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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of days ago, this 35mm “Small-Q” Timex arrived, one of these jump-minute oddities with, probably, a quartz-controlled balance. I say “probably” because the movement, a Model 55 from 1979 according to the dial numbers, is lurking under its plastic cover which I haven’t yet had the courage to remove for a look-see, for fear of causing sausage-finger mayhem. However, I have read that Timex moved to solid-state quartz movements in about 1981.

Bought for next to nothing as a non-runner, I had absolutely no expectations for this one. I gather you can be very lucky with these (like, just needs a new battery) or very not (like, the movement is fried) but miracle of miracles, I got lucky. Somewhat disconcertingly, at first glance there’s no indication that the watch is actually working as it’s completely silent in operation, until you hear a distinct “click” when the minute hand jumps to the next marker every 60 secs.

Mostly, the information I’ve found so far (mainly from old threads in another forum) relates to the Models 62-63. Any mentions of the 55 say that it was only a two-hander and that the Model 56 was the date version. There was also some suggestion (unverified) from a correspondent that the 55 and 56 couldn’t be found in the Timex sales catalogues of 1979 and 1980, although were referred to in the Timex Museum archives. Dunno, but according to this resource, the Model 55 was an electric Dynabeat https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Budget_Watch_Collecting/Timex_movementswhich mine ain’t, so confusion reigns. Whilst mine remains hidden until I get more familiar with it, the final image is of an uncovered Model 56 from 1980, according to its dial numbers. Not mine, but shamelessly lifted from the interweb and I hope the owner will forgive me. I expect my movement will look like this one.

My knowledge of Timex movements is virtually non-existent, but I do know that their Model numbering system was not sequential, in that the 62/63 were issued before the 55/56. However I’m aware that there are experts on all things Timex in our forum and I’d be most grateful for anything they may wish to share about the Model 55 which, from what little I’ve read, only existed between 1978 and 1980.


Thanks and regards.
 

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Timex - Electric Watches

I'm not seeing any common architecture to the other Timex balance wheel based movements. The M62 and M63 Q-Quartz movements both look like the standard Electric, just with the quartz bits tacked on.

The fact that it's a jump-minute makes me think it's a standard stepper motor. Only one tick per minute must yield some impressive battery life on a 386 cell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Timex - Electric Watches

I'm not seeing any common architecture to the other Timex balance wheel based movements. The M62 and M63 Q-Quartz movements both look like the standard Electric, just with the quartz bits tacked on.

The fact that it's a jump-minute makes me think it's a standard stepper motor. Only one tick per minute must yield some impressive battery life on a 386 cell.
Many thanks for taking the time to reply. You may well be right, I just don't know enough (anything) about these. However, I do know that a 386 would probably outlast me, so it's running with a cheapo alkaline LR43 at the moment, just to see if the thing worked.

Regards.
 

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The fact that it's a jump-minute makes me think it's a standard stepper motor. Only one tick per minute must yield some impressive battery life on a 386 cell.
Yes, and no. It has what Timex referred to as a "rocker motor". Instead of actuating every second, it accumulates over 59 seconds and on the 60th, jumps to the next minute. The best analogy I can think of is slowly pulling back a rubber band, an then suddenly releasing it. As you mentioned, it does offer impressive battery life, and that was one of the selling points (aside from the relatively simple and robust construction).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, and no. It has what Timex referred to as a "rocker motor". Instead of actuating every second, it accumulates over 59 seconds and on the 60th, jumps to the next minute. The best analogy I can think of is slowly pulling back a rubber band, an then suddenly releasing it. As you mentioned, it does offer impressive battery life, and that was one of the selling points (aside from the relatively simple and robust construction).
Both interesting and extremely helpful. Very much appreciated, thank you.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, and no. It has what Timex referred to as a "rocker motor". Instead of actuating every second, it accumulates over 59 seconds and on the 60th, jumps to the next minute. The best analogy I can think of is slowly pulling back a rubber band, an then suddenly releasing it. As you mentioned, it does offer impressive battery life, and that was one of the selling points (aside from the relatively simple and robust construction).
Both interesting and extremely helpful. Very much appreciated, thank you.

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well now I have to buy one to take apart. Thanks, ManOnTime!
Before you do, perhaps these will be of interest, both from Chris Lorenz's excellent resource and both relating to the M43, but presumably the same principle as my M55:

"Quartz movement with rocking bar lever. This type of movement is characterized by the fact that, similar to an older electric clock, an anchor is attracted once per minute by an electric magnet, and the time indication advances in the subsequent fall. The advantage of this design is that it consumes comparatively little power and on the other hand is quite immune to external influences such as hard shocks. Due to the design, only larger time steps can be realized, as a rule, the movement is switched once per minute, so it is not possible to display a second to the second. Quartz movements with rocking bar levers are absolute exotics, with the exception of Timex, which used this type of movement in its second quartz movement generation, no other manufacturer is aware of the movement’s archive."

and

https://17jewels.info/movements/t/timex/timex-m43/

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Riveted plastic parts that easily break, you say? Hmm...nevermind to a ham-fisted disassembly.

Thanks for the Timex resource. I'd never even heard of a rocker motor/ rocking bar lever. Someone could put together an impressive early battery-powered collection and only have dials that say Timex. It seems all they didn't dabble in was tuning forks.
 
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