New glass and bezel for Waterbury Arion

I am not sure where you would have found a Waterbury Arion. It is really too small for a schoolhouse clock or an office clock unless it was a tiny office. Nevertheless, enough of them were made since they are fairly common.

Waterbury Arion octagon short drop without glass and bezel surround

I bought this time-only clock from an older gentleman in Halifax, Nova Scotia.. When he advertised it on a local online for-sale site the photo was so poor that I did not notice that it was missing a bezel and glass so when I arrived at his home we negotiated a slightly lower price.

The oak cabinet is in very good condition as is the reverse painted glass sash. On the other hand, the paper dial is not in great shape but I have decided to leave well enough alone. I think it adds character to the clock. It is a strong runner and keeps very good time. Since it is only 19 inches tall it will fit just about anywhere in a home. A year has gone by and I like the clock so much that I felt it was worth putting on a glass dial and brass bezel.

I measured the clock face and ordered a new bezel and glass. Not having done this before, I thought the glass and bezel would come as one complete assembly or if not complete, a simple way of attaching the glass. What came were 4 brass clips, a hinge without screw holes, the brass bezel, convex glass sized to fit and a 1 1/2 inch long brass tab. Not what I expected!

Original hinge prior to sanding and cleaning

I did not see the need to replace the original hinge as it is in very good condition. I learned that soldering will only hold if the parts to be soldered are cleaned/sanded beforehand and petroleum-based plumber’s flux paste is used, plus I chose to use a propane torch rather than a soldering iron to get as much heat to the parts as I could. Capillary action is required to make the solder flow so there must be sufficient heat.

Although I need more practice soldering I achieved a strong bond. At hand were Robertson screws to secure the hinge to the case which will be replaced with slotted screws at a later date.

New bezel installed with old hinge

Next was getting the glass into the bezel. Here is one of the clips that I soldered into place. There are 4 of them and each one was a minor frustration. If the solder bond is strong enough the clips can be safely bent and I was able to bend these with ease.

Bezel showing a clip soldered into place

The high heat of a torch will discolour the brass. Too much heat and the outside of the brass will also be discoloured. Must be beginners luck, the outside of the bezel is fine.

When pushing the tabs down to anchor the glass I put a small chip in the glass which is not otherwsie noticeable. I did not want to put an anchor slot in the left side of the bezel which is what the 1 1/2 inch tab is for so I decided to trim it and use it as a bottom support for the bezel assembly, just under the number “6”. Not ideal but very functional.

You can just see the support tab under the 6

In the process I also cleaned up the brass around the dial pan to match the new bezel/glass surround. Despite minor frustrations and the need to stop and think as I went along the project is now complete and the clock looks much more better.

Completed bezel project.

A great little project and I learned more about soldering along the way.

Now to repaint the numerals.

2 thoughts on “New glass and bezel for Waterbury Arion

  1. Ron, if you want to get rid of some of the pinkish heat discolouration, you can just hit it with a bit of steel wool to polish it back to “gold”. Not a big deal on the tabs, but I’d do the exterior of the hinge.

    The bottom tab support does look a bit odd though.


    1. Thanks I’ll try that. I made the bottom support because I would have had to design a new catch on the opposite side of the hinge. Not the best aesthetically but hardly noticeable.



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