Other lathes for watchmakers
Surprisingly, given the advanced state of Italian engineering, only one watchmakers' lathe is known to have been native to that land- and that (reportedly) only emerging from the workshop of Lino Ceccarell during 1988. Based in in Monte San Vito, near Ancona, Seginor Cessarell's creation - the Unitor - is still in production and designed to compete with other major European makers of the type. Around 340 mm long, 210 mm wide and 160 mm high, the lathe has a centre height of 62 mm and a capacity between centres of 170 mm. The bed is in cast iron, the whole machine weighing a substantial 13 kg without accessories. Some pictures are high-resolution and may take time to load
Quite unlike the established Geneva and Webster Whitcome types, the Unitor has bed ways that could well be unique, being formed as a wide, open V with a flat base, the inclined machined surfaces that located the headstock, carriage and tailstock being of considerable width.
The lathe is available in two versions, Standard and Super - the latter with a milling slide and high-speed milling and grinding head as part of its standard specification. Ingeniously, instead of being driven by a traditional "overhead" with a round belt, on the Unitor the drive to the high-speed head is by a flexible cable connected to a 2-step pulley mounted on a steel plate, bolted to the outside face of the headstock, and shared by the flange-mounted DC drive motor.
Like many late-models watchmakers' lathes - including the Pultra and IME in England and Leinen WW82 and WW83 from Germany the Unitol had a headstock formed as a rigid, closed box with the 3-step drive pulley overhung on the spindle's left-hand end. The arrangement not only produced a more robust assembly but was also less expensive to produce. It appears that only a cross slide was fitted, a swivelling top slide not being listed in the maker's catalogue. However, the toolpost provided was of the quick set type that - providing sufficient holders were available - made tool changes both easier and more accurate.
In place of a fixed slide rest that had to be unlocked from the bed and reposition as required - and the cut taken on a long-travel top slide - the Unitor had a screw-driven carriage, a handwheel being positioned at the tailstock end of the bed and fitted with the same type of good-sized micrometer dial used on the cross slide.
As improvements and modifications are made to the design, Mr. Ceccarelli updates older examples without cost and, in addition, half of the revenues from sales are donated to a charity working with disadvanted children.