The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428–348 BC) was said to possess a large water clock with an unspecified alarm signal similar to the sound of a water organ; he used it at night, possibly for signaling the beginning of his lectures at dawn (Athenaeus 4.174c). The Hellenistic engineer and inventor Ctesibius (fl. 285–222 BC) fitted his clepsydras with dial and pointer for indicating the time, and added elaborate "alarm systems, which could be made to drop pebbles on a gong, or blow trumpets (by forcing bell-jars down into water and taking the compressed air through a beating reed) at pre-set times" (Vitruv 11.11).
There are cheaper alarm clocks on the market, but the aesthetically minded Kikkerland Retro is hard to top. The alarm clock may look like something you’d find at a thrift store, but nowadays, there’s a large market for all things vintage and nostalgic. This retro design incorporates an ivory face and glow-in-the-dark minute and hour hands to ensure clear readouts even in the middle of the night.