An previous good friend of mine, Richard Chamberlain, requested me to restore a secticon clock. Richard is a well-known determine and authority on late twentieth century design and plenty of his stuff goes out on museum tour. I used to be due to this fact moderately nervous about dealing with the clock as Id not performed a secticon earlier than and wasn’t positive what to anticipate inside.
What I discovered was very pleasing, sophisticated and usually fascinating. It turned out to be a 1.5v electro-mechinical motion with a modified carraige clock escapement pushed by a two terminal copper coil motor. Whats laborious about about that?.
Nicely all the things actually. Not least that the clutch connecting the motor to the escapement drive mounted above it was created from some form of unique fibrous materials – a cross between hair and rubber is the closest description I may give. Every thing is specialised on Swiss mechs. If you happen to have a look at the comparable German metamec housed 606e from the identical interval all the things in it in all probability got here out of a fuel meter or was customary ultimately. I may mend the solenoid on it as an illustration or the coil. There’s hope with machines like that however with the Swiss specialist stuff you may give up on any hope of substitute components or part compatibility. It’s important to refurb whats left ultimately which is why it may be so problematic.
I spent plenty of time analyzing the motion functioning and understanding precisely how the facility from every engine flip translated into hand motion. Its really too sophisticated to explain so I wont hassle however there have been at the very least 2 strategies of energy switch within the gearing varieties I’ve not seen earlier than, one involving a screw drive.
On this event the issues on the within of the clock have been mechanical in addition to battery leak associated.
Firstly it was cleaned with the best solvents in the best order to take away very mild corrosion from the airborne acid which isn’t that concentrated – you usually get away with it. t was solely the truth that the chaps at secticon had remoted the motion in a sealed plastic housing that saved the coil. Usually when a battery leaks in a 60’s electromechanical it destroys the coil insulation and thats actually recreation over. Good design countered this downside and paid off.
The second downside was a comparatively minor with a dislocated porprietary design pallet having over shot itself right into a jammed place. This simply slipped again into place when the steadiness wheel was over rotated. That took some discovering and understanding thoughts you – a really Swiss association i.e. not seen wherever else.
I didnt get spherical to ending it till the night time earlier than I used to be assembly Richard for lunch. Consequently I couldn’t check the ultimate repair as I didn’t have a battery, nonetheless, it functioned on a multi energy provide at 1.1v nearly so I believed it was in all probability okay.
Nicely it turned out it was okay and Richard was form sufficient to ship a few of the footage he has had performed of it. It truly is a really putting clock and at the moment values at round £1000 mark. Having labored on it I’d say its in all probability nicely price that.
By the way if in case you have one among these secticon clocks and dont know easy methods to get the again off then flip the butterfly nut on the underside to activate a launch cam. This generally jams and cant be moved, by which case pull the 2 halves of the clock other than the highest. There’s a spring clip that may launch the 2 halves and no different fixings that may break. Straight ahead building. Don’t use a knife to lever the 2 halves aside – get a superb grip as a substitute and also you wont harm it.