Charley Allison,
Artisan Watchmaker

The story of an American inventor's creations...
nearly lost to time.

(click image for larger view)

Charles Beale Allison
Watchmaker
Inventor
Grandfather

May 13, 1892 - February 26, 1955

Charles Allison

 

THE END OF THE STORY

March 2024 Update:
Museum Exhibit

This just in! The Charles Allison Timepiece Collection will be on display at the National Watch and Clock Museum from May 1 - July 31, 2024. Family lore reports that Charley always wanted his clocks to be recognized by a museum. Thank you to the NAWCC for giving him this posthumous gift!

More information available on their website: NAWCC Museum

July 2023 Update:
The World Clock (created 1952),
from the Charles Allison Timepiece Collection,
on display (for the first time in 70 years!),
won a First Prize ribbon at the 80th Annual
National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Convention

in the Crafts Competition.
This one's for you, Grandpa.

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that the story of Charley's clocks
--and his grandson's search--
is officially published!
(on July 2, 2024)

THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

Picture it: January 2018.
Hi. My name is Gregory Gerard Allison.
I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather's craft.
A self-taught watchmaker at 16, over the period of his life,
he designed and created 13 unique "Allison clocks".

His collection was praised by watchmakers, engineers
(and even Hollywood celebrities!) during the 1940s in Los Angeles.
Many added their signatures and comments
to the Allison Watchmakers guest book (which I inherited).

He died in 1955 and only one of his timepieces was in my family's hands through inheritance. The remaining 12 were supposed to go to a museum, but where? When? Unknown. I vowed in my journal, at age 15 (1981),
to locate the missing collection when I grew up.

FLASH FORWARD.

Now, at 51, I'm writing a book about the search for my grandfather's (Charley Allison's) lost timepieces.

The quest includes movie stars and letters and divorces and broken gears and the Amish community and a former Christian Science church and all sorts of stuff that I couldn't make up if I tried.
Stay tuned for the book version.

Here's a teaser YOUTUBE VIDEO (4 min.)

My quest was also written up in the July/August 2020 edition of the Watch & Clock Bulletin from the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, Inc. (NAWCC)

Here's the article in PDF form:
QUEST FOR INFORMATION

And some vintage newspaper articles from The Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet:

uniique

And...if you're reading this and happen to know
anything about Charley Allison or Allison Watchmakers
East Rochester, NY
Sherman Oaks, CA
Woodland Hills, CA
or any one of his 13 Allison clocks,
feel free to drop me an EMAIL!)

Allison Clock

September 2022 Update:
I'm very excited to report that, after 70 years in a closet
(each carefully wrapped in cloth and placed in a box),
my grandfather's collection is FOUND!
I am overjoyed to have rediscovered these clocks in an unlikely place:
a former church building in Montana.

Special thanks to my newly discovered step-cousin, Judy Allison of Montana.
Her stepdad told her to "throw everything away" when she cleaned and sold his L.A. house for him. Fortunately, when she came across a box of photos, papers,
--and unique clocks in a closet--she recognized them as something special.
Saving them from the dustbin, she packed the clocks into the car and,
along with her dad, brought them all back to her 'artisan home' in Montana--
a former Christian Science church building that she'd purchased and renovated.

This gracious woman began her own search for Charley Allison's east coast descendants to 'help the clocks find their home'. Thanks to kindness, determination, a random Google hit on my YouTube post--and perhaps a little guidance from my grandfather's spirit--the Universe has finally brought us together!

I'm in the process of writing the whole story into a book,
while I work to get the collection restored and made "museum-worthy".

 

Clocks FOUND!
As seen in this
YouTube video:

Clocks

 

An overjoyed grandson,