Author: 24hourtime

Tim’s DIY 24 hour clock

Tim made this good-looking 24 hour clock:

tims clock

Read more at ferkeltongs.


Van Cleef & Arpels Complication Poetique Midnight Planetarium watch

At $ 250,000, you probably won’t be able to afford the new Midnight Planetarium watch from Van Cleef and Arpels, but you will be able to enjoy this beautiful video of it for free:

As described by pocket-lint:

Not only is it encased in 18ct rose gold and sport double sapphire crystals, it features six of the planets of our solar system orbiting the Sun in real time.

Each of those planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – is itself represented with a precious stone. Aventurine, serpentine, chloromelanite, turquoise, red jasper, blue agate and sugilite have been employed to double as the planets and stars. The Sun is a similar rose gold to the frame.

The strap is made of alligator leather, but beyond the materials used, it is the mechanism inside that is truly spectacular. As each planet orbits the Sun in real time, that means some of them move very slowly indeed. For example, while it will take just three months for Mercury to complete an orbit, Saturn will take 29-and-a-half years.

You can see why Van Cleef & Arpels has stopped at Saturn. Uranus takes 84 years to complete an orbit, while Pluto takes 248. There’s little point having a dial on a watch that you are unlikely to ever see rotate.

Jaquet Droz – The Grande Heure GMT

The Grande Heure GMT from Jaquet Droz has two hands, but both of them are hour hands.

Grande Heure

From the description:

Never before has a watch presented such a clear, effortless indication of two time zones. This technological development is enhanced by the majestic hands in the form of a compass, a detail which hints at the navigational instruments used by sailors of another era. The red hand indicates local time while the blued steel hand shows the time at the destination. When the two hands come together in the same time zone they merge into a single, bicolored indication of the exact time.

How much does it cost? Well, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. (About $25,000, I think.)

Average Days from Mr Jones

I noticed that Mr Jones also made this 24-hour watch, the Average Days model, reminiscent of the Swatch watch, which had the similar idea of showing what you’re up to at different times of the day:


The dial of this watch visualises statistical research into how the average person spends their time. The slot on the hour-disc shows what the average person is doing at that time of the day. You can see at any time how you measure up to this notional individual. 

Professor Jonathan Gershuny, the Director of the Centre for Time Use Research provided us with an updated and customised data set for the activities mapped to the different times of the day for this watch.

It’s another limited edition, so hurry!

Mr Jones Time Traveler watch

From Mr Jones watches, another 24 hour watch, this time one aimed at international travellers. The Time Traveler watch shows the time in 16 different locations of the world at the same time. The time in Paris? Look fo the Eiffel Tower. New York? Find the Statue of Liberty.


 UTC -11
UTC -10
UTC -9
UTC -8    Golden Gate Bridge (USA)
UTC -7    Salt Lake Temple (USA)
UTC -6    Sears Tower (USA)
UTC -5    The Statue of Liberty (USA)
UTC -4    
UTC -3
UTC -2
UTC -1
UTC       Big Ben (England)
UTC +1    Eiffel Tower (France)
UTC +2    Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkey)
UTC +3    Abraj Al-Bait Towers (Saudi Arabia)
UTC +4    Burj Khalifa (Dubai)
UTC +5    Minar-e-Pakistan
UTC +6    Alma-Ata TV Tower (Kazakhstan)
UTC +7    Baiyoke Tower II (Thailand)
UTC +8    Oriental Pearl Tower (China)
UTC +9    Tokyo Skytree (Japan)
UTC +10   Sydney Tower (Australia)
UTC +11
UTC +12   Sky Tower (New Zealand)

It’s another limited edition, so hurry before they sell out. Visit the Mr Jones Web site for details.

The Life-Clock Kickstarter Campaign

Chris Wiegman has set up a Kickstarter campaign to build 24 hour clocks. There’s already an iPhone app, with iPad and Android apps to follow if the campaign is successful.

