Technology has surely come a long way since the first computer was introduced in the 1940s. Nowadays, we are able to access every piece of information we need, right at the tip of our fingers. Need a reminder? Who needs a personal secretary when your smartphone can do just that for you? Fancy a new pair of shoes? You can purchase online via your smartphone. You don’t even need special equipment to find out how well you do in sports since a wristwatch can do the work just fine in telling you where or what to improve.
Just like any other aspect of our life, telling time has also gone a tremendous improvement. From using the sun and moon in telling time, we can now access such information on a wristwatch or a phone. However, there’s one time-telling tool that just never runs out of style. In fact, they remain as relevant as ever, no matter how many luxury watches or smartphones we have: the wall clocks.
Some of the most notable watch brands we know, such as Breguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin, have been — to this day — producing clocks for discerning clients. While these brands are mostly known for their starkly-priced timepieces, it’s impossible not to associate them with clocks in general. After all, the innovations we know today all came from the rich history of time itself.
From sundials to clock towers and pendulum clocks, the luxury of being able to tell time surely is a fascinating subject to discuss. But we’re not here to bore you with the comprehensive details of the time in the making. Let’s just focus on one of the core instruments of timekeeping, wall clocks.
A Constant Reminder of Time
These timeless items can be seen almost everywhere — from the household, down to a public establishment. Wall clocks serve as a staple, not only as a functional item but also in the design aspect. It’s not hard to figure out why people still prefer owning a wall clock.
Firstly, they’re always present especially if strategically placed around the house. It’s also not something one can just lose. Designed to run for a very long time, changing batteries shouldn’t even be a problem at all. These are just a few reasons why we still wall clocks everywhere despite time being more accessible on our wrist.
The Importance of a Wall Clock
Clocks can be a unifying theme in the whole interior design of a place. A wall clock also gives a group of people a unifying sense of time that a wristwatch or smartphone simply can’t give. That’s why a lot of luxury watch brands still manufacture clocks to this day. Despite the already thriving industry of luxury watches, the market still demands good-old wall clocks.
For instance, the Swiss luxury brand Omega still produces special timepieces to this day. The brand offers bespoke clocks that marries together a personal flair and Swiss clock-making heritage. When most brands now only focus on wristwatches, Omega chooses to value the brand’s rich heritage by providing this kind of service to its clientele. And where most wall clocks lack, Omega makes sure that they apply the same excellence seen in their wristwatches to their clocks.
Another brand that unrelentingly provides people with a piece of their heritage is Jaeger‑LeCoultre. Atmos clocks, temperature-powered clocks, are still available for purchase today. This proves that great innovations not only last long but also conveys a piece of the brand’s history.
10 Luxury Wall Clocks to Covet for Your Home or Office
1. Patek Philippe
It’s impossible to talk about luxury timepieces without mentioning Patek Philippe. As one of the oldest manufacturers of timepieces, the brand has a rich history that dates back to 1839. While the company started out making pocket watches, the Patek Philippe is also known for producing clocks that are mostly only available via auction due to rarity.
There are many things Patek Philippe is known for, such as being the brand to make the first-ever Swiss wristwatch. They also patented a keyless winding and hand-setting system. This feat proved innovative not only for the brand but also for the watch industry in itself. They also boast being the patent-holder for the perpetual calendar mechanism, as well as double chronographs.
The brand headlines creating timepieces that can be passed from one generation to another. This is most probably due to the fact that the brand has been family-owned since 1932. The brand’s popular motto — “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” — became a popular reference for many.
As a well-loved brand of timepieces, Patek Philippe naturally decided to produce clocks themselves. While the brands mostly manufacture table clocks today, there are still Patek wall clocks available for purchase through auctions. The company takes great pride in their timepieces that they apply artisan skills to boost their value.
Like most brands in this list, wall clocks from Patek Philippe come from the retailers themselves, as part of marketing efforts to promote a new watch. Owning a Patek Philippe wall clock is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people since it is rare, given only to authorized dealers or retailers all over the globe. Take the Patek Philippe World Time wall clock that’s modelled after the timepiece of the same wristwatch (reference 5110) that was distributed by Patek Philippe on their boutiques to promote the launch of the said watch.
Breguet’s history is so rich, starting from the feats achieved by its founder Abraham-Louis Breguet. Being founded by the leading watchmaker of his generation, Breguet boasts a line of timepieces that is revered by many collectors and enthusiasts to this day. The brand has been producing various clocks that are rare enough to gain great attention at auctions.
