Build a wall clock with finished movement yourself


Despite the proliferation of digital time displays, a wall clock with dial still enjoys great popularity. As a home accessory, it not only serves the purpose of displaying time, but can also be an attractive and decorative adornment. The design options of hands and dial can be easily built on universally usable drives.

Drive and clock drive

Movements for the self-made wall clock are available in a large selection. The cheapest drive units are housed in small plastic housings. In the size of about four matchboxes protrudes in the middle of a pointer shaft, are attached to the pointer or screwed. Most models are powered by batteries. The low consumption ensures run times of up to several years.

Most movements are controlled by a circuit board. They are available with and without quartz control and as radio movements. Depending on the version and manufacturer different sets of hands (second, minute, hour) are included or can be purchased. The cheapest movements for less than ten euros are usually set to a pointer.

Anyone who makes more effort when making their own wall clocks can choose from mechanically-driven clockworks at specialist manufacturers of handicrafts such as Selva. Chain and cuckoo clock mechanisms, pendulum and swivel pendulum movements and plug-in and spring-loaded models allow almost limitless precision craft creativity.

Design and construction ideas

  • Full dial on which the hands run with the clockwork on the back
  • Small center leaf as a movement bezel with protruding hands
  • Clockwork housing in can form with free-running hands
  • Mount clockwork behind natural stone slab or tile
  • Semi-transparent dial on paper or fabric covered frame. Light sources behind the clock can produce interesting effects
  • Integrate clockwork into a pin board

Objects as a dial

  • vinyl record
  • Natursteinverblender
  • Round wooden plate with carved numbers on the edge
  • Tree wood disc (with bark)
  • Plate
  • frying pan
  • Cutlery as a pointer (for mounting option and load capacity of the shaft)

Markers and objects for numeric markings

The following representations can be used with numerical numbers and objects may be misused:

  • Dominoes (Simple One to Double Six)
  • Roman numerals (I to XII)
  • Painted and drawn formulas (examples: one = fraction of a number of digits by itself over nine = root from 81 to twelve = three times four)
  • Dice (one to six as single dice, seven to twelve as dice pairs)
  • Stick-on numbers (also in different sizes)

Abstract marks without numerical information:

  • Shellfish
  • Wooden sticks and strips
  • crown cork
  • Buttons
  • Thumbnail frame (same-site motif with equivalent lighting)

Special effects

There is clockwork with reverse running, running counterclockwise. If two times are to be displayed, for example because a close relative lives in a different time zone, two movements can be overlapped with corresponding pointer wavelengths.

Tips & Tricks

When buying, pay attention to the length of the pointer shaft. If you place the movement behind a dial, the distance must match the thickness of the dial material. Many cheap prefabricated movements have too short pointer waves.

Product Image: nednapa / Shutterstock


Video Board: Making a DIY Round Wall Clock