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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A friend in St. Petersburg recently found me a lovely 'Energia' electric clock with an unusual movement. It is housed in an ultra 1960s looking 'modernist' wooden case and has separate windows to display the month, the day of the week and the date.

The wooden back is inscribed:

" To Foreman Sen'kin Nikolay Grigor'evich from collective of military unit 34537 August,25, 1964. "

The clock was made at the Leningrad Electric Clock Factory, probably in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Since it was inscribed for presentation in August 1964, it has to have been manufactured before this date. The serial number, 16833, is handwritten on a paper tag that is glued to the case just below the movement.

Looking at the symbols on the movement, it appears that this factory was closely affiliated or associated with the Petrodworzowy Watch Factory in some way.

The battery operated movement is, as far as I can tell, unique. The electric motor apparently winds a spring which drives a pretty conventional looking balance wheel mechanism. When you pull out the battery, the clock keeps running for about half an hour!

More innovative Soviet horological engineering???

-- Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like it :-!. So the clock self winds every 30 min? Does it seam to run a little fast while winding?
The spring is constantly being wound. It seems to have a reserve of about half an hour or so.
-- Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Great find, this is a unique piece and a special design too :-!
How long does this battery life?
Greetings
Phil
It uses an odd, large size 4.5V battery (see picture). My friend tells me it uses a lot of power and the battery drains quickly. I have only let it run for short periods of time.
-- Mark
 

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I had a very similar japanese made clock,
it's been in my parents house as long as I can remember
(i'm born in 1974) ..
it has a hexagonal case, with fake brass trimmings ..
 

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It uses an odd, large size 4.5V battery (see picture). My friend tells me it uses a lot of power and the battery drains quickly. I have only let it run for short periods of time.
-- Mark
So in exchange for the convenience of being able to change the battery without the clock stopping, you need to change it more often :roll: It's almost a Chindogu.

I guess the problem is that the energy required to wind even a 30min spring is more than that required to power a conventional contact-switching electromechanical movement. Especially as it is keeping it constantly at maximum tension. Ideally what you would want is some kind of torque-dependent switching mechanism so that the electric motor is not running constantly at full load. ...or install an 8-day spring in place of the electric motor to deliver the same remontoire effect ;-)

If you could find another identical clock, you could experiment :-d
 

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There are some early electric watch movements that operate under the same principle. It was a way to market a nifty battery-powered watch just by altering an existing mechanical movement. I think most had a longer mainspring power reserve than 30 minutes though.
 

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Very intersting!

I can only suppose it was a specially made clock, perhaps even a proto-type, cum presentation clock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Very intersting!

I can only suppose it was a specially made clock, perhaps even a proto-type, cum presentation clock?
Apparently, this clock was actually in production, at least in limited numbers. My friend in Poland has an identical one, although his is not in working order. (BTW, he also has several magnificent Soviet-made chiming mantel clocks and they are in working order - High on my list for the future, if I can find any.)
-- Mark
 

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There are some early electric watch movements that operate under the same principle. It was a way to market a nifty battery-powered watch just by altering an existing mechanical movement. I think most had a longer mainspring power reserve than 30 minutes though.
That sounds interesting. I'd never heard of such a thing. Do you know of any particular brands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are some comparable Western devices on this site:
http://www.mridout.force9.co.uk/ecw/index.htm
Very interesting. A whole new technology I knew nothing about. But, there are no dates :-x. It would be interesting to have a time frame for other clocks utilizing this technology, to see if the Soviets were taking the lead, copying it as it was developed elsewhere, or lagging behind.
-- Mark
 

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Well there was a technology like that. The very same idea was used in Chistopolski Zawod in the '60s in this nice GAZ 21 Volga automobile clock. it has a 5-minute spring that is electrically wound every once in a while. I can't show yopu the movement because the clock is still factory-sealed and i dont want to breaj the seal (it's nice :) ) and the gasket is in a very poor condition after all these years and WILL fall apart if I try to open it. Of course it will have to be opened some day maybe (it works, but I can hear it';s not wosking well - the oils are obviously bad, which can't be any different - they are over 40 years old!!!), but not now :). Anyway, here it is.
 

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It is the same system used by VDO (german) in car clocks (Kienzle and others) but in this case the power is 12Vdc, from the car battery.

José
 
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