These days, a wall clock has just about the same amount of utility as a spinning top or a Newton’s cradle. Accurate time is a commodity that can be got on the cheap – it is on our computers, phones, coffee makers, ovens, and microwaves. Thankfully, though, utility hasn’t gotten in the way of us enjoying these wonderfully well designed objects.
Wall clocks have long been canvases for designers both little known and prolific – a place to creatively order all 24 hours of the day. Some stick with the same old stodgy designs we’re all used to, while others completely explode the idea and purpose of a wall clock and instead create something more like a dynamic design element than a proper clock. Whatever your preference, whatever your need, we’re sure that our list of the best wall clocks will help find what it is you’ve been looking to add to your home or office.
Braun Classic Analog Quartz Clock
Though this wall clock from the German manufacturing company wasn’t made by the brand’s once frequent industrial design collaborators Dieter Rams or Dietrich Lubs, their influence is clearly felt here. A precision quartz movement drives the clock’s thick, white hands around the large face with Arabic numerals. All things said an attractive clock for a great price.
Designer: Braun Factory Design
Leff Amsterdam Wyzer Wall Clock
Not as interested in discerning the time as you are with adding a fun design element to your office or apartment? This wall clock may be worth considering. The two floating light green hands rotate accurately around their axis (though you likely won’t be able to tell) thanks to what the brand describes as a ‘high torque’ German quartz movement.
Designer: Reinhard Dienes
Watch Me Wall Clock
Designer Rasmus Gottliebsen has always been in the business of getting people’s attention. The Denmark-based designer got his start in advertising, and eventually transitioned to designing and selling products like this clock. Available in a host of different colors, this wall clock is made up of 8 different powder-coated aluminum rectangles that resemble the kind of color swatches you’d find in any designer’s toolkit.
Designer: Rasmus Gottliebsen
Lemnos Dandelion Clock
Rather than numbers, the face of this clock features a simple illustration of a dandelion – increasing in thickness from the 1 o’clock index to 12. It’s a simple design choice, but an effective one. While the clock we chose to feature is white, there are two other versions available; one in black, and the other in grey.
Designer: Oki Sato
Leff Amsterdam Hazy Clock
If you are the type of person to regard the start and end-times of appointments as more rough approximations than do-or-die deadlines, then this belongs on your wall. Inspired by blurred images and the kind of dreamy quality they inspire in a viewer – this clock makes for a truly fun addition to any office or home.
Designer: Ivan Kasner
Muji Analog Wall Clock
If a classic instrument for telling time is all you’re really looking for, then you’ll be more than happy to grab this wall clock fro Muji. It features a trio of hands that measure seconds, minutes, and hours as they rotate around a white face with black Arabic numerals.
Mondaine Wall Clock White Dial
Originally designed by an employee of the Federal Swiss Railways, this clock was long used on platforms throughout Switzerland in large part because of its easy to read face. This original design was then used by Mondaine on their famous wrist watches, and wall clocks. It features a stainless steel case, a hardened mineral crystal, and a German quartz movement.
Designer: Hans Hilfiker
Newgate Large Electric Clock
Another railway-inspired wall clock with large propellor hands and Arabic numerals prominently placed on a white dial. The glass lens and metal casing set it apart from other, cheaper plastic options on the market.
Leff Amsterdam Scope
Rather than relying on traditional hour marker or indices, this wall clock features 12 tilted wooden segments to delineate the hours of the day. In order to achieve this clever design, every clock has to be made by hand – meaning that each is unique from one another in small ways due to impurities in the wood. A white version of this wall clock is also available, and both come with 5-year long warranties.
Designer: Erwin Termaat
A reproduction of Riki Watanabe’s railway station clock originally designed for (and still operating at) the Hibiya Station in Tokyo, Japan – this consumer model allows fans of the timepiece to bring their own version home. Its simple, but easy to read dial make it a great addition for an already modernist home or office.
Designer: Riki Watanabe
IBM Standard Issue Clock
This American-made clock features a quartz movement that drives a red continuous sweep hand along with an hour and minute hand around a dial originally designed for IBM in the late 1940s. This reproduction of the clock is made by hand in Portland, Oregon from spun steel and features a domed glass. An incredibly fun addition for the home.
Marble Wall Clock
Marble is a unique material in that one could easily spend a large amount of time just observing its complex mosaic of veins as it was a fire or a shore break. Now, thanks to a Denmark-based architecture firm, you can at least passively observe the hours you’re wasting staring at the material due to the included hour and minute hand. The clock comes in either white or black.
Designer: Norm Architects
Arne Jacobsen wasn’t content with simply designing the Danish National Bank, he felt as if he needed to help them keep time, too. The clock he ended up making featured a convex mineral glass crystal that is set flush on a white face with a unique series of indices. Rather than relying on numbers, each hour marker featured 12 boxes, marked with a black box ascending in order from 1 until 12.
Designer: Arne Jacobsen
Diameter: 11.4-18.9 inches
Arne Jacobsen City Hall Clock
The Banker’s clock wasn’t Jacobsen’s first foray into the world of time telling. More than twenty years earlier he had designed a similarly sleek and minimalist wall clock for the City Hall in Rodovre. This reproduction of that piece was made in close collaboration with Jacobsen’s product development director Teit Weylandt.
Designer: Arne Jacobsen
Nelson Spindle Clock
You can’t get more mid-century than with this piece. Originally designed for George Nelson Associates by Lucia DeRespinis – one of many famous designers who contributed work to the New York City-based firm – this clock captures a very specific moment in home design and architecture. This large timepiece made from walnut, brass, and plastic is driven by a quartz movement and stands out on any wall.
Designer: Lucia DeRespinis
Junghans Max Bill Wall Clock
While the German watch brand Junghans has been in operation since 1861, it is their collaboration with Swiss architect and industrial designer Max Bill that they’re best known for. The fruitful partnership resulted in a number of iconic designs including this attractive wall clock.
Designer: Max Bill
Architectmade FJ Clock
Originally designed for the New York United Nation Trusteship Council Chamber in the 1950s, this wall clock made from features a simple pair of white hands that are driven around the Teak wood dial marked with white dots. This reproduction of the clock was limited to only 1,000 pieces and were made by hand in Denmark.
Designer: Finn Juhl
QLOCKTWO Wall Clock
Not quite a wall clock in the traditional sense this timepiece from QLOCKTWO relies on a series of illuminated letters to spell out the time in five minute intervals rather than a pair or trio of hands and numeral markings. The clock can be purchased in either English, German, Italian, or French and in a host of different colors and sizes. A great grab for those looking for a truly stand-out clock for the home or office.
Designer: Biegert & Funk
10 Best Alarm Clocks
Need something a little more reliable than the phone you only occasionally set an alarm on? Check out our rundown of the best alarm clocks and stop rolling in to work late.