maybe this should be posted under "Watchmaking", but I believe it is more about strange old iron:
I recently shot this disposable alarm:
After 58 years still a beauty isn't it? Amazing how such an old dial can look compared with contemporary Rolex crap. The dial was "Made in Germany" still an attractive signature long before the invention of the intelligent Diesel engine.
Nothing worked, idle rotating seconds hand, no crown, and a look inside was disappointing - but only at the first glance. I had this movement since long in my archive, but only a pic from an alarm-watch collector, never on my table. Now I finally got it, took photos over the shoulder of my watchmaker, and gathered some informations:
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Westclox W5
Obviously a disposable pin-lever, but instead of the usual Roskopf design, it is a modern concept with indirect minute and second, here not in favor of a big balance, but for a big barrel, needed to run the coarsly "nailed" together movement for a reasonable time.
Nailed together? Yes! Many parts are "nailed", i.e. a tapered pin is pressed into a hole:
Accordingly wheels are not riveted to pinions as usual, but pressed onto their conical ends. Thus these parts should be handled with certain care.
Here the post A for the rocker and the guiding post B for the alarm-time setting are nailed into the plate. No problem: If A loosens, nothing can happen, because the end pivot of the stem, beared in it, holds it in place.
B will loosen sooner or later by frequently setting the alarm. But as the dial holds it in place, one must only care that it is not lost when lifting the dial. But one should consider to repace the nail B (1st pic below) by a screw C with collar (2nd pic below).
When lifting the second hand, even the arbor came out. This is the worst part of the costs-saving measures: The sweep-second wheel is only pressed onto its arbor (i.e. not riveted! D, pics above). If a hardly pressed on second hand (E, pics above) is pulled off, the arbor is surely removed from the wheel. To fix this, the movement must be disassembled and re-assembled (rather troublesome with fiddling 8 pivots into one plate). Pushing fine tweezers as wedges between hand and the thick section of the arbor (F, pics above) may lift the hand without loosening the wheel. Anyway, the second hand should be mounted only with moderate force. Better is to press an additional bushing onto the arbor end (G, pic above).
A production periode of hardly 2 years (1960-1961) doesn't indicate success, and probably the reason was that costs for garanty repairs destroyed the profit. Surely repair or service were no intended options for this watch. But if the constructional deficits are cured, it can be worn and preserved for the future.
Of course the repair, service, and improvements were crazy from ecomomical point of view. But that's what hobby does: Wasting money. And if ever I sell it, the next owner must waste the very same amount for a cheap disposal.
Finally my question:
This watch is not a typical subject to burn money or just time. Has anyone such a watch with Westclox W5, which is actually functional?
Regards, Roland Ranfft
BTW: Unfortunately the header can't be corrected with the edit feature.