There’s not a single day we don’t look at clocks, watches or other time-dictating devices to track our daily activities. For years though, we have been conforming to traditional mechanical or digital clock designs without actually exploring the alternatives. Most of us are still used to clocks that comprise of the classic hour, minute and second hands against a square or circle clock face filled with 12-hour numerals.
Today, I will show you how some creative and unorthodox clock designs.Whilst some of them may not seem practical as a time-telling device, the key takeaway from these innovations is their ability to break away from what we have often considered the usual way to tell time.
A clock in binary code. Would you buy it?
Image Source: Firebox
This radio tuner-inspired clock will bring a fresh new perspective on time.
Image Source: Antrepo
The concept of this rotating clock is based on the constant and subtle rotation of the globe and is thus a better representation of time than the common clock.
Image Source: Anthony Dickens
Like the sand in an hourglass concept, the individual tubes represent the hours of the day while the height to which each of time is filled by water shows you the minutes.
Image Source: Heinz Mutter
This retro clock is made out of a recycled Sanyo turntable and is bound to be a conversation starter with guests around.
Image Source: Allan Young
Any idea how to tell the time for this one? (Hint: It’s 3:40:05) The minute hand is attached to the end of the hour hand, while the seconds hand is attached to the end of the minute hand. The result is a truly fluid clock that changes its shape constantly.
Image Source: Sander Mulder
As the clock face turns, the red ball within rolls slowly and tells you the time at the moment.
Image Source: Will Aspinall & Neil Lambeth
The writins on the clockface are all gibberish until the hour hand passes each of them and decodes the hour for you.
Image Source: Arthur Yung & Clement Cheung
Tell time with dominoes.
Image Source: Carbon Design Group
While the display is in digit form, it is not an LCD or LED display. Each of the digit is formed by a vertical slider which slowly move into a black decrypting box to reveal the time.
Image Source: Duncan Shotton
Using beams of light as the hour, minute and second hand, this minimalistic clock aptly represents time as intangible and fleeting.
Image Source: Mile Project
This creative clock design says it all: Clock faces don’t always have to be in fixed shapes like squares or circles. After all, time is a boundless entity.
Image Source: Calleadesign
An interesting blend of traditional time-reading through sundials and modern-day analog clocks. Thee numbers on the clockface are all formed by shadows cast from the 3D digits.
Image Source: Porro
Very exquisite design that was handmade from scratch to create an old-school jukebox-like clock.
Image Source: Barry Nijkeuter
A clock that is (almost always) looking at you.
Image Source: Zanzara
Using vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) technology, time illuminates in neon-like bright lighting in this old-school vacuum tube clock.
Image Source: Jason von Nieda
Who says clocks need to be flat and upright? This ‘melting’ clock challenges such traditional notion and bring to life the clocks in the masterpiece of Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory.
Image Source: Hilary Wiezbenski
We’re so used to loading bars on our computer or mobile screens, so why not put them in clocks?
Image Source: James Tobin
Don’t get paranoid and think that this pair of eyes are checking you out; they’re just telling you the time. Its cross-eyed look says 03:50.
Image Source: Mike Mak
If you don’t like a clock that’s always showing you the time and pressuring your life, this vague clock will only provide the time when you press on it.
Image Source: Sejoon Kim
In this cleverly designed clockpiece, the hour hand of this clock is actually a rectangular hole that exposes the time on the face.
Image Source: Ross McBride
This minimalistic clock seemed to have borrowed its concept from a volume knob. As you would’ve guessed, the outer ring shows you the hour while the inner circle with the thinner black stripe across shows you the minute.
Image Source: Enrico Pandolfini
Specially designed to resemble the the atomic planetary model, this clock stands apart from typical squarish or circular clocks.
Image Source: Arti & Mestieri
An environmentally-friendly clock made only from bamboo and metal, and with only hands and no clock face.
Image Source: Shuo Yang
This looks a lot like another ‘loading bar’ clock, except there are two colors in this one. As the day progresses, the bar gets’ filled up’ displaying how much time you’ve left for the rest of the day.
Image Source: Aleksey Belyalo
This looks like an electromechanical scoreboard except that it works 24/7 to tell you the time.
Image Source: Art Lebedev Studio
A very slick-looking retro wall clock made from Suede ‘Metal Mickey’ original 7" single is bound to take you back to the iconic Britpop era.
Image Source: Amy Dolan
It’s always an awesome feeling to observe how individual gears fit together in complex ways to bring together a seemingly simple contraption to give you the time.
Image Source: Invotis
Can you even tell that this is a clock? Drawing inspiration from a Japanese folding fan, the hour and minute hand spiral while it unfolds and folds the blades as time ticks by.
Image Source: Wireframe
Instead of straight hands to give you the time, this clock has one long spiralling hand to tell you the time for different major cities at one go.
Image Source: Giha Woo & Shingoeun
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