How It All Began
The story of Layne’s Clocks journey into the world of watch and clock repair and jewelry making starts back when Brents Burton (Bert) Layne, (1920 – 1992) found an old pocket Elgin watch as a small boy. He was so intrigued by this watch, he found himself taking the watch apart to figure out what made it “tick.” Unfortunately, that watch never ticked again. But, from that fascination grew a never-ending desire to find out all he could about making things work. When Bert enlisted in the Air Force in 1942, the Service immediately recognized his talent and put him to work on the clocks and gauges in the aircraft. That experience convinced him that he had found his true love was working with small parts and – this time – making them work.
Martha K. Mosley met and captured Bert’s heart and they married in 1946 after Bert was discharged from the Air Force.
As a new husband looking to support a wife Bert decided to go with his heart again and put to use his love for repairing clocks and watches. He tried to get into a formal school for watchmaking, but found nothing was available for at least two years. Undaunted and committed to following his dream, he decided to study under a watchmaker. Bert looked for the best watchmaker in the area and found Mr. Tom McGhee, who took Bert on as an apprentice. Bert studied with Mr. McGhee for about ten years.
In 1956, Bert Layne Jewelers was born in a small shop located in the Layne’s home on Signal Mountain, Tenn. and moved to larger quarter in Chattanooga in 1960 as his reputation for quality service began to expand the business of watch and clock repair
The Laynes made another significant move in 1965 when they relocated to Arizona to accommodate Bert’s asthma and hay fever problems. Originally, they planned to make Phoenix their home, but when they stopped in Tucson, he loved it so much, they stayed. At first, Bert worked out of his home again, but in 1978 they moved to their present location at 5618 East Broadway Avenue in Tucson. This is where they expanded to selling clocks of all sizes and shapes.
Martha and Nancy, their daughter, continued the business after Bert’s death in 1992. Nancy had worked full time in the business since 1974 and completed many technical classes from American Watchmakers – Clockmakers Institute to maintain her father’s high standard of quality clock and watch repairs.