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Time's Up: The Best Desk and Wall Clocks

Inspired by Christian Marclay’s The Clock, we take a look at the best timepieces for the home.

Christian Marclay's The Clock has a simple but astounding premise: a 24-hour film which tells time through glimpses of clocks, watches and various pieces of horology.

First shown in 2010 and displayed earlier this year at Tate Modern, the film is a meditation on the passage of time: how it dictates and dominates our lives, and the modern quest to find more of what is perhaps the most finite resource.

On a more superficial level, the installation also serves as a tribute to timepieces in all their forms. In an age in which every personal device and household appliance tells the time, it's easy to think of watches and clocks as irrelevant, obsolete objects, on par with the VHS player.

But a wall or desk clock is much more than a simple way of telling the time. The simplicity of having one object to measure your day can rescue you from the distraction that comes with picking up your phone or asking Alexa for a time-check. The best clocks will also imbue your home with a sense of character, be that innovative minimalism or sculptural modernism.

Here, we choose eight of the best design-led wall and desk clocks for the home.

Wondrous Wall Clocks

A simple and yet off-beat choice, with calming round lines.
A playful eye-shaped clock by modernist master George Nelson. Shop his speciality, or get one like it.
Proof that minimalism needn't always mean monochrome.
A time-honoured mid-century design with an industrial edge.

Delectable Desk Clocks

Walnut wood and a hint of the Eames House Bird.
A Swiss-made quartz movement with the famed red second-hand.
A big-bellied design for creative workspaces.
Another from Nelson, this time with a wonderfully three-dimensional shape.