These mechanical clocks were intended for two main purposes: for signalling and notification (e.g. the timing of services and public events), and for modeling the solar system. The former purpose is administrative, the latter arises naturally given the scholarly interests in astronomy, science, astrology, and how these subjects integrated with the religious philosophy of the time. The astrolabe was used both by astronomers and astrologers, and it was natural to apply a clockwork drive to the rotating plate to produce a working model of the solar system.
A clock mechanism may be used to control a device according to time, e.g. a central heating system, a VCR, or a time bomb (see: digital counter). Such mechanisms are usually called timers. Clock mechanisms are also used to drive devices such as solar trackers and astronomical telescopes, which have to turn at accurately controlled speeds to counteract the rotation of the Earth.
Simple clocks intended mainly for notification were installed in towers, and did not always require faces or hands. They would have announced the canonical hours or intervals between set times of prayer. Canonical hours varied in length as the times of sunrise and sunset shifted. The more sophisticated astronomical clocks would have had moving dials or hands, and would have shown the time in various time systems, including Italian hours, canonical hours, and time as measured by astronomers at the time. Both styles of clock started acquiring extravagant features such as automata.

If you’re looking for a calmer start to your day, you might want to try the Wake-Up Light. It gradually gets you up and out of bed with a colored sunrise simulation and a selection of nature-inspired sounds, so that you can start the day feeling refreshed and energized—as if you had woken up naturally. For anyone who finds it particularly hard to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark out, this alarm clock makes those winter mornings that little bit easier. It also comes with a nighttime dimming feature so that you can make sure you’re getting your best night’s rest.

Now you can wake up to the sun without even opening your curtains. This alarm clock uses a gentle glow that simulates a sunrise, waking you gently and naturally, so you definitely won't want to murder it when it starts going off. Choose from five different calming sounds to pair with the gradual light for an all-around sensory experience, or just select the FM radio option (that you'll inevitably snooze once or twice).


Auditory and projection clocks can be used by people who are blind or have limited vision. There are also clocks for the blind that have displays that can be read by using the sense of touch. Some of these are similar to normal analog displays, but are constructed so the hands can be felt without damaging them. Another type is essentially digital, and uses devices that use a code such as Braille to show the digits so that they can be felt with the fingertips.
To truly earn its place on your nightstand, an alarm clock should be reliable and versatile, letting you customize your wake-up experience without letting you down. This model is actually more than just an alarm: It has two USB chargers and two outlets. That alone means you and your significant other might fight for who gets to put this clock next to their side of the bed. Thanks to its backup battery, you won’t have a Home Alone oversleeping situation when you need to get to the airport or the power goes out. There’s a big snooze button for those mornings when you need some extra Zs.
This farmhouse wall clock measures 30 in. across This farmhouse wall clock measures 30 in. across the face and features horizontal cedar wood slats a white distressed finish hand painted black Roman numerals in a Poster Condensed font and an inner accent ring with individual hour marks. It includes a high torque quartz movement antique-style spade hands and ...  More + Product Details Close

In addition to radio, recent clock radios have other music sources such as iPod, iPhone, and/or audio CD. When the alarm is triggered, it can play a set radio station or the music from a selected music source to awaken the sleeper. These models usually come with a dock for iPod/iPhone that also charges the device while it is docked. They can play FM/AM radio, iPod/iPhone or CD like a typical music player as well (without being triggered by the alarm function). A few popular models offer "nature sounds" like rain, forest, fire, sea, waterfall etc., in place of the buzzer.


Traditional mechanical alarm clocks have one or two bells that ring by means of a mainspring that powers a gear to propel a hammer back and forth between the two bells or between the interior sides of a single bell. In some models, the back encasement of the clock itself acts as the bell. In an electric bell-style alarm clock, the bell is rung by an electromagnetic circuit and armature that turns the circuit on and off repeatedly.[1]


In 1283, a large clock was installed at Dunstable Priory; its location above the rood screen suggests that it was not a water clock.[citation needed] In 1292, Canterbury Cathedral installed a 'great horloge'. Over the next 30 years there are mentions of clocks at a number of ecclesiastical institutions in England, Italy, and France. In 1322, a new clock was installed in Norwich, an expensive replacement for an earlier clock installed in 1273. This had a large (2 metre) astronomical dial with automata and bells. The costs of the installation included the full-time employment of two clockkeepers for two years.[citation needed]
“Love how simple this digital timer is. I travel a lot, and it’s small enough to put in my purse. The off button is convenient because it keeps the buttons from being pressed while stored away and conserves the battery, but when you turn it back on, your setting are stored so no need to reset [each] time. … [There’s just the] clock, alarm, snooze, on/off. The smaller and simpler the better when I’m traveling.”
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