Monday, April 11, 2011

Clocks and Watches: Part 2

This post in the series is about
Alarm Clocks and a couple of pocket watches.

There were two alarm clocks.  One was a "Rhythm" clock from Japan,  with 'radio design' and 'radium hands and numbers' that glowed in the dark. That was new in the 50s. It was a gift to my father at his wedding from one Dr.M.L.Mariswamy, a renown physician in that time, a good friend and client of my grandfather.  The Doctor had a clinic on Sayyaji Rao Road.  A clock was considered a very valuable gift in those days because not many homes had an alarm clock.  As such, the presenter was always remembered through such a gift! Alarms were getting into fashion at that time.

It was working beautifully for many years and every time an alarm was required, it was wound up and kept close to the bed of the one who wanted to rise at a particular time, usually early in the morning.  This 'Rhythm' was also to become my first 'scapegoat' as I tried to meddle with its parts in my quest to satisfy the curiosity about its working mechanism.  I tried to repair when it stopped but failed many times and succeeded in some but it became erratic.  There came a stage when I had to give it to a known clock smith as it was beyond my ability to put it back to motion again. Little did I know that I was to be cheated by him.  Finally, I had to raid his shop and to take my clock back in whatever condition it was.  As I had rightly thought, there were some parts missing as he kept with him for 2 years!  It is only a 'showpiece' now.

That fellow even took the alarm gong.

The other alarm time-piece was a Wehrle from Germany.  This was my second scapegoat as this developed a snag later than 'Rhythm'.  Probably this was also my father's wedding day gift, I do not know.  This is what remains of it now, just the dial and gong.  Both the clocks served well until they found me!

I had seen that on the dial of Mysore's famous Clock Tower's clocks on all four sides having 'Roman Numerals'.  Somehow I have always appreciated the look of these Roman Numerals.  I thought of making one myself using my skills and painted one on paper with Indian Ink for this 'Rhythm' clock which by now I had fitted with a quartz machine which was available locally.  I spontaneously gave it a name - Roman-tic-tic.  In the 70s, my eyesight was sharp and hence those tiny lettering was possible to write!   I derived great pleasure from the way it turned out. 

I made another (less impressive) dial for another quartz machine (movement) I bought.  It is a so so in art.  By doing it, I learnt why the '4' has ' IIII' instead of 'IV'.  It is to bring in harmony and balance to 'VIII' on the left! I had also learnt why in clock and watch advertisements the time they show is always about 10:11:40.

Pocket Watches

There was one beautiful little pocket watch with Roman Numerals and a flat glass cover.  It was being neglected because it had stopped working some years before or it was not cared to get it repaired. I cannot recollect its brand name, but I was using it as a toy, turning the globular knurled knob as the sound of the clutch wheel inside it gave a certain pleasure!  I had kept in my 'draw' and used to fiddle with it as I studied.  It also had a removable chain. 

These pocket watches were supposed to be kept in a separate 'watch pockets' stitched inside coats.  Mostly the elite people owned one such.  I do not know how it disappeared from my draw.   I could not locate it anywhere when I raided the house in search of it many years later.  It is really a mystery.  It looked something like this - the watch on the left and the chain on the right picture:

(Pictures borrowed from the Net)

Notice the pin here in my great grandfather button hole.  That is to secure the pocket watch.  This must be the one inside there which went missing from my desk draw.

But I have salvaged that pin and also the chain till this day.

Below is a picture (1900 or thereabouts) of my grandmother's father.  The dangling watch and chain is part of costume.  It was an item to be 'displayed' in that time!

This is the coat's watch pocket on the left side.

About 15 years ago, a colleague gifted this watch (pictured below) to me as it was not working properly. I keep it as a reminder to that mysteriously missing pocket watch. 

These type of watches became famous as 'Gandhi Watch'. Looking for some information on this, I found this blog very informative and interesting:

..| || ||| |||| ||| || |..

The alarm clock deserved a special place in the corner shelf and protected with its own special case.

This little clock belonged to my maternal grandfather.

The 'clock dial' is also used in some playing card tricks:

This may be the largest Garden Clock in the World:

Another Garden Clock:


Please take time to visit!

No comments: