This distinctive, handcrafted timepiece signals the passing of time with gentle, rich-sounding chimes – eight bells at 4, 8 and 12 o’clock to mark the end of a mariner’s four-hour watch, with one bell the first half-hour after, plus one additional bell with each subsequent half-hour. Behind its classic, hand-silvered dial, 364 precision brass parts – many plated with gold – and 11 jewel movements, all of which are made in Chelsea, Massachusetts, ensure accuracy in time and enduring quality for years to come. Since the first patented Ship’s Bell left our factory in 1900, it has been held as the standard by which all other Chelsea clocks are measured.
The Ship’s Bell clock features a lacquered solid forged brass case, hinged bezel shown here on a solid mahogany traditional base.
The Ship’s Bell Clock is available in 4 1/2 inch, 6 inch and 8 1/2 inch dial sizes, click change product options above to view all Ship's Bell Clock product options.
Click on the slide show below to learn more about the Ship's Bell Mechanism.
h2. Official United States Navy Timepiece
This special-edition timepiece bears the official insignia of the US Navy. Custom made by skilled artisans and hand-applied by master clockmakers, each insignia medallion is crafted from solid brass, brilliantly colored with hard enamel and polished to a smooth, satin finish.
A signed certificate of authenticity verifying the year and details of the creation of this US Navy timepiece is available upon request.
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Five Year Warranty
4 1/2" Dial
Dimensions: 7 1/2" H x 9 1/2" W x 4" D
Weight: 8 lbs.
Packaged in our luxurious blue presentation box
Customizing a Chelsea
Chelsea Clock offers world class customization services which are ideal for gift giving, award presentations, and marking milestones and achievements. Options range from engraving on clock cases and plates to screen printing company logos on dials. Please see below for samples of some of our most popular personalization choices. Click here for samples of engraving messages. Please contact our sales department at 866-899-2805 or email@example.com with questions or to discuss engraving options in further detail.
Straight Line Engraving
Inscribe a custom message in the font of your choice directly on a clock case or plate. A variety of traditional and script fonts are available. Receive up to 5 lines of engraving for $25.00.
Engraved Logo On Ship's Bell Dial
For a timeless and unique look, we will engrave your company logo with a blackened treatment directly on a Ship's Bell Clock's dial. A one-time artwork charge of $80.00 applies, as well as a $15.00 per piece run charge.
Logo Engraving on Clock Case
Subtle yet distinctive, logos can also be engraved directly on a clock case or plate. A $80.00 one-time artwork charge applies, as well as $15.00 per piece run charge. Add an additional $25 for up to 5 lines of text engraving.
Made from high quality solid brass in a variety of styles and sizes, our engraving plates can be custom engraved with a message or logo of your choice. Finishes are available in both solid brass as well as nickel. Options will vary depending on the clock or base. See Accessories for more information. Receive up to 5 lines of engraving for a flat fee of $25.00.
Signatures & Monograms
Signatures may be scanned, digitized and engraved to the plate or clock case of your choice. Monograms are available in a variety of script and traditional fonts. Receive up to 5 lines of engraving for a flat fee of $25.00. A $15.00 charge applies for each signature or monogram. Note, logos may be added for an additional art charge of $80.00.
Screen Printing Options
Most Chelsea Clock dials can be screen printed with logos in multiple colors, a stunning presentation for company achievement and retirement awards. Camera-ready artwork is required on a plain white background as well as any required PMS colors. Artwork may be submitted via Email to firstname.lastname@example.org as a PC formatted DXF, JPEG, TIF, BMP, EPS OR GIF file. A $125.00 one time art charge, $95 one time per color scan charge as well as a $9.00 per color, per piece run charge applies (10 Piece Minimum).
Note: Chelsea will provide one paper proof for approval at no charge. No minimum order. Lead-time is 2-3 weeks from receipt of approved artwork
The Chelsea Ship's Bell, and many other Chelsea's clocks and Barometers, are crafted from rugged forged brass cases which are then hand polished and lacquered to last generations.
