About Us

Pilbrow Watchmakers was established in Gisborne in 1947 by Paddy J. Pilbrow after serving a 5 year apprenticeship in Wellington.

Ian Pilbrow started his apprenticeship with his father Paddy in 1966 and graduated after a 5 year course. He has been watchmaking both in New Zealand and overseas and for the past 35 years have had a workshop in Taupo, New Zealand.

Rowan Pilbrow started his apprenticeship in August 2001 and gained his certificate as a qualified Horologist in May 2006. In March 2014 Rowan brought the business making him the third generation of Pilbrows Watchmakers.

In July 2001 we opened a specialized repair workshop in a 'glass bowl' in the middle of Suncourt Arcade, Taupo, giving the public the opportunity to watch Horologists in action.

This proved to be extremely popular and we quickly ran out of space due to the amount of work being brought in. We moved to another shop (still within Suncourt Arcade) dramatically increasing the shop size, but still allowing the public to watch us working.

Recent history
In September 2010 we moved to a larger shop again (Opposite our old shop) increasing our workshop and showroom three-fold. The new shop has windows right down one side to allow the public to view the workshop.

Since then, we've extended the building and taken on another two watchmakers. Bhikhu from India who specialises in clock restoration and Leon, a Kiwi watchmaker who, after a number of years working in the States gaining specialist certificates from Rolex and ETA, has moved back to New Zealand and joined us in December 2014.

If it tells the time, we can repair it.

Within our large parts room we have a huge assortment of parts for all types of clocks and watches that have been collected over the past sixty to seventy years, many of which are now very hard to get and in some instances unobtainable.

Profiles

Ian Pilbrow: Born in Gisborne 1951. Started apprenticeship with my father (P.J. Pilbrow) in 1966 and graduated after a 5 year apprentice. Completed training course with Watchmakers of Switzerland 1971. I have been watch/clock making both in New Zealand and overseas for almost 50 years, based in Taupo for the last 32 years.

Rowan Pilbrow: I was born in 1983 and grew up in Taupo. I've always had a keen interest in mechanical workings and started my Horological apprenticeship with dad in August 2001, gaining my certificate in May 2006. In 2009 I joined the committee of the New Zealand Horological Institute, 2 years later became the Vice President (the youngest ever) and in 2013 became the President (again youngest ever). I concentrate mostly on watch restoration and looking after the parts department.

Bihiku Halipati: Originally from Gujarat, India I moved to New Zealand 2006 with my wife and two children to work as a watchmaker in Taranaki. In March 2012 I moved to Taupo and started work with Pilbrows Watch & Clock Restorations. I spend most of my time working on clocks.

Leon Wedgwood:

Tess Smith: I was born on the Isle of Wight in England and immigrated by ship with my parents to New Zealand as dad got a job at the Wairakei Powerstation and we lived in the village. After moving to Auckland for many years I have now been in Taupo for the last 15 years and love the fantastic life the district offers. I enjoy spending time with my daughter, baking for friends and have recently joined the team at Pilbrows to take up the challenge of learning hands on about this highly skilled precision industry and enjoy looking after client services for our valued customers from all over the country.

Repairs

We repair all types of clocks and watches, but specialize in high end watch servicing and the restoration of antique timepieces. We can repair ...

Watches

  • Swiss, American, English, German, etc.
  • Pocket watches
  • Fob watches
  • Manual wind watches
  • Automatic watches
  • Chronograph watches
  • Divers watches
  • Stopwatches
  • Quartz watches
  • Complicated watches

Clocks

  • American, Dutch, English, French, German etc.
  • Marble, metal or wooden cased. Time only, striking or chiming.
  • Mantle clocks
  • Cuckoo clocks
  • 400 Day (Anniversary) clocks
  • Longcase (Grandfather/Grandmother) clocks
  • Wall clocks
  • Bracket clocks
  • Carriage clocks
  • Alarm clocks
  • Ships clocks
  • Car clocks
  • Mystery clocks

We have for sale watches and clocks from yesteryear, from very old Long-case clocks to modern mechanical watches as well as new clocks and watches. We can also make clocks for buildings and sports-grounds in any size, shape, style and colour that you require. All our timepieces we offer for sale (excluding new items) have been completely overhauled and serviced, and where applicable, cases refurbished and/or glasses, straps, crowns or any other worn parts replaced. These all come with written guarantees.

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