18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks

18 Amazing Art Deco Clocks

Among the many material forms of Art Deco — from buildings to furniture to cars — clocks somehow seem to make the best use of the machine-age motifs that make the style so wonderful. Feverish geometric forms, mind-bending symmetry, high-contrast colours, modern and ancient materials combined with ticking mechanics and streamlined electricity in order to measure something more imaginary: time. Here are 18 clocks of that era that we just adore.

Corner Clock

You can’t see it in the black and white photo, but the gorgeous symmetrical face is surrounded by red onyx. Made by E Gubelin of Lucerne. Circa 1935.

Photo: Sasha/Getty Images

Bar Clock, Circa 1930

The lounge bar in Nell Gwynn House, an apartment block in the King’s Road, Chelsea.

Photo: General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Clock by Jean Goulden

Jean Goulden (1878-1946), French physician and artist, designed and made this clock in 1929. It’s made of silvered bronze, enamel and marble. Now located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

Photo: Universal Pops

French Mantle Clock

Photo: Glassholic

Rockefeller Center, Manhattan

International Building, 1931-1940. “The Story of Mankind” by Lee Lawrie, which depicts the clock as the sun.

Photo: Scott Gilchrist

Chicago Board of Trade

Photo: alykat

Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Architect: Harry Sternfeld. Built in 1937. Limestone with granite base.

Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

The Hague School

Nickel plated brass and niello mantel clock, The Netherlands, 1920s.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Marian Marsh’s Clock

A white marble Whitehall-Hammond synchronous-movement clock from the early ’30s. Plaque affixed to the base reads, “To Marian Marsh Honorary Guest Star Hollywood”.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Smith’s Glass Clock

Made In England. Circa 1920.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Two Table Clocks

A maroon bakelite square clock on ribbed brass base and a round crystal clock on an oval base. Both designed by Gilbert Rohde (American furniture designer, 1894-1944), circa 1930.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Mantle Clock

From the Malcolm S. Forbes collection. An Art Deco shagreen-cased clock presented to Lt. Col. John Christopher Smuts in 1946.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

French Pendulum Clock

Glass-encased mantle clock with octagonal face and copper numerals. Maker unknown, France, circa 1930.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Illuminated Glass Clock

Side-lit clear glass clock face with frosted nude figures. Maker unknown, American, circa 1935.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Amber Clock

A German amber and silvered metal table clock. Attributed to Naujoks, Mann and Geduk, Koenigsberg, Germany, circa 1940.

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Boucheron Art Deco Clock

Art Deco was known for using a variety of exotic materials, and this clock is a prime example of that. Its bill of materials include agate, lapis lazuli, gold and cabochon coral. No wonder it sold for $US62,500.

Photo: Christie’s

Multi-Gem And Diamond “Gazelle” Desk Clock, By Ostertag

This one is even more exotic, making use of rock crystal, lapis, diamonds, rubies and emeralds. It was completed in June 1929 and recently sold for $US278,500.

Photo: Christie’s

The Temple Gate Clock

OK, one more crazy-expensive auction piece: the Temple Gate clock, which sold for more than $US1.5 million. It’s styled to look like an Egyptian temple, made out of gold, polished coral, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli and multiple gemstones. Circa 1927.

Photo: Christie’s

Have your own favourite art deco clock? Did I miss anything important or beautiful? Tell us in the comments below!