Saturday, July 22, 2006

Material Costs will force Price Increases Soon

By: Mike Ratican, Business Director

While most customers aren't surprised by annual price increases to adjust for increasing costs of production, the next round of price increases may leave some customers with a serious case of "sticker shock".

They won't be alone. Manufacturers ordering new stock for the holidays may be shocked as well.

The most recent updates in pricing to manufacturers from material sources in the U. S., Asia, and Europe, included huge price hikes in finish metals, especially brass, with typical increases of 40 - 60%.

The cost of base metals needed to produce brass has skyrocketed in recent months. Copper, for example, has more than doubled in price in the past year. According to industry analysts, the chief cause is demand, mainly from China, and India, 2 leading producers of brass for many applications.

It's a bit ironic that many U.S. manufacturers have turned to China, India, and other international sources to obtain less expensive brass - only to be charged more due to the increase in demand placed on these sources by the U. S. market.

In recent years many manufacturers have reduced the amount of stock on the shelves through the Summer months, choosing to restock in late Summer for the holidays. This "short stock" condition may make the situation more immediate, as prices for holiday restock will likely be subject to these increased prices.

Many smaller recent increases have been absorbed, mainly by retailers, to maintain competitive pricing. Unfortunately, with increases of this magnitude, retailers will be forced to pass these increases on in the form of higher prices to customers.

Our advise to shoppers is to buy now - and avoid what will likely be a more expensive "Christmas Rush".

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a Division of Windward Instruments

Monday, July 17, 2006


Our parent company, Windward Instruments, will launch the new Ocean Clocks "Maritime 24" Clock sometime during August - September, 2006, and will be offered for sale at

This hand assembled 24 Hour Clock incorporates the superior dial design Ocean Clocks is known for, featuring colorful nautical signal flags on a 4" Dial.

"Relieve the Watch" indications (at 00, 04, 08, 12, 16, 20), a "stepping" second hand, and casework of uncommon quality, make the Maritime 24 a true nautical instrument, suitable for use in a pilot house, or nautical room.

Crafted from solid lacquered brass, the Maritime 24 is powered by an accurate quartz movement, and is backed with a full (5) Five Year Warranty. Heavy chrome plated brass case also available.

The Maritime 24 will be available in late Summer, August - September 2006. Pricing will be announced at that time. Pictures in advance of release will be available, and posted soon.

For more information, please contact us through the blog, or our sites below.

Please visit us online at:
a Division of Windward Instruments

Monday, July 10, 2006 Chesapeake Home Celebration Sale celebrates the Chesapeake Bay area lifestyle with special pricing on all Ocean Clocks localized tide time clocks and barometers for that area. The event is in conjunction with the July/August issue of Chesapeake Home Magazine, which features Ocean Clocks instruments.

The "Chesapeake Home Celebration" will feature the following models:

Ocean Clocks "Tides of Maryland" tide time clock.
Ocean Clocks "Tides of Chesapeake Bay" tide time clock.
Ocean Clocks "Tides of Deleware" tide time clock.
Ocean Clocks "Tides of Virginia" tide time clock.

Matching barometers for each model are also available, at reduced event pricing.

The reduced pricing applies to orders received via secure shopping cart, by mail (check or money order), or by the toll free customer phone: 1-800-210-0492.

The Chesapeake Home Celebration will continue through August 31, 2006.

Please visit us online at:
a Division of Windward Instruments

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The "New" Chelsea Clock Company

By Mike Ratican, Business Director.

In mid 2005, the Chelsea Clock Company was purchased by J K Nicholas. Many in the industry were not familiar with Mr. Nicholas, and were worried that the Company had been purchased by an investor with no interest in the Chelsea Clock history, or heritage - simply wanting to turn out clocks by the thousands to make big money. I think may of us expected this, as the previous owner (who shall remain nameless) milked Chelsea Clock for everything he could without reinvesting in the company - a recipe for disaster with any company.

Being unfamiliar with Mr. Nicholas or his plans for the company, so I did something very unusual in today's world - I decided to CALL him...Yes, on a regular phone, no texting, no VOIP, no messenger, just a simple "old fashioned" phone call. It worked just fine! I was impressed with J K's grasp of the company history, and his positive attitude toward the numerous changes in front of him.

For anyone worried about the future of Chelsea Clock, or that J K is an investor looking only at the bottom line, I can honestly say: don't be. Like any businessman J K is certainly concerned with turning a healthy profit, but his focus is on the Company, it's heritage, and re-building both facilities and brand awareness in order to attain increased return. Most importantly, J K has no interest in "outsourcing" Chelsea's production or material to Asia, Mexico, or other cheap labor and parts markets.

He's off to a great start. Mr. Nicholas has already invested a major amount of time and money into maintenance and upgrades to the "old building" on Everett Avenue in Chelsea, MA., with some much needed attention. In addition to material upgrades, R&D and marketing are coming up to speed, with stock on the shelves, and new models rumored to be under development for release in the near future, and beyond.

I'm looking to the future with optimism, and look forward to witnessing the return of a re-vitalized Chelsea Clock, America's last great clockbuilder.

Visit us online at:
a Division of Windward Instruments

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 will not offer Google Checkout

On Monday, July 3, 2006 we announced that was considering the addition of Google Checkout for use by our customers.

We have determined that the service is not fit for use, and due to several serious issues, will not offer it to our customers.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

We strongly recommend that customers considering use of Google Checkout do some research prior to registration by visiting the FAQ section prior to sign up, paying particular attention to Google's idea of purchase limits placed on some customers.

Visit us online at:
A Division of Windward Instruments

Monday, July 03, 2006 Considering Google Check Out is considering the use of Google Check Out for our customers, as an additional payment method. We currently offer several payment methods to our customers, both online and by toll-free phone, including all major credit cards, PayPal, and Personal Checks. We believe the addition of Google Check Out may offer added convenience for our online shoppers.

We welcome shopper comments regarding the addition of Google Check Out to - please follow the link below, then click on the "email us" link below our logo (top left).

Visit us online at:
A Division of Windward Instruments