Friday, December 19, 2014

Arthur Pequegnat Brandon Serviced

Ticking away and more quietly now
 In a previous post I mentioned that when I bought this 80+ year old clock at an antique dealer in Great Village Nova Scotia, I immediately determined that it needed servicing. My first real clue was an almost imperceptible squeaking noise. It kept reasonably good time but the squeaking did not go away even after oiling the clock.

Hanging in upper hallway
However, upon opening the clock I discovered one very bad bushing and I knew right away that it had to be attended to as soon as possible. A trip to Doctor Clock in Halifax was the answer. So, in mid November I brought the clock into the service center and asked if it could be ready for Christmas. They said yes, although they had a number of other clocks in for servicing it would be ready they said. Had I come in one day later there would not have been a guarantee that it would be ready in time. They are that busy. In fact when I picked it up there were 3 other customers in picking up their mechanical clocks.

Clock face is in good condition
When I picked up the clock (December 19th) and I asked what work was done. I spoke directly to the horologist who explained to me that 6 bushings had to be replaced as well as the suspension spring. The pivots were polished and found to be in very good condition. The main spring was examined, cleaned and determined to be in very good condition. The clock was given an ultrasonic bath, dried, oiled and bench tested for about a week with a guarantee of 6 months if anything should go wrong. When I asked her how often the clock should be serviced she (the horologist) said that once every 5-6 years should be sufficient but that an oiling every 2 years is recommended.

Pendulum bob is a little tarnished and needs cleaning
The clock was hung, positioned and leveled to obtain a good beat and I am pleased with the result. Although the initial purchase was lower than comparable Brandons I have seen, the cost of servicing pushed the investment up somewhat but I am told that the clock would, in its present serviced state command several hundred dollars. By way of comparison a serviced Arthur Pequegnat Brandon displayed in their shop has a retail list of $1225.

I am guessing that my clock was made in or around 1926 and originally sold for $11.00. Back then when the minimum wage was 26 cents an hour one had to work a week to buy the Brandon. It is no wonder that these clocks were found in schoolhouses and offices.  Adjusted for today, that would be around $430 not factoring in inflation which would likely push the cost up.

At the moment the clock is in our upstairs hallway. Being a time-only clock it is in the proper place since there are bedrooms running off the hallway and a strike clock would just keep guests awake.

We thought that it would replace the U M Muller German box clock in the kitchen but have now decided that the box clock will stay where it is for now. Besides, we like the sound of it.

And now to stand back and admire this true piece of Canadian art.