• 27 awesome midcentury vintage wall clocks

    vintage mid century clockIn our recent uploader, readers submitted 331 amazing photos of vintage wall clocks. This was a great one! We received tons of gorgeous starburst clocks, cheery retro kitchen clocks, and many highly unusual varieties — some of which Pam and I had never seen before. This round up was really tough, because there were so many beauties. Above, an Arabesque starburst clock from a mystery reader. Its small face and large, exaggerated star points make it not only a timepiece, but also a showpiece.

    Striking starburst clocks

    vintage mid century clockHere’s another starburst clock — a 1961 Robert Shaw/Lux clock from a mystery reader. Not only are the starbursts and interesting, rounded shape — but the brass circles in between the bursts remind me of retro concave dish cabinet knobs.

    mid century clockHere’s another starburst shape clock with rounded details — an orange and brass Evans clock from another mystery reader. What makes this clock special are the bright orange enamel balls inside each gilded circle. Very mod.

    mid-century-starburst-clockThis stunning starburst clock from reader Yasmine has the best of both worlds — wooden slats radiating from the center that alternate with metal rods, topped with tiny balls reminiscent of the Nelson ball clock — with an added surprise or a second, more pointed starburst design on the face of the clock. All of these elements work so well together to create an eye catching vintage wall clock.

    mid-century-starburst-clockReader Kristy’s vintage brass and wood starburst clock was found at a garage sale for a mere $10. Kristy got one heck of a deal in my opinion — this clock seems to pop off the wall towards  you. While its starburst pieces are very similar to typical clocks of this era, the part that makes this clock so special are the diamond shaped wood pieces that intersect each burst to create a dynamic overall feel to the clock.

    mid-century-starburst-clockThis United starburst clock from reader KSuper is full of excitement. The large, arrow shaped sections point to the clock face, drawing the viewer’s eye in — while the wavy metal sections create the feeling of movement. Whether you think this clock looks like a fan blowing cool air or the golden sun radiating heat, one thing is for sure — it is a unique and functional vintage piece.

    mid-century-starburst-clockAbove, Cedar says this clock isn’t working — but since it was purchased for only a few dollars — there’s gotta be money left in the bank for a new mechanism for this charming atomic kitchen cloc,.

    Unusual clocks

    NuTone-clock-door-bellThe next few clocks are unusual for one reason or another — like this cute little NuTone clock and doorbell combination from a mystery reader. In a cheery cherry red, I’d be glad to have this clock telling time and announcing visitors in my home.

    Harmony-house-clockIf you’re into chrome, this is the vintage clock for you. Lovers of the shiny stuff will dig the wide chrome border around this vintage Harmony House kitchen clock — found for $5 by reader Nina462. She says it hangs in her office — but I’m sure it would feel at home in the kitchen, bar area or even the garage next to a shiny vintage car.

    General-electric-clockThis next clock — a pristine General Electric kitchen clock from reader DonnR — it immediately made me thing of a stealthy stingray. Its curvy shape and cat eye face really pour on the charm, while its starburst and patterned center add some decorative flair.

    Kienzie-ceramic-wall-clock-I’m not sure which is more perfect — this Kienzie ceramic wall clock from reader Milan B. — or the metallic copper vintage looking wallpaper behind it. Either way, both of them work together nicely — the simple, light colored clock makes for a calm spot to rest your eye on this wildly wallpapered wall.

    retro wall clockIf a clock could suggest the essence of a martini without actually looking like one, this vintage Bayard clock from readers Rob & Monica sure gets as close as they come. Its asymmetrical design and concentric rings make it easy to love — shaken or stirred.

    sunbeam-atomic-swirl-clockYowza — this is one atomic beauty of a clock — a 16″ Sunbeam model from reader Stefrobrts. The swirls, the glitter, that atomic molecular design on the hand — could it be love at first sight or just a vortex of pink pulling me in?

    laminex-formica-clockThree words about this Junghans Formica/Laminex clock from reader J D Log — GOLD, SPARKLE, LAMINATE. Something tells me this one is going on Pam’s prayer list for the Retro Decorating Gods.

    Long clocks

    retro tree clock

    These next clocks defy the tradition that a clock should be something that resembles a circle or square. These long and lean lovelies give us so much more than the time — something wonderful to look at that will still let you know you are running late. The awesome tree clock above from reader Dawn has that whole tree of life/four seasons thing going on in a very simplistic and pleasing sort of way.

    vintage-burwood-clockKimberly’s vintage Burwood clock looks mid century in a very striking way. The sharp diamond shapes contrast the roundness of the clock face and the spaces between allow a little wall to peek through. If this were my clock, I’d have to try it on all sorts of different wall colors — or maybe even paint a square on the wall behind it to make it really pop.

    mid century wall clockBe still my heart — never in all my days has there been such an amazing mid century modern clock as this Sunbeam grasscloth clock from a mystery reader. The stacked shapes on the right side of the clock face are so happy and colorful — almost like they are dancing — while the face and grasscloth squares act as an orderly backdrop to the show.  This clock is my personal favorite of the bunch.

    mid century wall clockReader Elena S. managed to score an original Herman Miller wall clock — and its a beauty. It could be Elena’s aqua blue wall that give me the feeling of a water fall behind this clock — small brass dots acting as the bubbles as it cascades down the wall to ever so gently remind you of the time. So relaxing.

