Chelsea enjoys a 120-year reputation of being the timepiece of choice for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and enduring quality. Notable owners include presidents, kings, and celebrities. In fact, every U.S. President since Theodore Roosevelt has owned or displayed a Chelsea in the Oval Office or White House.
Every President Since Teddy Roosevelt Has Owned One Of These Navy Clocks
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There’s a little company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, that has weathered 120 years of industrial innovation to become a timeless fixture of state history and a reminder of the golden years of American manufacturing. It seems fitting that its business is time itself: clock-making. Chelsea Clock first opened in 1897, and within a year, designed and patented the chimes of the Chelsea Clock Ship’s Bell, which have long notified U.S. Navy sailors and worldwide mariners of the time while they serve on watch. The company became the first to supply the timepieces for Navy ships dating back to the early 1900s, when the federal government began ordering marine clocks.
In order to keep accurate time, the Navy needed a mechanism that could withstand moisture, dropping, shaking, and erosion from water salinity. Chelsea Clock delivered exactly that. Crafted from forged brass cases, the company’s clocks are hand polished and sealed with a lacquer designed to help them withstand the trials of sea.
Now the oldest clockmaker still operational in the country, Chelsea Clock continues to produce several clock types for Navy ships and submarines. And every U.S. president since Theodore Roosevelt has owned one. Former President Barack Obama even gave engraved Chelsea Dartmouth clocks as gifts to diplomats.
Scroll down to see photos of Chelsea Clock craftsmanship.
Sarah Sicard is a staff writer with Task & Purpose.
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