A 1911 Big Ben Dial with “45” at the Bottom

Here is a Big Ben style 1 I bought in 1981. It is in rough condition, but has a rare dial and an uncommon back. The movement has a date stamp 5 17 11 (May 17, 1911). The dial is like a regular Big Ben dial of the period, but it has the number “45” at the bottom. I don’t know the significance of “45” and have never seen another dial like this.

The back has an early example of the $2.50 price seal, with thick letters for “Big Ben” (and thick letters for “Westclox” behind the rear leg). I’ve seen only a couple examples of this specific back.

The dial is in poor condition, and the back is fair. But the dial is so rare that I am going to leave it alone. If I have time someday, I’ll clean the movement to get it running, and clean the case lightly. But I believe this clock should be preserved (or conserved), not restored. Sure, I could make a new replica dial, but I don’t see the point in doing that, as I would not enjoy the clock more than I do now. I like old Westclox clocks that are as-found, not restored, as they have more research value.

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