Meet Skyclock:

Twilight awareness – the gift of time.
Skyclock is twilight, sunrise, and sunset times on an analog face for your exact location.

Skyclock, for both the iPhone and the PC (Windows only), has a 24 hour mode that makes a lot more sense to me than the 12 hour ‘conventional’ mode.

Skyclock for iPhone

Skyclock for iPhone

Find the iPhone on the iTunes App Store (it’s free, ad-supported) and go to Skyclock for the PC version.

I feel it’s similar to the more minimal Sol for the iPhone, but sadly that seems to have disappeared from the App store.

The Willis World Clock

This is the Willis World Clock in the London Science Museum.


I’ve not found out much about it, or who Willis was, but I did find a reference to a smaller versionin a 1939 copy of Flight magazine (here) and I presume the description is mostly valid for this version too:

The operation of this clock is extremely simple, with a twenty-four-hour moving disc in the centre and a separate minute hand below. The main face of the clock is laid out in sectors, with the names of all the more important countries and cities in the world indicated by arrows, and the time for each particular place is merely read cif against the appropriate arrow. The timing disc itself is clearly marked in a.m. and p.m. sections, so that, even when the twenty-four method of reading is not being used, there is no possibility of error. Those countries and cities where “summer time” arrangements are in force are printed separately in red type. For example, Great Britain and France have two positions, one at Greenwich time and one, for the summer season, on the mid-European time arrow.

Needless to say, such a clock will be useful in working out E.T.A.s which are likely to be at or near nightfall, and also for timing the reception of both weather broadcasts and others required for D/F bearings. The world clock is obtainable from J. H. Willis and Company, Ipswich Road, Norwich, and the aircraft or small marine type, for instrument-board mounting, is priced at 137s. 0d.

One of these – non-functioning, I think – was sold on eBay recently. You could have bought it for just £13.

More iPhone clocks and watches

A few more 24 hour iPhone applications are appearing in the iTunes App Store. If you want to check any of these out, let me know how they work – I have no idea.

Here’s a familiar sight: the famous Shepherd Gate Clock at Greenwich, London. The Shepherd Gate Clock (this link is a link to the App Store) costs a modest dollar. I’m assuming that this is a genuine 24 hour analog clock. The time here is 20:10. It’s going to look a bit odd at midnight, with that sunlit brick wall…


This next one is a puzzle. It’s called iWatch, and it features an attractive rendering of three watches, including this Patek Phillippe watch with a 24 hour rotating dial. What looks like the hour hand is really the minute hand, and what looks like the minute hand is really the second hand. So the time on this picture is about 04:18:49.


(I’m not a big fan of the design, to be honest. The map is coarse, and that font isn’t attractive.) The real puzzle, though, is why this app is suddenly no longer available on the App Store, now that I want to provide a link to it.

The next app, nHands Clock, is a useful clock that lets you add as many hours hands as you like, with colour and labels of your choice. It’s a clever way of showing you the different time zones of people you know:


Finally, this excellent app is called 25h:


The idea is simple:

Feeling overstretched? 24 hours in a day is not enough? Then 25h is a clock for you.

Trick yourself into having 25 hours in a day. Get things done faster and have an extra “hour” for yourself.

Note that 25h does not modify time–space continuum (or your biological clock) to give you an extra hour. It simply makes the rest of your hours appear a little shorter so that enough time is saved for an additional shorter “hour” at the end of the day.

I know some people who set their watches fast – this is an interesting alternative.

How to grow clocks

I stumbled across an interesting piece on YouTube recently. It has only a passing relevance to this site, but it was too cool to ignore. It’s from a contributor called cdk007, whose presentation is part video, part lecture, and part software demonstration. It explores an idea that was made famous by the Reverend William Paley, an 19th century English clergyman, who argued that, just as watches are too complicated to have arisen spontaneously and must have been fabricated by a watchmaker, so life on earth must have been made by an intelligent designer. The ‘blind watchmaker’ analogy has been explored both by evolutionists as an example of an illogical and fallacious argument in favour of some god-like creator figure, and by creationists as a – perhaps initially – plausible objection to evolution. Most famously, Richard Dawkins has persuasively argued the Darwinian side, pointing out, in his ‘Blind Watchmaker’, that the forces of natural selection can produce amazing complexity.

cdk007 isn’t content to just point out the illogicalities of the creationist argument, though. He goes one step further, and examines the argument using a software simulation. I love the way his collection of mating clocks with mutating genomes manage to enter ‘the age of pendulums’, before evolving further into four-handed clocks.


The clocks grown by the simulation manage to evolve – you guessed – a 24 hour dial! Notice here the number of seconds on the left-most dial – 86,817 is close to the number of seconds in a 24 hour day.


The video can be seen here.