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With our eyes now trained upon smartphones, watches, tablets and laptops, the classic wall clock has become outdated and redundant. Why make the effort to lift your head to the 18th-century teak Grandfather standing against the wall when you have those cool black figures in Helvetica Neue sans-serif staring back at you from the corner of your screen? These digits that tick silently over ad nauseam require no tuning, no tinkering and, unlike the rest of us, are never caught unawares by daylight saving hours.

And yet, it still remains the case that any home or office can be enhanced by an original clock design that strikes a balance between form and function. Indeed, their futility in this day and age only adds weight to their aesthetic punch. Here then, we outline eight of the most innovative wall clock designs available to purchase today.

FreakishClock by Sabrina Fossi Design

This clock keeps things simple and isn’t too much of a radical departure from tradition for those still wanting a semblance of convention on their walls. The hour is displayed behind a clear wedge window, while the minutes are denoted by the commonplace red hand. Not only does this clock allow for quick comprehension with just a momentary glance, it also does away with the confusion that the pesky and utterly unnecessary second hand has caused to many a youngster first learning to read analog time. houzz.com

Ultra Modern Square Wall Clock by Doug Jackson

It’s hip to be square as New Zealander Doug Jackson proves with his remarkable World Clock – a design that offers a new perspective on how we tell the time. What might seem to some a retrograde step – substituting numbers for words – is offset by the surprise factor of this decidedly witty approach. For those especially passionate about their clocks, Jackson even offers kits for ardent horologists to assemble their own clocks at home. The kit requires some understanding of basic electronics and should take about 20-30 hours to assemble. Clearly, the best things take time. dougswordclocks.com

Polar Clock by Gabriel Bucknall

At first, this clock gives one a slight mindwarp and will have the faint of heart rushing back to the nearest harmonic oscillator in sight. And yet it only takes 10 seconds or so (the Bucknall itself will tell you exactly how long) for the genius of this clock to become apparent. Post-warp, the clock is not only simple to read but the patterns it displays will be different every second of the year. Though this clock is available as a screensaver, we would recommend hooking up a projector and allow it the breadth to light up your sitting-room wall. blog.pixelbreaker.com

Kairos Frequent Flyers Wall Clock

Who needs the iPhone World Clock when you can have this Frequent Flyers Clock hanging on your wall? In addition to looking delectably chic, the clock can keep you in the loop in regard to timings across the globe, helping you manage jet lag and keep to any transatlantic conference calls. It will show off your jet-setting credentials to friends, and you won’t have to think twice when someone next asks just what precisely is Greenwich Mean Time?  craftsvilla.com

Monolith Concept Clock by Negrocobre Design Studio

The modern clock for the thinking man, the Monolith Convept Clock designed by Emre Bakir and Mustafa Karakus of the Negrocobre Design Studio attempts to extrapolate and subvert the stereotypes related to time and clocks. By displaying the time in 3D (as opposed to boringly conventional 2D) this clock is referencing the aptitude for design of the ancient, Renaissance, and technological ages. If this clock wasn’t the sexiest thing telling the time today, one might lay the charge of unpalatable pretentious at its base. As it stands, the monolithic design has us all swooning. tuvie.com

The Umbra Lingua Black Wall Clock by Alan Wisniewski and Matt Carr

Not only tell the time but save some as well while you learn a handful of foreign words over breakfast. This clock is likely already a hit with the ambitious Tiger Moms of the East and Yummy Mummies in Notting Hill, and the lack of any Mandarin is the clock’s sole shortcoming. The look is retro, guarding against any charges of pomposity. Additionally, you can have endless fun feeling smug when telling perplexed guests exactly where 7 is spelled ‘zeven.’ redcandy.co.uk

Bird Melody Wall Clock by ALSS

These clocks have been around for decades, and yet for a reason that eludes us, they have never flown off the shelves as fast one might expect. For this reason they retain the power to startle and impress guests unawares. From 6am to 9pm, on every hour, the tweet of the depicted bird will sound for roughly ten seconds. At night time – craftily, and thoughtfully, true to life – the birds slumber silently while the hands continue to tick. Not only for ardent bird watchers, this clock will raise everyone’s eyes from their tablets to seek the intruding fowl, for ten seconds every hour at least. amazon.com

Article by Bertie Alexander

[Photo: I99Pema via Wikimedia Commons]

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