Seattle’s streets are once again graced with the historic charm of the Ben Bridge Jeweler’s clock, symbolizing the city’s rich horological heritage.  Recently restored with a fresh coat of green paint and gold accents, this iconic timepiece has been relocated to the front of Ben Bridge’s new flagship store at 501 Pine Street, not far from its original 1928 location.  As the clock begins its next chapter, it is a testament to Seattle’s enduring love affair with timekeeping.

History in the Remaking

The Ben Bridge clock, first restored in 1980, is a prominent member of the Landmarks Street Clocks Thematic Nomination, a collection that celebrates the city’s unique historical street clocks.  This particular model harks back to an era when Seattle was dubbed the “City of Clocks,” thanks to the vision of three German brothers who founded Joseph Mayer & Brothers Co., a renowned jewelry and watchmaking business.

Joseph Mayer, the mastermind behind these clocks, produced around 100 of them during his lifetime, with 46 finding permanent homes in Seattle.  These street clocks became emblematic of the city, blending utility with artistry.  The clocks are characterized by their dramatic 20-foot height and the four dials positioned at eye level, making the time easily readable for pedestrians.  When first crafted in the 1920s, these clocks came with a hefty price tag of $3,600, equivalent to over $60,000 today.

A Journey Through Time

Relocating the Ben Bridge clock has not been without its challenges.  Just a year ago, crews attempting to move the clock accidentally punched a hole in the roof of Westlake Station, causing a two-week disruption to Link services.  Despite this hiccup, the clock’s journey has continued, symbolizing resilience and the passage of time.

The recent renovations have breathed new life into the clock, ensuring it remains a vibrant part of Seattle’s urban landscape.  Its green and gold hues glisten, capturing the attention of passersby and reminding them of the city’s storied past.

Seattle’s Horological Legacy

Today, Seattle boasts 15 of these historic street clocks, surpassing even New York City’s collection of such timepieces.  Each clock is a piece of living history, offering a glimpse into the city’s evolution and the craftsmanship of a bygone era.  With its meticulous restoration, the Ben Bridge clock remains a beloved landmark, drawing both locals and visitors to its timeless allure.

As we admire this beautifully restored clock, we are reminded of the meticulous care and dedication that go into preserving Seattle’s heritage. The Ben Bridge clock is not just a timekeeping device. It symbolizes Seattle’s identity — a relic of its past and a beacon for its future.