Longevity and collectivity of quartz alarm clocks and electric clocks

Discussion in 'General Clock Inquiries' started by Tiktak, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. Tiktak

    Tiktak Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012
    I am quite amused as these clocks have presented a dilemma ,since it turns out some clock movements are very good and lasting ,even if they are just plain quartz clocks with plastic parts . An example is my East German wall clock that is quite over 20 years old and still runs .
    Other such mentioned are some soviet alarm clocks that run on batteries and still work !
    I wonder how collectible are those clocks actually?
    And also .. what is so wrong with those new quartz Chinese movements that they fail every time when there are old electric and quartz movements that still run, some quite over 30 years ?
    I recently got seduced in to buying a small alarm clock that is obviously Chinese . What did it was the metal body(they fall off my bed shelf often... ) and i just intend to use it as an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning ,but i get the stinging feeling that it isn't going to even get near the life of my Jantar clocks and I get pissed .
    Unfortunately i my camera broke and i cant make a picture and show you some of mine . But on the internet i found a pic of one of an electromechanical Slava that i have . Here : http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:...m7x_XHtCb9LMK00_wTpJ80FQchj9A29W7EHm7-GO6Yc_w

    Lets share some experience .
  2. soaringjoy

    soaringjoy Registered User

    Feb 12, 2009
    Some quartz clocks are already becoming collectable and sought for,
    especially those that have achieved a particular "cult status".
    In Germany, for instance, the Braun alarm clocks of the 1970s, 1980s have
    become very popular again, because they do run for ages.
    People have by now slowly realized, that "cheap" doesn't always mean a "bargain"
    and that quality does have a certain price tag.;)
    I have three of these for every day use.

  3. Watchfixer

    Watchfixer Registered User

    Jun 11, 2011
    Also I'm trying to find and collect with little luck that uses balance wheel as an impulse to index the "escapement" wheel via a pin or lever, use fixed coil or moveable coil. No transistor and not the multi-disk ramps escapement.

    I had a Tiffany using 400 day powered by france-made movement AA battery, balance wheel made of soft iron and armature surrounding balance with very tiny, contact finger & contact pin on the staff table. Now seeking to find another clock with like movement. The give away is a round cover at upper corner of movement's black cover hides a hairspring regulator.

    I'm not after battery-powered mainspring rewinder, solenoid kicker, transistorized battery movements, nor quartz, not even humming movement. I have seen some that are unique but now I'm frustrated and not using right search terms to find them.

    Cheers, Watchfixer
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    I'm sure that in 20 years we'll all have computer chips implanted in our heads, complete with clock functions. The old way, using batteries, will be quite antique-ish, and people will love to have those old things in their houses as mementos.
  5. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User

    Dec 21, 2006
    I think it depends on how complex the alarm system is, whether it's just a buzzer or something else. The best type of Quartz IMHO is a time-only one.
  6. Tiktak

    Tiktak Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012
    Those Braun clocks are very nice !Where can one get such?
    I have one soviet clock with a quartz movement from that era . Inside the mechanism is quite different than other quartz clocks that i have seen . It seems more complex ,but its very durable. It has a giant coil and is much more quiet than other quartz clocks . You can even make it quieter as it has a sound adjustment button .They use BIG batteries ,rarely AA . The other one is not an alarm clock ,but a crystal glass clock just for timekeeping ,again with a big battery ,but with totally different mechanism and also has metal parts and plastic parts .The bushings are brass ,all of them .
    I made a big mistake do .. I accidentally dropped one of them on the cement one day . Well not the old ones thankfully . I acquired a much newer circa 1993 model that was from the same factory as the first mentioned . The box broke .... Now i have to find a new box . The clock runs even after it hit the cement ,so the movement is ok.

    The electromechanical Slava that i showed in my pic is actually very unique ... It is extremely quiet .It doesn't even tick ,or make any noise as it runs .On the opposite side are the Jantars.They have different but similar movement that makes allot of noise as it works.

    On the computer chip side...It can happen one day ,no doubt .
  7. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User

    Aug 24, 2000
    Below is a snapshot of a very reliable quartz oscillator timepiece housed in a moulded plastic case sized to fit in a Hamilton model 21 case and used for navigation as a replacement for the Hamilton or other ship's chronometer.

    As shown on the face, the chronometers were sold by a New York marketer, Marathon to the US Government. The movement inside was a plastic housed movement made by well known maker Imhof and powered by a single mercury cell with another that could be switch in parallel as a back-up so as to avoid resetting the hands when replacing the cell. The black moulded plastic case is two-piece, gasketed and held together with at least six screws making the unit virtually air-tight.

    I recall purchasing several of these at a chapter mart, about twelve years ago and they were old then. I suppose the US Navy disposed of these chronometers when the mercury cells were declared to be hazardous.

    I removed the long ago dead mercury cells and installed a single AA 1.5 volt alkaline cell. I have kept a log since 2002 on the performance. I replace the AA cell every four years. Presently it has lost 12 seconds since November 2010.

    I believe that if this quartz timepiece was today taken out of service, that it would be serviceable eighty or a hundred years from today with just a new dry cell.

    Attached Files:

  8. Tiktak

    Tiktak Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012
    That is an interesting piece there !Well ..If we are talking about army clocks ,i will go a little bit off topic and point to a specific brand that made clocks for tanks and aircraft.The mechanism of the table clocks Molnia(ja ?)are similar to their Tank designs and thus are very robust .

    Here is a picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaurien/5583125544/

    Now back to the main topic .
    I still don't understand what causes the Chinese "el cheapo" designs to fail .. These pieces are very simple in design ,so what does go wrong ?
    I have tried to fix a couple of them and i was all ways unsuccessful . Some just stop ,while others seem to try to move ,but can't ,as if they are jammed .
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