Looking for an clock that won't alarm me, aesthetically or acoustically.
January 25, 2013 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a new alarm clock radio for my bedside table as the old one keeps gaining four hours or so overnight. However when I look for one, I'm presented with your basic model ugly modern electronics, and I have a Art Nouveau theme going on in my house. Can anyone help me find an alarm clock that will not look so absurdly out of place sitting next to my brass lampshade with the stained glass shade? I know there are brass alarm clocks, which would work aesthetically, but I can't bear to be woken up by an alarm, so while I don't have to have a radio alarm clock I do need an alarm that won't make me hurl the clock across the room, such as something musical. I also want to be able to see the time in the dark. And no I don't have a watch with an alarm or a cellphone, and I'm not interested in getting either. Ideas?
posted by orange swan to Shopping (15 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
How about the Stephen Fry clock? Although, it does say that you need to push a button on the back to see it in the dark; but it looks appropriate, the sound is Stephen Fry, and it takes batteries so it will work during blackouts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 AM on January 25, 2013 [5 favorites]

Try this alarm clock light
posted by 0110 at 8:31 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Does your bedside table have a drawer? Place whatever eyesore alarm clock in there, face up so you can view the time, and leave the drawer open at bedtime. Close the drawer after you shut off the alarm in the a.m. There's also this...
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:33 AM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

My first suggestion would be some kind of vintage clock, but you might consider Tivoli.
posted by box at 8:45 AM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's the Digital Zen Alarm Clock, which has a lighted digital display and soft chimes as an alarm. Instruction manual here, and the walnut case option has a brass faceplate.

LL Bean's Moon Beam Alarm Clock looks like a good bet as well, lets you wake up to a soft bell or increasingly bright light, and it has automatic backlighting so you could see it in the dark.
posted by divined by radio at 8:45 AM on January 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

A little spendy, but how about the Ramos clock? Or if you have an iphone, how about an ivictrola?
posted by haplesschild at 9:07 AM on January 25, 2013

When you said Art Deco and gentle I immediately thought of the Moon Beam clock linked by divined by radio above - it's not really Deco era (originally released in 1952) but it has that retro tailored curvilinear thing going on and was specifically designed to wake you up without taking years off your life.
posted by clerestory at 9:20 AM on January 25, 2013

Seth Thomas Baxter Analog Alarm Clock Radio? Can't find it currently for sale but an eBay saved search would fetch it up eventually. Here it went for $60. (It's not "vintage"; I bought mine new c. 1999, possibly from Restoration Hardware, possibly for $120.) Ah, wait. 69.89. Illuminated face...

If not for the radio part I was going to suggest the Big Ben Moon Beam. (Er -- as already mentioned twice over!)
posted by kmennie at 9:29 AM on January 25, 2013

I have a Zen Alarm Clock which is quite lovely if you want to be awakened by sound. We're presently using a clock radio turned low, along with a sunrise alarm which gradually brightens a lamp in the room. Usually we gently wake before the radio, when the lamp begins coming on. It's helped my mood, too.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:23 AM on January 25, 2013

Try adding keywords like "retro", "vintage", "reproduction" and such to your searches. For example here's a CD alarm clock radio that you may like.
posted by dhartung at 10:31 AM on January 25, 2013

I came in to recommend the Digital Zen Alarm Clock that divined by radio linked to. It's pretty, the clock face is gently lit, and the chime is very soothing (the E tone one, anyway... The B tone is too high-pitched for me. There are recordings on the website). The best thing, in my opinion, is the gradually more frequent progression of chimes to wake you up. It just dings once, then waits 4 minutes before it dings again if you haven't turned it off. If you're still not up it will ding again 2 minutes later, then again after a minute and a half. If you let it keep going, after 10 minutes it will be dinging every 5 seconds. There's no scramble for a snooze button, and it really does help wake you up gradually.
posted by vytae at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have the Big Ben clock in pale yellow. It flashes a light to wake me, then uses a bell if I don't respond.
At the price for a nice alarm clock, you should be able to pick up an iPhone or iTouch, or an Android phone. The alarm options on my android are excellent, so much nicer than any alarm clock I've ever used, or have had on a laptop. No need to have a phone plan, and you can load any music you like.
posted by theora55 at 12:11 PM on January 25, 2013

I have the Tivoli model 3 and it is elegant and its nice wood and it sounds good and its intuitive to use. But... The clock face is inset about a quarter inch and the beveled ring around it sticks out about a quarter inch. You have to be pretty squarely in front of the thing to figure out what time it is. Even in their website photo linked above you can see that you'd be guessing the time if it was 9 or 10. It would be better if the clock face was flush with the front of the ring and backlit.
posted by Killick at 12:20 PM on January 25, 2013

I personally LOVE this clock: The alpha clock five from evil mad scientist.
posted by Freen at 2:41 PM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

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