Time is money and so keeping a tab on time should be a big deal. Not convinced? The following list of the 13 biggest clocks in the world will surely help you fathom the vastness of this expanse of the entity called time-
In close proximity to the revered religious site of the Great Mecca resides a complex of seven skyscraper hotels, one of which houses the biggest clock in the world. The central hotel tower of the Abraj Al Bait or Towers of the House, known as the the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, has the world’s largest clock face. While the 601 meters tall tower itself is significant in being the tallest building in entire Saudi Arabia and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, it is also as notable for its giant four face clock that is also the world’s highest at some 400 meters above the ground.
With each of its four faces measuring 43 meters in diameter, the clocks come also topped by a 128-metre spire with a 23-metre-high golden crescent at the top. With the Saudi Coat of Arm in display at the center of each face behind the dials, the clock makes for one of the standout features in Mecca and therefore is almost a national symbol of Saudi Arabia. Fittingly therefore, some 21,000 white and green coloured lights, the same as the Saudi Flag, are fitted at the top of the clock that flash to signal Islam’s five-time daily prayers in its significant standing in a city that is world famous for housing the largest mosque in the world and the most sacred of sites in Islam, the Great Mosque of Mecca.
Standing tall and proud since 2005 is the second biggest clock in the world in the magical land of Turkey. Housed in the Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre that which is also one of the largest malls, the clock mounted atop the large glass roof of it was constructed to beat the record held by the Floral Clock in Iran’s Tehran as the world’s largest of time keepers. Spanning a gigantic area made up by its 36 meter diametrical measurements, the clock atop the Istanbul Cevahir boasts of three meter high digits.
Surat Flower Clock
In the Indian city of Surat in Gujarat rests the third largest clock and the largest floral clock in the world. In existence since 2010 when the giant structure was built to commemorate the occasion of golden jubilee of Gujarat’s statehood, the clock standing on natural soil and plantations, is situated within the premises of the Late Navinchandra Mafatlal Garden. With a diameter that extends to almost 25 meters, while the mega size of the floral clock indeed is impressive, it also is the massiveness of its big hand that comes close to weighing a tonne that is just as staggering.
Central do Brasil
In the list of the biggest clocks in the world is an entry from the fascinating country of Brazil that which houses also one of the oldest mentions included herein. A massive 20 meter structure that sits atop a 135-meter tall tower (443 feet) in the train station of Central do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro finds fame as also the fourth biggest clock in the world. Built way back in 1943, the four face clock was also the tallest altogether at the time when it saw completion.
Duquesne Brewery Clock
The largest single-face clock in the world when it was installed in 1933, the very iconic Duquesne Brewery Clock is located in the city of Pittsburgh in the United States. In its 18 meter gigantic facade, the clock has enjoyed a distinguished history, being the face of advertising for numerous global brands, including the likes of Coca Cola, Ballantine, Schlitz beers and others. Mounted on the Mount Washington hillside, this rather historical clock also has enjoyed its share of popularity by outdoing also the very iconic Big Ben of London by almost twice the size. With massive laminated aluminum hands that extends some 11 meters for the minute and a 7.6 meters for the hour, this rather landmark clock continues to be ticking away its legacy even in the present.
Subject to shifts not just in time but also in its segments of history is the Colgate Clock that which is another of the big names of its clan in the world. An octagonal structure currently facing the Hudson River in New Jersey, the Colgate Clock spans a diameter of 15 meters and has been in existence for close to a century now. Originally constructed in 1906 for the centennial of the Colgate brand with a diametrical spanning of 12.19 meters, the current clock however dates back only to 1924 and stands presently some 400 meters south of where the headquarters of consumer products conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive used to be sited till 1985.
NTT Docomo Yoyogi
Housed in the second tallest clock tower in the world is another big time keeper that which marks its presence in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo. Making its mark on the NTT Docomo Yoyogi building is a clock with a diameter that measures exactly 15 meters and that which has been in operation since November 2002 as a commemoration of NTT Docomo’s 10th anniversary.
The biggest floral clock in the world when it was opened in 2005, Iran’s giant flower clock measures also 15 meters in diameter. In its mechanism that is resistant to all weather conditions, the 750 kgs weighing clock took over two years to build as a specimen of natural elements combined with scientific foresight in such precision that renders it unaffected by the vagaries of the weather. Featuring a functioning time-telling structure, set automatically by a computer system to correspond with a motor controlling the 3 hands of the clock, this rather aesthetic tab on time continues to be a major tourist attraction in Iran’s capital city of Tehran.
With a diameter that runs some 13.2 meters, each of the clocks of Gronzy city in Russia lay claim to be among the biggest in the world. Located near the apex of the northwest and southeast sides of the Grozny-City Towers, the dial of each of the clocks weighs also a massive 5,200 kilograms reinstating once again its stature as being among the world’s largest.
Allen Bradley Clock Tower
Once the largest four faced clock in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Allen Bradley Clock located on the namesake tower in the United States, stands mighty today as well. With a diameter of 12.25 meters, the gigantic face of the clock has been ticking away for more than five decades decades now since it became operation on the October of 1962.
Well known as the “The Polish Moon,” referring to the historically Polish neighborhood in which it is based and more recently as the “Mexican Moon’ to take into account the changing ethnic composition of it, the clock is also strategically important in that its lighted faces have been used as a navigation aid for Lake Michigan mariners over the years. Another very interesting aspect about the Allen Bradley Clock is the reason why it was never made to have chimes. With its octagonal faces nearly twice the size of the iconic Big Ben, the Allen Bradley Clock would have overtaken the former as the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world.
With a diameter of 12.19 meters, the original Colgate Clock of the United States continues also to be one of the biggest in the world even when it has been surpassed by its successor in New Jersey in size. Located directly across the Ohio river at a former Colgate-Palmolive factory in Clarksville, Indiana, the clock makes also for quite a popular structure in popular culture, having ‘starred’ in the 1999 American movie The Insider.
Frankfort Floral Clock
A landmark structure located behind the Kentucky State Capitol, the Frankfort Floral Clock has been distinguished in history as one of the most visited of tourist attractions in the state of Kentucky. Opening in May 1961, the clock however faced ridicule as “Combs’ Folly” or “Big Bert”, an allusion to Kentucky Governor Bert T. Combs’ approval of the clock building project and that to London’s Big Ben, respectively. With a face that measures 10 meters in diameter, the clock is composed of more than 10,000 flowers and is also unique in that unlike other floral clocks, sits not on a bank of earth but remains suspended above a pool of water instead.
Aarau Railway Station Clock
Housing the biggest clock face in Europe is the Aarau Railway Station in the picturesque locales of Switzerland. In its 9 meters of diameter, this is one of the largest functioning clocks made in the same fashion as a Swiss railway clock and is mounted on the glass of the Aarau station. Eking out its 8.7-meter predecessor in Zurich that which has been in existence for centuries now since 1534 in the 13th century St. Peter’s Church, the Aarau station clock is one of the most visible clock facades throughout the entirety of Europe.