A 12-year tradition continued Saturday, as a large group of visitors — many for the first time — made their way down to the southeastern portion of Douglas County to witness the unique and fascinating occurrence of a simultaneous striking of 1,000 clock chimes at Champ’s Clocks.
The event is held for a two-fold reason, according to Jeff Champion, who has carried on the family business started by his father, the late Jerry Champion, 51 years ago in March. The event also coincides with the annual advent of Daylight Saving Time, so what better time than to let use the orchestral sounds produced by chimes both large and small.
Champion said in March 1967, Champ’s Clocks was little more than a table, bench and small toolbox servicing less than 100 clocks the first year. He said most of the customers came from Hartsfield Airport, where his dad, an Atlanta fireman, was stationed.
“By 1973, we had a good selection of wall an grandfather clocks, selling them out of the house,” he said. “By 1976, the shop was mostly converted into a clock shop.”
And so Champ’s Clocks grew by 1981 as having the largest display of clocks in the South. By 1987, it became the world’s largest seller of clocks in the world — with the exception of cuckoo clocks, Champion said.
“Germany had the market on that,” he said.
He said that during the 1980s and 1990s, Champ’s Clocks was selling over 300 grandfather clocks each year. Today, that has trended down to around 30 a year, according to Champion.
Champ’s Clocks is located on King Drive off Highway 166 in Douglas County.