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It is said that there are three things in this world that cannot be taken back. They are: an arrow shot, words spoken, and time. Of course, what concerns us the most is time. It’s something we always have too much of or too little of, but time always moves forward no matter what. And how do we measure it? Clocks of course.
“Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s time-consuming” Bad puns aside, clocks can be admired for the way they depict time. They come in all shapes and forms even though they have the same function. The ancient civilizations used the sundial to read time before which they used hourglasses. Time itself has always been a subject of fascination for all, so let’s fuel it by being obsessed with clocks, shall we?
29 Different Types Of Clocks
1. Analog Clocks
Ah, the famous analog clock. You know, the one you hate every day of your life and snooze ten times a day? It has features we all know and overlook. With a minute and hour hand, as well as a second hand, it takes a bit of time and practice to read it, but with time it becomes second nature.
They often come in either very plain or very decorative ways but are ideal to stick in any place in the house. So that your kids are on time to school at least once. But, they’re well known for their convenience and appearing distinguished. Here is one of the best analog clocks you can buy right now.
2. Digital Clocks
When we finally escaped the Dark Ages and emerged into the Golden technological age digital clocks were used. I mean thank God, can you imagine how you could survive without your laptop for a week? As is common for all digital clocks, the time is read a bit differently because the time is displayed in terms of 24 hours.
As time goes on, digital clocks are taking over the analog ones much like the zombies of the Walking Dead have done. Nowadays, the clocks even have location and date in the upper corner. They can also be projected so many people can view it, especially if they have bad eyesight. Here is one of the best digital clocks you can buy right now.
3. Auditory Clocks
Definitely a plus point to the diversity of clocks, since this type was invented on the rise of technology. This clock uses a human recording or a computer-generated voice to read and tell time. These come in handy in two cases. First, for blind people and the elderly with vision problems. Second, for announcing the time to multiple people in a large area. Companies like Google and Apple already have these types of features inbuilt in smartwatches, making it much more efficient.
4. Mechanical Clock
Back in the good old days when batteries didn’t exist, mechanical clocks were all the rage. This type of clock is made from simple mechanical components. It is also powered by a coiled spring or any falling weight. Its power comes from a tightly coiled spring which releases energy when it unwinds. It comes with a certain amount of commitment because it has to be wound on a regular basis.
The accuracy of time on this clock depends on both the construction of the clock itself and the engineering and construction of the individual components. They must be wound correctly and not too much, otherwise, you’ll definitely break it if you go too far. If you aren’t interested in constantly winding it, look into a simpler option like a round, battery-powered wall clock!
5. Quartz Clock
Time for a physics lesson! Or in the words of Bill Nye, “Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is physics.” This clock actually contains a quartz crystal that vibrates when electricity passes through it. The vibrations are consistent which causes a piezoelectric effect. It’s actually this effect that allows us to read the time on the clock. First built in 1927, quartz movement clocks became very popular in the 1980s when they became less expensive and more compact. This is when they became much more common in houses all around the world.
6. Atomic Clock
These clocks are actually calibrated to a high frequency. This high frequency actually opposes a resonating atom called cesium. If that’s too much science for you, move on! These clocks are amazingly accurate.
So much so, that the NIST-FI atomic clock at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado has calibrated their clock to be accurate to less than a second. They are also expensive, so they’re mostly used in science laboratories. Basically, they’re really damn accurate!
7. Pendulum Clock
This clock uses its physical features to perform time dividing. This actually improves the accuracy of the clock because the pendulum itself is unique. The mass of the pendulum and its arc have absolutely no effect on it!
Only the length of the pendulum is what determines how the pendulum will swing back and forth, thus moving the hands of the clock. The pendulum maintains the balance of the clock, kind of like meditation does with our soul! Personally, I find pendulum clocks to be beautiful but annoyingly hypnotic at the same time. But hey that’s just me.
8. Roman Numerals
Ah, my old fashioned souls. Fret not! There’s a clock in it for you too. Even though this type of clock isn’t that easy to read compared to a simple analog or digital clocks a lot of people prefer it because of how it looks. So basically, every episode of The Bachelor. This clock is classy, decorative and great to look at for a time. It’s kind of like looking at a piece of art every time…and who can say no to art?
Probably the only clock that’s actually fun and functional to have in the house! As you can tell from the title, this type of clock has the ability to play music as an ode to joy for your ears and everyone else’s. While buying or before buying the clock, check the number of songs available so that you actually enjoy the music it plays rather than the same old Twinkle Twinkle, it tends to play.
