Atomic Wall Clocks

By: Richard Romando

Today, an atomic clock is the most accurate time-measuring device, and to manipulate our hectic schedules, we need constant reminders about every second wasted or gained. Having an atomic wall clock in our homes, offices, or public places affects our transportation, manufacturing, communication, and other technical functions.

We have swaggered hours away from sundials, the sand hourglass, and cuckoo clocks (with a cuckoo bird popping out every hour), or the carved wooden grandfather clock ticking in the hallway. The later pendulum and crystal quartz clocks were accurate but needed constant servicing. Atomic wall clocks have changed time viewing and are available in different designs and features, depending on the manufacturer. A radio-controlled atomic wall clock is reset to the US WWVB atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado, and can adapt automatically for daylight savings time. Some wall clocks have added features to monitor indoor temperatures for extra climate comfort or jumbo letters for checking time from distance.

Design and color are secondary, as the hallmark of a reliable atomic wall clock is that it should not require frequent setting and should automatically adjust to time changes. Most atomic wall clocks have their time corrected on regular basis through signals from regional stations. A clock purchased in the U.S. will not work in Europe or the Far East, as clocks contain chips specific to a region. Another important checking point is battery operation. Preference should be given for electric wall clocks, as battery back up is not a long-term proposition.

Technology has advantages and makes our lives comfortable. But there is nothing to beat the traditional wall clocks, with their tick-tocks reverberating throughout the entire house. A grandfather clock has a pendulum that oscillates back and forth to produce time-sound, while an atomic clock has preset alarm sounds. We do have crossovers, old models with the latest technology, but ask any wall clock collector and the answer would be that there is nothing to beat the romance of wooden wall clocks with Roman letters.

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