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Historic clock reinstalled in downtown Seattle

The iconic Ben Bridge Jeweler clock is back and better than ever in front of a new flagship storefront.

The refurbished Ben Bridge clock is painted a bright, forest green with gold accents in the rim's detailing and on the base.

A fresh coat of green paint and gold accents was part of the clock’s renovation.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

History is tick, tick, ticking again now that the Ben Bridge Jeweler’s clock has returned downtown.

The vintage street clock got some fresh paint before being moved to the front of Ben Bridge’s new flagship store at 501 Pine St. — close to where it originally was in 1928.

But why are we talking about a clock?

The front of the Ben Bridge flagship store displays white marble pillars and a cursive, illuminated sign spelling out "Ben Bridge." The interior of the clock tower out front obscurs the front right of the picture, giving a view of the inner gears that keep the clock running.

First restored in 1980, the clock is one of nine Seattle street clocks belonging to the Landmarks Street Clocks Thematic Nomination.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

This specific model is a relic from when Seattle became known as the “City of Clocks,” a reputation started by three German brothers who immigrated to Seattle and founded jewelry and watchmaking business Joseph Mayer & Brothers Co.

Over the course of his life, Joseph Mayer assembled 100 of these street clocks — 46 stayed right here in the Emerald City.

A plaque on the Ben Bridge clock reads "Ben Bridge, Fine Jewelry since 1912" in gold font on black.

Fun fact: One year ago crews attempting relocate the clock accidentally punched a hole in the roof of Westlake Station, disrupting Link services for about two weeks.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Mayer’s clocks are defined by two key characteristics: the dramatic ~20-ft height + four dials at pedestrian eye level around the top of the base.

At the time they were made in the 1920s, the infamous clocks sold for at least $3,600 (over $60,000 today).

Fifteen of these iconic clocks can be still be spotted in Seattle — which is more than New York City has... just sayin’.