Who or what is Aro Clock Company of Montreal?

I frequently take photos of clocks in antique stores. If asked I say that I have a friend who is looking for that exact clock and I usually get away with it. In Ladysmith, British Columbia I came across a Canadian clock that I have never seen before. On the bottom of the dial it says “Mfg Par Aro Inc Canada”.

Who or what is Aro? I could find very little information. They were evidently based in the province of Quebec and likely the city of Montreal. My research tells me that they made two styles of clocks in the 1960s. This one, a kitchen clock and a schoolhouse clock.

Clock with inscription “Mfg Par Aro”

Both have 8 day Japanese trapezoid open plate time-only movements.

Unfortunately this clock was in front of a window, the morning sun was pouring in and this is the only shot I could get of the whole clock. It appears to be in good shape and intact.

It is unusually tall and has a long rectangular door with a decorative design which gives the appearance of a more expensive clock. There are two side pillars with a lion decoration on each one. The top centre piece is of a woman’s face. The decorations are  appliques rather than carved pieces, a cost cutting measure.

Very tall at over 26 inches and not particularly well made

The term “made in Canada” can have many meanings but it appears Aro were assemblers that sourced both movements and cases and not clock-makers.

Schoolhouse clock by Par Aro; notice the unusually long throat (source Kijiji)

Beyond that I know nothing about this long forgotten Canadian company. While Aro will never achieve the same status as the Pequegnat Clock Company or the Canada Clock Company it would be interesting to know something more about this company, how long it was in business and why it failed.

Aro time-only movement, made in Japan. Notice the Robertson mounting screws

The movement is mounted with Robertson square head screws, a type of screw widely used in Canada. Harimco LTD, marked on the front plate, is an Asian company but I could not find anything further.

These clocks come up on Ebay and other online for-sale sites from time to time. I consider them a curiosity. They are cheaply made and are not particularly sought after by collectors but I am surprised at how little is known about this Quebec company.

4 thoughts on “Who or what is Aro Clock Company of Montreal?

  1. Don’t have much to add to your post but just wanted to say that I have 2 of the kitchen style clocks, 1 dark finished and 1 light finished with a matching shelf that looks like it was sold with the clock. I also have a schoolhouse clock that is exactly like the one you have pictured except that mine has gold stencil on the door and says ARO in the middle of it.


    1. Interesting, and thanks for the information. As I mentioned in the article I do not have one in my collection but I am always on the lookout for one. They are not the best made clocks but they represent a small part of Canada’s clock manufacturing history.



  2. I have this clock with the lady face and the lions on the side. How much is it worth. Runs great!


    1. If you are a collector of Canadian-made and Canadian assembled clocks this should be in your collection. Alas, they had Asian-made movements in cheaply constructed cases. I would say in the $100 range for one in good condition.


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