Turkish watchmaker 'happy' living in 50-year time warp


Time is an illusion to Einstein, but for Turkish watchmaker Ökkeş Altunbaş it is an order that he has maintained on all kinds of watches and clocks for 50 long years.

Altunbaş, 61, told Anadolu Agency he has been repairing watches, especially antique ones since he was just 10 years old on Karagoz Street in southeastern Gaziantep province.

Despite doing the same job, decade after decade, he said he remains happy and would like to continue his "old-fashioned" profession.

In fact, he has even passed on the trade to his three sons, Mehmet, 41, Vedat, 34, and Şahin, 31. Each of his sons have similar watch repairing shops like their father.

"My entire family has been engaged in this profession for a long time. I have been in it since I was 10.

"I used to go to school and work in a repair shop at the same time when I was a kid. Now my three children all have their own shops. They all do their job perfectly," Altunbaş told Anadolu Agency.

However, he lamented the fact that several people have left the profession over the decades.

"There is now almost no one who does this job anymore. People mostly buy new ones instead of repairing their [old] watches. Also, it's hard to find professionals to do this job.

"That's why I'm happy that my sons keep doing this old-fashioned family job," he added.

One of his sons, Mehmet, heaped praise on his father, saying he gives the best advice about repairing watches.

"My father taught us every detail about the antique watch repair business. He still gives us advice…If we ever find it hard to fix a problem we know we can always go and ask our father."

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