View Full Version : Mark I BOAT CLOCK CHELSEA

08-04-2009, 12:50 PM
Hi, anyone into these old navy clocks , maybe i can find out a little about my find . It's a u.s. Navy mark 1 boat clock dated 1941 and it is nickel plated and super heavy . It is a chelsea . Were these on ships or subs ? Can't find any like it on any links so , i'm reaching out to the pros . Thanks , Steve

08-23-2009, 05:30 PM
my email add tim.miller@sppcommercial.com

I have the same clock, or close. i dont know If i can help or not send me some pics please.

Richard T.
08-23-2009, 06:34 PM
lHi Steve,

Please post your photos here for all to see and comment on. These were also made by Seth Thomas. I have a Mk1 Boat Clock dated 1941 (see below). I think these were on ships and/or small boats and not subs.


Richard T.

Andy Dervan
08-23-2009, 07:42 PM
Hello Steve,

Chelsea manufactured significant quantities of clocks for the military primarily for the navy during WWII and continued up until 1985. Most were supplied in Black Bakelite cases (plastic much cheaper than brass) and were called "bulkhead clocks" and were mounted in various areas on the ship. There were 2 case size - 6 inch or 8 inch, and had a variety of dial configurations - silvered, white, or black and 12 or 24 hour.

The brass case style is probably much less common than Black bakelite case.

They all used the standard 12E Chelsea 8 day movement.


Tom McIntyre
08-24-2009, 08:10 AM
The story I have heard is that the removable hinge pin allowed the radioman to remove the clock from the bulkhead and hold it in his arms while the big guns were being fired.

By the same story, they were called signal room clocks.

There are models that do not have the base, but attach directly to a wall with screws. Presumably those were used on torpedoboats and others without guns.

08-24-2009, 01:59 PM
I would suspicion that any clock marked "boat clock", used in the Navy, would have been on a boat, not on a ship. It is quite common knowledge that you don't call a ship a boat in the Navy. I would suspicion these were in the captains gig, or boat, maybe other types of boats as well.

08-24-2009, 05:10 PM

Page 1: "In this manual are included instructions for the maintainance, repair and overhaul of Chelsea Mechanical, Boat and Deck Clocks, containing Chelsea Model no.12E and no.17E movements..........Model 12E U.S. Navy Mechanical Clocks are contructed in accordance with U.S. Navy Department Specification 18-C-11c......They are intended for general shipboard use, for all applications other then those requiring Deck or Boat Clocks.........Page 3: ............Model 17E Boat and Deck Clocks (Mark I) are contructed in accordance with U.S. Navy Department Specifications 18-C-5d and 18-C-13. They consist basically of an eight-day movement enclosed in a chromium-plated brass or a black phenolic case........"

Tables are then seen of models, and movement types. Models "A" which are 24 hour dial, 6 and 8-1/2" dials, and "B" which are 12" dials, 6 and 8-1/2" dials, using 12E mechs. "Boat" clock is 3-1/2" dial, 12 hours, "Deck" is 6" dial, 12 hours dial, both 17E mechs. I hope this offers some clarification on the terminology.

We might refer to the dept specs for more information on case design, such as the removable hinge apparatus, as any of the repair manuals I have are themselves silent as to specific intent of use. If these specs are available for examination, I am not aware of it. Would make a great read - CW

08-28-2009, 01:22 PM
I am looking for a Mark I chelsea DEck clock 1941. the 1941 Model and before 1941 were made of Nickle coated on Brass and are very hard to find.

I Have a "Boat clock" same style, looking for its Brother..LOL

08-26-2010, 10:55 AM
I also have a MK1 boat clock. N.O. marked. Serial number 1412, dated 1940. It has a brass case with nickel plating. I will post some pictures shortly (sorry kids have the camera).
The story goes; it came from Charleston, SC ship yards during the war. Taken during a refit (on a sub [but no proof]). The clock has battle damage to the case and must have sustained a heck of a blow to dent it! The plastic front is cracked. I can see that it has seen extensive use when in service.
Now the bad: someone "fiddled" with the locking pivot and broke it internally - key is intact but the locking arm is missing. The pin is missing from the rotating cover (common) and it needs a good cleaning. I can rock it and the movement runs for a short while. Two of the brass screws that affix the back in place have been sheared off. All in all these seem fixable and this clock would be a good score to restore.
I am not a clock person so dont know if its worth my while to do for me.
Besides I have a working Vetus ships bell clock to put aboard my sailboat.
Any ideas from the membership would be most welcome.

08-26-2010, 04:32 PM
Here are the pictures. Bob

Bruce Barnes
08-27-2010, 01:58 PM
Looks just like my ST Mark I Boat Clock,November 1941. Hard to find in Chrome/Nickel and complete with the pin,backplate etc.