The Color Clock is a wall or desktop clock that uses a unique sequence of colors to represent time. Jump to our site to discover how colors can be used to tell the time.
Designed and hand assembled in England, these clocks are built to last. Featuring solid wood and 3mm thick aircraft grade aluminium, they have an eye catching, constantly changing appearance, fit for any modern living room or office reception.
The resulting clock is a fusion of brain training apps and Apple inspired design. A redefinition of an old tradition that is both beautiful and practical.
What is it?
- Radio controlled so it automatically synchronises to the exact atomic time in the UK
- Doesn’t need setting, even for daylight savings
- Built to last, with no expense spared on all materials
- Solid birch wood exterior and aircraft-grade aluminium, with an iPad-like finish
- Will be powered by a USB-C cable and wall plug - no need to replace batteries
- Two stainless steel buttons to manually set the time, if needed
- Two frosted white status LEDs to indicate power and radio control status
Throughout every day there are 144 different combinations of colours shown. Even if you don't need a clock, the Color Clock is a great way to add some moving color to your room!
All four colours show simultaneously in different orders at 18 different times per day, for example 1:55 (red, green, blue, yellow) or 7:10 (green, yellow, red, blue).
- The Micro Color Clock is a smaller 14cm x 14cm version of the original wall mounted Color Clock.
- It uses exactly the same wood and aircraft grade aluminium construction.
- It has the same radio receiver to automatically set the time.
- USB-C power connector.
- But at just 14cm x 14cm and with thicker base, it can be placed on any kitchen, office or bedside table.
The Color Clock is CNC machined from solid wood and aircraft grade aluminium. And the custom designed electronics are professionally made by our suppliers. We've run test versions of the clocks for thousands of hours, to ensure that they are accurate and reliable.
The motion is incredibly smooth, with each digit being driven by a high quality stepper motor its also quieter than the tick of a normal clock.
The outer casing is manufactured from wood and coated with a clear resin for appearance and longevity. The wood will be either entirely machined or steam bent and then machined.
The version of the clock that you see in the images and video is a pre-production model with some hand finished parts and less than perfect details. The manufactured version will not have any of these flaws and will be more like the 3D renders of the Micro Color Clock.
In some of the images, the prototype is powered by a 9V adapter and a barrel plug, but the final version will be powered by USB-C with a braided cable and mains adapter. We believe that this looks better and will be easier to replace and re-use if needed.
The clock represents time using a unique base 4 color system.
But with a completely new way to display the time, comes a little bit of learning.
It may seem difficult at first, but after only a few days of getting familiar with the clock, it will become second nature. It may even help you with your mental arithmetic skills.
That’s it, you can now read a color clock!
So the whole process is:
- Recall the digit values of each color
- Multiply the left values by 4
- Add the digits of the hours and minutes together
- Multiply the minutes by 5
Here are some example times:
The time automatically synchronises to the exact atomic time in the UK and never needs to be set.
To manually set the time if you are outside the UK, two stainless steel buttons can be used. One increments minutes by 5, and the other increments hours by 1.
Holding both buttons down together enables or disables radio mode, and this is reflected by the lower light turning on or off. A flashing light means that it is currently synchronising to the signal. When it is continuously lit, it means that it is locked to the radio time.
Color Clock Dimensions:
Micro Color Clock Dimensions:
- CNC Machined Aluminium
- Solid Birch Wood
- Stainless Steel Buttons and Screws
We would like to offer radio time reception models for Europe and the US. But this would involve extra development to integrate radio modules for these countries, write the code to decode the signal, and for testing.
Currently, the clock can be used in any country by manually setting the time and it is very accurate (±1 minute per year). But if we meet the following targets, the extra variations can be made:
We're offering both the Micro Color Clock and full sized Color Clocks as rewards. You can get these either with the atomic radio receiver so you don't have to set the time, or without the radio receiver. Currently the radio receiver is for the UK only but see the stretch goals for more info.
All versions have an early bird tier at a major discount for 5 orders only so don't miss out!
If we do reach our stretch goals and you have ordered a version for delievery in either the USA or Europe, then we will contact you to see if you would like to wait for the radio version for those countries.
We began the clock with the desire to have something that was new, aesthetically pleasing and also functional.
The beginning was a prototype with just 1 motor and the radio clock receiver. This proved that the concept was viable.
Then we moved onto the design of the exterior. There were several iterations of laser cut aluminium and plywood to keep prototyping costs down. After that, we settled on solid wood and aluminium, both CNC machined. The aluminium is anodised to a soft iPad like finish.
The wood that you see in the photographs of the large clock is not the final version. It is constructed of layered lasercut plywood for prototyping purposes. The real version will be machined solid beech, which appears in the product renders.
The end result is a clock with 4 stepper motors and position sensors that can be each be independently controlled.
A radio receiver module is also used to synchronise with the atomic clock in the UK.
We spent a significant amount of time fine tuning the software for both the radio receiver software and the stepper motor drivers to make them rotate quietly and smoothly.
In comparison to open source radio clock projects, we believe that we are able to receive the radio signal much more quickly and accurately. Even when the signal is weak.
We're offering worldwide shipping via courier! Please make sure to pick the right destination from the purchase page.
Hi! We are Clark and Steel, a UK based design studio embarking on a journey to tell the time in new ways. Our team consists of two people: James Clark and Iliana Pavlova.
James was raised on a steady diet of screwdrivers and electronics. A strong interest in kinetic sculpture and practical uses of technology led him to the crossing point of the two: clocks. And with a degree in Computer Visualisation, Iliana comes from a background in computer modelling, design, and games.
We have 12 years of combined experience as software engineers in industry, but our passion has always been designing contraptions. From tiny plastic pipe organs to coffee machines controlled by floppy disks. Our art and hardware have been displayed at events and festivals in London and Croatia.