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.
Wall clocks can be anything to anyone. Sure, they are made to tell time and they do that well, and if that was the only reason people wanted a wall clock for their home, there wouldn't be thousands of them offered by Wayfair. From kitchen wall clocks that are functional and decorative to oversized wall clocks to be placed over a grand fireplace paired with high ceilings for strictly decor - there are all kinds of wall clocks in the selection available from Wayfair. Their utility doesn't stop just because they are based on the principle of telling time; in fact, that reality has become a secondary attribute. Considering the array of designs that wall clocks come in, from theme clocks, kitchen wall clocks, clocks with timeless messages, starburst clocks, and so many others, it would take an entire page just to list them! Here are some great styles and uses for them to help guide you through your shopping.
The late Roman statesman Cassiodorus (c. 485–585) advocated in his rulebook for monastic life the water clock as a useful alarm for the 'soldiers of Christ' (Cassiod. Inst. 30.4 f.).[4] The Christian rhetorician Procopius described in detail prior to 529 a complex public striking clock in his home town Gaza which featured an hourly gong and figures moving mechanically day and night.[4]
The Howard Miller Stapleton Oversized 30" Wall Clock is a wonderful accent piece. The elegant design of this wall clock can add a touch of sophistication to any home decor. This oversized wall clock has numeral as well as hour markers. You can mount this wall clock on any wall in your home or office as it has classic design in contemporary style. The clock has brushed nickel finish that blends well with most of the decor. This wall clock has a great design in round shape with round dial and...
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.
In China, a striking clock was devised by the Buddhist monk and inventor Yi Xing (683–727).[5] The Chinese engineers Zhang Sixun and Su Song integrated striking clock mechanisms in astronomical clocks in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively.[6] A striking clock outside of China was the water-powered clock tower near the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, which struck once every hour. It was constructed by the Arab engineer al-Kaysarani in 1154. In 1235, an early monumental water-powered alarm clock that "announced the appointed hours of prayer and the time both by day and by night" was completed in the entrance hall of the Mustansiriya Madrasah in Baghdad.[7]
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.

Clocks have different ways of displaying time, connected to their internal clockwork type. Analog clocks usually indicate time using angles. Digital clocks display a numeric representation of time. Two numeric display formats are commonly used on digital clocks: 24-hour notation and 12-hour notation. Most digital clocks use electronic mechanisms and LCD, LED, or VFD displays. For convenience, distance, telephony or blindness, auditory clocks present the time as sounds. 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. The evolution of the technology of clocks continues today. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.
For some scientific work timing of the utmost accuracy is essential. It is also necessary to have a standard of the maximum accuracy against which working clocks can be calibrated. An ideal clock would give the time to unlimited accuracy, but this is not realisable. Many physical processes, in particular including some transitions between atomic energy levels, occur at exceedingly stable frequency; counting cycles of such a process can give a very accurate and consistent time—clocks which work this way are usually called atomic clocks. Such clocks are typically large, very expensive, require a controlled environment, and are far more accurate than required for most purposes; they are typically used in a standards laboratory.
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.)