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.
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.
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.
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.
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.