The basic idea seems to be that you can customize the clock with your activity schedule, around the outside, seeing at a glance how the different activities during the day are organized. This is one of the helpful aspects of the 24 hour dial – we’ve heard from Sylvie about her work in Sweden with the Pajala Klockan.  And the clock designed for Saffron allows you to change the length of the night and day sections.

On the app version, you can change the labelling and colours for the various sectors, or switch between various presets.

For more information about the Life-Clocks project, visit

Train interval indicators

These 24 hour train indicator dials are apparently still to be found in the entrance lobby of the headquarters of the London Underground, at 55 Broadway. They featured in David Heathcote’s TV program looking at London’s 1920s Art Deco heritage, shown recently on on BBC 4.

There’s a separate indicator for each of six main lines running when the building was first opened. It’s possible that one of them is still running today.

Each dial starts at 0600 and runs until 0100, passing through 2400 on the way, and appear to rotate clockwise, past an indicator at the bottom. How they actually indicate the trains is not clear —if anyone knows, please tell us!

Such a modern look wouldn’t be surprising, of course, since Frank Pick had just become managing director of what is now called London Underground. Frank Pick’s preference for the 24 hour time system can be seen in this letter to the London Times, on May 4, 1931:

Sir,– I note that on Wednesday next Lord Newton is to move in the House of Lords for the adoption of the 24-hour clock recommended by the Home Office Committee as far back as 1919. 

To the general inconvenience, we still proceed to reckon time, not by days, but by half-days. This is, perhaps, forced upon our attention most in railway time- tables, for railways run continuously round and round the clock, and in international broadcasting programmes where all times of the day become one time. 

The Underground day, although it has defined limits, is odd, starting about 5 a.m. and closing about 1 a.m., some 20 hours later. Numerous devices of type and symbol are employed for distinguishing anti- and post-meridional time, but they are often uncertain and sometimes clumsy. It would therefore be a gain if the convention of the 24-hour clock, covering the entire day, were commonly adopted so that 2.30 a.m. would be plain 2.30 and 2.30 p.m. would become 14.30.  

On the Underground Railways we should be prepared to make the change. Certainly the transit of the sun across the meridian has no visible significance underground.
For one, however, to change is only a gesture, and has its awkward reactions. If all who use time for time-tables were to change, then we should have rationalized one further detail of living. 

Yours faithfully, 


55, Broadway, Westminster, S.W.1

and again on 7 December 1933:

Sir,–I note the Astronomer Royal’s letter in The Times of December 2. 

As it happens, the London Passenger Transport Board has to consider the reprinting of its time-tables for its railway and coach services, and the problem of distinguishing between a.m. and p.m. once more arises. It seems strange that there should be any reluctance to adopt a proposal which has been found necessary in all those spheres of activity in which exactitude is essential. 

That there is a need for a solution of the problem must be apparent to anyone who studies time-tables. For it will be found that all kinds of typographical devices are used in an attempt to avoid any confusion between a.m. times and p.m. times. 

I therefore once more urge that we should now adopt a common practice in this matter. Once it is adopted and made a common practice,no more, I am sure, will be heard in criticism of it. 

Yours faithfully,  


55, Broadway, Westminster, S.W. 1

More details of how Britain tried and failed to adopt the 24 hour clock can be found in the ebook: Counting Time.

Mr. Jones Satellite 24 Hour Mystery Dial Limited Edition

From Watchismo comes news of the wonderfully-named Mr. Jones Satellite 24 Hour Mystery Dial Limited Edition watch.

Satellite is the first 24 hour watch from Mr. Jones, which means the hour hand makes one complete revolution of the dial in 24 hours.  The watch has an unconventional arrangement of hour and minute hands: the slow moving hour marker sits outside the the minutes.  This was inspired by the movement of celestial bodies: the more distant a planet is from the center of gravity the longer its orbit takes.  

Each hour is marked by a bright color and these colors follow a regular six hour pattern, so you can learn to read the time intuitively and at a glance.

However, this is a limited edition – only 100 pieces made – so if you want one, hurry up!