Marine: Does any one collect Deck clocks

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by River rat, Mar 23, 2016.

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  1. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    Since we collect chronometers . I was wondering if most are like me and collect any thing made to tell time at sea. So deck watches, chronometers, and ships clocks. Being that ships clocks were some times cheap to find I got a lot of them plus when I was in the US Navy there was one all ways on the bridge I use to look at when I was Boatswains mate of the watch in charge of a watch section. I have ones made by Seth Thomas, Chelsea, most were for the Navy got two that were for the US Army and one for the merchant marine. But the two that were not cheap and hard to find was one made by Seikosa for the Japanese Navy and one made by Kieninger & Obergfell for the Kriegsmarine in WW2. Any one else collect ships clocks I can post some of them if any one wants to see them.
     
  2. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    Before I moved from Calif to MT I did some volunteer work on the USS Iowa a WW2 Battle ship it was in the yards in Richmond Cailf for repainting and other work before being towed to LA to become a museum. Never thought I would see a deck crawler again it's a tool for chipping paint off the deck we took the flight deck to bare metal to repaint crazy doing free work after you retire. One thing I notice no deck clocks aboard so I donated one before they towed it to LA. One of my deck clock stories. Got photo's of our work on the Iowa could post those if any one interested.
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I know they were used in all locations, but I am in the habit of calling the sturdy clocks Signal Room clocks.

    I think we are all interested in the artifacts, especially the ones used for maneuver management are fascinating. I have a few that I will post also but nothing very fancy.
     
  4. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    #4 River rat, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    See in most military service knowing the time is very important especially in the Navy the ship is run by watch section a standard watch is 4 hours. The bridge section then the watch section in the engine room then you did your normal job after watch it's all most like you work 24/7. Plus in port you had watch sections plus your normal job when not at sea. So ships clocks were important than just the radio room. When on watch on the bridge and in port from the quarter deck watch a clock was impotent to pass at a certain time the word like sweepers and when chow was served and knock off ships work and reveille and to ring the ships bell on the 1MC the speaker system on ship for the time. Plus clocks showed you when the time was to show up for watch all ways 15 minutes before to get info what's going on before you take over the watch. And then you had the deck log on the quarter deck watch were any thing that happens on the watch gets wrote down and the time it was wrote so ships clocks are more important than you think.
     
  5. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    #5 River rat, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    Some are really cool looking here is one from the German Navy in WW2 solid brass case and silver dial.
    [​IMG]
    And this one from the Japanese Navy in WW2 it's got really cool hands I know some one who has a older one with a fusse movement mine don't.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You can see the same clock in the engine room of a Japanese destroyer
    [​IMG]The case on this ones also made of brass and the movement has a black coating like the US did on some issued wristwatches for weather protection. The hands on the German one looks like what you expect on chronometers or railroad watches really well made.
     
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  6. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    Went to Hawaii last year for a Navy Reunion went to the Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri BB-63 and went aboard the USS Bowfin SS-287 a Balao class submarine used in WW2 took some photo's of ships clocks on the sub. Was reading a book about the only mass escape of POW's from the Japanese from the Philippines in WW2 and this sub picked some of them up to take them to Australia so was cool to go aboard it with that history. I can see them being more important on a sub due to the crew not knowing if it's night or day being under water most of the time never seeing the sun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    #7 Kevin W., Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
    Thanks for the great pictures River Rat, i just have 3 Chelsea clocks, my favourite is the 8.5 inch dial Chelsea from early 1900,s. Would love to get my hands on some more ships clocks from the military era.
     
  8. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User

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    The only deck clock I own is a 3 pc bulkhead clock. It was by the Low family and the only reason I have it is because I know Chuck Low and know their history. FWIW. many people think they used Chelsea but the whole thing was designed and made in their 3rd floor factory in lower Manhattan. Has a 2 week spring and the rate is amazing.
     
  9. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    When I lived in the Bay Area being there use to be a lot of Navy bases around at one time there all closed down due to budget cut's. These clocks were easy to find found them at coin shops and antique shops and antique fairs one they have at the Alameda NAS base on the tarmac or run way on the first Sunday of the month still think that still going on today takes you a few hours to walk through it and then at the local NAWCC SF chapter marts at great prices but you find them less in the wild now. Been living in MT for a few years so far never seen one for sell in the wild at the local antique shops or the one and only vintage watch shop in Bozeman MT I have found. I have ten in the collection one of these days would like to get a Navy issued Chelsea Radio Room clock with the red like strips for radio silence for SOS signals one of these days.
     