    Tear drop shaped clocks

    mod-retro-wall-clockThe tear drop shape is very pleasing to the eye — this next batch of unusual vintage wall clocks that all pay homage to that shape. Reader Danny’s mod retro wall clock above fits the shape to a T — and its flowing painted design makes it stand out in a crowd.

    Elgin-Genie-clock-setHere’s a set of three tear drops — a vintage Elgin Genie wall set from a mystery reader. This set is very visually appealing, with its soft curves and gleaming face. The bright turquoise candles in the accompanying sconces ads some zing too.

    mid century wall clockThis vintage Syroco Banjo clock from reader Patti sure is neat. Its mid century mod shape reminds me of a vintage Christmas tree topper. Why keep this shape for the holidays when it can be enjoyed year round?

    ingraham-banjo-clockSpeaking of banjo clocks — holy heck — this one from reader Jackie is a beaut. Called an Ingraham Banjo Clock, this model seems to be somewhat rare, and will keep time for you even if you aren’t musically inclined.

    cat wall clock retroWe are all familiar with the classic Kit Kat clocks — but here’s an another fine feline to help you keep the time. Reader Jenna says her Spartus Cat clock is only for decoration at the moment, but something tells me she will have this cool cat up and purring again some day soon.

    Critter clocks

    vintage-owl-clock-1970In every home there’s room for a few critters — even if you aren’t a pet person, having a family of wide-eyed owls on your wall can make the place feel a little more cozy. This 1970s vintage owl clock from a mystery reader, was a mere $5 at an estate sale. I’d say those owls look right at home on the wood paneling, wouldn’t you?

    rooster-clockThis retro rooster clock from reader Cara K. is wide eyed and ready to go at an hour. Just be glad he doesn’t crow at the sunrise.

    Diamond shaped clocks

    Burwood-resin-Flower-clock-Last but not least are a few dazzling diamond shaped clocks. Reader Jennifer in PA was lucky enough to find this Burwood resin flower clock and its four matching flower plaques at her local Goodwill store. She says her husband thinks she is crazy for bringing this set home, but here at Retro Renovation, we prefer to be labeled eccentric. Paired with Jennifer’s wallpaper, this clock set is a match made in crazy-in-a-good-way heaven.

    retro diamond clockAnd finally, I couldn’t leave out this last diamond shaped clock from reader Barb S — who confirms that the red bits on this clock are indeed faux fur.

    Mega thanks to all the readers who participated in our vintage wall clock uploader. We love seeing all your treasures!

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    Comments

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Kate, what a happy way to start a morning, looking at all these clocks. It’s like being in a different time zone, as in time machine. I vote the faux fur clock the most outrageous and the tuxedo cat clock the most cute-rageous.

    2. I think the clock uploader was my favorite one that you have ever done. Who knew there were so many cool clocks out there? In fact I fell in love with that wacky rooster clock and found one for my kitchen but in a fabulous green/blue color combo. I replaced the corded clock mechanism in it with a battery powered one so that I could hang it in the corner of my kitchen.

    3. Whoa, the wallpaper behind those diamond clocks – that’s my grandmother’s master bathroom! Well, where she used to live anyway. She had that with avocado green arabesque tile. Jennifer, if you were wondering, that wallpaper is a Colonial Williamsburg pattern, Potpourri.

    4. Thank you for including my starburst clock. It is in very good company. All of these clocks are simply stunning!

    5. Robin, NV says:

      Wow, I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite. Probably starburst clock #5 but #7 with the cute little stars is a close second. I also really like the “stingray” shaped clock and the one below it. The font for the clock numbers can be just as fun as the clock itself! Love the critter clocks too!

    6. Ranger Smith says:

      We had one exactly like the 5th one from the top. My grandparents gave it to my folks sometime between 1960-1963. Sadly, by the early 1980′s we thought it was out of style and got rid of it. Had we known! These are all fun clocks.

    7. Hi … this is Nina462 -owner of the chrome clock. Guess I didn’t realize it was that shiny & you could see my office in the chrome border. Ha!! I would’ve put it in my kitchen, but I already have a Hull clock there.

