RS Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931 (10)
Sessions Westminster A
RS Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931 (12)
Inlay adds to the charm of this clock

This is a Sessions Westminster A mantel clock made in Forestville Conn. According to my research the first year of production for this model was 1927. Between 1903 and 1933 Sessions produced 52 models of mechanical clocks, ranging from Advertisers, large and small clocks with logos of various businesses, to wall, or regulator clocks, and shelf or mantel clocks, designed for the home. Many of the Sessions clocks from this period are prized by collectors.

This clock is 21 inches long and 10 inches high, has a mahogany finish with a wood inlay and raised metal gold-coloured numerals. It is an 8-day Westminster chime movement chiming on the quarter hour. What makes this clock interesting is that the strike and the chime are on the same train. This clock is known for having only 2 gear trains to perform what is usually done with three gear trains in most clocks. This clock was made in the 1920’s, a time it seems that every American clock company introduced a chime clock. Most companies developed movements with 3 gear trains which means 3 mainsprings to wind, one for each train. Sessions chose a different approach, and designed the 2 train Westminster movement with only 2 mainsprings to wind, based off their already existing time & strike clocks. In fact, the dial off of a time & strike mantle clock will match right up to the arbors on this movement. Sessions was not the only company to do this since others incorporated this design later in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

RS Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931 (11)
Drum and pin chime arrangement

I believe that this particular clock was sold in 1931 because of an inscription on the label inside the clock. The sale price then was $29.95 which would have been a working man’s salary in the 1930’s. I picked it up at a flea market in Quebec for a very good price.

All is not well, however. The time side is fine but the chime and strike side does not seem to be working. It has either a broken or a disconnected spring. If I try to wind the chime / strike side all I get is a clicking sound. If broken, the spring would need to be replaced. If disconnected that would be a relatively easy fix but the clock would have to be disassembled nonetheless. I am also missing the key which I can easily purchase through TimeSavers.

This a good project clock that is not for the inexperienced. As I gain more knowledge I will tackle this most interesting clock.