Time keeps on ticking for massive airport clock
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - Champ’s Clock Shop in Douglasville is already home to an eye-popping (and sometimes ear-shattering) collection of more than 800 clocks. But owner Jeff Champion’s latest get is way too big for the walls inside the shop.
"It doesn't look so large when you're standing right in front of it, but when you get above it and look down, you find out that you're minuscule,” says Champion with a laugh.
The titanic timekeeper now sitting in Champion’s backyard should be a familiar one to Atlantans — it sat outside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a decade. "It's the icon! If you wanna get off on Camp Creek Parkway, ‘Where do I turn? Oh, there's that clock! That's where we turn, right there!’”
Champion says a longtime friend and clock customer, Kenny Wright, called him up and told him the airport was planning to get rid of the clock — and also recommended to the airport’s facilities manager that it go to Champ’s Clock Shop. Manufactured by Missouri-based Americlock, Inc., the clock stretches more than 20-feet in diameter and lights up from within the hands and roman numerals.
"A lot of big tower clocks that you'll see in New York — big, big cities — they have clocks this big on them, and Big Ben's makes this look like a shrimp, but you rarely get to see 'em in the ground."
And for a place that’s already full of “perfect circles” — acquiring this colossal clock is perhaps the most perfect of all.
"My dad was crash rescue at Station 24 out there at the old airport,” says Champion of his father, the original “Champ” of Champ’s Clock Shop. "And dad actually started his business out of his locker, at Atlanta Airport, as a fireman."
To check out our SKYFOX Drone video of the clock, click on the video player in this article.