31 Types of Clocks and Their Differences

Talking about types of clocks can be a very long discussion. Humans have been developing various methods for determining time since thousands of years ago and creating many tools.

Table of Contents

The most accurate one was invented by Christian Huygens in 1656 and followed by most people until now.

Through the ages, the timepieces continue to develop under the function and purpose. To simplify the discussion, we will review 5 different types of clocks and their derivatives.

The following are some of them:

Mechanism of the Clocks

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Types of clocks can be divided based on the mechanism in them. Some of them are made with different propulsion devices, for example with electricity, gear, and so on.

The following are some of them:

Pendulum Clock

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The hands can move because of the pendulum as a timekeeping tool. This swinging part is a harmonic oscillator that continues to move regularly over the same period.

Thus, the time shown is consistent and nearly correct.

This kind of timepiece was invented by Christian Huygens in 1656. However, he was not the first inventor.

Actually, this particular design was previously thought up by Galileo Galilei in 1637 but never finished.

Until recently, the pendulum was the benchmark for other types of clocks made around the world.

The pendulum can continue to swing because of the gear train inside. Sometimes the performance is affected due to thermal problems that make it imperfect.

So, if this occurs, then it’s crucial to perform changes and recover the balance.

Atomic Clock

ATOMIC CLOCKS: Precision and Stability of Clocks | HboiAcademy

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These types of clocks are one of the mainstays of today’s society. The reason is that atomic can update its own time so that the owner doesn’t have to bother doing manual settings.

Also, the time disclosed is reliable and can vary according to the time region.

The atomic clock uses the electron transition to display time internationally and updates it continuously.

Usually, the data displayed is in digital form. It is commonly found on cellphones, laptops, and other gadgets.

Battery Powered

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Battery-powered is also the most common variety. They considered practical because of the portability.

Besides, its use is also energy efficient and can last quite a long time. The power source is affordable and doesn’t require complicated installation.

These types of clocks are divided into two, namely rechargeable and disposable. The first is widely used because the energy can be recharged with electric power.

Unfortunately, the rechargeable battery type is generally much costly at the moment of shopping. As for the disposable one, the price is cheaper but you have to buy a new one if the energy runs out.


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Aside from batteries, there are types of clocks that are electric. Thus, you only need to attach it to power for it to work.

Besides, with its fashionable figure, you can make it as an additional decoration in the room. Unfortunately, many people find these types of clocks impractical because it cannot update the time.

If there is a blackout, the tool will not work, and after that, you have to reset the time displayed there.

Quartz Movement

Quartz clock - Wikipedia

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This system began to develop in 1927 and became a costly invention at that time. The clock’s hands move with an electronic oscillator.

In addition, the quartz crystals act as an electronic oscillator that keeps it running.

Quartz movement is one of the types of clocks mechanism found on wall timepiece and watches.

Initially, this invention was considered too exclusive, but it became popular in the 1980s due to its affordable price.


LED USB Fan Clock

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Some types of clocks also use a USB connection to indicate the time. How to use it is easy as the only thing you should do is plugging it into the laptop.

Moreover, the advantage of this system is that it is very portable so that it is easy to carry everywhere.

The examples of these types of clocks are those that functioned as laptop fan. When you plug them on the USB, the fan will spin and show you the time.

Types of Clocks Based on Their Function

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The conditions of each location are different from one another that the devices used are also not the same. This is true of the clock. Here are some of them you should know:


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Among the many types that we know, one of the most common is the wall clock.

We usually meet them in various locations, from homes, offices, restaurants, and others. It has easy installation, namely by sticking it on the wall.

So far, we are familiar with two types of wall clocks. The first type is standard sized, in which we usually encounter daily.

The second is the oversized one that is strategically-placed in public locations. Its jumbo size enables us to see the time displayed even from a distance.

On the Table

Oliviana Table Clock

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Unlike the wall-type, a table clock is more private and accessible only by people who use the table. We can commonly find it in the office, where employees need the time information quickly.

