Arthur Pequegnat Simcoe mantel clock
Arthur Pequegnat Simcoe model mantel clock

Canadian clock collectors have a passion for Arthur Pequegnat clocks. In private sales and online for-sale sites most sellers are knowledgeable enough to know that they are very desirable with prices reflected accordingly. A Pequegnat will sell for many times more than a comparable mantel clock, that is, in Canada.

The Arthur Pequegnat clock company had an illustrious albeit short history

The Simcoe is my fourth Arthur Pequegnat clock. It is very similar in dimensions and style to the Jewel. Whereas the Jewel is basically a unadorned box the Simcoe has a piecrust dial bezel, claw feet on each corner and lions head handles on each side. It has a coil gong for the hour strike and a bell for the half-hour passing strike.

To collectors it is referred to as a”Berlin” clock. Although it is impossible to date Pequegnat clocks precisely the name Berlin distinguishes clocks made before 1917 and those made after and up to 1941 when the factory finally shut its doors. Clocks made prior to 1917 were inscribed “Berlin”, Ontario on the dial face since Kitchener was known as Berlin until midway through World War I. From 1854 until 1912 it was the town of Berlin and City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. Because the name Berlin had a negative association with the war against Germany the city administration chose the name Kitchener. Kitchener is the present seat of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario (Canada).

Time and strike movement with steel plates
Time and strike movement with steel plates, a common feature with Pequegnat clocks

The Arthur Pequegnat clock company had an illustrious albeit short history. Arthur Pequegnat, a watchmaker by training, 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.

Arthur Pequegnat clocks such as a simple mantel clock you see here can command hundred of dollars in Canada

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 ten years the brothers went their separate ways, 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. Arthur obviously visualized a profit in clock making as many clocks at the time were imported from the United States. At first the wooden clock cases were made by local furniture makers, however in time he manufactured his own clock cases. Although the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company was widely regarded as the only true Canadian clock company, lesser known companies such as the Hamilton Clock Company and the Canada Clock Company, though not as successful, predated it.

The Simcoe is a relatively nondescript clock. I passed by it in the antique store without realizing that it was a Pequegnat. My wife spotted it and I returned to take a second look. Sure enough, a Pequegnat!

The yellow oak case is in very good condition with one or two small scratches and a chip just above the top of the bezel. The dial pan has had an ugly repair, there are two brass tabs at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock protruding though the front of the dial. Perhaps it has a replacement dial pan because the dial itself is original.

Piecrust bezel
Piecrust bezel

The dial face has some crackling but is otherwise in good condition. The piecrust bezel is in very nice shape as are the claw feet and lions heads.

Lions head on case side
Lions head on case side

The movement looks very clean with little evidence of wear. There is an inscription on the back dated Jan 10, 1970. It was likely either resold or serviced on that date. In any event it does not appear to have had much running since then. Unfortunately, there is no label.

Ornate front feet
Ornate front feet

The movement was taken out of its case, inspected for wear and found to be in very good condition. The movement was oiled, returned it to its case, the  beat was set and it is running strongly. The clock will be inspected in one years time to determine if servicing is required.