personal, but national as well. Inventions like the telephone and the radio changed lives, the World Series was played every year, authors wrote sweeping bestsellers, wars were fought, Presidents were elected, weather events destroyed whole towns, scandals erupted in Hollywood, and these vintage timepieces marked every one of those occasions.
This hobby that was such a delight for both the stories these watches could tell and for the amazing intricacies found in their gear trains is slowly being ruined because of sheer greed. There are those parasites who have gutted tens of thousands of these antique watches for profit, apparently lacking the skills to do anything constructive. Even worse are the bottom-feeders that swarm to buy their leftovers in the unending pursuit of bargains, failing to do the math that says otherwise. Novice collectors watch a few YouTube videos and then try to fix their own sometimes-rare pieces with Superglue and pliers, scoffing at professional "purists" who take the time to do it right. I stand against all of these disgusting practices and will never stop speaking out, since I honor not only our history and my ancestors, but also the creative energies of the men who spent years inventing these mechanical works of art.
My father found this scarce Hamilton 993 laying in the weeds along the Erie Canal in New York over 40 years ago. He was a line foreman for the electric utility company and was working storm with another lineman.
They both went for it, but Dad was quicker.
"Eric did a fantastic job with my inherited Illinois Bunn Special. He answered questions, made recommendations, and did some amazingly intricate work / repairs. Attention to detail was top notch … no shortcuts here. I won't send my watch anywhere else."
"Eric will restore your watch correctly, including fixing botch work that previous repairers have done. My watches now run wonderfully and are a joy to own and show off. He kept me informed on the problems he found and his progress in correcting them. I especially enjoyed the clear close-up photos he sent, showing the problems that needed correcting."
"Eric expertly repaired my antique pocket watch when I couldn't find anyone else to do it at a very reasonable price. He corresponded with me regularly, provided information about the repair, as well as historical information on the watch, and treated it as it was to me - a precious family heirloom. I can't recommend Eric enough."
"I cannot overstate the level of professional quality and service I experience when dealing with Eric at American Timekeeper. His workmanship, knowledge, and attention to detail are more than impressive. 10 stars if I could!"
"The reason that I am willing to send my antiques clear across this continent for repair is that you can trust your precious antique to Eric. He gets it RIGHT the first time."
"Eric's level of knowledge, skill at his craft, and dedication to achieve perfection is very difficult to find these days. If you are looking for an old-world craftsman to return your old-world mechanical masterpiece to original condition, then American Timekeeper is your answer."
"If you are looking to have a pocket watch restored so that it looks and performs as it did the day it left the factory, then send it to Eric at American Timekeeper. Absolute perfection done at reasonable prices."
"Eric is the most thorough and exacting watch restoration provider I have ever worked with. His knowledge and workmanship are unequaled."
"There are many watch repair folks available; one only needs to go down to the local jewelry shop and let some schmuck tear up your valuable keepsake ... but to find someone that will treat your watch as their own from beginning to end you have to send it to Eric at American Timekeeper, and I guarantee that you will be thrilled by the results." -- Jerry K, California
"Eric restored a treasured family heirloom carriage clock for us four years ago, when no one else could, after decades of trying. It still works perfectly to this day, a testament to his expertise and superb craftsmanship. Professional and knowledgeable, there are simply no better hands for your watch to be in. He is the best." -- Jennifer D, Canada
"I have bought many pocket watches from Eric. The prices are very reasonable and the watches are always better than advertised, arriving on time in great condition." -- Ron R, Delaware.
“Eric is an outstanding watchmaker, in the truest sense of the word. His horological knowledge is amazing, and he is able to completely restore your watch to “original” condition. Accuracy of your watch is of the utmost consideration too; your watch will always tell great time when you get it back. I would trust my finest watch to his knowledge and craftsmanship.” -- Chuck H, Idaho
"I was left my grandmother's mantle clock that was not working. I sent it to American Timekeeper, and not only did they get it running, they fabricated a part in-house, and gave me a value and brief history of the clock. Now I sound like an expert when friends and family ask about the clock, and it runs beautifully. Thank you!" -- Jack S, Virginia
"Eric's work is to an extremely high standard, giving you a full breakdown on what work has been carried out and to guide you on repair and cost. Always a pleasure to communicate with and an expert in his field, offering a whole range of fabulous old watches for sale in incredible working condition. I know that if I send him a watch it comes back in full working condition, and the attention to detail is way beyond my expectations. If you want to have a watch repaired, I can highly recommend Eric at American Timekeeper." -- Barry H, Ohio