The primary purpose of a clock is to display the time. Clocks may also have the facility to make a loud alert signal at a specified time, typically to waken a sleeper at a preset time; they are referred to as alarm clocks. The alarm may start at a low volume and become louder, or have the facility to be switched off for a few minutes then resume. Alarm clocks with visible indicators are sometimes used to indicate to children too young to read the time that the time for sleep has finished; they are sometimes called training clocks.

A perfect piece for nightstands and home office desks, this radio alarm clock tunes to your favorite stations as it keeps an eye on the hour. Its bright red LED numbers are easy to read from afar, while the repeating nine-minute snooze is sure to become your new best friend on lazy Sunday mornings. This digital clock includes memory for up to 20 radio stations and includes an audio input for smartphones and MP3 players. Though this radio plugs into your wall, it also runs on two AAA batteries...


Its display can be turned off or dimmed, so the large, easy-to-read numbers won’t blind you all night long. If you like to wake up to the radio or to an alarm that gets louder over time, you won’t find those features here (though there is a version with a Bluetooth speaker but still no radio). Still, it does its job well, and there’s a reason this clock is found in lots of hotel rooms.
In a pendulum clock an escape wheel is allowed to rotate through the pitch of one tooth for each double swing of the pendulum and to transmit an impulse to the pendulum to keep it swinging. An ideal escapement would transmit the impulse without interfering with the free swing, and the impulse should be as uniform as possible. The double three-legged gravity escapement, which achieves the second of these but not the first, was invented by Edmund Beckett, afterward Lord Grimthorpe, and used by him for the great clock at Westminster, now generally known as Big Ben, which was installed in 1859. It became the standard for all really accurate tower clocks.
The origin of the all-mechanical escapement clock is unknown; the first such devices may have been invented and used in monasteries to toll a bell that called the monks to prayers. The first mechanical clocks to which clear references exist were large, weight-driven machines fitted into towers and known today as turret clocks. These early devices struck only the hours and did not have hands or a dial.
Alarm clocks, like almost all other consumer goods in the United States, ceased production in the spring of 1942, as the factories which made them were converted over to war work during World War II, but they were one of the first consumer items to resume manufacture for civilian use, in November 1944.[13][14] By that time, a critical shortage of alarm clocks had developed due to older clocks wearing out or breaking down. Workers were late for, or missed completely, their scheduled shifts in jobs critical to the war effort.[14] In a pooling arrangement overseen by the Office of Price Administration, several clock companies were allowed to start producing new clocks, some of which were continuations of pre-war designs, and some of which were new designs, thus becoming among the first "postwar" consumer goods to be made, before the war had even ended.[15][16] The price of these "emergency" clocks was, however, still strictly regulated by the Office of Price Administration.[14]
In the modern day and age, clocks are everywhere, from your phone to your computer or even on your wrist as a fashion item. A modern clock can be used for more than just telling time, a wall clock makes for a great design piece for your home. There are contrasting types of clocks ranging from analog to oversized, and they come in an assortment of shapes and material as well. Clocks are interesting wall decorations because they are constantly looked at to figure out the time, which makes finding a wall clock that fits your style that much more important.
A brushed and polished brass finish gives this metal carriage alarm clock its enduring style. The decorative handle, turned brass button feet, and polished brass-tone columns at the corners add to the clock's stately presence. Beneath a glass crystal, the brushed brass-tone dial features circular, diamond-cut numeral ring, black Roman numerals, black hour and minute hands, and brass second and alarm hands.
Besides the Chinese astronomical clock of Su Song in 1088 mentioned above, in Europe there were the clocks constructed by Richard of Wallingford in St Albans by 1336, and by Giovanni de Dondi in Padua from 1348 to 1364. They no longer exist, but detailed descriptions of their design and construction survive,[22][23] and modern reproductions have been made.[23] They illustrate how quickly the theory of the mechanical clock had been translated into practical constructions, and also that one of the many impulses to their development had been the desire of astronomers to investigate celestial phenomena.
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.
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Many devices can be used to mark passage of time without respect to reference time (time of day, minutes, etc.) and can be useful for measuring duration or intervals. Examples of such duration timers are candle clocks, incense clocks and the hourglass. Both the candle clock and the incense clock work on the same principle wherein the consumption of resources is more or less constant allowing reasonably precise and repeatable estimates of time passages. In the hourglass, fine sand pouring through a tiny hole at a constant rate indicates an arbitrary, predetermined, passage of time. The resource is not consumed but re-used.
If the only thing that will get you out the door in the morning is some serious nagging, Clockman is for you. This chatty clock refuses to shut up, even after you get out of bed. He'll greet you at your desired time, sing while you get dressed, and even yell if you anger him. While Clockman speaks only Japanese for now, his wake-up-and-get-going message isn't lost in translation.
Most digital clocks use electronic mechanisms and LCD, LED, or VFD displays; many other display technologies are used as well (cathode ray tubes, nixie tubes, etc.). After a reset, battery change or power failure, these clocks without a backup battery or capacitor either start counting from 12:00, or stay at 12:00, often with blinking digits indicating that the time needs to be set. Some newer clocks will reset themselves based on radio or Internet time servers that are tuned to national atomic clocks. Since the advent of digital clocks in the 1960s, the use of analog clocks has declined significantly.

