Ansonia crystal regulator clock – Part III – brass case refresh

This is Part III of a three (3) part series. In Part I I discuss disassembly and servicing the mainsprings. In Part II, the movement and in this, Part III we will look at restoring the brass case.

My wife found this 1910 Ansonia Crystal Regulator, Prism model, in the late summer 2018 while antique shopping. What a great choice! We were in a hurry and should have asked the proprietor to show us that it worked. We returned home and to our dismay, it was not running.

However it was an opportunity to completely service the clock movement and clean up the clock case. As I mentioned in the last post the movement required 5 bushings. The movement ran for a full 8-day cycle and was re0assembled into the case.

Back of clock showing coil gong and block

While the movement was on the test stand it was an opportunity to refresh the case. The protective lacquer was long gone and as a result the case was heavily tarnished. As you can see in the next photo it had assumed a dark grey tone over time. Some are quite content with the patina but I take the opposite view. These clocks were meant to be shown off and look best when the brass really shines.

1910 Ansonia Crystal Regulator

After spending a considerable amount of time polishing with Brasso this is the first result.

After first Brasso treatment

Once the case was fully dis-assembled I treated the pieces to a second cleaning with Brasso. To preserve the finish I covered each piece with two thin coats of lacquer prior to re-assembly. This a reversible process since the lacquer can be removed with lacquer thinner.

The final result

The movement has been serviced and the case has been restored. A very worthwhile project.

Side view showing movement

I was very hesitant to work on this clock because of it’s complexity but I am pleased that it turned out so well.

3 thoughts on “Ansonia crystal regulator clock – Part III – brass case refresh

  1. Nice job Ron. Next time, after using Brasso, try a buff with a bit of Simichrome, it really brings up the shine. It works well. I was able to pick up a tube on sale at Timesavers for less than a third of the price we can touch it for in Canada.
    Don B.


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