Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Cheap Timex Automatic

This is a recent eBay acquisition, by memory I think it was around AUD30 inclusive of postage. The appeal of this piece was in the simple, traditional design and low cost.
I don't know too much about Timex, apart from that they typically manufacture/d cheaper, reliable timepieces. In fact, this is the only Timex watch I've owned, and the first I've cracked open.


When I popped off the back cover, I found a pretty simple pin lever automatic, thinking it would be nice and simple to dissect.

The first indication that this wasn't going to be straight forward was with the keyless works. It doesn't resemble any 'normal' keyless mechanisms that you've seen in other movements on my blog, The set lever is a little tricky to remove and reset, almost as if this movement wasn't designed to have a long functional life or to be serviced...

To remove the automatic winding bridge there are two screws accessible through the rotor.

The underside of the rotor shows the eccentric pillar.

This hastily prepared video shows how the rotor pillar interacts with the winding arm. Some may notice that the action is reminiscent of Seiko's magic lever, in that a rotation eccentricity is translated into a unidirectional crawl along a winding wheel. I actual like the 'look' of Timex's design better, however the design of Seiko winding mechanisms from days past are still the most reliable I've seen.

(I'm working on the video problems)

Further proof that this watch wasn't really meant to come (easily) apart is found by the way the dial is fixed to the movement.

You can see four dial feet/clips? on the margin on the movement plate. Once carefully straightened, the dial comes free. This is certainly not a design feature for a long-lived watch. After a few services, I can imagine these feet/clips becoming stressed and breaking off.

Now for the last interesting part of this watch: the date mechanism and obverse of the movement.
Feel free to write in and tell me I'm wrong - but I've never read/seen/heard of a watch (in the 'accessible' price range) that has a planetary gear set... A little incongruous considering the rest of the movement's design.