RS Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931 (12)
Vintage Sessions Westminster A mantel clock

In August 2015 I wrote, “This a good project clock that is not for the inexperienced. As I gain more knowledge I will tackle this most interesting clock.” Well the time is now.

The Sessions Westminster A mantel clock was made in Forestville Connecticut, USA. The first year of production for this model was 1927. Between 1903 and 1933 Sessions produced 52 models of mechanical clocks, ranging from advertisers, large and small clocks with logos of various businesses, to wall, or “Regulator” clocks, and shelf or mantel clocks, designed for the home. Many of the Sessions clocks from this period are prized by collectors. The Westminster A is particularly sought after.

RS Sessions Westminster chime circa 1931 (10)
Raised Roman numerals and faux inlay
The case is in exceptional condition
The case is in exceptional condition

The clock is tricky to repair and not a fan of the horologist.

This clock is 21 inches long and 10 inches high, has a mahogany finish with faux wood inlay and raised metal gold-coloured numerals on the dial face. It is a quarter-hour 8-day Westminster chime movement operating on two trains, the going train (time) and the strike and chime train on one winding arbour. It also has small arbour just below the hour cannon to turn the chimes/strike off called “Silent Chime”. Sessions was not the only company to make a two-train clock when others incorporated this design later in the 1930’s and 1940’s but Sessions was probably the best known. This clock was sold in 1931 (inscription on label, back of access door). The then sale price was $29.95 which would have been substantial considering a working man’s salary in the 1930s.

Sessions Westminster chime drum
Sessions Westminster chime drum

The clock is tricky to repair and not a fan of the horologist. I will be going through a step-by-step process and relying heavily on Robert Croswell’s excellent instructional manual called Taming the Sessions Two Train Movement which he produced in 2 versions, the second version in February 2016.

In August 2015 I wrote, “This a good project clock that is not for the inexperienced. As I gain more knowledge I will tackle this most interesting clock.” Well the time is now. I have done quite a bit of bushing work and just from what I can see in looking at the movement there is definitely bushing work to be done. I have taken the movement out of it’s case once before to replace a bad click which I was able to do because the mainsprings can be removed without dis-assembly. A easy fix. The click holds the tension or power of the mainspring and is identified by a clicking sound when the key is turned. I will will check to see how the repair is holding up when I tackle the movement in the next few days.

Well, here goes.

Follow me as I dis-assemble, clean and repair the movement in Part II.

 

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