9 of my favourite minimalist alarm clocks
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9 of my favourite minimalist alarm clocks

Pia Seidel
13.3.2024
Translation: Katherine Martin

Can these no-frills alarm clocks make me banish my phone from the bedroom? For starters, they’re certainly prettier than most smartphones.

No one ever talks about alarm clocks, but lots of people have them. At least if what I’ve seen in people’s bedroom photos on social media is anything to go by. Since I’m yet to get a clock of my own, I use my phone as an alarm clock. Can a tasteful piece of design help me reduce my screen time? To find out – and to choose a clock – I need to take a closer look at some current models first.

Unfortunately, my first deep dive into our product range revealed a pretty major pitfall. The descriptions don’t give me any indication of what the alarms sound like. With this in mind, I have a request for any marketing managers working for the brands mentioned in this article: please add audio files to the pretty pictures of your alarm clocks in future.

1. Ray Clock: tilt activation

Very few things in life stay looking elegant when they tip over. Ray Clock, however, is one of them. Lexon’s LCD alarm clock made of aluminium and ABS plastic displays the temperature and humidity as well as the time. In my opinion, however, its stand-out feature is its infrared motion sensor. This allows you to turn on or switch off the alarm by tapping or tilting the clock. The Ray collection was designed by Neil Poulton, who became famous for designing the stylish, orange LaCie hard drive. While the Ray alarm clock isn’t available in orange, you can get it in gold, aluminium, black, blue or red. It’s also rechargeable via USB-C cable.

You can stop the Ray Clock’s alarm from ringing by tapping on it.
You can stop the Ray Clock’s alarm from ringing by tapping on it.
Source: Lexon

2. Okiru alarm clock: for the Japandi look

Although Stelton mostly specialises in kitchen accessories, the Danish design house occasionally makes exceptions. This is exactly what happened when the company invited Japanese designer Kazushige Miyake to create a functional yet aesthetically pleasing alarm clock for them. The result, the Okiru alarm clock, falls somewhere between Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, otherwise known as Japandi. It’s a minimalist, functional, warm and calming style. The Okiru alarm clock scores a few brownie points with me on account of its rounded edges and pastel colours (it’s available in light blue, pink or black).

A touch of wabi-sabi: the appeal of the Okiru alarm clock lies in its discreet style.
A touch of wabi-sabi: the appeal of the Okiru alarm clock lies in its discreet style.
Source: Stelton

3. AB1: a design icon

Designer Dieter Rams believes things should be designed according to the «less, but better» principle and that «the unspectacular things will be the important things» in the future. This understanding is reflected in his analogue travel alarm clock, which he designed for Braun in 1987. While the current design may not be any more colourful or have a whackier shape than its predecessors, it’s a lot smarter. As its name suggests, the battery-operated alarm clock is compact and lightweight, meaning it’s good as a travel clock too. The volume of the alarm can be increased, and the switch is large and easy to use. Today’s version of the clock has been developed to run quietly, with hands that light up at night. However, it still looks the same as always. The AB1 is available in grey, white or black, with each version fitted with a yellow second hand.

The AB1’s shape, colour and clock face graphics are simple, but the second hand stands out.
The AB1’s shape, colour and clock face graphics are simple, but the second hand stands out.
Source: Braun

4. The Brick Click Clock: stripped back

I really like this rechargeable alarm clock from the British brand Gingko because it focuses on one basic necessity: the time. If you want, you can also set the display to switch between the time, date and temperature. The clock also has an automatic dimmer that kicks in between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., and the option to set the alarm for five or seven days running. You can keep the LED display lit at all times, or switch it to sound-activated mode. Brick Click Clock is part of a collection and is available in walnut, beech, white and ash.

The minimalist look: Brick Click Clock.
The minimalist look: Brick Click Clock.
Source: Gingko

5. Arne Jacobsen City Hall: small but mighty

Curved legs, rounded silhouette, rich blue – nope, it’s not a chair I’m describing, it’s the Rosendahl Arne Jacobsen City Hall alarm clock. The compact design was developed in 1941 by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen and is inspired by his eponymous wall clock, originally designed for the town hall in Rødovre. Despite its classic dial and alarm bell, the clock has been given some 21st century comfort updates, including a touch-sensor snooze function and an LED light for checking the time in the dark. Coupled with its elegant appearance, these features make the alarm clock the perfect bedside companion, whether it’s orange, blue, beige or black.

The Rosendahl alarm clock has a traditional look, but modern functions.
The Rosendahl alarm clock has a traditional look, but modern functions.
Source: Rosendahl

6. Remember table clock: a high-contrast timepiece

Remember’s table clock looks slightly more striking than other models. The battery-operated clock is characterised by clear lines, a minimalist dial and a colour contrast between the hands and the rest of the clock. I particularly like the fact that the switches on Remember’s alarm clock are cleverly hidden on the back, while the quartz clockwork is totally silent. If you don’t like bright blue, you can also choose from olive, mint, beige and dark blue.

Block colours make this table clock eye-catching.
Block colours make this table clock eye-catching.
Source: Remember

7. Tempus alarm clock A1: tone-on-tone

With its small, narrow hands and numbers instead of lines, the Philippi clock is both sophisticated and simple. Its striking style is owed to a grey, monochrome look, the only part in a different colour being the second hand. As a result, the round button on the top blends seamlessly into the look of the frame. The best part? A short press of the button gives you another five minutes of peace and quiet. If you hold down the button, the alarm switches off and lights up to tell you the time.

The Tempus alarm clock A1 impresses with its monochrome look.
The Tempus alarm clock A1 impresses with its monochrome look.
Source: Philippi

8. Flip Premium: sophisticated design

The radio-controlled, reversible Flip Premium LCD alarm clock is very eye-catching – and more than just a basic addition to your bedside table. To set the alarm, you place the clock on its «on» side. If you don’t need a wake-up call, you flip it so that the «off» side’s pointing upwards. As well as light gold, Flip Premium’s available in numerous other colours. Bronze and aluminium make for particularly chic shades.

Flip Premium’s shimmery gold exudes a touch of luxury.
Flip Premium’s shimmery gold exudes a touch of luxury.
Source: Lexon

9. Block: old-style decor

Modern alarm clocks are usually pretty showy – and that’s before we even get started on their «intelligent» functions. Block, on the other hand, is a different story. This table clock has a retro look with only one conspicuous feature: fluorescent hands. In the dark, you can illuminate the entire dial by hitting the snooze button. These features, as well as its elegant, classic look make Block one of my top picks. It’s also available in copper, silver or white.

Being square has its perks: Block works wonders with its geometric shape.
Being square has its perks: Block works wonders with its geometric shape.
Source: Leff Amsterdam

Whether they’re low-tech or cutting-edge, all these alarm clocks would get me out of bed and look good doing it. All I’d like to find out now is what they sound like.

I need your help: do you have sound samples for any of these alarm clocks? If so, drop them in the comments.

Header image: Lexon

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Like a cheerleader, I love celebrating good design and bringing you closer to everything furniture- and interior design- related. I regularly curate simple yet sophisticated interior ideas, report on trends and interview creative minds about their work.


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