Chelsea

Dick Feldman

Registered User
Sep 1, 2000
3,070
467
83
Colorado, usa
Country
Region
I opened a Chelsea ship's bell strike clock yesterday to find I has a Hermle movement.
132-041 with a date code of B which denotes 1989.
The dial is marked Boston Ship Strike and Chelsea.
The clock was a service award from IBM.
Till yesterday, I assumed Chelsea clocks had Chelsea movements.
I do not see many Chelsea clocks come in for repair because of the proprietary parts situation.
Is this a lesser grade? Did they make a change in production? Does anyone have any background?
Best,
Dick
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,457
656
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
From what i know, modern Chelsea clocks just carry the name, movements are made by other companies.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
6,371
1,592
113
Country
I opened a Chelsea ship's bell strike clock yesterday to find I has a Hermle movement.
132-041 with a date code of B which denotes 1989.
The dial is marked Boston Ship Strike and Chelsea.
The clock was a service award from IBM.
Till yesterday, I assumed Chelsea clocks had Chelsea movements.
I do not see many Chelsea clocks come in for repair because of the proprietary parts situation.
Is this a lesser grade? Did they make a change in production? Does anyone have any background?
Best,
Dick
Chelsea once made a wonderful clock right here north of Boston in the city of Chelsea (just over the Tobin Bridge).

As did Waltham and Howard, too.

Not no more.

Chelseas may even be fitted with ghastly quartz movements.

They are a mere shadow of what they were.

RM
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin W.

Uhralt

NAWCC Member
Sep 4, 2008
5,528
827
113
Country
Region
The "Boston" ship "strike" is a cheaper version marketed by Chelsea. I think there are still clocks made by Chelsea on the market under "Chelsea" and ships "bell" that have genuine Chelsea movements and are more expensive. The Hermle 132-041 movement is actually the same that Hermle uses in the Hermle "Royal Mariner" clock.

Uhralt
 

brian fisher

NAWCC Member
Jan 20, 2017
1,819
469
83
houston, tx
Country
Region
the hermle movement is rather crap in my opinion. they are very complicated and equally difficult to work on. urhalt is correct. the boston clocks are the inexpensive version of the "according to hoyle" Chelsea clocks. apparently, they were attempting to use the iconic name to appeal to a broader range of customers. in my opinion, it was at the expense of their reputation. i am not aware that chelsea stopped making quality clocks with their own in house movements, but it is possible i suppose. i know they were still selling them a couple of years ago. i priced one not too long ago and almost had a coronary.
 

MLSchlot

NAWCC Business
Sponsor
Feb 10, 2001
508
18
18
Fairhope, Alabama
thesandsoftime.biz
Country
Region
I just had one of these come into the shop for the first time. It has the 5 jewel platform, which is completely toasted. Hermle used a plastic pallet and escape wheel in the platform. The plastic escape wheel pinion has been ground to dust by the #4 wheel. Hermle has apparently realized the error of their ways and have switched over to a fully jeweled (11) Swiss platform escapement running at 18,000 BPH. Hermle uses this platform in their 132-071 Ship's Bell movement, which is advertised as a replacement for the Schatz Royal Mariner, along with a (yuck!) new dial. My question is what speed did the platform operate at in the 132-041 movement? Was it 14400 BPH? That's the frequency the old Schatz Ship's Bell clocks ran at; I can't vouch for the Schatz Royal Mariners. I believe the Royal Mariner used a fully jeweled platform, but I don't know what frequency it ran at. If the 132-041 ran at 14400 BPH, I presume I can't just drop in the new Swiss platform without re-gearing the movement to handle the lower beat count. Any advice short of calling Chelsea?
 

Bsohne

Registered User
Sep 1, 2020
9
2
3
57
Country
Hello members... I originally wrote the below July 9th 2021 andposted it on Omegaforums.

Hello

For everyone's consideration... I also happen to like Chelsea Marine clocks... Time only , Ship's Bell etc...

Fall of 2020 Chelsea changed the verbiage on their website.... They were no longer manufacturing their Long time ( Since 1900) Ship's Bell movement. They have Shifted to "German made movement to Chelsea exacting standards ...."

I have been Chatting about this with collectors over the last 2 months...

We have seen limited info and photos ....

