Other Lathes for Watchmakers
Some pictures are high resolution and may be slow to load
Manufactured by a Company established in 1945, Wirth & Gruffat of 47 Chemin de la Prairie, Annecy, France (and sold through the agency of A.Moynet, 26 Rue de Renard, Paris), Manhora watchmakers' lathes were available in both light-duty round-bed "Geneva" and heavier WW (Webster Whitcombe) forms. Two main models appear to have been offered, both traditional types in their class, the WW (Webster Whitcombe) Type 50 with both double and single bed-foot supports and the Geneva Type 40.
Heavily built for a Geneva-pattern lathe, the Type 40 had a 41 mm centre height and a 250 mm long bed with its flat section at the back carried a single mounting foot upon which the upper section of the casting (and hence the whole lathe) could be swivelled. Made from a hardened chrome-vanadium steel (and described in one catalogue as having a manganese treatment) the spindle ran in plain, double-cone bearings adjustable by a single threaded ring at the rear and lubricated through simple spring-loaded ball oilers. Instead of the expected 6 mm collets, 8 mm were specified, these being retained by either as simple draw tube or a lever-action closer. A 3-step headstock pulley was fitted, the outer face of the largest diameter being drilled with a single circle of 60 division holes. A choice of finishes was offered; either a soft, dull nickel plate or a rather pleasing baked-on crackle-black, the latter being a finish often found on contemporary, high-class (or aspiring to be such) small, precision machine tools. The plated version exhibited a very fine cosmetic finish, the texture of the castings resembling that on some Mikron lathes
With the standard centre height for WW lathes of 50 mm, the Model 50 could be had with bed lengths 280, 380 and 400 mm, the shortest being mounted on a single foot. The headstock, though of heavier construction that that fitted to the Model 40, was of identical layout with a hardened spindle running in double-cone bearings but carrying a pulley with four instead of three steps. The normal range of spindle speeds was listed as 200 to 2000 r.p.m. but with the useful facility, when equipped with the maker's 800/2000 r.p.m. variable speed motor with its neat, built-on pulley system, to go as high as 10,000 r.p.m.
Advertised as being equal in quality and accuracy to other makes of watchmakers' lathes (competition in the field being intense during the 1940s and 1950s), both the Model 40 and 50 were lathes were available in fitted boxed with the usual range of accessories including: compound slide rests equipped with either screw or lever feeds and, for the size of lathe, unusually large micrometer dials; rung-scroll 3-jaw chucks; a milling slide; self-centring drilling attachment; saw table; pump-centre faceplate with dogs; wire collets for the headstock; tailstock collets; sinking tools; T-rests; carrier chucks; flip-up and static bed-mount T-rests; bell chucks; tailstock runners collet draw tube and, for the Model 50, a traditional type of fixed steady, etc..