They are not particularly handy and do not offer comprehensive multimedia functions – but wall clocks can still be a real asset to your home. This means that the time can be read at a glance without having to take out your mobile phone or even switch on the computer. A wall clock can blend harmoniously into your home as a decorative piece of furniture. In this guide, you will find out what different models are available, which variant is suitable for which room, and what you should also consider when buying a wall clock.
1. Design & types of construction
In addition to its primary function of showing the time, a wall clock is primarily a decorative piece of furniture: it usually has a decisive influence on the overall appearance of a room. Accordingly, you should make sure that it is complimentary and does not stand out negatively. A targeted contrast can in turn give your apartment an individual touch, for example by placing a traditional wall clock in a modern setting. Since countless different designs are available, you should find a suitable model for almost all occasions. Keep in mind, however, that legibility can suffer from unusual colors and shapes. A key question when buying a wall clock should therefore be:
Is functionality in the foreground or should the clock mainly enhance the look of the room?
Depending on how you answer this question for yourself, make sure that the pointers and, if applicable, numbers can be clearly recognized at a short glance from a distance. If the clock is to be installed in the bathroom or outdoors, make absolutely sure that it is appropriately sealed, i.e. resistant to moisture and weather.
1.1 Wall clocks with pointers
The functional principle of wall clocks with hands has not changed for decades: One hand determines the minutes, another the hours, and possibly a third the seconds. In this way, the time can always be determined intuitively using the pointer positions. The ticking emanating from the clockwork is also typical. In terms of design, you will now find a comprehensive range that goes far beyond the classic dial. Depending on whether a fancy look is more important to you than a pragmatic reading of the time, you can choose from numerous shapes, colors and sizes.
Setting wall clocks with pointers is usually very easy with a small wheel on the back. Note, however, that you cannot determine the time precisely – a small difference is practically unavoidable. If you do not want to make this compromise, you should use a radio-controlled model or, alternatively, a digital wall clock.
1.2 LED digital wall clocks
Digital wall clocks are simply a little more prone to failure than their analog counterparts due to their more complex technology. In contrast to devices with a clock face, in which the position of the hands alone allows the time to be recorded, with digital wall clocks you also have to recognize the numbers first – a quick glance out of the corner of your eye is usually not enough. With a digital clock, you don’t need to worry about annoying ticking, which is why these models are particularly suitable for the bedroom. Additional plus points are the time that can be set to the second and, on some models, additional functions such as the date display on the display.
1.3 Pendulum wall clocks & regulators
Pendulum wall clocks inspire in their classic shape with a high-quality and stylish look. However, the pendulum that gives it its name not only looks elegant, but it is also essential for operation (see below for exceptions). How it works can be outlined as follows:
- The oscillations of the pendulum are translated into a cycle in the clockwork.
- In turn, a reaction goes back from the clockwork to the pendulum.
- Due to the mutual stimulation, the clockwork runs at the correct (clock) time.
In traditional models, the pendulum is the key to keeping the mechanism going. In addition, these designs are not operated with electricity, instead, you have to wind the clock by hand at regular intervals.
How long such an elevator lasts varies; A term of eight to 30 days is common. A special form is a so-called regulator: This is the name given to pendulum wall clocks that are installed in a – usually rectangular – housing with a glass front. In addition, there are models with a rotating pendulum: Here the pendulum does not swing from one side to the other but alternately turns left and right around its own axis. The function remains the same.
Nowadays you can of course also buy pendulum clocks with the operation of a practical main. If you benefit from the beautiful look of a pendulum swinging back and forth, but otherwise do not want to forego modern technology, choose pendulum clocks with a quartz movement. Here the pendulum only serves one design aspect and is independent of the clockwork. This is why it sometimes does not vibrate in (seconds) intervals with these models.
2. Striking mechanism & acoustic signals
You will also find a similarly large variety as in the optical design of wall clocks in terms of striking mechanisms and acoustic signals. From the classic Bim-Bam-Schlag over models that let out the right chirping for every bird picture on the clock face to numerous melodies. The following aspects are particularly important in connection with acoustic signals:
- When does the signal sound and can the time be set?
- Can the signal be switched off if necessary?
- How loud is the noise and can it be disturbing – for example in other rooms?
Some wall clocks also offer the option of automatically setting the ringing for a certain period of time, for example at night.
3. Which property is important in which room?
Depending on where you want to hang the clock in your house, the model should meet certain requirements. The following table gives you a corresponding overview:
|room||Features of the wall clock|
|bedroom||Silent operation (analog/digital) No striking mechanism and acoustic signals|
|bathroom||Sealed construction, protected from moisture|
|Outdoor area||Weather resistance|
|Living room / hall / dining room||Optically matching & attractive design Percussion at will|
4. Attachment to the wall
To attach a wall clock to the wall, nails are a great choice. As a guide, one nail holds around five kilograms, which is enough for many models. Also, note the following aspects:
- A (not too) wide head of the nail makes hanging the watch easier.
- Use nails made of unhardened steel for wooden walls and hardened steel for plaster and masonry.
- Only use galvanized nails outdoors to prevent rust.
- About 2/3 of the nail should be hammered into the wall.
- Nails driven in at an angle do not provide a secure hold and should be replaced.
Different nail types work differently depending on where you want to hang your wall clock. At real you will find a large selection of nails. The table below shows you the common types and their respective properties.
|Wire pins||Well suited for wood (walls)|
|Steel pins||Optimal hold in plastered walls and masonry|
|Anchor nails & screw nails||Very stronghold thanks to notches on the shaft Suitable for hard surfaces such as very dry wood|
From a weight of 15 kilograms (or three nails), however, you should use screws and, if necessary, dowels. Always find out about the regulations in your apartment beforehand, because sometimes you are not allowed to drill or nail everywhere. Always pay attention to existing power lines. If possible, you should not use adhesive strips for fastening. Although this is possible in most cases, the watch can often only be removed afterward with great effort. There is also the risk of parts of the plaster or wallpaper being torn off with it.
5. Checklist for wall clock purchase
Before you decide on a particular wall clock, you should be able to answer the following questions for yourself:
- Which is more important: functionality or design ?
- Do you want a clock face or do you prefer a digital display?
- Where should the watch hang and should it have certain properties for this?
- Can the clock be securely attached to the appropriate wall ?
- Should the wall clock emit acoustic signals ?
- Should the time be set wirelessly or manually?
- How is the power supply or the winding mechanism regulated?