The tick duration must be positive. If it has a part smaller than a whole millisecond, then the whole duration must divide into one second without leaving a remainder. All normal tick durations will match these criteria, including any multiple of hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds, and sensible nanosecond durations, such as 20ns, 250,000ns and 500,000ns.
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 word horologia (from the Greek ὥρα, hour, and λέγειν, to tell) was used to describe early mechanical clocks,[15] but the use of this word (still used in several Romance languages) [16] for all timekeepers conceals the true nature of the mechanisms. For example, there is a record that in 1176 Sens Cathedral installed a ‘horologe’[17] but the mechanism used is unknown. According to Jocelin of Brakelond, in 1198 during a fire at the abbey of St Edmundsbury (now Bury St Edmunds), the monks 'ran to the clock' to fetch water, indicating that their water clock had a reservoir large enough to help extinguish the occasional fire.[18] The word clock (from the Celtic words clocca and clogan, both meaning "bell"), which gradually supersedes "horologe", suggests that it was the sound of bells which also characterized the prototype mechanical clocks that appeared during the 13th century in Europe.
Wallingford's clock had a large astrolabe-type dial, showing the sun, the moon's age, phase, and node, a star map, and possibly the planets. In addition, it had a wheel of fortune and an indicator of the state of the tide at London Bridge. Bells rang every hour, the number of strokes indicating the time.[22] Dondi's clock was a seven-sided construction, 1 metre high, with dials showing the time of day, including minutes, the motions of all the known planets, an automatic calendar of fixed and movable feasts, and an eclipse prediction hand rotating once every 18 years.[23] It is not known how accurate or reliable these clocks would have been. They were probably adjusted manually every day to compensate for errors caused by wear and imprecise manufacture. Water clocks are sometimes still used today, and can be examined in places such as ancient castles and museums. The Salisbury Cathedral clock, built in 1386, is considered to be the world's oldest surviving mechanical clock that strikes the hours.[24]
Now, RCA Digital Alarm Clock is pretty basic, but for some of us, that’s all we need, right? With a bright, beaming red LED display, you’re certain to rub your eyes and wonder what weird light is pulsating from your nightstand. There’s an alarm indicator and the classic AM/PM light that we all remember from early-2000 models. You can do something different from your late 1990s-inspired clock, and that is change the brightness levels so you don’t completely burn out your retinas.
Howard Miller 625-323 Alton wall clock. Matte black case with shatter-resistant acrylic crystal. White dial and large, easy-to-read black Arabic numerals. Auto Daylight-Savings movement automatically adjusts for Daylight Savings Time. The hands of the clock follow an LCD display on the back of the clock and make corrections to keep the correct time including Daylight Saving Time corrections.

In Europe, between 1280 and 1320, there is an increase in the number of references to clocks and horologes in church records, and this probably indicates that a new type of clock mechanism had been devised. Existing clock mechanisms that used water power were being adapted to take their driving power from falling weights. This power was controlled by some form of oscillating mechanism, probably derived from existing bell-ringing or alarm devices. This controlled release of power—the escapement—marks the beginning of the true mechanical clock, which differed from the previously mentioned cogwheel clocks. Verge escapement mechanism derived in the surge of true mechanical clocks, which didn't need any kind of fluid power, like water or mercury, to work.


In a typical verge-and-foliot escapement, the weighted rope unwinds from the barrel, turning the toothed escape wheel. Controlling the movement of the wheel is the verge, a vertical rod with pallets at each end. When the wheel turns, the top pallet stops it and causes the foliot, with its regulating weights, to oscillate. This oscillation turns the verge and releases the top pallet. The wheel advances until it is caught again by the bottom pallet, and the process repeats itself. The actions of the escapement stabilize the power of the gravitational force and are what produce the ticktock of weight-driven clocks.
This colorful tabletop clock is the perfect addition for any desk, table, or shelf! Crafted of plastic in a rich red finish, this clock showcases a round case with a silver bezel on a rectangular pedestal base measuring 5.5" H x 5.5" W x 2" D overall. The easy-to-read dial features black Arabic numerals over an off-white face, while a battery-operated movement keeps Art Deco-inspired hour, minute, and second hands in time. Rounding out the design, a programmable alarm gets you up in the morning.
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).[2] 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).[3]
There’s a lot of science when it comes to sleeping, and there’s never a short supply of sleep-related tests going on. One of our favorite electronic brands here on Gear Hungry has made the most effective clock (in our humble opinion), and it’s the #8 pick: Philips Wake-Up HF3505. Slow light build mimics the sunrise, and gently pulls you out of a sleep-like trance before hitting you with some serious sound. Between price, effectiveness, and the fact that we didn’t have to chase it around the room (sorry Clocky, we’re not morning people), we absolutely loved this one.
You can choose from an analog styled clock to a digital one. Our alarm clocks can vary from old, retro, 1950 styled clocks to modern 2013. Depending on your desire, we have wind up alarm clocks, clocks that do or do not tick, or clocks with or without a built in radio. We have clocks for children, clocks that run on battery, or ones that plug directly into an outlet.
“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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