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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Word clock (2563) | Muller and van Dongen | NeXtime, the Netherlands | 1982


Muller and van Dongen Word ClockHans Muller and Hans van Dongen
NeXtime, the Netherlands, 1982

Work Clock The Word Clock model 2563 by Muller and van Dongen.

There are two word clocks designed by Muller and van Dongen. They’re sold by NeXtime. One is model 2562 and is 60 cm in length. Languages offered include Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian. The other is model 2563 and is 83 cm in length. Languages offered include Dutch, English, German, Greek. I also recall seeing this model in Arabic. I like the 2563. It is available only in white.

Word Clock

The Word Clock model 2562 by Muller and van Dongen.

Muller and van Dongen applied for a patent in the United States for their “Elongated Clock” in 1982 and the patent was granted in 1984. The clock consists of two adjacent rolls. The right roll contains the numbers one to twelve, spelled out. The gearing is such that as the minutes turn to “twenty-five minutes to,” the hour roll advances. The left roll spells out five minute increments of time:

ABOUT

FIVE MINUTES PAST

TEN MINUTES PAST

A QUARTER PAST

TWENTY MINUTES PAST

TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES PAST

HALF PAST

TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES TO

TWENTY MINUTES TO

A QUARTER TO

TEN MINUTES TO

FIVE MINUTES TO

The two rolls are contained in a clear acrylic tube that has a sticker placed strategically over the seam between the two rolls. A red mark on this sticker indicates the line that should be read to tell the time. Two curved, right angle end caps allow the clock to be placed on a flat surface. I think the most joyous aspect of the word clock lies in the fact that it’s “fuzzy” and not nearly so cold as one that is digital. No numbers, no hands, it tells the time in words, the same way you might expect someone with a pocket watch to answer the question, “Do you have the time?”

Word Clock patentThe first page of the United States “Elongated Clock” patent, number 4,423,965. The rest of the patent can be found here.

Word Clock

Above is the clock drive, made in Germany. The clock is easy to set. There is one knob to turn. It takes one N-cell battery. You may flip out and wonder where to get such a crazy battery - I did. But be calm, the N-cell is commonly used in small electronics like cameras, flash units, and bike lights. Camera stores usually have them in stock. They’ll set you back $1.50 to $2 each. N Cell

Word ClockImprint on hour roll. Reads:

DESIGNED BY MULLER & VAN DONGEN HOLLAND

Word Clock imprintImprint on plastic end caps. There are two identical caps. Holes in these end caps allow the clock to be wall mounted horizontally or vertically if desired.

One just sold on eBay for $93 so that will give you an idea of the price you can expect to pay. It used to be available new from Dutch sellers (like Questo Design) in the $250 range. I can’t find either version of this clock new anymore.

Reference

NeXtime, (2005, Autumn). NeXtime magazine, Autumn 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2009, from NeXtime Web site: http://www.nextime-clocks.nl/downloads/nextime_magazine_autumn_2005.pdf


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