The best thing was under the new model numbers in this case for the 8 1/2 Chelsea Clock ... Chelsea has changed the text description saying the Clock now has a German movement... but Chelsea has not updated the photo of the Clock...

Last I checked about two months ago photo of a 8 1/2 Chelsea Ship's Bell of Chelsea Web site


An ebay Seller Selling the "new" in box clock. I asked for a pic of the box to confirm it had the new Stock number.... The seller went ahead and open the box and posted a pic of the new clock in the box...
German movement Ship's Bell in box for sale

The regulator on the USA made ( late model post 1950) has a "wheel" regulator to the left of the center pinion....
The regulator on the German mande movement is accessed via the " eyebrow" cutout just below the 1 O'clock position...

The Bell STRIKE control on the USA made movement t its between the 7 and 8 o'clock on the outside edge of the min track ( you can just barely make out the Bell icon).
The Bell STRIKE control on the German made movement is accessed via the eyebrow cutout below the 11 o'clock position...



4L Chelsea USA made movement.

a side by side comparison would show how thick the plates are and over all construction...


My favorite image is an illustration that Chelsea on their web site to show off the quality of the 4L movement... please go to their site.. to see it due to forum policy as I dont have permission to post the images.
Chelsea German movement...
From what I have found out Chelsea is using a Hermel Ship's bell movement that is signed Chelsea... Chelsea used these is the "Boston ShipStrike" entry level line for many years.... Now that line has gone away.. Same as the old Shipstrike movements.. from what I have been told is basically the same movement ( with a up-jeweled escapement from 7 to 11 jewels).

You can see the difference level in quality.... between the Chelsea USA made 4L and the hermel movement.

The jury is still out as I keep hearing that they still might bring the movement back into production.... An update as of this 2022 Chelsea is marking the 4L inhouse Ship's Bell movement... but will be only offering it in the 6 inch Mariner and the 8 1/2 Ships Bell clocks. the small 6 and 4 1/2 will only be offered with the Hermel movement..

I dont even want to get into the fact that it some of the dials are marked " Made in USA" and other have no markings at all ....


At that time Chelsea had two lines with striking ships chimes...


Hi-End was the "Chelsea SHIP'S BELL" line Which was in continuous production since about 1900 till last Fall.. The 4L movement was improved upon over the years ... Top of the line Silver plated brass dials, Blued Steel hands ... etc..
Here are a few pics of them...
Early SB pre 1950 typical regulator slot by 12 o' clock position... dial marked Chelsea SHIP'S BELL .
(photo removed due to I dont have copyright. )
and a later Example with the upgraded regulator via a micrometric wheel to the left of the center pinon ...
Dial is still marked the same Chelsea SHIP'S BELL....

(photo removed due to I dont have copyright.

really has not changed much in over 100 years...

Now on to the Low -end "Boston SHIPSTRIKE" that never had the word Chelsea on the dial That used the German movement shipstrike movement , basically the same movement that every other clock compnay in the world uses for their ships clocks..
here are some of the Boston ShipStike line over the years...
1970s
Basically just signed Boston on the dial... nothing else . The hands are inexpensive stamped and painted black.. simple stamped dial .... just notice the signature eyebrow openings in the dial to adj timing and strike
(photo removed due to I dont have copyright.)


in the 1980s
Clock is still marked BOSTON SHIPSTRIKE in large letters.... same inexpensive hands but now the dial has raised rim around the winding arbors to make it look like applied groments ( like the Chelsea SHIP'S BELL model)
But the Chelsea name started to appear on the dial ... Small below the 6 oclock position "Chelsea Clock - USA "
(photo removed due to I dont have copyright.

The next big change....
Boston name goes away.... Chelsea is now between the winding arbors same inexpensive hands and inexpensive dial. " SHIPSTRIKE MADE IN USA" now between the 7 and 5 o'clock positions in smaller font above min track....


(photo removed due to I dont have copyright.


My favorite pic from this era is published in the article written by Hodinkee in 2014 :
"chelsea-clock-charts-course-for-next-hundred-years"


(photo removed due to I dont have copyright.)


Now If you check the Chelsea Web site ....

The SHIPSTRIKE LINE IS GONE....

What we have left is the "SHIPSTRIKE" in the Chelsea clothing....

Any thoughts?
My appoliges for the choppy dialog, as I pulled the photos and images from this post.

