Iconic and Contemporary Designs

10 Timeless Wall Clocks to Anchor Your Living Room


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Last Updated January, 2018: This post has been updated with new picks for 2018. Prices and links have also been updated.

The first successful attempt at mass-produced clocks happened early in the 19th century when three inventors from Connecticut developed an economical system powered by interchangeable parts. The home clock would go on to thrive for nearly 200 years, becoming a ubiquitous item of modern life. That is, of course, until the arrival of cable boxes and smartphones. Though many industrial designers continue to turn their backs on the home wall clock, a handful of iconic and contemporary designs continue to stand the test of time.

Additional contribution by Jack Seemer and Andrew Connor.

Braun Classic Analog Quartz Wall Clock

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This sleek wall clock, available in black, white and gray, follows the same aesthetic principles established at Braun by Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. That is, functional, thorough (“less, but better”) and unobtrusive.

Diameter: 7.9 inches
Thickness: 1.3 inches

Hay Analog Clock

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Designed for HAY by the Sweden-based designer Shane Schneck, this aluminum wall clock was inspired by the aesthetic of classic barometers. The face of the clock curves inward, giving depth that’s expressed by the shadow of the minute and hour hands.

Diameter: 10.5 inches
Thickness: 6.5 inches

Riki Watanabe Hibiya Clock

Riki Watanabe is considered a pioneer of post-war Japanese industrial design, and the pole clock he designed for Hibiya Crossing in Tokyo during the 1970s is thought to be one of his most defining works. This recreation for the home has the original’s dial — complete with thick blocky numerals — and encapsulated within a matte black aluminum case.

Diameter: 12 inches
Thickness: 2.5 inches

Lemnos Drops Draw the Existence

Its clunky name aside, this Lemnos wall clock is based on a Red Dot Award-winning table clock by Japanese designer Kanaé Tsukamoto. It’s made from beautiful white porcelain and features rounded indents in place of traditional numerals or indices, which are inspired by droplets of water.

Width: 10 inches
Thickness: 2 inches

Menu Marble Wall Clock

Menu’s better-known timepiece is its funky tumbler alarm clock but the brand’s created one hell of a wall-mounted showpiece with the Menu Marble Wall Clock. It lacks the hour markers you’d find on most clocks but that only allows you to admire the big disc of stone making up the core of the piece. Its available in white, grey or black, and comes with lacquered brass hands.

Diameter: 11.8 inches
Thickness: 3.9 inches

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. IBM Standard Issue Clock

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Hand-assembled in Portland, Oregon, this wall clock is a faithful reproduction of the iconic IBM clocks once found in offices and schoolhouses across America in the ’50s and ’60s. It’s operated by a quartz movement with a continuous second hand that glides rather than ticks.

Diameter: 13.5 inches
Thickness: 4 inches

Junghans Max Bill Wall Clock

The Bauhaus-trained designer Max Bill has a portfolio stuffed with work, but some of his most memorable products were timepiece designs for Junghans. While the designs live on today mainly in the brand’s wristwatch collection, many of Bill’s earliest Junghans timepieces were clocks. This modern clock maintains Bill’s austere Bauhaus aesthetic with thin, elongated markers set against a field of white.

Diameter: 12 inches
Thickness: N/A

Rosendahl Timepieces Banker’s Clock

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First introduced in 1971 by Arne Jacobsen, the Danish designer who also created the classic three-legged Ant chair, this clock was devised for the Danish National Bank in Copenhagen. In place of numbers, the face features a series of white boxes that are filled out in succession to indicate the time.

Diameter: 11.5 inches
Thickness: 2 inches

Vitra Nelson Spindle Clock

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An icon of mid-century modernism, the Spindle Wall Clock is one of more than 150 clocks designed by George Nelson Associates between 1949 and the mid-1980s. This one was designed in 1957 by American designer Lucia DeRespinis, one of the very few women designers at the time.

Diameter: 23 inches
Thickness: 2.5 inches

Architectmade FJ Clock

Architectmade’s FJ Clock is is a faithful recreation of a design made by renowned Danish architect Finn Juhl for the United Nation’s Trusteeship Council Chamber (which remains hanging on the wall). The clock is made from a dished slab of beautiful teak and is adorned with aluminum indices and hands — only 1,000 pieces will be made.

Diameter: 13.75 inches
Thickness: N/A
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