You are wrong on at least 2 levels: "I was given" is passive, not reflexive, and the translation is accurate: check any Italian grammar. The preterite in Italian is the Passato Remoto a seldom used tense (Lui mi diedi/dette un orologio)--the one we are currently studying is the passato prossimo. The standard translation is to use the simple past or present perfect.
Not really. When you are issued something, it generally means something more specific. For example, if you go into the army, the army may issue you a uniform and some equipment. If you get a job for which you need certain tools, your employer may issue you those tools. In many cases - but not all - you may have to give back whatever was issued to you when you are no longer need it to do the job.
The same, as determined by its context. To be specific, you need orologio da polso (wrist), da tasca (pocket); da parete (wall); da tavolo (table); ecc. Two exceptions are a muro (exterior wall) and a pendolo (pendulum clock). And for fans of "Brief Encounter" a station clock is simply orologio della stazione.
The Italian sentence is in third person singular (ha), but the subject is not explicit. In English subjects should always be explicit (except in imperatives). Any of he, she or even it could be used:
- (lui) mi ha dato un orologio = he gave me a watch
- (lei) mi ha dato un orologio = she gave me a watch
The "corrected" sentence provided after my wrong guess is "It has given me a clock." The "has given" seems obvious to me as an English speaker, the "it" is pure rubbish. I am sure inanimate objects give timepieces in some circumstance someone comes up with, but what a terrible example to use.
This is the 'Indirect object' pronoun. So it's a combination of 'a' and 'me' where 'a' means 'to' or 'for' (depending on context).
So the literal translation is 'To me he has given a clock/watch'
See http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare117a.htm for more details on the indirect object pronouns.
I was given---is the passive voice. This is the active voice. the passive voice uses a form of "be" plus the past participle when the the thing doing the acting is not the subject, is not always explicity mentioned, but could be by adding information with "by". I was given a watch BY the retirement committee. (I did no action here--just the passive recipient of the watch, but I am the subject). I was bitten BY a dog etc. both sentences are passive. They can be made active changing the subject (I) into and object (me) , and inserting the agent of the action, : THEY gave me a watch; a DOG bit me.
You should read the notes, or any Italian text. This IS the tense that it used to translate the simple past. (French does it too). While it corresponds to the English present perfect in form, it does double duty as simple past AND present perfect, and the meaning is generally clear by context. "He has given me a watch" is also a correct translation as you point out. Spanish has a much closer tense comparison in the present perfect, but not Italian. There are two other alternatives--the imperfect: He gave me watch (Mi dava un orologio) but while it means, "he gave me a watch" it carries with it a sense of habit, or repeated past actions (He used to give me a watch, he was giving me a watch, he would give me a watch). The last choice is to use the passato remoto, that even Italians struggle with, and is mostly in use in the written, not conversational language: Mi diede or dette (both forms correct) un orologio.