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11th December 2017 

Marine Bulkhead Clocks

A new venture for me which I started after looking for a vintage clock for my vintage boat and finding that few if any that I could see had been properly restored.

Boat


As most can be restored with the techniques and tools I already use (with the exception of a spring winder) and the escapement is typically the same as for a pocket watch in scale and design I decided to do a few of them. Movements are restored in the same way as my watches including ultrasonic cleaning, the only significant difference is that mainsprings are far more robust and so a replacement will not always be require.

Marine clocks were made as 8 or 15 day models, most seem to run for 15 days or more but timekeeping starts to wander towards the end so it is best to wind and correct them once a week.

A Note Regarding Brass Cases


The majority of vintage and antique marine bulkhead clocks are in lacquered brass, those with solid or heavy plating could have most of the surface marks could be removed and the case made to look "as new", however this would remove the lacquer and the patina which many people prefer to the new look. Cases with a thin plate would be a bit of an iffy proposition to attack aggressively. I therefor only do heavy restoration if the lacquer or case is in very poor condition.

If the "new look" is preferred a buyer could do this themselves polishing with a lot of elbow grease and Brasso (paint stripper can be used to speed up the process) and then applying a new coat of lacquer.

Shipping Costs


These clocks are heavy, usually between 1Kg and 4Kg so insured shipping is expensive. Within UK, using RM special delivery as I do for watches it would be £28 for most clocks with insurance for £500. At the buyers risk I can ship by cheaper methods for example £8 - £16 by second class post. I don't make money on shipping (I loose money on it if you include my travel expenses) and I am happy to use other methods provided that it includes proof of delivery that I need to keep PayPal happy.


Unless otherwise stated all Clocks have 7 jewels (which is the normal number), are working, keep at least reasonable time for their age and wind and set correctly. Lids and bezels are secure, stay closed and where appropriate open when the button or crown is pressed. Any inscriptions, dedications or monograms (other than jewellers and makers marks) and any gold plate worn through to the core will either be shown in the photographs, described in the text or both.

Click on image for another picture and on "More pictures" for more on Zenfolio. Please remember that hi-res photos are several times life size and will make some tiny flaws, marks, etc. look huge!



Henry Brown & Son

Henry Brown & Son of Barking were important compass makers but also made or supplied a large variety of Nautical and Aeronautical instruments and equipment usually branded "Sestrel" . Many of their clocks were made by Smiths and often in their Coventry Factory after they acquired it from H. Williamson, with fewer from makers such as Elliott of London and probably with others imported.



Marine Bulkhead Clocks. MC2F

MC2. Tempora (Smiths) Marine Clock.

A 6 inch Brass cased bulkhead clock made by Smiths and branded Tempora for either Richard & Tucker Nunn Ltd one of two large distributers of Smith clocks or, if after 1959, the successor company Tucker Nunn & Grimshaws Ltd formed following their merger with the other large disributor Grimshaw Baxter & J.J. Elliott Ltd.

It has a good English made 7 jewel movement, a Swiss made table Swiss Lever escapement and an Elinvar over-sprung balance and double roller. Probably made in the 1950s or very early 1960s but could be earlier. With a brass key. The mineral glass is probably original and is in excellent condition.

The clock is wound with the key from the front and the time is set by advancing the minute hand (NOT the hour hand which is a simple friction fit).

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

MC2. Tempora (Smiths) 8 Day Marine Clock  (13)


The clock weights approx. 3Lb 8oz (1.6Kg), the dial is 6" in diameter and the case back mounting flange 8.1" / 20.5cm. It is 3" / 7.6 cm deep. See the note above regarding shipping costs for these heavy items. The case laquer has been removed, the brass polished and re-laquered, note that the white sheen on the barrel is a reflection from the background.

BRACKLEY £450 More pictures on Zenfolio


Marine Bulkhead Clocks. MC1f

MC1. Sestrel (Elliott) Marine Clock.

A 6 inch Brass cased bulkhead clock signed by Elliott, a premium London maker, for Henry Brown & Son and branded Sestrel, possibly originally by Smiths. It has a good 7 jewel movement, a Swiss Lever escapement and an Elinvar over-sprung balance with double roller. Probably made in the mid 1950s but could be much earlier. It is complete with what might be the original key. The mineral glass is probably original and is in excellent condition.

