For years, we thought that the style 7 Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks were made from 1956 – 1964. We now know that the style 7 Baby Ben windup was revived ca. 1976. Here are photos of an example dated 10 76 (October 1976) on the movement, in its original box with instructions.
Here is how to identify this late style 7 Baby Ben:
The base is plastic, with number 58056 on the bottom. It is the same as the plastic base used on late style 8 Baby Ben alarm clocks.
The bezel has a matte or sand blasted finish.
The key and knobs are plastic.
The minute hand does not have a metal cap in the center.
This clock has been seen in boxes labeled “Special Baby Ben Buy!” It uses the aluminum movement that late style 8 clocks use.
In 1984, my friend Richard Tjarks and I published the “Westclox Big Ben and Baby Ben Identification Guide” to go along with the display of Westclox clocks and watches at the NAWCC National Convention in Indianapolis.
I have added recent research findings and more material to the guide, and it is available for download in PDF form. It is available free of charge, although donations are welcome! Jeff Wood and I are continuing our Westclox research. Jeff is particularly interested in early baby Ben and Big Ben history, while I am putting together general information about Big Ben and Baby Ben variations.
When the Big Ben alarm clock was introduced in 1908, one of its important features was that the entire back of the case was the bell. This made the alarm ring louder and deeper than other alarm clocks of the time, which had a small bell on the top. When the Baby Ben alarm came out in 1910, it shared this feature of having the entire back as the bell. Until recently, all windup Big Bens and Baby Bens had this back bell.
Current production Baby Bens (made in China) have a small movement with a small internal bell. The back of the clock is PLASTIC, so obviously, it cannot be used as a bell!
Below is a slide show of a Baby Ben I purchased at Wal-Mart on March 8, 2008 for $7.97. It has a blue dial and back, and a silver color metal bezel and base. This shape of case is a reproduction of the style 8 Bens which were made from 1964 to 1981. The hands are luminous but the numerals are not. These new ones can be distinguished from the originals by having a plastic back and being made in China.
The movement has plastic gears for the center wheel through escape wheel, a plastic pallet assembly, and a plastic alarm escape wheel. The movement is labeled
The instruction sheet gives the following warranty:
Limited One-Year Warranty
Salton, Inc. warrants that this product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of original purchase. This warranty covers only the original purchaser of the product. Salton’s obligation to satisfy the warranty is limited to either of the following actions, at Salton’s option: repair the product or replace it. To receive the benefit of this warranty, you must send the product together with this warranty (marked with the retailer’s name and address and date of purchase) to:
Attn: Repair Center
708 South Missouri Street
Macon, MO 63552
Salton makes no other warranties, either express or implied except as set forth in this express warranty. To the extent that any Federal or state law creates an implied warranty for this product , the implied warranty is limited to one year from the date of original purchase. Salton is not liable for any incidental, direct or consequential damages or loss whether arising by contract or otherwise. Some states in the U.S.A. do not permit the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations and exclusions my not apply to you. A consumer may have additional remedies granted by law. The warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may have other rights that vary from state to state.