A wind-up alarm clock doesn't need batteries, so that's one less thing to go wrong when you need to be woken up. If it were invented today, it would be heralded as a marvel, requiring only a bit of muscle power to keep it ticking along. Too bad if the ticking keeps you awake!
It's almost impossible to find a wind-up alarm clock today, but when this one was made clockwork was the only choice. Australia had imported most of its clocks before the Second World War, but a few manufacturers started making them here just after the war. It was one way to keep people and machines employed after the need had passed to produce armaments and other products needed for the war.
The clock was made in Adelaide, and the dies for making it were also made there. Thus the clock embodies a high degree of local skilled workmanship: a design engineer, a production engineer, a toolmaker and production line staff would all have been involved in making it.
Debbie Rudder, Curator, 2012