The pictures below show the 10 "mainstream" case styles of Big and Baby Bens and when they were made. To identify a Big Ben or Baby Ben, find out which case style it matches. Pay attention to the shape of the case and not the color (your clock might have a different case or dial color). Most of the styles 1 - 10 are windup clocks, but some electric clocks were made in styles 5, 7, and 8.
The Big Bens and Baby Bens up through style 9 were made in the United States, Canada, Great Britain or Scotland. The style 10 is made in China.
Case styles that have names instead of numbers are illustrated after the numbered styles. Also shown below are some relatives of the Bens: Bingo Style 1, Dura Case (LaSalle series), Clock of Tomorrow, and the Seth Thomas "Baby Bens".
In 2001, General Time (owner of Westclox) declared bankruptcy and sold the Westclox name to Salton, Inc. Since then, the name "Big Ben" has been used on several reproduction models of clocks that were not called Big Ben in the past. These reproductions may be identified by being battery operated and made in China.
Reproductions of some of the earlier Big Ben styles are now being made in China. They are included in the detail pages of their styles.
Big Ben and Baby Ben Style 1 through Style 10
To identify a Big Ben or Baby Ben alarm clock, find out which of the case styles it matches. Pay attention to the shape of the case and not the color (your clock might have a different case or dial color)
Miscellaneous Big Ben and Baby Ben Styles (Not Numbered)
George Kern designed the style 1 Big Ben movement and case. August Schierholtz designed the style 2 case, and Max Schlenker designed the base. Henry Dreyfuss designed the style 3, 5 and 6 cases. The style 4 is a modification of style 3 and may also have been designed by Dreyfuss. Ellworth Danz designed the Style 7, 8 and 9 and the Clock of Tomorrow cases.
Big Ben and Baby Ben Alarm Clock ID Guide
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've 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 information about Big Ben and Baby Ben variations.
The current version of the ID guide is dated February 4, 2013.
July 29, 2009 contains an update to the style 1a Big Ben reproduction made about 1970.
June 8, 2008. Additional material included patents, reproductions and Big Ben and Baby Ben electric clocks.
Dates Stamped on Big Ben and Baby Ben Clock Movements
Dates were stamped on a movement plate of most Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks made up until mid-1970's. Numbers are used for the month, day and year; or just the month and year (e.g. 5 17 15 is May 17, 1915; and 7 34 is July 1934).
- Baby Bens have month, day and year from the beginning through the end of 1928; just the month and year from 1929 through 1932; month, day and year from 1933 through 1944; and then just the month and year again from 1945 on.
- Big Ben style 1 clocks have the month, day and year stamped on the movement.
- Big Ben style 1a and 2 clocks have month, day and year through 1928; and just month and year from 1929 on.
- Big Ben Loud Alarm clocks have the month and year stamped on the movement.
- Big Ben Chime Alarm clocks have the month and day up through 1932; month, day and year from 1933 through World War II; and just month and year from WWII through the end of production (1956).
- Big Ben single key wind clocks (1956 on) have the month and year stamped on the movement.
Actual transition dates I have observed on clocks:
- Month, Day and Year up to 12-15-28
- Month and Year from 3-29 to 3-32
- Month, Day and Year from 1-26-33 to 19-2-44
- Month and year starting 5-45
Big Ben Style 1, 1a, 2, 4 and Loud Alarm
- Month, Day and Year up to 10-16-28
- Month and Year starting 2-29
Big Ben Single Key Wind (styles 7 and 8)
- Month and Year
Big Ben Chime Alarm
- Month and Year from 5-31 to 12-32
- Month, Day and year from 1-25-33 to 12-5-41
- Month and Year from 2-46 to the end (1956)
Clock of Tomorrow
- Month and Year
Clocks Related to the Big Ben and Baby Ben
Seth Thomas "Baby Ben" Alarm Clocks
These clocks are labeled Seth Thomas on the dial and use the same movement as the Westclox Baby Ben alarm clock. They were made from the 1930's through the 1950's. Here are some examples. For larger photos and more details, see my Seth Thomas Baby Ben Alarm Clock page.
Westclox Big Ben and Baby Ben Alarm Clock Advertising History
See my Big Ben and Baby Ben Advertising History page for an overview of the history of the Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks using original magazine advertisements starting with the September 24, 1910 Saturday Evening Post. This series of ads shows you the various styles of Bens that were made.