These types of clocks are great to have when there are kids around the house when you really can’t get them to quiet down or you know, let you live peacefully. You can buy the clock in the image from Amazon.
10. Wall Clock
This type of clock is original, popular and very commonly used in homes, offices, and schools of course. It makes it easy to easily look up and tell the time, especially when you’re taking an exam, conducting a meeting, or forgetting that your exam is in 10 minutes and you really need to run out of your apartment to make it on time. These are quite easy to install and use at home and are also inexpensive. All these features are what make it hugely popular.
11. Oversized Wall Clock
Appeal to your aesthetic side and buy an artistic oversized wall clock to appeal to your….visual buds. Is that a concept? If not, it is now! These clocks are a lot bigger than wall clocks and can be used in schools, conference rooms, and offices. In schools, it’s used to teach children to read time since the large size makes it easier to look at.
In offices like at the dentist’s or the doctor’s office, these wall clocks are beneficial to vision impaired people especially if they cannot see beyond a certain distance. Whether you want minimalistic, rustic, or modern, you’ll definitely find it in this category of clocks.
12. Mantel And Table Top
Usually, these styles of clocks come inbuilt, like on top of the fireplace mantel. They are also acquainted with older style homes like Victorian-style homes and Old English homes. They also usually match the decor of your home as well as the tone of the room. It brings a sort of warmth and old vibes to an otherwise post Modern era.
They’re also majestic since most of them are made of wood, making them perfect to be put in home offices on top of your personal study or desk area. Buy it on Amazon.
13. Maritime and Weather Station
While there are different instruments to measure components of the weather like the pressure and temperature, this clock is like an all in one. This maritime clock includes information not only about the time but about the weather, humidity, temperature and other important details.
Anybody who was an ex-sailor, or just appreciated how cool clocks are will definitely appreciate this clock. Or, if you’re just trying to monitor the weather without using all those extra instruments, this clock is perfect! Buy this clock here.
So basically this is the clock we curse literally every day of our lives. You know, the one you snooze 10 times before actually waking up and almost hurling the clock across the room? They’re usually placed on bedside tables, and can either be wired or wireless. They also have multiple features, so the more features they have the more efficient and accurate it will be.
For example, buy an alarm clock that increases in sound as soon as the alarm starts ringing. If the clock allows you to set multiple alarms at once, this is also an advantage. However, most clocks nowadays have this feature so it shouldn’t be a struggle. There’s also a type of alarm clock with a laser that truly makes sure you’re awake before turning off. So you literally can’t crawl back into bed!
15. Grandfather Clock
These types of clocks have a majestic and royal look and are the biggest of all clocks since they are mounted to the floor rather than to the wall. They are very aesthetically pleasing, and expensive. This is because of the skill, talent, and time that goes into actually making the clock to make it so visually appealing. There are tones at the quarter-hour, half-hour, and hour to signal each of these times at the respective time it should.
Grandfather clocks are very often passed down as a family heirloom and use time-division since it includes a pendulum. The pendulum swings back and forth based on the length of the pendulum. The swinging is independent of the arc and the mass of the pendulum.
Ah, the crazy cuckoo clock. Only buy this clock if you’re OK with being shocked by the sound of a cuckoo literally every single hour. These clocks are popular in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria for being fun and nifty souvenirs.
Although it’s unknown as to when the first one was made, Germany is the home of these famous clocks. Most of them have wooden carvings, usually of animals and leaves. Unless you’re not annoyed with the same song playing 24 hours a day 365 days a year, then this clock is perfect for you.
Amazon has a beautiful collection of Cuckoo clocks.
17. Outdoor Clocks
These are the types of clocks you usually find hanging outside of grocery stores, book stores, and other markets. Make sure that if you are using an outdoor clock that it can tolerate dampness or any moisture from outside. Otherwise, it’ll be ruined and you’ll have to spend extra money trying to get the parts replaced or fixed. They’re placed outside of stores, obviously to look at the time, but also because when you’re shopping or running chores, wall clocks aren’t exactly the best. So outdoor clocks do the job instead.
18. Floor Clock
As you can tell from the name, this clock rests on the floor. The most famous type of floor clock is the grandfather clock but it’s not only limited to this type. Recently tripod clocks are becoming more famous because they don’t take up a lot of space and they’re fashionable since tripods seem to be all the rage nowadays.
It doesn’t require any mounting and can support itself on the floor, and doesn’t require you to drill holes into the wall to hang. They’re also portable, so if you want to move it anywhere in the house you can easily do so.
