Waking up might be a little bit more pleasant when you can choose between a buzzer, the radio, or your favorite songs streaming from your smartphone or MP3 player to nudge you out of dreamland. Add to that the fun of seeing the time of day (or night) projected in large, red numerals onto your ceiling — you don't even have to turn your head to figure out how much more sleep you'll get if you can just fall back into slumber right now — and the large LCD display on the clock's face, and you have just some of the features that make the Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock our top pick.

Certainly not just for telling time, wall clocks are perfect for adding artful appeal to your kitchen wall or acting as a focal point above the living room mantel. Take this one for example: a true traditional, its Roman numeral dial is accented by a world map detailing the face. Crafted from plastic, its frame offers more of a metal-inspired look with molded trim and a bronze finish. Requires one AA battery.
Some water clock designs were developed independently and some knowledge was transferred through the spread of trade. Pre-modern societies do not have the same precise timekeeping requirements that exist in modern industrial societies, where every hour of work or rest is monitored, and work may start or finish at any time regardless of external conditions. Instead, water clocks in ancient societies were used mainly for astrological reasons. These early water clocks were calibrated with a sundial. While never reaching the level of accuracy of a modern timepiece, the water clock was the most accurate and commonly used timekeeping device for millennia, until it was replaced by the more accurate pendulum clock in 17th-century Europe.

The timekeeping part of all weight-driven clocks, including large tower clocks, is substantially the same. The figure shows the mechanism of a simple weight-driven timepiece with a pendulum. The frame is made up of two plates that carry the pivots of the various wheels and other moving parts and that are united and spaced by four pillars. The driving weight hangs from a line coiled around a barrel or sprocket, which is raised by turning the winding square or, in some cases, by pulling on the line. The main wheel engages with the centre pinion, on the arbor (axle) of which is also mounted the centre wheel. The front pivot of this wheel and pinion is lengthened to the right of the illustration; it carries the minute hand and part of the gearing necessary to drive the hour hand.
“I am the heaviest sleeper and was setting four or five alarms on my phone to wake me up. After being late a few times, I decided to purchase this alarm clock to help me wake up on time. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. … The bed shaker is super important. I put it under my pillow, and it shook me awake; the loud beep helped too. If you can sleep through earthquakes and shouting family members, this is the alarm clock for you.”
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