A movement, which promised a lot at first sight, but when you examine it carefully, cannot hold these promises is called a “dazzler”.
Such movements are not only a thing of the present (think of imitated “Tourbillons”, movements with many hands or fake skeletonizing), already 80 ago, there existed also movements, which could be called a “dazzler”.
If you see the movement at first glance, with its visible winding system, its gear cocks, all with ruby bearings and angled borders, you are temped to think, that this is a high quality movement.
But if you see the base place of the 10-jewels version, you are shocked, that all non-visual bearings don’t contain rubies, but simple metal bushings. Additionally, you can see the rocking bar winding system, which is on the dial side.
It’s all according the motto “what you don’t see needs no high quality”.
The 15 jewels version, however, has got at least rubies for all bearings.
After all: The gear train is exactly, what you can expect for fair to good pallet lever movement: The mainspring barrel drives the central minute wheel, followed by third wheel, seconds wheel at 6 o’clock and finally the steel escape wheel.
The of course not yet shock protected monometallic screw balance beats with 18000 A/h, can be adjusted by a long regulator arm and works on a conventional swiss pallet lever escapement.
The gear train bride is a real fake one: Escape wheel, seconds wheel and third wheel are by no means beared under seperate cocks, but all bearings of the gear train, including minute wheel and mainspring barrel, are part of one single three-quarter bridge, which is only punced out. Hence the hexagonal ruby mountings and edge anglage.
Even the screws of the indicated escape- and third wheel cocks are of no use at all!
On the inside of the gear train bridge the fakeness becomes even clearer.
All bearings are under one single bridge - this is normally only known from low-end movements.
No less fake is, what the movement wants to indicate as winding works on top of the gear train bridge. The two gears have to function at all, there’s no intervention and no ratchet.
Visually great, but technically bad!
The real winding system is, like on cheap pin lever movements, on the dial side and is operated with a rocking bar winding system. The ratchet consists of only one simple spring, less is not possible!
It’s interesting to see, that the Arogno 45 has got a short minute scale on the dial side. Better movements used that feature to ensure the adjustment of the movement, when it was not yet sealed into a watch.
As you can see, the Arogno 45 is actually quite a dazzler. Technically, it is pretty OK for a pallet lever movement, but the fake winding system on the gear train bridge, the fake cocks and the missing ruby bearings on the 10-jewels-version show, that it promises much more, than it can hold. That this was already the case eighty years ago, is really a bit surprising!
In the lab
The 15-jewels specimen has got a loose balance plateau, which cannot be fixed with the present tools.
Timegrapher resultThe rates of the 10-jewels specimen on the timegrapher are in the expected range for a rather simple lever movement, which has reached its end of life long ago and only got a simple service.
|crown right (12 up)
|crown up (3 up)
|crown left (6 up)
|crown down (9 up)
|10 1/2''' (measured: 23,3mm)
|Number of jewels:
Nickel screw balance
|Balance bearing / direction hairspring:
|Long regulator arm
|rocking bar winding system
|Setting lever spring:
Flume: K1 -