find of the year

What is my best clock find of 2020?

2020 was a very trying year for us all and I suppose that applies to clock collectors generally when it comes to acquisitions. Despite the pandemic, I managed to purchase a few clocks though obviously, not as many as in other years.

The contenders for the year are clocks from Solar, Junghans, Sessions, Arthur Pequegnat, and Fleet, leading up to the big winner of the year, a Scottish tall case clock.


First on the list is an attractive German-made Solar time and strike mantel clock, sold by the Eatons Department store chain in Canada during the 1960s and 70s.

Solar mantel clock
Solar mantel clock, 1965

It has a Hermle type 141 movement and strikes the half-hour on a bell. It was a non-working clock when I bought it for $20 but it was simple enough to service and now runs like a charm. I will likely sell it locally for a few dollars more.

Junghans bracket clock

For $40 I could not possibly go wrong with this bracket clock even though it was a non-working clock and need some serious TLC. I serviced the movement, refreshed the case, polished the brass, added new feet and the clock now occupies a prominent location in my family room.

Junghans Corner feet finished
Junghans time and strike bracket clock, 1911

Sessions 3W electric clock

The diminutive Sessions desk clock has a Synchron motor (60 cycles per second) and the only repair is to replace the plug. I like the simplicity and style. It has some issues consistent with an 87-year-old electric clock but it is in pretty good shape for its age.

Sessions desk clock, 1934

Arthur Pequegnat

Next is an Arthur Pequegnat Canuck time and strike gingerbread or kitchen clock as it is otherwise known. This was another inexpensive find, $50 on an online for-sale site, and for $10 more, another clock completed the deal.

Arthur Pequegnat canuck, inset shows the dial before restoration, 1918

I spent a considerable amount of time on this clock, refreshing the case, inpainting the dial, and refurbishing the movement. I was very satisfied with the results and this clock will join my collection of 7 other Arthur Pequegnat clocks. A nice find for a very good price.

Fleet Time Company

Next is a Fleet Westminster chime mantel clock from the late 1930s, made by the Fleet Time Company of Montreal. Fleet assembled clocks for 4 short years before World War II sourcing movements from Germany with locally made cases. It is the $10 clock that was combined with the deal above.

Fleet Westminster time mantel clock, 1937
The clock as received

I refurbished the case and replaced the time side mainspring but did nothing to the movement except re-oil it. The case was completely stripped down to the bare wood followed by the application of a medium oak stain and a clear satin topcoat. This is a lovely mantel clock with a rich Westminster chime and I will probably keep this one in my collection since it was assembled in Montreal and represents a small but important piece of Canadian horological history.

McLachlan tall case clock

Finally, let’s come to my prize for the year, bought at a live auction in February 2020, a Scottish tall case clock assembled by William McLachlan of Newton, Steward in 1848. Completely restored were the dial, movement, and the case, which required extensive structural repairs.

Scottish tall case clock
Scottish tall case clock, 1848

With an English bell strike movement, tall, stately mahogany case, beautiful hand-painted dial and heavy 13 lb weights, this clock has a commanding presence in my home. If you have ever heard the sound of an antique bell strike clock you will understand that is it as loud as it is because it was designed to echo through a stately Scottish manor. It is a conversation piece and those who have seen it marvel at its condition and age.

Despite a difficult year, I was pleased with my purchases. I am confident that 2021 will be a better year for me as a clock collector and a better year for us all.

8 thoughts on “ find of the year

  1. Wow! You have had some great finds, and have done some amazing restoration on these! The Scottish tall case is just absolutely beautiful! That is a work of art! Wonderful job!


  2. Fun to see your finds! Also fun to see how you restored them! I had some good finds at my local Value Village. One was a Pequegnat napoleon hat that just needed a glass for $20 – sold it for $200. The other was a 1-day cuckoo that needed weights and a pendulum for $14 – found weights for $10, made the pendulum and sold it for $80. My wife and I are downsizing so I am selling more than keeping.


    1. I manage to find a few real bargains as well. Sorry for the late reply, found your reply in a deleted folder along with some others. I am downsizing to a point. I have adopted the practice of one-in and one-out to keep things manageable.


  3. I love the tall case! Beautiful restoration, but the Sessions clock is my favorite ☺


  4. Kinda partial to the little- engine-that-could clock. That is the tiny Solar mantle clock. Must take exception with your comment describing it elsewhere that the chime is somewhat lacking in gravitas. (Actually you’re right). Although it reminds me of the long gone, (PCC) street cars when I spent time in Toronto. Nicknamed “Red Rockets”. A clothesline-like wire ran through length of car. Pulling on it would chime a bell by the conductor to know a passenger wished to get off next stop. The Solar sounds much like it. Priceless.


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