What Is a Submarine Clock?

Close up image of an old and large vintage submarine clock

When it comes to nautical instruments and collectibles, one can find a wide array of fascinating artifacts that have played significant roles in maritime history. Among these artifacts, the submarine clock holds a special place. As the name suggests, a submarine clock is a unique timepiece that was used aboard submarines. In this blog, we will delve into the origins, features, and significance of submarine clocks, exploring their history and explaining their importance in the world of maritime antiques.

Origins of Submarine Clocks

To understand the significance of submarine clocks, it is essential to trace their origins. The first submarine clock was developed in the 19th century when submarines were still a relatively new addition to naval fleets. These clocks were specifically designed to withstand the challenging conditions that submarines presented, such as high humidity and extreme changes in pressure.

Design and Features

Submarine clocks were engineered with specific features that made them resilient and reliable in harsh maritime environments. They were typically built to be highly resistant to water damage and corrosion, with watertight cases and strong materials such as brass and steel. The clock face was often protected by thick glass or acrylic domes to shield it from any potential damage caused by impacts or shocks.

Timekeeping Accuracy

In addition to their durability, submarine clocks were known for their accuracy in timekeeping. Naval operations relied heavily on accurate timekeeping, as coordination and synchronization were crucial, especially during wartime. Submarine clocks were designed with precise movements and mechanisms to maintain accuracy and to continue functioning properly even in extreme conditions.


One prominent feature of submarine clocks is their illumination system. Given the dim lighting conditions often found aboard submarines, the clock faces were designed to be easily readable in low light. Some models incorporated luminescent paint or dials, while others had built-in lighting systems that could be activated in dark settings. This aspect of submarine clocks made them highly functional within the confined spaces and limited visibility of submarines.

Collectability and Historical Significance

Today, submarine clocks are highly sought-after collectibles due to their historical significance and rarity. These clocks represent a significant chapter in naval history and hold artistic and aesthetic value. With our extensive selection of vintage nautical lights and maritime antiques, Vintage Ship Salvage recognizes the value of submarine clocks as coveted collector’s items.

Where to Find Submarine Clocks

While submarine clocks are relatively rare, there are sources where collectors and enthusiasts can find these unique timepieces. Vintage Ship Salvage is a leading provider of authentic, high-quality nautical collectibles, including submarine clocks. With over 23 years of experience in the business, we have established ourselves as the go-to source for all things nautical. Our extensive collection and knowledge enable us to provide valuable and rare items to collectors and maritime enthusiasts.

Find All Your Vintage Nautical Lighting and Maritime Antiques

The submarine clock represents an important piece of naval history and serves as a fascinating collectible. Its durability, accuracy, and unique features distinguish it from other vintage timepieces. As collectors and enthusiasts continue to appreciate the historical value and aesthetics of submarine clocks, Vintage Ship Salvage remains the ultimate destination for anyone seeking these iconic pieces. With our vast selection of vintage nautical lights and maritime antiques, Vintage Ship Salvage is the ideal place to connect with the world of nautical artifacts.

If you are a collector or maritime enthusiast searching for a submarine clock or other vintage nautical artifacts, Vintage Ship Salvage is here to assist you. With our unparalleled knowledge and experience, we have curated the largest selection of vintage nautical lights and maritime antiques in the country. Explore our inventory and find the perfect addition to your collection. Vintage Ship Salvage is your ultimate source for all things nautical.