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Reproduced by Permission of Desert News Salt Lake City Utah Sunday, October 2, 1994By Perry Sorensen

Navy-surplus chronometer launches lucrative sideline

When Gary Sellick bought a surplus Navy chronometer a couple of years ago, he thought he was just adding one more timepiece to the collection of 50 clocks and watches he’s acquired over the past 20 years. 

But that surplus chronometer started him into a lucrative sideline that now takes more of the time than his building construction business.  And what’s the sideline? It’s a 7 1/2-inch wooden box just like the boxes the Navy used to keep the chronometers on all its ships until about ten years ago.  They become surplus when the switch was made to quartz digital timepieces.   The chronometer box Sellick bought had seen better days so he decided to fix it.

"After I started, I decided I could make a better one myself," he recalls.  Then he made three more in his garage workshop and took them to a collectors’ show in Arizona he and his wife LaJuana attended every year.  "That show is really a high class flea market," he explains.   "You can find almost anything you want. " Sellick’s boxes sold the first day, and he came home with orders for eight more.  Since then he’s made and sold more than 50 at $750 each and has orders for another dozen.   Most of them have come from a small ad in a bimonthly magazine published by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.