Step 1: Forging
Chelsea clocks and barometers are made of heavy solid brass forgings designed to last for generations. Chelsea uses more brass than any other clock manufacturer in the world. The 6" Ships Bell Clock for example, contains up to seven pounds of solid brass, most of which is the casing, forged (not cast) from a single chunk of metal to provide maximum protection from rust and corrosion. The high quality and volume of brass also accounts for the distinctive bell tone of the Ship's Bell Strike. Select products are also offered in Nickel, where our solid brass forgings are expertly plated for a modern metallic finish.
Step 2: Forged Case is Shaped
A computerized lathe is used to ensure the clock cases are modified to the correct size and shape. The shaping process is essentially the same whether a case is going to be used for a Ship's Bell or for any other clock or barometer model
Step 3: Buffing
The rough machined cases are then sent to the buffing room, where they undergo three separate polishing and buffing steps to bring out their mirror like finish. The hand administered buffing technique is a lengthy process requiring tremendous skill and just the right amount of pressure to bring out its full luster, as well as avoid markings or too dull a finish.
Step 4: Case Is Hand Lacquered
Next the case is sent to the lacquering room, where a clear finish is applied by hand to further protect the case against corrosion. With normal care and cleaning, the case's tarnish resistant and illustrious appearance will last for generations. Once polished and lacquered, each case is machined and drilled to accept a variety of different clock and barometer models.
Step 5: Hand Silvered Dial
The dial starts as a brass piece, which is then spun on a potter's-type wheel, where a special compound is administered by hand to ultimately create a beautifully silvered dial that will last for generations. The dial's numerals are deeply etched (not painted) and lacquered for added durability and aesthetics. Each dial must undergo rigorous inspection before passing our quality control standards.
Step 6: Custom Made Parts
In addition to the dial and case, there are hundreds of handcrafted parts that go into a Chelsea. Many of the methods used to craft these parts remain unchanged over the years since the company's founding in 1897. Custom machinery was especially designed and built by the company to manufacture our own precision parts, from bushings to wheels. For better accuracy, for instance, Chelsea cuts rather than stamps all of its gears. A Ships Bell is a unique American clock in that its parts are manufactured on-site, in Chelsea MA.
Step 7: Hand Assembly
The movement's 364 parts, including gold plated brass gears, hardened steel pinions, and jeweled bearings are hand assembled. Mainsprings are hand wound, and the finished pieces are balanced and calibrated. In total the manufacturing and assembly of a Ships Bell requires hundreds of hand operations over a period of 6 weeks.
Step 8: Testing
Our master clock makers take extra care to ensure each instrument, both clocks and barometers, function perfectly. Each movement is inspected and accuracy-tested for a full seven days. Once it is put into the case, the whole unit is again tested for an additional seven days.
Step 9: Personalization
Chelsea offers world class personalization services, allowing for our customers to order a uniquely customized gift to celebrate important milestones and achievements. Personalization options include engraving directly on the case or screen printing logos directly on the clock dial. Here our engraving machine is shown inscribing a message on a brass plate.
Step 10: Serialization
Each Ships Bell is individually stamped with a serial number which is registered in Chelsea Clock log books before being shipped from the factory, a practice which dates back to 1897. Each entry identifies the store or customer it was first sold to, the date it was sold, and what, if any service work was performed. So, if a Chelsea comes back for service, we know its history and can guarantee any repair work.
Ship's Bell Story
Mariners have used a unique bell code to tell time at sea for hundreds of years. The code is based on the crew's typical workday routine while the vessel is under way. A ship at sea requires constant attention throughout the day's twenty-four hours. The day is therefore divided into six four-hour periods, each called a "watch." Similarly, the crew is segmented into three divisions. Division members then stand their individually assigned duties on two watches per day, with eight hours off duty between watches. To rotate each division's watch times, the Evening Watch is periodically divided into two watches. These are called Dog Watches because they "dog" the watch schedule for all divisions ahead by one watch period.
8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Mid-Watch (also Black Watch)
12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.
4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The watch officer struck the ship's bell every half hour to apprise the crew of the time. A single bell denoted the end of the first half hour and one bell was added each half-hour. Eight bells therefore signaled the end of each four-hour watch. Like centuries of seafarers, you'll soon know the time when the clock chimes, even if you cannot see it.