WT for sale: Regulator Clock Company. UK


An interesting example of a later, stepped frame WT has appeared on the Regulator Clock Company [UK] website: The Regulator Clock Company

This C40B[?] WT movement is mounted in/on an exquisite mahogany table and case suitable for the highest standard of furnishing. Though some might argue that the WT never enjoyed such luxurious accommodation, in reality, that is hardly the point. Nobody really wants to place a highly collectible WT in a mock-up of a typical clock chamber with all its [usual] disadvantages of whitewash, squalor and detritus. At least not when that WT is to be housed in a comfortable home or smart office as a fascinating showpiece.

Some work may still be required to run a drive from one of the bevel wheels, via lead-off rods, out through the glass case to a suitable turret clock dial. Which would make it a far more interesting and attractive display for a purist. Drilling glass and polishing the hole is not a difficult task for a skilled glazier. Though making a hole in the glass "envelope" might open it up to the escape of typical WT 'noise.' Which the pretty case may well have helped to dampen somewhat.  WTs and domestic bliss do not [usually] make ideal bed fellows where disinterested partners are concerned. Though this fine example and its cabinet could never be described as "fugly."

The 2-handed pilot dial is also very unusual for a WT but rather attractively done. Most WTs enjoy a simple rotating disk attached to the "front" bevel wheel, with a fixed pointer. This is known as a time setting dial and is usually silvered and clear lacquered. The maker's name, "Pulsynetic" and some reference to patents is usually engraved thereon. Quite how the hands of this dial are driven is impossible to see from the illustrations provided. A mechanical drive from the bevel wheel cluster? Rather like a later, two hand conversion of an elderly, single-handed, 30-hour, long case clock?

Though painted black, as if of the earliest form, the later, stepped movement is usually to be found in battleship grey. Perhaps not to everybody's domestic taste? The eggshell black certainly looks the part against the plated parts typical of a later WT movement. Earlier movements would have had deep, gold lacquered brass or bronze components regardless of frame colour. The bandaged coils to the large, drive electromagnets are also later but still worthy of admiration. Their sheer size and workmanlike finish makes them interesting in their own right.

The large wormwheel indicates a heavy-duty model intended to drive the heavy hands of up to four, large, turret or tower clock dials. It is difficult to identify whether this is a Gent's C40B or C40C but the large bevel wheels and stepped form of the mainframe further confirm a larger model than the [almost] ubiquitous C40A.

One should ask how this WT is driven and controlled? Does it have a robust 24Vpower supply and electronic control unit to provide the vital half-minute, low voltage timekeeping pulse? It will certainly never keep good time nor operate in its typically, hypnotic fashion without some "electrickery."

As this WT is a commercial sale item perhaps I should not have pointed out the cosmetic "difficulties" in quite such a forthright and, shall we say,  'pedantic' manner? I am a clock enthusiast not a buyer of antique furnishing pieces. I see my task as accurately recording and illustrating the history of the components of the Gent's Pulsynetic timekeeping system for posterity.

Surely anyone contemplating the purchase of such a rare and unusual item might be tempted to search online for more information. If some homework is required before burning the plastic: The only known sources of information on Gent's Pulsynetic Waiting Train movements are my own WT blog, the Pulsynetic website and Colin Reynold's excellent books on the Gent's Pulsynetic timekeeping system.

The asking price for this WT and its pretty stand/case is not insubstantial but these things do not come up for auction every week, nor even once in a decade. How does one value such rarity? It is, without doubt, quite beautifully presented. Since I am not in the market for a larger WT at this elevated price level I will leave it at that.  The following link will take you straight back to the WT on offer:

The Regulator Clock Company

Had it been a bare movement, perhaps a rougher example and needing some skilled, TLC, but at only half the asking price, I might have been more than tempted. Let us hope this particular WT finds a comfortable, new home. Where it will be cherished for its true genius in design, hypnotic mechanical details [when working] its long history and its vital importance to 20th century, public timekeeping.

This WT is now SOLD.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

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