One of the clocks that I would like to add to my collection is the Arthur Pequegnat Regulator #1, single weight 8-day time only clock. This is indeed a rarity and any that I have seen on the auction sites command prices upwards of $3000.
The company distinguished itself as a competitor for some of the better American wall clocks such as those made by Seth Thomas. Their wall clocks often looked like models made by Seth Thomas but some of their designs were unique. For their wooden cases, they favored the heart wood of quarter-sawn white oak that showed off beautiful ray flecks.
The regulator #1 is often compared to the Seth Thomas Regulator #2. There were many thousands of the ST Regulator #2s that found their way into offices and rail stations all across America. The Arthur Pequegnat Regulator #1, though not as prolific, served the needs of many businesses in Canada. Their clocks are highly collectible in Canada and command twice the price of similarly styled clocks by well-known American counterparts.
The Arthur Pequegnat clock company had an illustrious albeit short life. Watchmaker Arthur Pequegnat was born in Switzerland in 1851. Arthur immigrated to Berlin, Ontario Canada in 1874 with his wife, parents, brothers and sisters; a grand total of 18 family members.
By the late 1870’s Arthur was operating a jewelry store and watch repair in Southern Ontario. By the middle 1880’s Arthur and his brother Paul were operating a shop in Berlin, Ontario. After about ten years the brothers went their own way, both operating successful jewelry shops in Southern Ontario.
In 1897 Arthur expanded his Berlin Jewelry shop to include the manufacture of Bicycles. However, By 1904, with the decrease in the demand for Bicycles, Arthur began to re-focus on the clock industry, by manufacturing his own clock movements at his Berlin Bicycle Manufacturing plant. At first the wooden clock cases were made by local Furniture Makers, however in time he manufactured his own clock cases.
It’s interesting to note that Berlin, Ontario was re-named Kitchener Ontario in 1916, due to anti-German backlash during WW I. This becomes a use-full tool when dating Pequegnat clocks as Labels, Movements or Dials marked “Berlin” date the clock to 1916 or earlier and those marked “Kitchener” are 1916 or later. Having said that, many clocks had a long production life and it is difficult to date any Arthur Pequegnat clock precisely.
Arthur died in 1927, however, with family members in control, the company continued to operate until 1941. The war effort meant that brass became difficult to obtain and so with that the company closed its doors. The factory never produced another clock, and was later demolished in 1964. All that remains in Kitchener today is a plaque commemorating this great clock manufacturer.
This photo was taken at the Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River Ontario in 2013. It was then that my love affair with the Regulator #1 was born. The Canadian Clock museum contains the largest collection of Arthur Pequegnat clocks in Canada and it is certainly worth a visit.
Arthur Pequegnat #1