EDIT: PLEASE READ!!!! Before attempting any sorts of repairs to any sort of antique clock be aware that the luminous paint used on the face might contain radium which is extremely risky if it is ingested and/or inhaled. this can happen when you open the clock and the dust from inside gets out. If it glows regardless of whether you charged the face with an external light source or not then it surely contains radium or other radioactive substances and must be treated with care!
There was no visible glow whatsoever when I obtained this clock, whether in the dark or light. It only glows when I shine an external light source on to the face but it fades away after a few minutes and I have been informed that this behavior means that it is unlikely to be radium. Nevertheless I will continue to treat this clock as mildly radioactive and keep it a distance away until I can confirm it is indeed not radioactive. For more information please read the comments below.
obtained this antique alarm clock recently but haven't had the time to do much work on it yet, but i managed to take it apart and snap some photos. i personally think that it is an absolutely gorgeous looking clock and will not be touching up on its exterior because the beauty of this clock is the ruggedness that comes with its aged look.
a few problems, to name a few:
1. the face is OBVIOUSLY seriously fogged up, i don't know if it's due to age or due to exposure to the elements.
2. the mechanism doesn't run for more than a few seconds before stopping. the gears require my coaxing to run but it will just seize up on its own after maybe 30 seconds, could be a problem with the spring, or perhaps the gears need oiling.
3. the alarm setting is off by about an hour and requires calibration. meaning if i set the alarm at 5pm, it will ring at 4pm instead and that is NOT a reliable clock!
4. the luminous paint on the minute hand is flaking off even as i'm handling it (carefully) but i don't think anything can be done about that.
i managed to identify the make and model of the clock from this website
Big Ben Westclox history at www.clockhistory.com
from the examples on the website, this clock should be a style 6 model 211 alarm clock built between 1949 - 1956 so it is at least 50 years old. they sell modern replicas of this clock online, but those are powered by batteries which are nowhere as classic as this particular one i have which needs daily windings to keep it going.
i managed to take it apart right down to the gearings without much difficulty, but i am a little daunted by the complexity of this clock. granted, it is not a grandfather clock or something very complex but this is my first experience with a clockwork mechanism of any kind.
that's a lot of gears for a first timer like me to handle but i will work at it and hope that my gamble in purchasing this clock will pay off if i can repair it.
if i am unable to fix it...then...well it'll still make a nice display piece on a cupboard, but it'd be 500% nicer if it worked. i can't think of anything to clear up the fog on the face, no rubbing or cleaning would get it off...that'll be a huge problem as well if it works but you can't see the face!
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