      You mentioned putting it in the garage…fancy that, we are building a 3 car garage next year. Will move it at that time.

      • Mary Elizabeth says:

        Heck, what better place for a clock with lots of chrome than in a garage (hopefully) with three chrome-laden vintage cars! :-)

    8. Those are cool! Love that first one. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I also love the cat. lol

      About a week ago I came home with a ball clock for $4. My plan was to paint the balls in bright colors, like the ball clocks I’ve seen and loved.

      Before doing anything, I did some research on the name on the clock face, George Nelson, only to discover that he was a mid century designer. My clock isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination (most likely a licensed repro of the designers work). It sports walnut ball ends, which seem to be less available than other designs (beech, solid color, and brightly colored). The hands are of a lightweight aluminum and have taken some minor damage.

      My husband was able to repair those pretty well, but I’m still considering remaking the hands in a style similar to later George Nelson clocks. If I do I’ll keep the originals, and if we ever get rid of the clock will reattach them beforehand.

      Much as I would like to continue w/ my plans to paint the ball ends, now that I know they’re walnut I’m hesitant. I’m one of those people who has a difficult time covering up good quality wood. lol

    9. I have a star burst & a train but couldn’t find the uploader to share.

    10. Love that you picked my 4 seasons clock. We adore it here. We also have a 1961 Robert Shaw Lux clock that I picked up for $2 at a garage sale but had to paint the burst part because it was corroded so bad.

      Also a quick tip for those with corded clocks. I picked up a adhesive backed cord cover and painted it the wall color so I could run the cord down the wall without it sticking out like a sore thumb. Looks way better than a black cord hanging down.

    11. My clock – the #5 starburst clock above was bought at a garage sale like I said when I uploaded it. What I didn’t say was that I bought it from the original owner who had it hanging in the garage and it wasn’t priced. I looked up and saw it and my heart started beating really fast and I asked if it was for sale. The lady said “Oh I don’t know, I’ve had that for years..” I don’t think she really wanted to let it go but with a little prodding from her husband she gave me a the price of $10 and I said “SOLD”!. I love it! It didn’t work when I got it but I took it and had the movement replaced.
      I love so many of the other ones that are here too- great grouping!

    12. I want the third one! No, wait! I want number five . Oh darn, I waaaant ‘em all. They are all the epitome of atomic awesomeness. Twentieth century design really had visual punch, optimisim and humor. Stuff now pales in comparison, or retreads the past. I noticed Target is selling MCM style starburst clocks. Nice, but the originals are just so much cooler, aren’t they? And they’re still relatively affordable. The perfect
      MCM accessory, to be sure.

    13. Gorgeous! Especially the top photo! I have a beautiful GE wall clock (pretty sure its teak) in our basement. I need to take a photo!

    14. OMG, that teardrop clock is AMAZING!!!

    15. Loving those clocks! Wow!!!!

    16. I bought the Junghans Formica/Laminex clock at a vintage car swap meet New Old Stock in the original box for $50. I got my sparkie to test it and it works like a dream. I will be getting him to hardwire it above the kitchen sink. My parents had a blue one when I was a kid. I just love all the different old Formica/Laminex patterns.

    17. I just love that rooster clock – nothing but fun right there!

    18. So many great clocks here–love them all.
      Just had to share that we used to have the clock in picture #4 and it was awesome.

      Best part was that it was we made $6,995 profit on it!
      When we sold our last house, the buyers made a lot of crazy requests-the craziest being $10,000 CASH. Not towards closing, but actual CASH. We gradually wore them down to size by including items with the house. Our nearly new custom pink fridge. Our recently re-habbed lovely Thermador porthole oven. All of this had them down only $3,000.

      The buyer wistfully told our realtor she would meet the price if only she could have that starburst clock….SOLD! For $7,000!
      And we paid $5 for it at a thrift store.
      Hee.

      Here’s that clock at Christmas….
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/48965828@N00/9582026163/

      Definitely the gift that kept giving.

    19. Smacking myself on the head, not sure how I missed this of all uploaders!

      I have developed more than a passing interest in clocks these last few years and I’d say quite a few of these have to be relatively rare. And stunning too, many of these are so amazing they are worthy of building a room around!

      BTW good news on non-working clocks, do a little searching locally, the clock collecting community is quite organized and chances are you can find a group near you, regionally shows, etc.

    20. Thank you for featuring my rooster clock! I found it an antique show for $10. It used to plug into the wall, but was rather noisy. My husband replaced the corded mechanism with a battery powered one (just like what poster georgiapeachez mentioned doing with theirs).

    21. Joe Felice says:

      There are some really nice clocks here. My favorite is the black & white cat. I’d love to have one of those! I have a doorbell/clock in my kitchen/dining area.

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