Ball Watch Company of Cleveland, Ohio. REGULATOR No. 3. This early version is a labeled example. 221143

This Model Number 3 Regulator was made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company between the dates of 1879 through 1896. The early version is identified by the finial drop decorations. The second version features a simpler design. This example is constructed in oak and retains an original clean finish. The veneer around the bezel, traditionally a problem area is in very good condition on this example. The four drop finials and the bottom bracket are also original to this example. The octagon shaped bezel is hinged on the right and swings open to access the dial. There is also a door in the lower section of the case that opens to access the brass covered lead weight and pendulum. The pendulum swings in front of a brass beat scale that is mounted to the back of the case. The Ball Watch Co label is pasted inside the case on to the bottom board. This case measures approximately 44 inches long.

The painted zinc dial measures 14 inches in diameter and is original to this clock. The large dial makes this model easy to read from across the room. It features a subsidiary seconds dial and large Arabic style hour numerals. A few of the hour numerals have been strengthened. The spade shaped hands are steel. This dial is signed across the center. The signature reads “BALL WATCH CO. / Cleveland.”

The movement is brass and of good quality. It is weight powered and is designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It features polished brass plates that are tapered and form the shape of a trapezoid. These are mounted onto a cast iron bracket that is secured to the backboard with screws. The works are good quality and feature polished cut pinions of solid steel, a Graham deadbeat escapement and maintaining power. It beats seventy-six beats a minute. The pendulum is also mounted or hangs from the cast iron bracket and swings behind the mechanism. An adjustable vernier is fitted to the top. This is a hand operated device that is used to manually adjust the beat. The shaped wooden rod is painted black and supports a brass covered zinc bob. The rating nut is under the bob. The drive weight is also brass and features knurled edges. It hangs from a hook that attaches to the well made pulley.

The Clockmaker’s label remains in the bottom of the case. This is in very good original condition. This clock made circa 1890.


About Ball Watch Co. of Clevelenad, Ohio.

Webster Clay Ball was born on a farm in Knox County Ohio on October 6, 1848. After a two year apprenticeship to a jeweler in Fredericktown, Ohio, Ball relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. After several years of working for various firms in nearby cities, he formed the Ball Watch Company in 1879. At this time, the railroads were still operating under local time. It was not until 1883 that standard time began to be implemented into the system. With this came the broadcasting of the time signal from the Naval Observatory. Ball was the first jeweler in Cleveland to display the time signal or the correct time in his shop window. He was instrumental in the organization of railway timekeeping and became a general inspector for over 125,000 miles of railroad in the United States, Mexico and Canada. He help standardize the watches used in the railroad system by requiring the watch to meet a base line of quality and performance. He designed the watch inspection system. Ball used movements and clocks from the top American manufacturers and sold many under his own firm’s name. Webb C. Ball died in 1922. The business was continued by the family until the 1960’s. The name has been sold and is now used by a Swiss firm.


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