Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm
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  1. #1
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    Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Hi ladies.

    maybe this should be posted under "Watchmaking", but I believe it is more about strange old iron:

    I recently shot this disposable alarm:

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    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

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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by Hartmut Richter; January 17th, 2018 at 23:25.

  2. #2
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    I really love to see another "bread'n'butter" piece saved!

    Thank you, Roland!

    Regards,
    Andreas
    Last edited by Hartmut Richter; January 17th, 2018 at 23:26.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    BTW: Unfortunately the header can't be corrected with the edit feature.
    It can in advanced edit mode ("Go Advanced")!

    Nice write up, by the way.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Hi Hartmut,

    thanks for adding the "s". For the future I know how to do better.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  6. #5
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    While not the Jura, Illinois was home to several manufacturers of fine watches.

    It also had the Western Clock plant at Peru, IL.
    Courtesy of ULF.

  7. #6
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    I didn't know Westclox made wristwatches...I've got a box full of Westclox and Ingraham pocket watches...most together and running, but a couple are dismantled.

  8. #7
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post
    I didn't know Westclox made wristwatches... . . . .
    Viet Nam issue?

    Jeambrun powered? Seiko?

    LaSalle?
    Courtesy of ULF.

  9. #8
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Sorry, Roland - not what you're looking for, I know. And not Pithy's either, I'm afraid.

    Regards.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  10. #9
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    UK made!

    WC was an early multinational.

    Looks like it was straight out of LaSalle.

    Where in the UK? Wales?
    Courtesy of ULF.

  11. #10
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    Re: Disposable Beauty: Westclox W5 Alarm

    Quote Originally Posted by pithy View Post
    UK made!

    WC was an early multinational.

    Looks like it was straight out of LaSalle.

    Where in the UK? Wales?
    Hi Pithy,
    Made in Scotland, as shown on the dial. I agree with yourfeelings about Mr Wiki, but enough of this is correct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westclox_Scotland
    Regards.

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