Anyone who collects clocks knows that Waterbury clocks have had a long and illustrious history but did you know that the modern day Timex watch can trace it’s roots all the way back to the Waterbury Clock Company?
Let’s start with my Ingersoll-Waterbury time and strike mantel clock that I picked up late last year (2015) and following which we will explore this most interesting company.
This mantel clock was sold to retail outlets by the G.R. L’Èsperance Company of Montreal, Canada who advertised themselves as the sole distributor. “Made in Canada” it says on the case but as is typical of clocks sold in Canada before and during the Second World War the movements were made in the USA, assembled and shipped to Canada to be installed in cases that were sold in many stores across the country. Other clock companies such as Seth Thomas established a similar practice. Aside from the very rare Martin Cheney clocks made in Montreal in the mid 18th century, the only clock company that made their own movements and built their own cases was the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company based in Kitchener, Ontario in the early 1900s to 1941.
This Ingersoll-Waterbury mantel clock was made in 1943 and likely very popular at the time.
It has a conventional pendulum adjusted by a small arbor under the “12” and the company logo “W” in raised relief on the bob. It has a common recoil escapement. The clock face is paper with the inscription “Waterbury” on top of the “6” and”Made in Canada” below it.
The label is a generic one found on a wide variety of clocks to save printing costs. The swinging front panel door is unique to this clock and there is a small catch underneath the right hand side to secure it.
The hands may look very ornate but they are in fact quite cheap looking. A quick search on the net reveals that are, in fact, original. The inexpensively made hands and paper face are not unexpected for a mass produced clock.
The veneers on either side of the back panel were split open when I first received the clock but clamping and carpenter`s glue tightened things up. It is very common for clocks of this vintage to have chipped or missing pieces of veneer which unfortunately reflects their cheap construction. However, this clock presents well and is free of serious flaws on the case itself.