As they are on the table, these types of clocks usually have a small but stylish design.

Apart from its function to see the time, some people also use it as a table decoration. Therefore, you may find some unique shapes for these timepieces.

Maritime Clock

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Clocks are not only used in homes, offices, or public places. Several other locations, such as ships, also require accurate time access. However, to match your needs, there are several related features added.

Some examples are the weather station and maritime clock that also contains information about humidity, weather conditions, and even wind direction.

Some of them also have information about the condition in certain areas.


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These types of clocks are among the most widely used. For today’s society, alarms are a mainstay feature to remind us of a predetermined schedule.

When the moment arrives, this tool will be a reminder so that we don’t miss it.

The reminder used is generally a ringtone or music you can set to wish. Most of it is the type of digital clocks that show more accurate numbers than the analog one.

Currently, everyone uses these models as daily needs.


Cuckoo.rocks - Chalet cuckoo clock

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The cuckoo may not be new because it has been in use for a long time. These types of clocks are iconic objects from Germany and then flourished in other countries.

Apart from showing the time, they also have a cuckoo call that rings every hour.

This thing has a small door containing a miniature cuckoo bird that will make a sound every hour. Before it sounds, the little door will open, and the little bird comes out as if calling out to everyone present.


Outdoor Clocks by Dans Clocks | Outdoor clock, Garden clocks, Outdoor wall clocks

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Time access is not only needed when indoors. Nevertheless, if you place it outward, the clock may become disabled due to the climate. Therefore, it takes safeguards to protect the machine inside.

Nowadays, there are many types of clocks design that can withstand the environmental impacts. The designs are also very diverse to fit needs as outdoor decorations.


Pin on Contemporary Floor Clocks || Hermle

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There are several unique types of clocks placed on the floor. Usually, a model like this stands high and is used as a decoration as well.

The advantage of using this timepiece is that it is portable, so it is easy to move as needed.


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Among the many types of old clocks, one of the most classic is the grandfather. This object is so large that it can stand alone in the room. The design is so antique that it is said to have high artistic value.

Most Grandfather clocks use pendulums for timing. Therefore, the design is made very exclusively with high-quality materials to protect the swinging part. No wonder the price can be so costly.

That is why this particular clock often being pass down from families.


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The existence of watches as part of the types of clocks is debatable because of their un-displayed use. However, there is nothing wrong if we review a little about this sort of fashion item.

It also has the same concept overall. The distinction is that its elements are tinier and simpler to support its portable use.

For more details, check out the different types of clocks and watches pictures throughout this next review.

Based on the Feature

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Apart from usage and mechanism, types of clocks can also be divided based on the features in them. Some timepieces have supporting facilities so that they have more functions.


Digital clock - Wikipedia

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This type is well-known because it makes the reading process easier. It displays very accurate time in digital form so that we don’t have to bother reading the numbers pointed by the clock hands.

For decades, there have been numerous types of digital clocks produced. Generally, they do not stand alone but are accompanied by other features such as alarms, dates, days, and so on.


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In today’s era, people’s needs for information and data are indeed more complex than before.

This fact also affects the features that complement the clocks. The existence of a calendar turns out to be very useful for determining user schedules.

Generally, a device equipped with this feature is digital in which data displayed in numeric form.

These types of clocks are very suitable for use in offices or locations that require fast time information.


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In order not to be boring, several types of clocks also include entertainment facilities for users. One of the commonly known is the use of radio.

Not just looking at a series of numbers on the screen, the tool will also let you navigate the ocean of frequencies with ease.

Because it has audio features, usually the clock radio is also equipped with a settable alarm. There are several unique designs available in various stores, complete with all other facilities.

Analog Clocks


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Analogs are non-digital types of clocks that accurately display time. This classic tool displays numbers complete with dots representing the minutes and seconds.

These timepieces usually have 2-3 hands in one device that still points to the minutes and seconds. You can find them in offices, schools, or other public places.

