Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!
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  1. #1
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Here it is, early 1950s:



    The movement is a cracker, a rare MST417. Only made for a short time before being replaced by the redesigned MST427. Not often seen in either version, they only appear on the 'bay maybe once or twice a year - almost all of which are 427s. The way you can tell the difference is the extra hole by Roamer in the 417. This is an in-house movement of considerable sophistication, with only 1 crown to set, time and alarm and wind the separate alarm and main barrel. This calls for a 3 position crown and horribly complex setting mechanism. Wonderful - especially compared to the pedestrian AS1475 that was fitted to most contemporaries, this Roamer calibre was on the market several years before the AS calibre - which used 2 crowns, and just several years after Vulcain's famous 120 Cricket.



    The really interesting thing, is the back. This back was patented in 1952, and is tuned with those grooves - to give a clear bell like ring. This was difficult for most alarm watches of the period as Vulcain had wrapped up the twin shelled sounding back in patents, and most alarm watches (Benrus, Bulova, Technos, etc etc) had to put up with a dull thudding noise instead of a clear bell. This was Roamer's way around Vulcain's patents. Clever!



    Nice back.



    I now have both the MST417 and 427 in my collection. A rare combo here in one photograph - possibly the first time so seen on the internet.



    Good times
    Last edited by trim; December 17th, 2011 at 01:55.

  2. #2
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Excellent...Congrats on the rare catch. Nice condition too.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Great post. How loud is the alarm?
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Member evozine's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Great post. How loud is the alarm?
    2x... Yes, I ran late today during a task at work. At that point I said to myself, when will get a alarm watch. I can't stand my alarm on the iphone....How loud is she...?

  6. #5
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    The thing is, with all of these, is you feel them first - they vibrate on your wrist and they still give me a heck of a fright every time they go off. A word of warning, they are not that accurate in the setting - e.g. the 1475 alarm has about a 15 mins inaccuracy at worst. Not sure about the error on the MST or Cricket.

    Because you feel them first - the loudness isn't terribly significant unless you've put it on your bedside table - and a nice AS 1475 powered generic is a good bet - as they are readily available and cheap. You can also buy a Russian knockoff of the AS that is really cheap.

    I also have a lanco powered Gruen and a couple of AS1475s (Benrus and Technos). Pierce also did one that is rather uncommon and cooler than the AS ones, I don't own one, but then I don't own a Vulcain cricket either - a little too expensive. The only problem with the Roamer/MSTs is that they are damn tricky to find and tend to be expensive as well - but since that's what I mainly collect, its something I have to accept and choice isn't a factor .
    Last edited by trim; December 17th, 2011 at 07:14.

  7. #6
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Congrats Trim if anybody should have one it should be you. You have done Roamer good, I didnt even know of the watches till I came in this forum and had a good look at your site. Would love to own some sort of mech alarm wrist watch, so again congrats

  8. #7
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Thanks Joe.

    There are some nice ones out there - nothing stopping you.

  9. #8
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Awesome.Name:  yahoo.gif
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    Nice to see the 2 versions juxtapositioned.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  10. #9
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Congratulations! The main problem with the Roamer alarms (according to M.P. Horlbeck, author of a very good German book on wrist alarms) is the fact that, despite elaborate jewelling, the alarm hammer still has a metal bushing. He recommends getting it replaced with a ruby by a competent watchmaker. A clear no-no for the purists who like to keep everything original, but it would certainly improve the functionality and durability of the watch.....

    Hartmut Richter

  11. #10
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    Re: Roamer Alarm, MST417 - at long last!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrick View Post
    Awesome.Name:  yahoo.gif
Views: 222
Size:  6.2 KB

    Nice to see the 2 versions juxtapositioned.
    Thanks, it is quite a milestone for my collection. Phew. I have seen 4 dial styles, I have 3 now. Not sure if I will hold out for the 4th one, thats getting a bit OCD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Congratulations! The main problem with the Roamer alarms (according to M.P. Horlbeck, author of a very good German book on wrist alarms) is the fact that, despite elaborate jewelling, the alarm hammer still has a metal bushing. He recommends getting it replaced with a ruby by a competent watchmaker.
    Hartmut, I have seen this comment before from you. Unfortunately I fall into the...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    A clear no-no for the purists who like to keep everything original...
    ...catagory. That said, neither of these (or the other I have and the spares movement) have shown any wear to this bushing. I would also worry about the effect of repeated hammer impacts on a jewel as opposed to a nice soft metal bearing. In any case, at the rate I can rotate through the watches in my collection, I suspect they will well outlast me.

    I recall you once were after one of these, did you eventually get one?

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