Clever Clocks


Written by Rebecca Fulleylove
Photos and illustrations by Various
21 Sunday 21st August 2011

(main image: Stefan Strumbel's cuckoo clocks)

Karlsson Book Clock

Reading books to pass the time is something we’re all familiar with so it seems fit to combine the two to make this dashing book clock by clockmakers Karlsson, whereby a trio of book spines become the clock face. While this is a nice idea, perhaps the use of real books where pages are gutted out to house the clock mechanisms could’ve been a little more unique and also more in keeping with the current trend of up-cycling. Leading by example this is exactly what designer Jonas Merian has done but instead with old, rotary dial phones he found in China. With the ability to be wall mounted as well, this nod to the obsolete technology stirs up all kinds of nostalgia within us that we just can’t resist.     

Telephone clocks by Jonas Merian

If you fancy something a bit more futuristic and modern, with a dash of functionality, then look no further than the Time Table by designer Ross McBride. With the entire table top being a digital clock, it includes many bog standard features found on the usual bedside clock, for instance an alarm and a timer to switch the light off at night. But don’t worry about the garish glare ruining the mood during a romantic dinner, the light can be turned on and off whenever, without affecting the time. Perfection! 

Time Table by Ross McBride

Taking time telling to a new level is South Korean designer, Sejoon Kim, who’s created a timepiece where users have to feel the flexible face to reveal the time. Called the Vague Clock the squashy clock face hides the time until pressed inwards and is updated by GPS so remains accurate. Sejoon Kim feels that too much information can put pressure on people, so the Vague Clock “obscures one’s reading of the minute and hour hands to relieve the feeling of having to chase the time”. With this kind of fancy technology its no wonder that last year the concept was awarded at the Red Dot Awards, despite resembling a massive Babybel.

Vague Clock by Sejoon Kim

Another obscure timepiece comes from Siren Elise Wilhelmsen, who created the 365 Knitting Clock, shown at last year’s DMY International Design Festival Berlin. As a way of making time a physical and tangible object, the clock includes a circular knitting machine with 48 needles, a thread spool, a thread holder and a roll of yarn. It moves clockwise and after one year creates a scarf two metres long. All that has to be done then is to replace the yarn and another year can be knitted. While a little more abstract than your average clock in telling you the actual time, it does mean you can tick knitting a scarf off your to do list and focus on other more important things like getting a perm.

Siren Elise Wilhelmsen's 365 Knitting Clock

Lastly for an alternative take on the humble cuckoo clock, look no further than Stefan Strumbel’s colourful designs that are supposed to represent violence, death and sex. Each clock feature mouldings of weapons, bones and animals, mixed with the more traditional elements of a cuckoo clock like leaves and scrolls.

Blue Cuckoo Clock by Stefan Strumbel


Have you come across any other awesome clock designs in your travels online? Let us know, and link away in the comments section below.

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