Chelsea Clock Storied History
1880 - 1900
Chelsea's initial roots were unsteady, with its name changing from "Harvard" to "Boston" then "Eastman" Clock before finally settling as the Chelsea Clock Company. Despite the rocky start, groundwork for the finest in American clock making was firmly established via innovation from the country's earliest clock craftsmen.
1880 - 1900
Chelsea brand begins to gain recognition in the market as innovative clock designs are patented and introduced, relationships with distributors are formed and marketing via print advertisements and catalogs emerge. By 1905 Chelsea had established distribution in every major American city.
1910 - 1920
Chelsea Clock continues to receive orders from U.S. Government Agencies for marine clocks in increasing quantities – as a result Boston Clock was formed (a separate brand for clocks manufactured to meet government standards).
1920 - 1930
As the country enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity, consumers continue to buy clocks as household necessities. By 1929 competition for clock manufacturing was aggressive – an estimated 56 companies engaged in the manufacturing of clocks and clock movements, an increase of 50% compared to prior decade.
William Neagle assumes ownership of Chelsea after Pearson's death.
1930 - 1940
Drastic inventory and cost reductions were made in the face of dire economic conditions resulting from the Great Depression, which enabled Chelsea to remain viable while many competitors were forced into bankruptcy.
1940 - 1950
During World War II Chelsea lives up to its reputation as "Timekeeper of the Sea", producing more in four war years than entire production since 1897. At this time Chelsea was singularly focused on furnishing thousands of clocks to the armed forces for use aboard Liberty ships, Submarines, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships and Aircraft Carriers.
1950 - 1960
The Chelsea brand was well established in post war American culture, often viewed as the quintessential award or gift of distinction for celebrities ranging from athletes to actors and politicians.
1960 - 1970
At one time Chelsea competed with dozens of clockmakers, including Waltham and Seth Thomas of New England. Soon assembly line methods undercut demand for precision timepieces, and the market was further weakened by the introduction of electric clocks, quartz technology and foreign imports. By the late 1960s Chelsea stood as America's only maker of precision spring-driven clocks.
1970 - 1980
Chelsea Clock undergoes a period of change as ownership of the company transitions from Mutz and King to Automation Industries, to Bunker Ramo Corporation and finally is sold to Rick Leavitt, a native Bostonian who ultimately runs the company for 27 years.
1980 - 1990
Competition for quartz technology increases, and Chelsea introduces dozens of new designs to retain a leading position in the market. Leavitt requests intervention from US Customs and the Massachusetts Attorney General's office to halt counterfeit production of Chelsea Clocks in Taiwan.
1990 - 2000
The introduction of limited edition clocks was successful after the 1980's economic recessions and Leavitt expanded on the theme.
Ship's Bells presented as awards at Boston University Alumni Night.
Chelsea celebrates 100 years and introduces the Centennial Clock.
2000 - 2010
After leading Chelsea for more than 25 years, Leavitt steps down and sells the company to JK Nicholas, a business consultant, entrepreneur, and longtime collector of Chelsea Clocks. A new executive team is established.
President Bush presents a Chelsea to Turkey’s president Ahmet Necdet Sezer.