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. A rare clock indeed and prices of the few I have seen are on the high side. Too rich for me at his time.
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. Thousands of Seth Thomas Regulator #2s 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. The clock is highly collectible in Canada and will command twice the price of similarly styled clocks by well-known American counterparts.
This photo of the Regulator #1 was taken at the Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River Ontario in 2013.
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.
Berlin, Ontario was re-named Kitchener Ontario in 1916, due to anti-German backlash during WW I. The date becomes a useful tool when determining the age of Pequegnat clocks, Movements or Dials marked “Berlin” date the clock to 1916 or earlier and those marked “Kitchener” are 1916 or later. Since many clocks had a long production life it is difficult to date any Arthur Pequegnat clock with precision.
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 the company shut its doors. The factory never produced another clock, and was demolished in 1964. All that remains in Kitchener today is a plaque commemorating this great clock manufacturer.
The Canadian Clock museum contains the largest collection of Arthur Pequegnat clocks in Canada and it is certainly worth a visit. The Macdonald Museum in Middleton, Nova Scotia has a modest collection of Pequegnat and is worth visiting if you are traveling through the province of Nova Scotia.