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  Weems & Plath Martinique Brass Quartz Ship's Bell Clock Review


Windward Instruments - Authorized Dealer of Weems and Plath





Produced by: Weems & Plath


Available at: BellClocks.com (No longer available)

Movement: Quartz




Our overall rating: 7.25/10

  • Case quality: 10/10

  • Fit - Finish - Hand alignment: 8/10

  • Accuracy: 4/10

  • Bang for the buck: 7/10 (explained below)


Weems and Plath is one of the best known, and most popular makes of nautical clocks and instruments on the market today, and for many years. This review is on one of the most popular Weems & Plath models, the Martinique Quartz Ships Bell Clock.

Our Martinique Quartz Ships Bell Clock came packaged in a heavy cardboard box, with inner styro packing. The packaging was heavy, and of good quality - sufficient to protect the piece from damage during shipment. Included was the clock, mounting screws, battery, and instructions. The instructions are complete,
easy to follow, and should answer any question regarding the clock or set up. In addition to the instructions, was a small bi-fold sheet containing a brief history of Weems & Plath - a nice addition for the customer
.

One of the first things that caught our attention, was the weight of the clock itself, which was impressive - especially when keeping in mind that this is a quartz movement. Case finish was excellent, with a perfect finish - no marring, scratches, etc. Fit of the hinged front bezel, and operation of the porthole fastener was also good, and operated smoothly.  

The 4" clock face is white, and features a standard 3 hand arrangement, with 12 hour Arabic numerals, and a second register along the outside edge of the dial, in black - easy to read from across the room. Sound holes for the bell are located on the bottom of the clock barrel, as with most strikers.

Setting of the clock was accomplished quickly, by opening the bezel, and following the simple instructions included in the package. Upon setting of the clock, we noticed that the second hand was slightly out of alignment with the second register on the face - not a problem, and very common with many clocks
featuring a second hand. Our only complaint is in the labeling on the rear side of the movement. We felt the setting controls should be more clearly labeled, as they were a bit hard to see
.

The Martinique Ships Bell Clock follows a standard 8 bell pattern. As our clock ticked away toward the top of the hour, we waited for the bells at the top of the hour...nothing. We followed all troubleshooting contained in the instructions, eventually contacting Weems & Plath customer service - where we confirmed that we had a defective unit.

While we were disappointed, this allowed us to test Weems & Plath customer service - which we are happy to report was outstanding. They immediately issued a call tag for UPS to pick up, which occurred the following morning. Within about
8 days, they received our return, verified it's defect, and shipped us another new clock, at no cost to us
.

Following the instructions, we set our replacement, and waited for the top of the hour (12:00 PM) 8 bells - nothing - then at about 12:01, 8 bells. We again followed the instructions, contacting customer service again. The instructions stated that the strike might take 24 hours to align with the clock, so we waited.
Over the following 3 days, the timing of the bell function was erratic, with bells sounding in a 1.5 minute range before or after the top or bottom of the hour. The tone and volume levels were excellent, but the timing was just not right. Customer service was happy to oblige another return, but we declined
.

The movement used by Weems & Plath on all Atlantis, Martinique, and Anniversary clocks, is a Hermle. To be fair, we have sold a good number of these clocks, mechanical and quartz, without a single return as defective. It is possible that we were simply unlucky - and we can't say enough about the outstanding
treatment received by Weems & Plath's customer service department
.

Timekeeping accuracy was also excellent. We tested the Martinique for 10 days against our standard - the Oregon Scientific RM-103A (radio controlled clock synchronized with the NIST atomic clock signal from WWVB @60Hz). During the
test period, the Martinique lost 3 seconds
.

BOTTOM LINE: Overall, the Martinique Ships Bell Clock was impressive. While we were disappointed with the striker - fit, finish, and "wow" factor is high. The sound of the bell is possibly the best of any quartz bell we've heard, in terms of both tone quality, and volume level - it's obvious that Weems & Plath has done some research in selecting the mechanism.

To explain our "bang for the buck" rating: This is the average of scores in the 4 areas we rate




   
 

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