The clock is wound with the key from the front and the time is set by advancing the minute hand (NOT the hour hand which is a simple friction fit).

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

MC1 Sestrel (Elliott) 8 Day c1955 (4)


The clock weights approx. 3Lb 5oz (1.5Kg), the dial is 6" in diameter and the case back mounting flange 8.1" / 20.5cm. It is 3" / 7.6 cm deep. See the note above regarding shipping costs for these heavy items.

BRACKLEY £425 More pictures on Zenfolio


Marine Bulkhead Clocks. MC4F

MC4. Smith "Astral" Centre Seconds Marine Clock

A 6 inch brass and steel cased bulkhead clock signed on the movement “Astral” and "Coventry", it was made in the clock factory of H. Williamson (who owned that trade mark) who were purchased by Smiths in 1932. The dial was too far gone to be rescued and has been replaced with a modern one, also in alloy, the original was signed “Smith” (later Smith’s) which was the name used between 1936 and 1942.

It has a good 7 jewel calibre (model) 156 movement, a Swiss Lever escapement and an Elinvar over-sprung balance with double roller. The mineral glass is probably original and is in very good condition with just one short scratch (c 1cm).

MC4 Smith Astral 8 Day Centre Seconds c1937 (3)

The clock is wound with the key from the front and the time is set by advancing the minute hand. The bezel is opened after releasing a catch to the side using the winding key, which is probably original and is certainly old.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The clock weights approx. 6Lb 12oz (3Kg), the dial is 6" in diameter and the case back mounting flange 8.8" / 22.5cm. It is 3.5" / 8.9 cm deep. See the note above regarding shipping costs for these heavy items.

BRACKLEY £425 More pictures on Zenfolio


Marine Bulkhead Clocks. MC3f

MC3. Marpro (Smiths Cal 51) 15J 8 Day, c1960.

A 3 inch Brass cased bulkhead clock intended for a relatively small boat, signed by Marpro Products, the adjusted movement is a Smiths Calibre 51, it has 15 jewels and a Swiss Lever escapement with an Elinvar over-sprung balance and double roller. It is signed "Smiths Clocks & Watches Ltd" which dates it to after 1955. Inside it has a label "Marpro Products, 61A, De Beauvoir Road, London N.1" The mineral glass is probably original and is in excellent condition.

The clock is wound (anti-clockwise) and set (clockwise) from the back of the movement.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

MC3 Marpro (Smiths) 15J 8 Day (12)


The clock weights approx. 1Lb (462grams), the dial is 3" in diameter and the case back mounting flange c4.5" / 11.5cm. It is 2" / 5.1 cm deep. The case laquer has been removed, the brass polished and re-laquered, note that the white sheen on the barrel shown on some of the pictures is a reflection from the background.

BRACKLEY £275 More pictures on Zenfolio.


Recently Sold Clocks

Following requests from buyers who are giving watches as presents I no longer show the price of sold watches.



Chronograph & Centre Seconds Watches

Traditional early English Chronographs also known as "Doctors" watches as the centre seconds hand aided the taking of a patients pulse rate, have a completely different layout to a "normal" watch to facilitate the seconds hand. They also have a simple stop start mechanism operated by a slider switch, this operates by completely stopping the movement so that the time has to be reset after use. There is also no facility to reset the seconds hand. Due to the risk of accidentally sliding the switch and the impractical nature of the stop / start function many of these chronographs have had the stop function disabled or removed.

Most English chronographs of this type are in large sizes between size 18 and size 22 or more and make substantial time pieces, many were made as hunters of half hunters in silver but very few survive with their cases which have long since gone to the smelters. The above example is a rare 15 jewel size 16 half hunter chronograph, Swiss made in the English Style dating from 1880.

Later, the stop function was dropped and smaller conventional movements converted to have centre seconds hands.


Marine Bulkhead Clocks. S796fMore complex chronographs were later developed primarily by the Swiss which incorporated a facility to reset the seconds hand to zero, to start it and to stop it, normally by repeated pressings of the crown, without stopping the main movement. These would often have additional dials to allow times to be recorded greater than 60 seconds and to incorporate a "normal" subsidiary seconds hand that does not stop with the centre seconds hand.

Further complications included the "split seconds" chronograph which had to centre seconds hand which could be stopped independently allowing for example the timing of the first and second in a race.