Tick Talk Tuesday #42 Sessions Westminster A questions

Tick-Talk Tuesday is about the letters and comments I have received from readers concerning clock issues, challenges faced, a clock you would profiled or advice on your particular clock concern. For those comments and questions that stump even me, I consult within my clock circles for the best possible answer

CC writes:

Hi Ron, are you still answering questions about antique clocks? I came across this (Sessions Westminster A mantel clock) at a garage sale last weekend. I need to get a replacement key, and I need to know if it is worth having it cleaned and does it need to be repaired. I think it’s really beautiful and I would love to hear how it strikes and if it has a chime. I have attached some photos, hopefully, they can help. Thank you for your time I really enjoyed reading your articles online.  Sincerely, Carla. Ps, yes I have the weight I only removed it because I’ve been moving it around to clean it up and polish the wood but I have not touched the mechanisms.

Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931
Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931

My reply:

I had some difficulty downloading all the images but I saw enough to tell you that what you have is a Sessions Westminster A made in the early 1930s. Chiming clocks usually have three winding points but although yours has only two winding points it is a chiming clock since one mainspring controls the striking and chiming functions of your clock while the other operates the time train. It would take a #6 key.

Because of the complexity of the movement and you may find that some repairers will not accept this clock for repair. Be prepared to pay more than this clock is worth for a repair. You also may have a part or two missing on the pin drum which might be problematic.

When working correctly they are a nice sounding clock.

Sessions Westminster chime drum
Sessions Westminster chime drum on writer’s clock

CC replies:

Hey Ron I cannot tell you how excited I am to know that this clock is working thanks to you! I ordered the size 6 key and wound it up and it just took off. My next question is how do I or what do I need to get the chime to work there is another hole a small one at the very bottom of the face and I don’t know how to turn it off or on. Any suggestions.? I hope my video comes through… The scratchy sound in the background is my pug sorry about that but this SOB is ticking and I love it! 

My reply:

Clocks such as yours came with double-ended keys. One end for winding the arbors and the other for the speed regulator, at 12 o’clock and for silencing the chimes. The “silence” may be in the off position and to turn it on one would require the small end of the double-ended key.

The other more serious issue is that the chimes/strike require servicing which is not fun because these clocks are a challenge to work on.

Sessions clock face

CC replies:

Thank you, Ron. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to have it repaired I couldn’t afford it this time. And it didn’t take very long maybe a couple days. Oh well, at least it’s pretty. I know you don’t sell or hook people up with sellers but if you know anyone who might be interested in buying it… Or where I might be able to sell it, other than eBay let me know, please. If not that’s OK and thank you for your time and expertise. Sincerely CC.


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