  10. River rat

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    That's one I don't have since it has a two week spring how many days does it run ?
     
  11. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    I have just obtained a 36 Size Waltham 8 day. it is cased in Brass and seems to hang from it's pendant which is at 6.

    Waltham 36S.jpg


    It seems to run alright and needs a crystal.
    Would this be a boat clock?
    By the way , this is not me holding it with my bare hands...
     
  12. Tom McIntyre

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    I would really be surprised to see a bow on the pendant to hang it by.

    These clocks are normally housed in a leather case and used as travel clocks. The same movement is used in many different types of case from gimbal mounts and flat torpedo watch cases to elaborate Art Deco table clocks. Most of them were cased as travel clocks.

    DSC01058.jpg
     
  13. Barry Armstrong

    Barry Armstrong Registered User
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    But they did house the Waltham 8 Day in a gimbal box as you can see

    IMG_9073.jpg IMG_9078.jpg
     
  14. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    I have not yet disassembled my watch or clock as it may be...
    The pendant is at 6.
    Does anyone know if this watch would be adjusted to place the dial so the pendant is at 12 or 3?

    Waltham 36S.jpg
     
  15. Tom McIntyre

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    Since there is no seconds bit, the dial can be rotated to any position. However, you would need to relocate the dial feet, which is not trivial. If the dial feet were removed, the bezel would probably hold the dial securely anyway.
     
  16. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Tom
    I suppose that is much to be desired over putting holes in the pillar plate.
     
  17. Tom McIntyre

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    #17 Tom McIntyre, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    I would never consider altering the plate. You could use dial foot replacements with a small flat base glued to the back of the dial. If it were not painted, the could even be soldered on with low temperature Tix solder. I would only do that if the bezel did not hold the dial in place.

    You could also find a folding leather case like it came in originally and replace it. :)

    https://mb.nawcc.org/content.php?25-From-War-to-Boudoir-part-2
     
  18. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Tom,
    On another note about dials,
    I have a few ceramic dials that have feet missing,
    Can I apply regular soldering heat to that sort of dial to install a new foot?
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Caveat... I have never done this myself. I believe you can either solder on a foot with low melting point solder or even spin weld a foot if you have the skill.
     
  20. PWfanatik

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    I have some cracked up dials I can experiment with,,,
    Will let everyone know how it goes.
     
  21. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    1938 VC desk watch.jpg

    Oops, I thought you said desk clocks :whistle: Happy April 1st.
     
  22. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    Tick talk those arms are for mounting in a gimble device to keep the watch stationary at sea... Maybe you know that... :)
     
  23. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    #23 River rat, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
    Here are a few deck clocks made by Chelsea for the US Army
    [​IMG]
    Here is the Chelsea message center M2 with a red hand for a second time zone mounted in a wooden box. The box closes up and has a leather carrying strap. There is also a place to put the key in the box. Not a gimbal box but still cool.
    [​IMG]
    And this is a Chelsea US Army message center M1 in a smaller case to wind it you unscrew the bezel ring to wind it with a key. But to change the time there is a nob on the side of the case like a crown on a watch. It also has a second time zone red hour hand. Got this one cheap at a NAWCC mart you see these less than the M2. Never seen the nob for changing the time on any other Deck clock than this M1 for the US Army.
     
  24. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Well actually its a deception, or to quote Charles Constantin's notice historique from 1937; "I came up with the idea of creating some office clocks with four knobs, on a wooden base, reminding one of the navy chronometers."
     
  25. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Great looking clock River Rat, i saw one around here very similar. I am still looking for a second hand for one of mine.
     
  26. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    I mite know some one who mite have the hand you are looking for he specializes in servicing deck clocks was a member of chapter 5 my old NAWCC chapter when I lived in Calif. will see if I still have his business card Chelsea some times use to contact him for parts he told me once. Will send you a PM if I find his contact info.
     
  27. Dave T

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    River Rat, A fine collection of clocks you have there. I'm working on the same clock as this one. Trying to resolve an issue with that red second hour hand. Whatever held it tight is long gone on my clock. If I knew what it looked like maybe I could figure out something to use to tighten it up. Got any suggestions or pictures of that part?
     
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