Westclox Big Ben Style 1a

Westclox Big Ben Style 1a

Date Summary:

1918 - 1935 (and a reproduction was made in 1970)

Characteristics:

Ring on top, two legs in front, no screws through the front of the bezel.

Style Information:

Plain dial: 1918 - 1935

Black luminous dial: 1921 - 1935

There are variations in the lettering on the dial and back.

There are 5 Models of Westclox Big Ben Style 1a in the database

Westclox Big Ben Style 1a Non Luminous
Leg model with ring on top, dustproof case. Various lettering on the dial and various patent dates (later, numbers) on the ...
Dates made: July 1918 - 1935
Like style 1a non-luminous with dealer name on dial
Dates made: July 1918 - ca. 1920
Westclox Big Ben Style 1a Luminous
Leg model with ring on top, dustproof case. Various lettering on the dial and various patent dates (later, numbers) on the ...
Dates made: 1921 - 1935
Westclox Big Ben Style 1a Nickel Non Luminous Reproduction 1970
Westclox made an excellent, almost exact, reproduction of the style 1a Big Ben in 1970. They can be identified by having ...
Dates made: 1970 - 1970
Same as the nickel version but in a gold-plated case. They can be identified by having the modern type of flat head screws ...
Dates made: 1970 - 1970
Westclox Big Ben Style 1a

History

In 1918 the Big Ben case was improved to make it dustproof, as described in patent #1,300,278 issued to Kern on April 15, 1919. This dustproofing is accomplished by fittings around the set knobs and winding keys and on the regulator. The style 1a can be distinguished from style 1 in several ways:

The movement was changed for style 1a so that the mounting nuts were on the back. The movement was mounted to the inner case back.

George Kern died on July 27, 1918 from a ruptured appendix, but his basic clock design lived on for years.

About 1920 the luminous dial using radium paint was introduced. From that time on, Baby Bens first and then Big Bens were available with either the plain or luminous dial. Big Ben style 1a continued in production until its discontinuation in 1935. The movement was then used with minor changes in Loud Alarm models until 1956.

Style 1a Big Ben Reproductions

Westclox made an excellent, almost exact, reproduction of the style 1a Big Ben in 1970. Most are in nickel finish cases, but some were made in gold plated cases. They can be identified by having the modern type of flat head screws with shoulders instead of round head screws, and by having a 1910 patent date on the back even though the case is style 1a. They were sold in a very attractive hexagonal box which has pictures of antique items on the sides (tricycle, telephone, carriage, etc.) The movement is a windup almost identical to the original.

Dial Variations

References