Seth Thomas Helmsman Ships Bell Clock with Mahogany Base – SOLD!


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A sturdy mid-century Seth Thomas Helmsman ships bell clock with mahogany base perfect for any sea lover. A thick solid brass body shaped like a ship’s helm wheel sits on top an original mahogany base for desk or mantel display. A brushed stainless steel dial features large Gothic inspired Arabic numerals, black spade style hands and a graduated chapter ring. Clock dial also boasts gradients for 24 hour military time in a sub-dial ring. The clock face is situated behind a glass lens.

Makers sticker on the back of the clock is faded, however the clock is additionally stamped on the back. The inscription reads “Seth Thomas Division of General Time Corp. Thomaston, Conn. USA. Clock has a German movement.

Item comes with key.

History of the Ship’s Clock

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 divided into six four-hour periods, each called a “watch.” 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.


Item measures Length 10 ½” x Height 9″ x Depth 3″


Pre-owned, this item is in good condition with wear commensurate with age. Minor chips in the protective coating consistent with corner wear appear on the mahogany base. Missing small piece of veneer on bottom right and there is additionally a minor scuff on left side of wood base. Brass housing of the clock and the lower brass base show signs of tarnish. Brass clock edge has been hand engraved “12-79 MH”. Item does come with key. Tested and in working condition.

Lastly please view all the photographs as they serve as an extension of the description and condition report.