The Breguet’s most popular timepiece, perhaps, is the Sympathique clock. This table clock is built on the innovations made by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself in 1793. It usually comes with a watch that automatically wounds and sets daily when placed into the recess on top of the clock. Made from bronze, it truly is a luxurious piece that gives a classic, almost royal feel. The clock’s movement comes with a constant-force chronometer escapement and displays not only the time but also the day, month, date as well as phases and age of the moon. Moreover, it also has a thermometer in Celsius and a drawer that holds an 18K yellow gold magnifying glass and screwdriver along with a key to reset the time and calendar.
While the Sympathique clock is truly a majestic timepiece to own, wall clocks made by Breguet are also popular among enthusiasts. Some clocks are produced for retailers and are later sold to clients. Other clocks by Breguet were made to pay homage to the brand’s classic models and are placed on concert halls around the world. One of the most iconic clocks that you can see to this day is a giant tourbillon clock at Carnegie Hall in New York.
There are Breguet wall clocks available at auctions today. One of the most popular designs you’ll recognise is a Reine de Naples 8908 wall clock. The clock, as seen at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, is an egg-shaped clock with a moon phase window and dial. The watch that the clock referenced was a timepiece commissioned by the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat from A.L. Breguet.
3. Vacheron Constantin
Founded by independent watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is one of the oldest, most successful watch manufacturers on our list. The brand boasts a long history of innovative feats, as well as a line of reliable artisan timepieces. Just like the other entries on our list, Vacheron Constantin only produces clocks for marketing or showroom purposes. While they are not official products of the brand, many collectors still adore the simplicity and straightforward quality seen on their wall clocks.
The brand heralded the world’s first watch complication in 1790 that began what we witness today. It also created the first-ever timepiece that withstands magnetic fields through a complete lever assortment using only anti-magnetic materials. If that’s not enough, the company is the first to receive the Geneva Seal or the Hallmark of Geneva for its timepieces.
Now more than ever, the innovations made by Vacheron Constantin make a huge difference in the industry that’s why a lot of people look forward to owning just about anything signed with the brand’s name. For this reason and despite not being official products from the brand, a lot of collectors are on the lookout for Vacheron Constantin wall clocks that they could put up in their office or homes.
Some of the most recognisable wall clocks you might find on auctions are modelled after the brand’s most iconic watches. For instance, Bonhams auctioned off a metal perpetual calendar wall clock signed by Vacheron Constantin for HKD 25,500 that looks very similar to a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony watch. It has triangular markers for 3, 9, and 12 o’clock and a date window at 6 o’clock that cuts the marker to a trapezoidal shape. It’s also shaped like a large watch head that makes a quirky addition to its design aspect.
Unlike the other brands on this list, perhaps, Omega is the only brand that offers wall and desk clocks in their catalogue. Albeit not outright, they offer special services that make it possible for clients to own an Omega wall clock. There are also advertising clocks available online through auctions that could even be a tad less expensive than official wall clocks from the brand.
One can’t mention Omega without having to dabble into its rich history that relates to NASA’s space explorations. The company has a long affiliation with the military, as well as aeronautics. The brand was the official timekeeper for Britain’s Royal Flying Corps and the US Army for its combat units. It was also the brand that equipped Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the historic lunar landing in 1969 with Omega Speedmaster watches. And while the brand boasts such affiliation with history, they also take pride in accompanying James Bond since 1995. Among the brand’s clientele include recognisable names, such as John F. Kennedy, George Clooney, Elvis Presley, and Prince William.
With such a rich history, Omega gained a massive following and fanbase that makes it one of the most popular brands of all time. That’s why it’s not such a hard path to follow as they create an even wider array of timepieces to cater to the market’s demands. Through a special service, Omega offers to create and preserve wall clocks made by them.
Wall clock designs from Omega range from vintage to Art Deco and even a bit of industrial due to the nature of their usage. They also come in mechanical or quartz movements. To own an Omega clock truly proves a privilege when it comes to horological standards. The rarity of their items is mostly due to the owners refusing to unload or sell their timepieces, making it an even more valuable piece to own.
Founded in Villeret, Switzerland, Blancpain started out as a small workshop by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain. From a small workshop on the upper floor of his house, the brand grew to a legendary house today that many people adore for their preservation of historic designs and concepts.
One of the many achievements the brand boasts is the world’s smallest moon-phases display they produced in 1983. The brand also made the world’s thinnest self-winding chronograph and the smallest minute-repeater movement in 1987. At the time, it was an unparalleled innovation that pushed other brands to compete. In more recent times, Blancpain manufactured the world’s first self-winding tourbillon and perpetual calendar that has an eight-day power reserve.
Today, the brand has several notable models that are known in and out of the industry. The Blancpain Villeret collection includes timepieces that pay homage to the beginnings of the brand. Blancpain included previous design codes they followed to create a truly timeless piece. This design is embodied in a typical advertising watch that’s scattered on their retailers and boutiques. It’s also typical to find a wall clock from Blancpain designed after another notable model, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback.