19. Battery Powered
Most clocks are powered by springs or coils, but nowadays most clocks are powered by a battery. This makes it much easier to fix the clock when it stops working since all you need to do is fix the battery. These clocks usually run on AA batteries and not AAA batteries which are much easier to find and replace.
The only problem is that since it runs on batteries, you’ll have to replace them on a regular basis. They also don’t really require cords, making it much easier for mobility and less tripping around the house of course.
20. Automatic Chime Shutoff
While the cuckoo clock and grandfather clock are works of art and aesthetically pleasing, they can also be eternally annoying especially if you don’t want to hear music while sleeping. This is where the automatic shutoff features come in.
In this way, you can choose the exact time for the clock to turn off/shut up so that it chimes during the day and leaves you in peace at night. No more waking up thinking Bloody Mary got into the house. Don’t worry, it’s just your clock. Probably.
I’ve noticed that many elderly people seem to prefer this clock. This is usually because it takes them back to the old days when they didn’t have electricity and huddled around the radio light while doing their homework. Because unlike us, they didn’t procrastinate. Or so they say. And to save their sanity from no electricity.
This radio clock allows you to view the time and listen to the music you want to simultaneously. An awesome advantage of this style of clock is that, instead of waking up to an alarm equivalent to a fire truck engine, you can wake up to music playing by your favorite radio station. How cool is that!
These clocks are small, compact, efficient and portable. So it’s easy to place them on desks in schools, offices, and homes where we really need them, Considering we waste 50% of our life sleeping, and the other either working or eating! These clocks show the date in a small space, unlike a calendar that takes up a bunch of wall space.
This can be an advantage especially if your room space is already limited, and I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that. There are different buttons on the clock to change the mode, temperature or any other relevant setting to make the time and date more efficient to view.
23. Light Sensor
As you can infer from the title, this clock has a light sensor inside it. It’s also beneficial when you don’t want to use alarm clocks, or have children since the clocks make too much noise. This sensor doesn’t automatically turn off, but rather it adjusts according to the amount of light in the room.
When you want your young kids to wake up on time, but not be shocked into existence with the blaring of an alarm clock, this type of clock is best, since the sensor wakes them up. Bright lights are better than blaring sounds!
24. Large Display
People with near-sighted vision have a hard time….reading the time. Ignore the bad pun. By using this clock with a large display, the numbers are seen with much more clarity, helping people read the time.
Especially if they have vision problems. It also helps us in the mornings when we’re really sleepy and basically blind, so keeping this on your nightstand or dresser is an added advantage so that you can read the time in the morning.
25. Round Clock
One of the most popular types of wall clocks. These roundly shaped clocks are very traditional and common and are most likely found hanging on the wall of your principal’s office, any school office, or any professional organization. Including the dreaded dentist’s and doctor’s office. Most round clocks are also battery-powered, so this is also another reason they’re so popular to use in our daily lives.
26. Square Clocks
It isn’t unusual to have a square clock, but it isn’t that common either. Clocks that tell the weather, play music or have any other feature other than reading time are usually in the shape of a square. These include oversized clocks, alarm clocks, and radio clocks all of which have their own unique advantages and features.
Based on the convenience, of course, choose your clock wisely including factors like space, cost, efficiency, etc. In the end, they all tell time!
27. Rectangle Clock
A clock is a clock. They all do pretty much the same thing with an extra added feature here and there. A rectangle clock is only unique for its shape even though it does the same thing. Tell time! Why did the man throw the clock out the window? Because he wanted to see time fly. Forgive my clock jokes, but you can’t deny that they have a certain cheesy charm to them! It brings a bit of uniqueness to the otherwise dull and boring clock.
This is really for those artsy or DIY people who like to go all out in their decor and furniture. It shows your colorful, fun and unique personality by purchasing such a clock due to its unique shape. It’s also a great way to start a conversation especially if you don’t know them, and you’re trying to stop an awkward conversation at all costs.
Awkward conversation is the first factor to boredom! These types of clocks keep your home and office entertaining since it’s fun to glance up at the time to find a unique object looking back at you. Buy the clock in the image here.
Plugin your clock and take a break because nothing is going to happen to it. However, there is a huge disadvantage that is a downer when it comes to this clock. If your building or area is subject to frequent power outages, the clock will turn off and turn back on….but you’ll have to reset the time. Every time it happens!
This happens more often than you think, so if your building is not subject to outages, you really shouldn’t have a problem with this type of clock. It is the alternative to a mechanical or grandfather clock if you’re looking for a simple, trendy clock that just tells time and doesn’t require any maintenance.