Five Unique Outdoor Clocks from America to the UK and Japan

Most of us have to check the time on our watches, smart phones or other devices at regular points throughout the day, but not many clocks or watches are half as interesting to look at as these. Here are a few unique-looking timepieces from around the world.

Fort Worth Garden Floral Clock, Texas, US

(Image: QuesterMark, cc-sa-3.0)

This enormous floral clock lies at the entrance to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens in Texas, USA. It was a gift from the Fort Worth Garden Club, and bears the names of the members on slabs of stone in place of the numbers. Blooming all year round, the flowers which make up the clock face make a beautiful addition to the gardens.

St Nicholas Market Clock, Bristol, UK

(Images: gnomonic, cc-3.0; Geoff Burns, cc-nc-3.0)

The clock at St Nicholas Market in Bristol, UK, is unusual in that it was built with two minute hands. One of them showed the current time in Bristol, while the other showed Greenwich Mean Time (the time in London). This was necessary due to the advent of the railway system, which required a standardised time for timetabling around the country. Bristol eventually adopted this time in the mid-19th Century, however the second minute hand remains, showing the original ten minute difference between the two cities.

Napa Valley Clock Tower, California, US

(Image: Will Murray, cc-sa-3.0)

This strange-looking clock tower, resembling a cross between a game of pick-up sticks and a collapsed Jenga, was the bane of the lives of the residents of Napa Valley for many years. Designed by artist Dwight Murray, the clock didn’t keep time, the style was deemed strange and the tower began to look dated almost as soon as it was installed. In December 2000, the city council voted to tear the clock down and develop a new plan for the plaza area.

Nakano Sun Clock, Tokyo, Japan

(Shinichi Sugiyamacc-sa-3.0)

This musical clock sits in front of the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo. The Automaton clock is based on a style which was popular in the Middle Ages, with bells which are struck on the hour by automatic mechanisms. As well as this, the four sun clock faces flip around and figures playing musical instruments appear.

Water Clock, Suffolk, UK

(Image: Dauvit Alexander, cc-nc-sa-3.0; website: The Justified Sinner’s Cabinet Curiosities)

Created over three weeks by Tim Hunkin and Will Jackson, this clock, which sits on Southwold Pier in Suffolk, UK, was originally designed as a feature about water recycling. The clock hands and pendulum are now powered electronically, however the water which runs through the rest of the design powers the movements of a series of metal figures which sit beneath the clock-face. The quirky design makes for an interesting attraction for visitors to the pier.

Keep reading – visit 7 of the World’s Most Colourful Cities and explore 7 Wonders of the Industrial World.

 

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