With the application of the synchronous electric motor to clocks in 1918, domestic electric clocks became popular. A synchronous electric motor runs in step with the frequency of the electric power source, which in most countries alternates at 60 hertz (cycles per second). The electric motor is coupled to a reduction gearing that drives the clock hands at the correct rate.
Can we let you in on a secret? From pocket watches to grandfather clocks, a timepiece often tells as much about its owner as it does the hour. With a piece like this, you can ensure that it makes a statement in rustic-inspired style. Crafted from solid rubberwood with black metal spade handles, this piece is full of cottage charm. Featuring a distressed finish and roman numerals alongside its open back, this piece is sure to make welcome guests to your home with its modern farmhouse details.
Who doesn't love an alarm clock that verbally lets you know it's time to get up and start your day? Step aside, Siri, because "Reminder Rosie" is where it's at. You can easily record up to 25 different alarm-reminders at 6 seconds each. So why not wake up to a recording of your kids saying, "Good morning, Mom!"? (Or maybe you don't want that.) We love how you can turn off the alarm by quickly pressing a button or just saying out loud, "Reminder Off." 
In mechanical clocks this is done mechanically by a gear train, known as the wheel train. The gear train also has a second function; to transmit mechanical power from the power source to run the oscillator. There is a friction coupling called the 'cannon pinion' between the gears driving the hands and the rest of the clock, allowing the hands to be turned to set the time.[73]
Amazon buyers love it as well: with more than 4,600 reviews, the clock has an average of 4.4 stars. Not only do most buyers comment that it easily awakens them even though they are heavy sleepers, but several hearing-impaired buyers also mentioned that even without the sound, the vibration and flashing lights were enough to wake them up. One customer summed it up well, "If you can sleep through this, then you may not be alive."
late 14c., clokke, originally "clock with bells," probably from Middle Dutch clocke (Dutch klok) "a clock," from Old North French cloque (Old French cloke, Modern French cloche), from Medieval Latin (7c.) clocca "bell," probably from Celtic (cf. Old Irish clocc, Welsh cloch, Manx clagg "a bell") and spread by Irish missionaries (unless the Celtic words are from Latin); ultimately of imitative origin.
This Technology Curved Tabletop Clock and weather instrument offers curve-appeal. It also offers dynamic white LED display with a mirrored lens which can be seen from across the room and in darkened rooms. Features dual alarms with adjustable settings: HI/LO sound volume, programmable alarm days, snooze duration (5-60 mins), and auto-dim. Displays your current indoor temperature (F only) and humidity and can charge a mobile device with a bonus USB port in the back of the clock. Table standing...

A perfect piece for nightstands and home office desks, this radio alarm clock tunes to your favorite stations as it keeps an eye on the hour. Its bright red LED numbers are easy to read from afar, while the repeating nine-minute snooze is sure to become your new best friend on lazy Sunday mornings. This digital clock includes memory for up to 20 radio stations and includes an audio input for smartphones and MP3 players. Though this radio plugs into your wall, it also runs on two AAA batteries...
In mechanical clocks, the low Q of the balance wheel or pendulum oscillator made them very sensitive to the disturbing effect of the impulses of the escapement, so the escapement had a great effect on the accuracy of the clock, and many escapement designs were tried. The higher Q of resonators in electronic clocks makes them relatively insensitive to the disturbing effects of the drive power, so the driving oscillator circuit is a much less critical component.[2]
The Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock is the second-best selling alarm clock on Amazon, with more than 9,700 reviews. Many buyers praised the projection feature, and particularly liked the fact that the brightness of the blue LCD display can be adjusted; for some owners, the clock's light is just a little too intense. The ability to set one alarm time for Monday through Friday, and a separate time for the weekend was another popular feature.
Similar to our #8 selection, this app uses a gradual brightness increase to slowly wake you out of your sleep, before laying down the hammer and buzzing to wake you up. If you’re waking up angry or abruptly (more on this in a moment), then this is the perfect trick to keep ahead. Just ensure your alarm clock also has a USB charging slot to keep your phone nearby. This works well if you position it differently than your gradual light alarm clock, as if you’re getting two sunrises instead of one.
For light sleepers, audio alarms can be rather jarring. Fortunately, the Philips Morning Wake-Up Light uses a warm, gentle glow and natural sound effects rather than incessant beeping to get you out of bed. The alarm clock also features a colored sunrise simulation and 20 brightness settings for optimal customization. The light slowly increases in brightness between 20 and 40 minutes prior to your desired alarm time. The clock helps you drift to sleep, too. Instead of you simply turning out the lights and settling into bed, the light-responsive dimming feature gently guides you to sleep with audio accompaniment. This type of alarm is definitely not for everyone, but it is suitable for those who prefer to wake up gradually. For more details, read our full Philips Wake-Up Light review.

Sony always makes good products, and this little cube packs a powerful alarm in its punch. When you go for the minimalist design, you’re able to incorporate more features for less money, as well as keep the nature of the product intact: in this case, it’s supposed to wake you up, and not be too flashy. You get a backup battery just in case the power fails you during a storm, but you also get ten programmable radio station buttons.


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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.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve tried to find the nicest-sounding alarm clocks and ended up with picks for the best alarm clock and a voice-controlled alarm clock, we wanted to see what other ways to wake up were out there. So we found the best alarm clocks on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
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