“A crown for every achievement,” Rolex says in their motto. This proves true given the history of the brand. This iconic brand is known to everyone as the ultimate luxury watch. Many people turn to Rolex when they’re looking for an extra special gift for themselves or for other people. Having one is almost equivalent to big celebrations and great milestones in life. After all, not everyone can afford the brand’s rich line of timepieces.
It’s not that hard to tell why Rolex watches are so popular. Firstly, the brand is the first to earn chronometer certification for a wristwatch in 1910. The brand’s Oyster case also became popular since its launch in 1926. Rolex is also the brand to turn to when it comes to popularising automatic date change on a watch’s dial with the Rolex Datejust in 1945. Its timepieces are proof of the brand’s legacy with iconic models such as the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Daytona that’s popularly known even today as the Paul Newman watch.
It’s not a far off a decision for the brand to produce wall clocks. However, there’s no official word whether or not Rolex released wall clocks throughout its history. However, there are a lot of authentic Rolex wall clocks flocking auctions today. Most of them are clocks from showrooms, boutiques, or retailers that somehow end up in the hands of collectors, and others are made by Rolex for other organisations. Take the 1965 Pan-Am Rolex electric-powered wall clock that is also a certified chronometer as seen signed on the dial of the clock. Other Rolex watches are not made by Rolex. Instead, they hire third-party companies to provide wall clocks for their dealers and boutiques.
Most of the wall clocks you’ll find that are signed by Rolex are designed after iconic models such as the Daytona or the Datejust. These models exemplify the true Rolex aesthetic that a lot of people adore.
7. Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet changed the watchmaking industry for good with their groundbreaking innovation. True to the company’s slogan, they have truly mastered time and broke it entirely especially with the launch of the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch. Of course, the credit also goes to storied designer Gerald Genta who crafted the Royal Oak design just overnight and launched only a year after its conception.
The Royal Oak is known to many as the first luxury sports watch. The timepiece with a design that’s inspired by a diver’s helmet is the brand’s response to the Quartz Crisis in the ’70s. It began the long history of steel watches. At the time of its conception, watches are only either dainty or made of gold. However, a demand for a new, unprecedented timepiece became an inspiration for the company to tap Genta to design the timepiece. This would not only be the pillar of the brand’s reputation as a disruptive force in the watch industry but also in Genta’s career.
With Royal Oak making way for steel luxury sports watches, a lot of brands with their own models followed, including the Patek Philippe Nautilus that also credits Genta as its designer. With Genta’s genius and Audemars Piguet’s strategies, the Royal Oak is known today as an iconic timepiece that helped a lot of Swiss brands survive through the Quartz Crisis. This model is so iconic that the brand’s showroom and boutique wall clocks are designed after it.
There are various iterations of the Royal Oak wall clock that you can find being sold at auctions and by online retailers today. One is a unique wall perpetual calendar clock with a day, month, and date subdial as well as a moon phase. Others are the carbon copy of the iconic Royal Oak watch with the tapestry pattern.
Clocks have always been a part of Piaget’s history. The brand started out as a workshop in the Piaget family farm by Georges Edouard Piaget in 1874. His company crafted pocket watches and precision clocks. In 1911, when Timothée — Georges Edouard’s son — took over the company, the focus of the brand shifted to wristwatches, which were a huge demand at the time.
The brand has proven its stature as one of the most sought-after watchmakers even from the very beginning. It’s one of the pioneer brands who created ultra-thin movements that to this day remain a pillar in the industry. The brand boasts having won various awards for watch designs such as the Altiplano, Emperador, and Piaget Polo S Chronograph.
But the brand remains true to its roots to this day. Instead of completely forgetting its beginnings as a clock manufacturer, the brand takes its most iconic wristwatch designs and applies them to clocks. While Piaget mostly produces desk clocks, history states that the brand also manufactured wall clocks for its dealers and retailers.
Most wall clocks from the watch carry the same architecture as the Limelight watches with its Roman numeral indexes and overall minimalist look. Other clocks include three subdials that serve as timezone dials with cities marking each one and telling its time.
Hublot started out with a disruptive choice of material for a wristwatch. Its earliest history recalls the use of natural rubber, which is a first at the time. This carries on the brand’s most iconic watch yet, that is the Hublot Big Bang. But more than these models, the company, owned by LVMH, is a prominent name for its innovations especially with detecting counterfeit watches.
Hublot is responsible for the iconic Big Bang timepiece that most would assume is a chaotic mixture of different materials. The Big Bang watch is a memento of how differences can also be good. As a brand that focuses so much on sponsoring sports events, the Big Bang is a good reminder that timepieces need to be as pleasing as it is functional.
