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Famous Clocks Around The World

Updated on December 24, 2011

It is believed that the fashion of wearing wrist watches and hanging analog time pieces is fast fading away, primarily due to the amount of digital gadgets available.

However today we see that a clock is the most commonly possessed instrument in the world, whether it's analog, digital or integrated in a gadget, every house has a clock. The tradition of having clocks on towers also continues to progress in many monumental buildings.

Therefore a clock becomes special when it is mounted on a tower or a building. In the past, before the advent of small house clocks, clocks were made to be mounted on either town halls or on tall buildings just for the people to know what time is it. But today they have become a symbol of a particular place.

The Big Ben
The Big Ben | Source

Below given is the list of some famous clocks in the world; some of which are present for more than a century and others are either new or are half a century old.

The Big Ben

The Big Ben is without a doubt the most famous clock in the world. It is located on the house of parliament building in Westminster, London.

The name big Ben is actually the name of the bell located at the tower but the clock along with its bell is generally called Big Ben.

The bell was named after Sir Benjamin Hall who was the first commissioner of works at the time the clock was mounted, which was in 1858.

The clock has a huge 14 feet minutes needle and it self weighs around 13.5 tons. The big Ben is a historical clock which is a symbol of London’s history.

Shepherd Gate Clock, displaying Greenwich Mean Time.
Shepherd Gate Clock, displaying Greenwich Mean Time.

The Shepherd Gate Clock

The shepherd gate clock is the clock from which the standard time zones of all the parts of the world are measured.

The shepherd gate is present in Greenwich London and was first installed in 1852. It provides the Greenwich Mean Time which is the standard measurement of time zones.

Jens Olsen's World Clock
Jens Olsen's World Clock

Jens Olsen's World Clock

Jens Olsen’s world clock is located in Copenhagen City hall and is a magnificent mechanical clock which not only tells the time but also tells about the moon phases, solar eclipses and the length of day and night.

The clock has 12 movements which have nearly 14000 parts. The fastest gear completes a revolution in every ten seconds.

Strasbourg Cathedral Clock
Strasbourg Cathedral Clock | Source

Strasbourg Cathedral Clock

The Strasbourg clock is one of the oldest and the largest clocks in the world. This magnificent clock is located on a cathedral tower of the city of Strasbourg in France. The clock that we see today was actually a rebuilt version of the original clock which was first built in 1352. However the clock stopped working in 1354 and was rebuilt centuries later in 1843.

This clock is not an ordinary clock, in fact it is an automaton which not only calculates time but has a calendar which has a computus which calculates the date of Easter every year and a planetary dial.

The clock has animated characters which make it more interesting. These characters are automated to launch at different times of the day. At 12 30 pm ever day the apostles appear which process in front of the figure of Christ. There is also an angel which turns over a sand glass between time intervals.

The clock it self is nearly 18 feet high. Other features of the clock include a display of Sun, moon and solar and lunar eclipse.

The famous Times Square, New York.
The famous Times Square, New York. | Source

Times Square Clock

The time square clock is located in the Times Square New York City. The clock is one of the most popular and the famous time keeper of the world. Time square it self developed around 1904 and was named after the New York Times since then it has become the symbol of the New York City.

The clock was built half a century ago. The Times Square clock is a digital clock and is located at the centre of the square. Every year people gather around the clock on New Year’s Eve for the countdown towards the New Year.

The Abraj Al Bait Tower Clock
The Abraj Al Bait Tower Clock | Source

The Abraj Al Bait Tower Clock

The recently built Abraj Al Bait towers, during the fall of 2010, in Mecca have broken all the records in the world and stand tall at 600 m in the sky.

The towers are so large that they can accommodate nearly 100,000 people at a time. At the top of these towers is a clock which has also broken all the records and is currently the largest clock in the world. It’s a typical analog clock which is so huge that in front of it Big Ben looks like a wrist watch.


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    • Hamad Irfan profile image

      Hamad Irfan 6 years ago from U.A.E

      Definitely a clock has something more to it, than just telling time. Thanks!

    • LisaKoski profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from WA

      You'd think a clock is just a clock but all of these prove that they can be something more. This is a great topic, especially at this time of year when in about a week we'll all be watching the clock and counting down for 2012.