Early Westclox Big Ben Alarm Clock, Dated July 3, 1909

Here is an early Big Ben alarm clock, made during the second year of preliminary production. The movement has the date code 7 3 9 (July 3, 1909). This is a Style 1 (leg model) Big Ben.

The dial has the early form of hands and numerals (note especially the 7). The words “BIG BEN” are red, and located above the dial center. “MADE IN U.S.A.” is below the center (instead of the usual place below the “6”).

The nickel plating on the bell-back must have been thin, as it is gone, exposing the copper. There is a shallow groove around the front lip of the bezel.

The following patent dates are on the back, arranged in two concentric circles:

  • October 28, 1902
  • May 15, 1906
  • June 9, 1908
  • November 17, 1908
  • December 15, 1908

Here are some of the other early features of this clock (see my Picasa web album of photos):

  • Early form of repeat lever, riveted to a steel stud inside the front plate, with a brass tension spring,
  • Time barrel not removable from back plate,
  • No retainer for the alarm mainspring,
  • Deep teeth on repeat cam on third wheel,
  • Patent dates arranged in circular form near regulator slot,
  • Rounded key handles,
  • Keys have brass shanks, not nickel-plated,
  • Brass knobs, not nickel-plated.

Repair job 5991. Installed 2 bushings (third wheel), turned and polished the second wheel pivots (were very rough from the factory), sharpened balance pivots.

Oiling chart:

  • First wheel pivots: Keystone mainspring oil
  • Second through 4th wheel pivots: Castrol 5W-30 synthetic motor oil,
  • Escape wheel pivots: Moebius Synt-A-Lube
  • Pallet pivots: no oil
  • Escape wheel teeth: Moebius 9415
  • Balance pivots: Moebius Synt-A-Lube

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  1. Thanks, Bill, I look forward to knowing what the date is, perhaps you can send photos as well

  2. Thanks, Bill, I look forward to knowing what the date is, perhaps you can send photos as well

  3. Hi, Bill,
    Been following you for a while…
    I just now purchased one of these earlies on eBay. Made an offer they accepted.
    Pics. show the rounded winding knobs, etc…but the BIG BEN is not in red and is below the hands. Same stampings on the bell. I can not wait to get inside and find the date! Keep you posted… ($50..)!

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