WWII era 6 inch brass Chelsea ship's bell clock on vintage traditional mahogany base, Serial number 314102- year dates between 1942-45. This distinctive, handcrafted timepiece signals the passing of time with gentle, rich-sounding chimes eight bells at 4, 8 and 12 o'clock to mark the end of a mariner's four-hour watch, with one bell the first half-hour after, plus one additional bell with each subsequent half-hour. Fast/Sow adjustment is located just below the "12" and is signed Chelsea Ship's Bell between the two winding arbors. The solid brass case is of the classic ship's type with flared screw bezel opens for access to wind and set. Below the "6" is signed CHELSEA CLOCK COMPANY, BOSTON, U.S.A.. Comes with a vintage solid mahogany traditional base that measures 14 inches X 4 inches X 9 1/2 inches tall. A tag on the back of the wood base states "ETHYL CORPORATION- NY- 5190." Comes with a new Chelsea winding key.
This world war II era clock is an excellent timekeeper and survives cosmetically with only a few minor scratches on the clock face. The vintage mahogany base has a small shrinkage crack repair on the right bottom of the back plate, but is not noticeable. This excellent timekeeper was recently serviced and now ready for years of maintenance-free use.
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Ship's Bell Story
Mariners have used a unique bell code to tell time at sea for hundreds of years. The code is based on the crew's typical workday routine while the vessel is under way. A ship at sea requires constant attention throughout the day's twenty-four hours. The day is therefore divided into six four-hour periods, each called a "watch." Similarly, the crew is segmented into three divisions. Division members then stand their individually assigned duties on two watches per day, with eight hours off duty between watches. To rotate each division's watch times, the Evening Watch is periodically divided into two watches. These are called Dog Watches because they "dog" the watch schedule for all divisions ahead by one watch period.
First Watch 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Mid-Watch (also Black Watch)12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.
Morning Watch 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Forenoon Watch 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Afternoon Watch 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Evening Watch 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The watch officer struck the ship's bell every half hour to apprise the crew of the time. A single bell denoted the end of the first half hour and one bell was added each half-hour. Eight bells therefore signaled the end of each four-hour watch. Like centuries of seafarers, you'll soon know the time when the clock chimes, even if you cannot see it.