You think its metal you are wrong its cardboard. The Designer gave it a steampunk look, but the materials used under the clock are not metal. The materials used are cardboard, plaster of paris and paint.
A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel - Tom Philips - In a 'Ship of Theseus' fashion, each new edition replaces at least 50 pages. Philips' long term goal is to publish a version of Humament that has every page different from his original 1970 edition.