Good Hunting

Bill Sohne
 

ALR guy

NAWCC Member
Jun 8, 2021
13
0
1
79
Country
I opened a Chelsea ship's bell strike clock yesterday to find I has a Hermle movement.
132-041 with a date code of B which denotes 1989.
The dial is marked Boston Ship Strike and Chelsea.
The clock was a service award from IBM.
Till yesterday, I assumed Chelsea clocks had Chelsea movements.
I do not see many Chelsea clocks come in for repair because of the proprietary parts situation.
Is this a lesser grade? Did they make a change in production? Does anyone have any background?
Best,
Dick
I'm confused by the seemingly conflicting information about when a Chelsea Shipstrike clock was manufactured. Looking at the serial number 132-041 and the published table this indicates a "date" of somewhere between the years 1915-1919. The 1st person (Dick) on this string states "I opened a Chelsea ship's bell strike clock yesterday to find I has a Hermle movement 132-041 with a date code of B which denotes 1989." Also, my clock has the same serial number as Dicks:???: So, my clock has the letter "N" stamped above the serial number - anyone know what date that's denoting?

IMG_3892.jpg
 

bruce linde

NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
10,286
2,056
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
That is not the serial number, it is the movement model number. Chelsea clocks were/are made in Boston. If the movement is from Germany it is a newer hermle movement. Absolute disgrace, as far as I am concerned. Chelsea has always been expensive, and to pay top dollar for a clock with an inexpensive German ship's bell movement in it that willl eventually be unrepairable just seems wrong to me. None of the collectors I know would buy one. I have maybe seven chelseas that date back to the early 1900s and will maintain their resale value. I have no idea how these newer ones will retain their value… Why would anyone pay $1000 for a 4 1/2" ships bell clock with a hermle movement when they could get a 100 year old Chelsea for the same money on eBay?

don't mean to rain on anybody's parade. For more information, visit Chelsea Clock Museum - Home ... The mother lode of Chelsea information
 
Last edited:

ALR guy

NAWCC Member
Jun 8, 2021
13
0
1
79
Country
I'm confused by the seemingly conflicting information about when a Chelsea Shipstrike clock was manufactured. Looking at the serial number 132-041 and the published table this indicates a "date" of somewhere between the years 1915-1919. The 1st person (Dick) on this string states "I opened a Chelsea ship's bell strike clock yesterday to find I has a Hermle movement 132-041 with a date code of B which denotes 1989." Also, my clock has the same serial number as Dicks:???: So, my clock has the letter "N" stamped above the serial number - anyone know what date that's denoting?

View attachment 715299
Gosh, thanks for the clarifying words Bruce. As it happens, this clock (happily) does not belong to me. Instead got it from a friend who said it doesn't work. The time spring was wound fully and I took the movement out of the case and it's now running fine on my workbench - who knows? All your totally legitimate words about the apparent downfall of Chelsea notwithstanding, does the letter "N" provide a clue to the date of manufacture? There's no serial number to be found anywhere on movement or case.

I did try to find an answer on the Chelsea Clock Museum website but it looks like they're steering clear of the new junk...
 

bruce linde

NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
10,286
2,056
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
no idea about the hermle movements... there's a conover article on how to work on them, but i had two i gave up on.... it's the difference between a rolls royce and an amc pacer. :)

i would search for articles about the hermle movement here and on the general internet....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Willie X

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
16,900
2,850
113
Yes "N" = 2002, or thereabouts.

These little Hermles might be cheaply made but certainly not cheap to buy at $350 a pop + shipping. It's the only game in town but I won't be buying any.

They quit making them all together for quite a while but eventually started back.

Willie X
 
Last edited:

ALR guy

NAWCC Member
Jun 8, 2021
13
0
1
79
Country
Yes "N" = 2002, or thereabouts.

These little Hermles might be cheaply made but certainly not cheap to buy at $350 a pop + shipping. It's the only game in town but I won't be buying any.

They quit making them all together for quite a while but eventually started back.

Willie X
Thanks Guys. All questions answered:)
 

Forum statistics

Threads
175,310
Messages
1,533,455
Members
52,673
Latest member
PeteABC123
Encyclopedia Pages
1,063
Total wiki contributions
2,972
Last update
-