Fine Seth Thomas Nickel Plated Outside Bell Ship's Clock, Ca 1890

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This is an exceptionally fine example of the famous Seth Thomas 'Outside Bell' ship clock. These clocks were specially designed to strike 'Ship's Bells'. The Seth Thomas 'Outside Bell' was the first clock designed to strike ship's bells and has always been popular with both marine antique and clock collectors.

Aboard ship the day is divided into six 'watches' of four hours each. Seamen stand four hour 'watches'. A bell has traditionally been struck each half hour of the watch. Noon is 8-bells, 12:30 pm is 1 bell and so on each 1/2hour until 8-bells are struck at 4:00 pm. The sequence begins again with 1 bell at 4:30 PM.

This example, circa 1890, has a brass case with hinged bezel retaining 97% original nickel plate finish, nickel plating was provided by the factory at slight extra cost and was most useful in preventing corrosion in salt water environments. This model features a heavy brass dial with impressed numerals. This is a seldom encountered variation introduced around 1890 and soon dropped probably due to cost. The dial retains 98% silvered surface. The two day movement (which was intended to be wound daily) is very well built.

These clocks were intended for hard service at sea. They were found in the wheelhouses and captain's cabins of all manner of vessels from yachts to battleships and across the globe from the Atlantic to the South China Sea. These clocks saw very tough use in all climates and conditions from the arctic to jungle rivers. Most surviving examples clearly show the effects of salt water corrosion and rough handling. It is most difficult to find one of these clocks with as fine a dial as this one.

This Seth Thomas 'Outside Bell' ship clock is a rarity being in exceptionally fine condition. The dial retains nearly all its silver, the hands retain their blued steel finish, the movement runs well, and the case has the exceptionally fine patina collectors look for on antique nickel plated pieces. This fine clock retains its original wood backboard with crackled old varnish finish.

This clock has truly led a charmed life and can be rated 'best of its type'.

Dimensions: overall 7" x 13"

Price: $475.00

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