Buying a Ships Clock on Ebay? Wait!

For the past several months, somehow I’ve been accumulating a lot of Russian Ship and Submarine clocks for service.  After the first few started coming in, I had to log into Ebay and check out what the heck is going on.

There are some things I want to explain to you, my trusted friends here, that I want to make clear before you go and plop down your hard earned money for a ships clock, – From Russia!

Where do these come from...

So, I’m partially guessing, and partially fact finding some of this…  

These clocks are abundant on Ebay, and other buying/auction sites around the world.  They suddenly popped up on  sites several months ago, and they are selling like hot-cakes.  Well, they have slowed down just a bit now, but, people are still buying these.

So, after making some calls to other sellers, I found out that somewhere, someone purchased a warehouse full of old stuff from the Former Soviet Union.  What was in the warehouse?  Apparently, a lot of ship’s clocks.  

Almost all of these clocks were used, and taken out of service.  These clocks had either been replaced with newer clocks, and some which were serviceable, sent back into service.

Well, these clocks, like most of the ones showing up in my shop, don’t work well.  However, I commend the capitalistic measure of the person or people who decided to liquidate this stock of ungoods.  (Yes, I meant “ungoods”).


What are you getting?

When you send your money to the person on the other end of Ebay, assuming that you are going to get a good clock that keeps time, just understand, it isn’t going to be a happy experience.

I’ve seen over a dozen of these heavy, bulky ship clocks, and so far, two where working, and only one of those kept ok time…  OK?  Yes, as it only ran for about twelve hours and needed a complete service.  I didn’t clean it, because, well, my customer laughed at me when I told him how much to service the clock, and his reply…. “Hell man, I only paid $150.00 for it”.

What I found in most of these clocks was horrid…  Here is a list of the problems I found…

  1. Brocken Clicks (The piece that makes the clicking sound when you wind a clock, and holds the spring in tension).
  2. Broken Click Gears (These where almost all broken, with three clocks so far, having all the teeth damaged or completely broken off)
  3. Broken Balance staffs (Yea, see the video…)
  4. Two clocks… Broken Pallet Forks
  5. Three clocks… Broken Escapements
  6. Six had Second hands that were broken, or didn’t turn
  7. Many of the parts, especially those connected to the mainspring barrel were loose, or the tolerances so bad, that they would have eventually all broke or fallen apart, Soon…

There where many other minor issues, but the one common to all of these clocks, they were all filthy!  Really Filthy.

Click Image to See on Amazon

Click on the image, and buy this clock…  This beautiful Chelsea clock is new, comes with a warranty, and will last a very long time!

The best part…  It is the same price as many of these Russian Clocks…  

My Opinion, it means a lot to me... LOL

So, I have to be clear here.  I don’t like these.  First, the only parts I can get are Balance staffs, and I’m not sure that the one I purchased on Ebay for 48.00 is actually going to fit without a bit of a fight.

If you watched my video, you’ll know that I actually ended up making the balance staff for the clock in the video, and sadly,  HA HA, I did that before I took the rest of the clock apart.  I learned my lesson.

This clock is a loss.  It isn’t repairable, at least not cost effective.  Yes, I can make the parts it need, and get it running, and probably get it to keep decent time…  However, you have to remember.  A naval ship has a lot of clocks on board.  These things wear out…  They get replaced with newer clocks, or clocks that hopefully work.  These are the leftovers that can’t go back into service.  And for good reason.

Don’t waste you time.  I asking you not to bother with these…  Your money is far better off spent on a Russian Bride than a Russian Clock…  LOL.  (Please, don’t take offense, I shooting for a joke there somewhere!).

If you are truly interested in ships clock, save up and buy a good Chelsea ships clock.  It will be serviceable, it will last a very long time, and you will appreciate the quality rather than throwing this thing away in six months.

However, if you really want a Russian Ships Clock, by all means, buy this and have a quartz clock put inside.  It will keep time, it will be reliable, and you won’t have to wind it every twelve hours to keep it going!


Thanks for taking the time to get this far…  Have a great day…




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