Light Sensor

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Most of the clocks make noise during work. This is sometimes considered very annoying, especially at night or when the atmosphere is quiet.

If you are the one who has trouble with this, then a light sensor is the best choice.

These types of clocks will only sound when there is an incoming light stimulus. When the lights go out, and no light available, the appliance will automatically stop working.

The good news is, most of the light sensors are designed to be self-adjusting so that you don’t have to bother adjusting the time again.

Memo Board

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Some timepieces do have unique designs. One that you can try is the memo board types of clocks where you can insert any message on the screen.

The posts displayed can be set with the features provided. Nonetheless, there is some boundary for the writing words there.

In this way, you can create a good mood for yourself and those around you. This clock is generally designed digitally and is equipped with various other interesting facilities such as an alarm or calendar.

Roman Numerals

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The numbers displayed on the clock are a matter of taste. If you are reluctant about anything standard, then try using this sort of timekeeper.

These types of clocks display the time in Roman numerals. Neither function nor mechanism differs from ordinary numbers but in appearance.

Automatic Chime Shutoff

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As is known, several hours make noise while working. It is disturbing when night comes. Of course, we don’t want our sleep to be disturbed just because of the loud sound that tolls at midnight.

Therefore, using automatic chime shutoff is an attractive option. These types of clocks are equipped with controls that will cause them to shut down at a particular time.

There are various ways to adjust it, for example, with a light sensor or manual system.

Big Font

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Some clocks are designed to have a display with super large fonts so that anyone can see the information there without bothering.

This kind of model is suitable to be placed in a room filled with visually impaired people.

Some public places also use it so that many people can see the time even from afar. Besides the tables, you can find it at the airport, main road, or other locations.


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Apart from radio, musical clocks can also be an attractive option for those of you who like entertainment. Generally, this type has a playlist that is packaged with the factory settings.

But lately, there’s type of clock whereas you can compose your list. Using it at your desk will improve your mood and also comfortable atmosphere.

Physical Shape

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Besides aesthetic purpose, the design of the clock can be according to their function and purpose. A rounded may have different from a rectangular one in terms of usage.

Meanwhile, size also does matter. Here are a few of them:


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These types of clocks are popular all over the world, especially for those that are attached to the wall. The shape is simple but never out of date.

Besides, this form is also easy to combine with various conditions of the room and place.


Wall Clock Future Time FT1010BK Square black 40cm - Future-Time.eu

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Round clocks are the most popular, but unfortunately, they cannot just stand on the table. There must be support that allows it to make it stable.

Hence, for the non-sticky model, the square is much more desirable. Plus, the design displayed also seems classy and suitable for all conditions.


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The rectangle model is not much different from the square one. But it has a longer size to enable more information displayed.

These types of clocks are perfect for timepieces that have many features, such as date, day, weather, and so on.


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They are types of clocks that generally have various and unique forms. It doesn’t have to be following the shape of the room.

The designs can be inspired by fruit, vegetables, or other objects that don’t have regular shapes.

Apart from its function as a timepiece, the novelty type is also for aesthetic reasons. The more unique and beautiful the shape, the more people will choose it as a complement to the decoration.

Out of the Box Timepieces

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Even though all timepieces have the same concept, some of them are unusual and difficult to categorize. There are at least two types of clocks based on their uniqueness.

Day Clock

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Everyone probably agrees that a clock always shows hours, minutes, and seconds. However, this opinion is not entirely correct.

Some people in the world design clocks to show the day. Thus, it displays the name of the seven days of the week instead of the number.


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These types of clocks are all about art. It has a spiral display in which each circle shows the numbers are getting smaller and smaller.

Nevertheless, it is composed in such a method that each circle point at the same time. Generally, this kind of model functions as decoration or gift for others.


From those explanations, you’ll aware that there are numerous types of clocks across the globe. Indeed, not all of them are familiar with our daily lives.

But this diversity seems to prove that time is a crucial thing in our lives. So, which types of clocks do you have at home?