Eight years ago I acquired my first Arthur Pequegnat clock. In the years following, I have added to my collection and now have a total of 8. Although my collection of Pequegnat clocks is very modest by comparison to a dedicated Pequegant collector it is a good start and I would certainly like to add to that number in the future.
The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company (1904–1941) is notable as the longest-lasting Canadian-based clock manufacturer. They made a wide variety of different styled clocks from 1904 through to 1941 from shelf and mantel clocks to wall clocks and floor models.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to date a Pequegnat clock, except for what is termed pre and post-Berlin, the location of the company’s manufacturing plant. Clocks made before 1917 were inscribed “Berlin, Canada” on the dial face. Kitchener, Ontario was known as Berlin prior to and during the first World War. It was the town of Berlin from 1854 until 1912 then the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. Because the name Berlin was associated with the war against Germany the town fathers decided the name Kitchener was less offensive and the change was made midway through the First World War. Kitchener is the present seat of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Most Arthur Pequegant clock movements are stamped with the company name but there are no date marks on movements indicating when it was made. Clocks made after the First War wore the company name plus Canada under the number 6 on the dial face. For example, clocks such at the Canadian Time were made from 1904 to 1941 and are separated in age by the Berlin label consequently, my Canadian Time wall clock with the Canada label could be as old as 104 or as “new” as 80 years old.
One distinctive feature on many movements is the use of nickel plating for both brass and steel plates.
Many models continued in production right up to 1941. By 1941, the demands of World War II armament makers for brass, the essential ingredient in clock movements as well as the growing popularity of the electric clock, forced the Arthur Pequegnat company to cease production.
And now, beginning with the first clock acquired in 2013.
The Canadian Time
My first Pequegant, purchased in September 2013 hung in the Intercolonial Rail Station waiting room in Pictou, Nova Scotia.
The seller arranged the purchase of the clock just prior to the station’s decommissioning in 1993. It is in very good condition, missing its door clasp but otherwise intact. There are a few scratches and nicks consistent with its age but nothing objectionable.
The Brandon (2nd edititon)
I found this clock in an antique shop just outside Truro, Nova Scotia in 2014.
The case is in excellent condition but the movement was quite worn. Had I known more about servicing clocks at the time of purchase I would not have sent it to a clock repair specialist. It is one of two in my Pequegant collection serviced by someone other than myself. This is the Brandon II. The Brandon 1, the first edition, was made prior to 1918, and had an ornate pressed wood bezel. This one is simpler in design.
The Maple Leaf “Fan-top”
Next came my first Maple Leaf kitchen clock, known for its unique lower tablet of scattered maple leaves and a distinctive maple leaf pendulum.
This clock, bought in 2015, was also serviced by a clock professional. The case was in very poor condition. Stripping a case is an absolute last resort as far as I’m concerned but the finish on this clock was pretty bad. I could not leave it as it was.
To Pequegnat collectors, it is known as the fan-top.
Three years later, the Simcoe followed me home. It was bought at an antique shop in Victoria, British Columbia in 2018.
It is not particularly attractive. It is the only mantel clock in my Pequegnat collection and it is from the “Berlin” period.
2018 was a good year because I acquired 4 Pequegnat clocks. This was number two of that year.
This clock was gifted to me by a reader. He asked if I wanted the clock but I had to pick it up in Quebec which was on our way to a summer cottage in central Canada. The movement was in very good condition but the case was damaged having taken a plunge off a high shelf.
The movement was serviced without issue but the case required extensive intervention.
The third purchase that year and the fifth in my collection is the Maple Leaf Pointed Top
The Maple Leaf “Pointed Top”
There are 4 Maple Leaf clocks made by Pequegnat. Any version of the Maple Leaf is sought after by Canadian collectors but this one has distinctive pointed side columns, hence the nickname.
Although termed a kitchen clock it could easily have been placed in a living room or parlour.
The last 2018 acquisition was a clock that I had in the back of my mind for quite some time and I was waiting for the right price. This is an excellent copy that is very presentable and looks great on our kitchen wall.
It is a post-Berlin double spring time-only 15-day clock. Many were used in rail stations despite the fact that they were spring-driven. Weight-driven clocks were preferred for their accuracy but the Moncton was up to the task as a timekeeper.
And the last.
This is the only true Pequegant “gingerbread” clock in my view.
The case was refreshed and the dial was redone. The movement was also serviced without issue.
These are all keepers. Most Pequegants have kept their value over the years and in Canada, they are regarded as quality clocks for the masses. They were well built, well-designed movements with a distinctive Canadian charm as many were named after cities in Canada.
A hall clock would complete my modest collection.