Phinney-Walker & Evans, Alarm Clock Lighter, 1956

The combination and design of Phinney-Walker alarm clock and Evans cigarette lighter is a very fine example of the Art Deco style. This Alarm Clock Lighter was marketed in the United States in 1956–1960. Very collectible many cigarette lighters collectors' guides have it on its pages. Its actual catalog name is Smoke-Time and 30-Hour Desk Lighter Alarm (model no. PW44E1400). The catalog retail price from 1959 was $ 22.50.

The Phinney-Walker Co. was founded in New York in ca. 1903. In the 1910s and 1920s they designed and manufactured automobile clocks. The most popular Rim-Wind Car Clock called "Embassy" was manufactured in 1925 and was an eight day clock that was wound and set by rotating the outer rim (source). It was mounted among others in the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The earlier version of the Phinney-Walker, also an eight day clock, was mounted in Ford Model-T.

Starting from the 1930s
the company became less a producer and more a marketing company. It was active till 1970s. The production was outsourced to many different companies placed in Germany (Semca), United States (mainly in Connecticut), Japan and Switzerland. Phinney Walker Co. was also very popular for marketing travel alarm clocks in the 1950s.

The alarm clock is Swiss made and has a 30-hour mechanical movement. The clock's face has gilt figures, hours indicators with cream and gold/luminous hands, and a gold alarm hand. The case of the clock is made of brass, partly brushed and partly gold color plated.

The lighter unit was provided by Evans (USA). It is made of metal and gold color plated. The rounded base is padded with blue felt. The Alarm Clock Lighter was advertised as: "Sure-Fire" appeal... that'll "light-up" the charm of the genial host or hostess. It's priceless for office or home.

The same clock and lighter base was used by SWIZA (founded in 1904) an 8 Jewel Alarm Clock Lighter. The lighter insert however was not made by Evans but by one of the English suppliers. See here.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon–rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $140.00–200.00 (approx €100.00–145.00)

Weight: 450 grams (1 pound)

  • height: 13.0 cm (5.2")
  • width: 8.0 cm (3.15")
  • depth: 6.0 cm (2.36")


Zachary moehring said...

My name is Zachary and I just recently bought a phinney walker lighter clock for my wife (we collect lighters). Thanks for the info. I was wondering about how many were manufactured and really how rare are they? Thanks again.

Sebastian said...

This is one of my favorite table lighters which is undervalued by the market. It is very difficult to estimate the amount produced of this lighter as it was not a limited edition.

Statistically you will need three years to find a Evans Phinney Walker in excellent condition and 7 in mint condition.

Anonymous said...


I just purchased a Phinney Walker table lighter/clock. It is exactly like this one:
I replaced the flint and it has great spark but I can't figure out how to replace the wick. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You :)

Anonymous said...

I have one of these clock/lighters . I would say it is in great condition, and the clock does work. It is in the original box.
Are the valuations given in this article in US dollars ? I am in Canada. Thank-you.

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