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Discover Spotlight's Ultimate Guide to Clocks!
Man has always been fascinated by time. The earliest type of clock dates as far back as four thousand years, so it is no surprise that clocks are still one of the most sold household items today.
Below, Spotlight has created a useful guide to clocks. So, whether you are looking for a functional clock, or simply a clock to use as a decoration, be sure to read through our ultimate guide to clocks below!
How Are Different Types of Clocks Classified?
When you examined some of the clocks that are being sold today, you may have noticed some crucial differences between them. Clocks can be classified under a specific type. Currently, the main four types of clocks are analogue, digital, braille, and talking clocks.
This is the type of clock most people have in their home. It is characterised by a surface with numbers and two to three handles to tell the time. The handles will move around the surface of the clock, enabling you to tell the hour, minutes, and in some cases seconds.
Analogue clocks can be offered in a twelve-hour and twenty-four-hour format. Either is beneficial for telling time, so the choice between twelve-hour and twenty-four-hour usually comes down to personal preference.
The second most popular clock today has a digital display. Numbers are displayed through LCD or LED technology and separated by a colon to indicate hour and minutes. Like analogue clocks, the digital clock may come in a twelve-hour or twenty-four-hour format.
As you may have guessed from the name, this type of clock is used by people with impaired vision. To display the time, the braille clock uses raised dots on the dial, which can be touched.
The talking clock is another option for people with impaired vision, but it is certainly used by other people too. Some talking clocks can also come with a novelty theme, which makes them great gifts for a variety of special occasions.
What Mechanisms Can Be Used in Current-Day Clocks?
Clocks can work with a variety of mechanisms, whereof the most common are electric, mechanical, crystal, atomic, and radio. Once again, we have described each type in more detail below.
The electric clock will use electricity as its main power source, so clocks with an electric mechanism must be connected to a power source. Electric mechanisms are commonly found in digital clocks and braille clocks.
A mechanical mechanism works with a pendulum and a balance wheel. The combination of these two things provides a constant motion, enabling the hands on the clock to move (or to change the display).
Most homeowners will not consider a mechanical clock, mainly because they require a lot more maintenance. Still, there is a huge market for clocks with a mechanical mechanism, since they are considered as collector's items.
Anyone looking for accuracy should acquire a clock with crystal mechanism, since this type of mechanism is considered as the most accurate. Quartz is resistant to factors that could affect frequencies such as temperature changes - this is one of the reasons why crystal mechanisms are often used in the finest watches.
These mechanisms are not available for most consumers, since they are used by clocks such as U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock. Since atomic mechanisms can be volatile to work with, you will not find these mechanisms on the market.
Radio mechanisms work with transmitters and receive their signals from an anatomic clock. Of course, for this to work properly, there must be an anatomic clock accessible to send out the signal. Even though rare in Australia, the radio mechanism is popular in the United States.