Genuine Seth Thomas clock?

God’sDreamer

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Hello! I’m going to start by saying I know NOTHING about clocks… so I’m hoping you kind folks can assuage my curiosity. My husband and I recently were given a clock that is branded Seth Thomas, but I’m wondering if it’s genuine. (It doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious!) It came from a house that my husband’s family has been living in since the late 1800s, so it could certainly be old enough. I have added some photos of it. From what I have read online though, I think it may be missing some things that a real Seth Thomas would have? There are no markings on the outside of the clock that I can find, no paper label or metal plate, and the pendulum does not appear to be engraved. In addition, even though there is a place that looks like you should use a key to wind it, we didn’t get a key with it and to my knowledge the clock hasn’t been wound for months at least, so I think it may actually be battery powered? Let me know if there is any other relevant information I should provide, and one of these days I’ll have to actually open up the back and look inside! Thanks for any help you can give. 45D8D0A8-1466-491D-9D21-6F733F3E18FF.jpeg 7C922DD2-2C3C-4F1E-BDBF-2F9619E23071.jpeg
 

ChimeTime

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Welcome aboard !

The case work and dial look real enough, but the original clock would not have had a seconds hand, so without even looking behind the dial we can state with almost absolute certainty that the original mechanical movement has been removed and replaced with a battery operated quartz movement. This type swap is all too common, and usually based on cost.

What you get is a clock you won't have to mess with, that keeps perfect time. What you give up is the soothing company of the tick-tock sound filling your home while you read or relax. Only you can decide which is better for you at this stage of your life.

However, locating and getting an original style Seth Thomas clock movement back into this clock is not as unreasonable of a task as one might think. Raw movements seem to be readily available, and there would be a cost to repair. But all that could be spread over years. If you are an antiques or history buff, then this could become a viable 2 year goal.

Hope this helps.
 

ChimeTime

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PS.
You clock is similar to the Seth Thomas "8 inch drop octagon" offered around 1910. These are time-only (no strike, chime or gong on the hour) 8-day clocks used in simple settings like schools and offices.
 
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demoman3955

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Welcome aboard !

The case work and dial look real enough, but the original clock would not have had a seconds hand, so without even looking behind the dial we can state with almost absolute certainty that the original mechanical movement has been removed and replaced with a battery operated quartz movement. This type swap is all too common, and usually based on cost.

What you get is a clock you won't have to mess with, that keeps perfect time. What you give up is the soothing company of the tick-tock sound filling your home while you read or relax. Only you can decide which is better for you at this stage of your life.

However, locating and getting an original style Seth Thomas clock movement back into this clock is not as unreasonable of a task as one might think. Raw movements seem to be readily available, and there would be a cost to repair. But all that could be spread over years. If you are an antiques or history buff, then this could become a viable 2 year goal.

Hope this helps.
looking at the case, it looks like a new case made to look old. I see that a lot in reproduction furniture. it looks like someone darkened it in spots, and the spots are too uniform.
 
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JTD

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looking at the case, it looks like a new case made to look old. I see that a lot in reproduction furniture. it looks like someone darkened it in spots, and the spots are too uniform.
I agree, the case and indeed the clock is a modern reproduction and the clock likely has a quartz movement. Is there a winding abor behind the hole in the dial or is it just empty?

We really need to see movement (the 'works') when you open it up.

JTD
 
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ChimeTime

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The question of the age of the case can be answered by removing the dial. The interior woods will show 100 years of oxidation that cannot be added any other way.
 

Uhralt

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I agree, the case looks suspicious. The wood looks like pine that has been stained with a dark stain to make it look old. .

Uhralt
 

John Arrowood

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Look at the door over the pendulum bob; glass insert is very small, hinges look odd. Is there a hatch on the back of the case to get to the movement for installing a battery?
 

God’sDreamer

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Look at the door over the pendulum bob; glass insert is very small, hinges look odd. Is there a hatch on the back of the case to get to the movement for installing a battery?
No, there’s no hatch back there, I’ll have to take some screws out to see any part of the movement. I’m hoping to get around to opening it up soon, though taking care of little people is keeping me pretty busy! Whenever I do I will post a picture here as well.
 

God’sDreamer

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[ATTACHREUSE]
So this solves the mystery… here’s a picture of the back of the clock and the “movement”. Definitely battery operated as I expected, especially after all your helpful comments. I did have to remove seven screws just to change the time… I’m hopeful that now that I know where it is I can just reach up through the front door next time. I’m guessing based on what you all have said that someone put the face of a Seth Thomas clock into a reproduction case with this quartz movement. Does that seem reasonable? Thank you all again for your help with sayisfying my curiousity! 24C301F3-2FB6-4D4A-B0F2-2BF45E59E25F.jpeg 835DF005-4393-4814-9C6E-6E754F3425D9.jpeg 835DF005-4393-4814-9C6E-6E754F3425D9.jpeg
 

demoman3955

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The particle board that the battery works are attached to kinna gives it away as well. depending on what you want to do with it, id remove the finish on the outside case and try to get the burnt looking spots off and put a walnut stain on it. Then find an original ST works to put in it. I dont see any spots where a normal movement would have ever been in it. You would see screw holes in it, and there are none. granted you would have a clock with a lot of time into it and more money then its worth, but it might be fun. Then if you dont like it, give to someone. If its not worth your time, give it to someone as it is now as a present.
 
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demoman3955

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I will say, this one has me stumped, because looking closer inside through the back, it seems like thats old wood. The particle board could have been put there to accept the battery works, and i see no need to put a hole in the face just to look like an original. part of me wonders if they refinished the front and wanted it to look old, because looking at how the octagon pieces are joined, would be too labor intensive for a cheap reproduction. here are pics of my seth thomas but mine also has the chime, but the things in the pics look just like yours, and i know mine is old.

IMG_1944.JPG IMG_1945.JPG IMG_1946.JPG
 

John Arrowood

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Could the case be made up of parts of an older (1920-30's) Japanese clock with some new material and the dial pan and dial from a "real" Seth Thomas clock?
 

demoman3955

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Could the case be made up of parts of an older (1920-30's) Japanese clock with some new material and the dial pan and dial from a "real" Seth Thomas clock?
I dont think so. The construction is similar, but the one i have in front of me is from japan, and its got fancy molding all around it unlike my seth thomas..
 

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