Mid-century modern clocks – my article in Reclaim Magazine!

At this time of year I feel like the clock is ticking faster than ever – the ‘school term’ from September to December always flies by and it’ll be Christmas before you know it!

I love a good retro clock. Along with lamps, they’re one of the few household items that I seem to collect. I just can’t resist an interesting clock face, an iconic number style (can I refer to it as a typeface or font when talking about numbers?) or a fun frame. So it’s no wonder that I decided to write about mid-century clocks for my latest Design Icon feature in Reclaim magazine. 

What do you imagine when picturing the design of a mid-century clock? A starburst perhaps? Spindles with atomic balls on the ends? A giant eye? If any of these iconic clocks spring to mind, that’s because George Nelson designed them all.

I undertook a huge amount of research into the designer for my latest Design Icon piece but focused mainly on the classic sunburst clock. That’s because it’s my personal clock of choice. In fact, I have a replica one at home. My own clock isn’t a Vitra original so it’s similar but when you look closely it’s nothing like the original design. I mean, you’d have to know what you’re looking for but, after all the research I did, it’s obvious to me now!

I decided to style up my own clock in three different ways to show just how versatile a mid-century design can be. Of course, it looks great with teak furniture and retro accessories, but it also works in a space-themed kid’s bedroom; any atomic or starburst clock looks cool with robots and moon globes! If you have an industrial style interior or loft apartment, the bold colours and lines look striking against the brickwork.

Pick up a copy of Issue 31 of Reclaim magazine to read my article on George Nelson and see plenty of original photos of the clock. Plus, I’ve shared details of how you can spot the real thing if you’re shopping for a true vintage piece – you don’t want to end up paying over the odds for something that might be a replica. You can find the magazine in WHSmith, online and in plenty of newsagents.

Plus, Issue 31 is the newly designed relaunch issue of Reclaim magazine. It’s packed full of interesting interiors articles, real homes and inspiration for renovating your own house. I’m so happy to be a regular columnist and it’s so much fun doing new research each month into classic mid-century pieces and their designers or manufacturers. I’ve already started work on next month’s Design Icon so keep your eyes peeled for it (in store mid-October) or get yourself a subscription now!




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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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