At the age of 38, Kris Guyot decided it was time for a change.

It was time to fix clocks.

In January, Guyot joined the family business – Swiss Time – a 40-year-old business owned by his parents and managed by his sister.

The store on Exchange Street in Portland sells new and refurbished clocks and watches and repairs timepieces of all shapes and sizes. Every 60 minutes the store explodes with a cacophony of clanging bells and cuckoo birds.

Despite growing up among clocks, Guyot had never repaired one until this year. As a child, he and his younger sister, Stephany Guyot, would help their parents with small tasks, like sweeping the shop’s floors. Or, to pass time, the siblings would tinker with broken watch parts.

Now, Guyot, whose ancestors were Swiss, is learning the business one step at a time. He plans to take classes and earn certifications. In the meantime, he performs minor repairs — gluing cracked wood, cleaning clockworks or replacing bellows so the cuckoo birds can make their namesake sound.


The inner workings of a clock can get surprisingly dirty, slowly accumulating dust, cooking grease and even dog hair over the years, he said.

The North Yarmouth resident used to work as an environmental consultant. He tested emissions and helped companies comply with environmental laws, but the constant travel became burdensome.

Guyot said he’s pleased with the career change so far. He’s always enjoyed “tinkering with mechanical stuff” and finds the work meditative.

There’s never a shortage of clocks to repair, he said. Retail business fluctuates, but the repair work is steady. Keeping pace with the new arrivals can be a challenge.

“The days go pretty fast here,” he said. “There’s never enough time.”

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