Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sorry Winston, it's a Chelsea

Last night our friend Winston slept on the couch in our den. She's been sailing Long Island Sound with her folks aboard a stunning 60 ' Gulfstar sloop - the Calibogue II & got off the boat for a few days to pay a visit. This morning over coffee I asked how she slept. A cheerful person by nature, Winston replied, with typical vigor, "just fine, thanks, although..."

Her "although" had to do with my Chelsea "Shipstrike" clock, affixed in all it's brass and chiming glory to the wall in the den...where it routinely comforts me by lending a faint sense of shipboard ritual to my landlocked couch time. The Chelsea Company has been making its line of Ship’s Bell clocks since the late 19th Century - they're mechanically wound and signal according to the count of a four hour ship's bell system indicating a change of the “Sailor’s Watch.”

Luckily for Winston you can set them to be silent, though that spoils the fun.

More history: soon after its inception the company became the primary supplier of timepieces to the United States Navy, creating Chelsea’s legendary reputation as the “Timekeepers of the Sea.” Every American President since Woodrow Wilson has owned a Chelsea Clock and today the Office of Protocol continues to order Chelseas as Presidential gifts to foreign dignitaries.

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