The models’ popularity pushed the brand to manufacture wall clocks that are designed after it, given for marketing purposes not only to boutiques and retailers but also to prominent names and brand ambassadors. The iconic Hublot Big Bang wall clock can be seen in all its 80 branches all over the world.
Heading over to Germany, we find Junghans, a watch and clock manufacturer founded in 1861. The brand is mostly known for its Bauhaus designs, as they worked with acclaimed designer Max Bill. The partnership between Junghans and Bill lasted for many years and the legacy of the Max Bill clocks and watches are, to this day, celebrated by many enthusiasts and critics. In fact, Max Bill wall clocks can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Junghans has a long history of making timepieces that not only conform to modern standards but also embrace its roots. Aside from the Max Bill Bauhaus watches and clocks, the brand also manufactured pendulum box clocks that are popular to this day. Many of the brand’s clocks are sold at auctions. They all carry different aesthetics that make them such a wonder, not only to own but also to watch. The apt designs for the watch can definitely fit just about any home or office interior anyone puts it in.
How to Pick the Perfect Wall Clock
Clocks function not only as a timekeeping device but also as design statements. That’s why despite technological innovations, they remain relevant to our time. We still value the presence of a reliable wall clock. With that said, it makes sense to choose a clock with certain standards. Here are some things you should keep in mind when choosing the right wall clock for your home or office.
When you’re looking for the perfect wall clock to put up in your house or office, the brand is almost the first thing you should be looking for. Not only because of the opulence a brand provides but also the track record of quality they provide through their products. While it’s very tempting to buy just any watch out there, consider taking a look at clocks from luxury brands such as Blancpain, Omega, or Junghans. These brands and many others have a greater probability of providing not only aesthetically pleasing additions to your room but also reliable timepieces.
2. Clock Design
If you can’t decide on the brand of the clock, you may start your journey by nailing down the design you want in a clock. Identify the concept you want. People most commonly want either minimalists, Art Deco, or vintage watches, especially with recent trends. But there are other styles you might want to explore such as contemporary, industrial, or perhaps Scandinavian. These designs are making a renaissance along with other retro concepts.
Learning the material of the clock also helps a great deal when it comes to choosing the right item. After all, a clock will remain on your walls mostly untouched for long periods of time. It takes a lot of maintenance to deal with certain materials. You may choose more expensive materials such as gold or bronze, but you may also opt for strong ones such as steel and titanium. Plastic wall clocks do exist as well — and flocks the market, too — but they don’t give as much of a luxurious feel as the other materials mentioned.
4. Interior Design
A clock becomes part of the room where you put it in. So before you make that purchase, make sure that the clock fits perfectly with the room’s interior design. From the colour of the wall to the furniture sets, make sure that every piece in the room is cohesive. A clock that doesn’t fit a room’s aesthetic might make it stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Not all clocks are created equal. Just like wristwatches, wall clocks have different movements powering them through. Whether it’s quartz or a mechanical movement (or in the case of the Atmos clock, temperature), it makes a huge deal of what type of movement makes your clock work. Quartz is more common for wall clocks because it doesn’t need to be wound every now and then. It also proves reliable in longer periods as well as a more inexpensive choice.
Perhaps this is the most important trait you should be looking for, especially from wall clocks made by luxury watch brands. Always check for authenticity even if you end up with a wall clock that isn’t an official product of the brand. These clocks are mostly distributed by the brand to retailers or boutiques for marketing or display purposes. Some boutiques sell these clocks and oftentimes end up in an auction. A lot of counterfeits and knockoffs are scattered all around the Internet and it’s easy to be fooled especially if you don’t see an item in person. Make sure you’re buying from a reliable source and if possible, ask for expert opinions on it. Forums are flocked by a lot of experts who would help in identifying whether or not a clock is authentic.
History of Time on Walls
Many people would prefer referring to smartphones or wristwatches for on-the-go situations. But a wall clock will always be there, waiting for us at the comfort of our homes or at the pillars of our offices. It will always be a vital part of any establishment, be it private or public. It represents unadulterated time and brings together the different relative perceptions we have of time as individuals.
At the end of the day, wall clocks are not just mere decorations. While the design is a huge part of why they still exist, their function still serves a great purpose, even with new technologies arising. Perhaps one of the reasons is the legacy of the luxury watch brands that paved the way for time to be accessible. The history of these brands, and time in general, all paint a picture with just a wall clock. That’s why a lot of brands exert efforts in preserving their vintage timepieces like what Omega does. It’s not every day that we see a piece of history in our homes that serves its ultimate purpose for the next generations to admire and adore.