Original Catalogue Drawing
(prior to model name change)
Here's a beautiful Chelsea "Commodore" clock with ship's bells (click link to learn about the bell sequence).
The Commodore model, dating back to the early years of Chelsea, was originally named the "Base and Ball". In 1917, that name was changed to “Commodore”. Subsequently, it was renamed “Constitution”, and at some point even sold with an inexpensive quartz movement and a puny 3" dial. But this clock is the real McCoy – we never mess with those cheesy models!
The Jeweler: The dial is signed "Udall and Ballou" and "Ship's Bell". The former were high-end jewelers and would have been the retailer who first sold this clock. Founded in 1888 in New York, Udall and Ballou was one of the finest jewelers of the early 20th Century. In its advertisements, they mentioned locations in Palm Beach, Florida; on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island; and at rue Lafayette, Paris. The company also maintained a store on Fifth Avenue in New York.
By the 1920s, they were one of the most prosperous firms of the period. Along with Tiffany & Co., Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham, Marcus & Co., and Cartier, they sponsored “The House of Jewels” at the 1939 New York World´s Fair. Contributing jewelry that was abstract in design and architectural in effect, they were one of the few manufacturing jewelers identified with the famous “flower style” (2) of the 1930s.
In the 1940s, During World War II, the firm closed due to the difficult financial situation globally.
The design of this clock dates back to 1906; its movement is descended from patents issued July 31, 1900 (UK) and June 5, 1909 (US). Here is a label (not on this clock) that was on the early-century originals as they left the factory:
Physical: The red brass case measures 8.5"w x 9"h x 4"d and is in excellent physical condition. It was recently cleaned, polished and re-sealed with marine-grade lacquer. It has a 6 inch diameter, 12-hour silvered brass dial in excellent original condition. The 7.5" diameter bezel is hinged and is opened by a button on the side. The glass appears to be original.
Mechanical: The clock eight-day ship’s bell (gong-strike) movement has a high-quality 11-jewel platform escapement and rack-and-snail strike, an excellent timekeeper. The serial number 197460 indicates it was manufactured in 1930 and matches the case serial number on the bottom. A correct Chelsea key is also included.
The movement was recently completely disassembled and professionally overhauled; it is in excellent running order. The ship's bells sound in proper sequence and have a resounding ring due, in part, to the Mahogany sounding board in the base.
Comments: This is a fine example of the Commodore "species" and will be a reliable timekeeper in your home or office for generations to come. Give us a call so we can launch it in your direction!
Questions? Contact us by phone at 760-604-0262, or e-mail.