How did the passion for clock making sprung

Rated among ten first clockmakers in the world, according to OWME Standards, Mihai Ceciu refused the Swiss’ offers and dedicated to passion for the craft of clockmakers setting up Antique Horologvium, a laboratory of repairs and restorations of deluxe clocks.

The passion for this field is rooted in childhood when instead of playing with toys, he was fascinated dismantling and assembling the clocks back together.

“I started to work around the age of 17-18 years, practicing at the workshop of a clockmaker from my native town Ploiesti, only that this passion falls across by the time I was very young and, instead of dismantling toy-cars, I was disjointing clocks,” said Mihai Ceciu.

Although he didn’t have a role model in his family in clockmaking, Mihai Ceciu says he found a model of meticulousness, patience and proficiency in his father who made sculptures in wood. The two of them, father and son work together in the workshop when Ceciu has to restore the wooden frames of museum clocks deteriorated by the lapse of time.

Shortly after the “internship”, he opens a workshop in Ploiesti where he works for nearly two years. Then he begins the studies at University of Polytechnics in Bucharest and he is engaged at the same time at the workshop of a clock importer.

After graduating the university, he takes several courses of specialization on different clock mechanisms including one-year education at the most famous schools of clockmaking in Switzerland and in the world Wostep Neuchatel.

Switzerland is the most adequate place in the world where I could ever study clock making. If we taught ten years ago that everything we did was right, my opinion changed when I arrived there. I was eager to learn and I acknowledged that they actually do these things well for centuries, while we only thought we did them well”, Ceciu said.

Grasping that if clock making is not learnt as it is practiced in Switzerland, one can never attain proficiency, Mihai Ceciu sent his employees to courses of specialization, to form a team truly valuable.
Founding of Antique Horologvium workshop

After finishing studies at Switzerland, Mihai Ceciu thinks about setting up in Romania a workshop at the highest standards, designed to repair or restore different types of clocks both in terms of brand, age, and ticklishness of used device.

“Right after I finished courses at Wostep, I had to choose between staying in Switzerland to work at the workshops there, and to come back in Romania to open my own business”, says Ceciu.
He chose the second option, because it offered him the greatest professional satisfaction and even today, after almost five years, he would take the same decision.

“In Romania, if you want to fix an older watch at the service department of the respective company abroad, you can not take it out of the country without showing at the customhouse the product’s invoice”.
When he opened Antique Horologvium, Mihai Ceciu was working with a former Italian colleague at Wostep, who came for a month firstly, out of curiosity, but after all, he stuck by him for two years and a half.

Later on, Antique Horologvium expanded: at current, he has five permanent employees and three coworkers and the gear and utensils are of the best quality.

Translated by Camelia Oancea