Which modern wall clock is best?

In an age when smartphones and smartwatches tell the time and so much more, the idea of having a wall clock can seem old-fashioned. However, design sensibilities have kept surprising pace with the technological leaps that have tried hard to make wall clocks obsolete. 

The best modern wall clock is the Sharp Atomic Clock. It uses a minimalist design that meshes with any modern dwelling and is feature-packed to prove its worth.

What to know before you buy a modern wall clock

What makes a wall clock “modern”

“Modern” wall clocks are so-called due to their design, functions or mix of both.

  • Design: Modern design usually means it is one that is simple, minimal and clean. Essentially, modern design attempts to catch the eye by pleasingly blending in rather than popping out. 
  • Function: Many modern wall clocks are packed with features. The most common features are temperature readings and date displays, while other features include noiseless operation or backlighting.

Analog vs. digital 

Analog clocks aren’t always old-fashioned, just as digital clocks aren’t always modern. When deciding between analog and digital, focus on how easily you need the clock to be read before browsing for a good design.

  • Analog clocks take a little longer to read for most. In fact, children and some younger adults may not know how to read an analog clock at all. Some modern analog clock designs can be extra difficult to read, especially designs that remove the numbers.
  • Digital clocks can typically be read at a glance, but the need for screens or other kinds of displays limits the range of possible designs.

What to look for in a quality modern wall clock

Noiseless operation

One of the best modern functions of a clock is the elimination of the “tick-tock” sound, which has haunted insomniacs for centuries. Some modern clocks even have noiseless pendulums for maximum aesthetics and minimum distraction.

Extra information

Many modern clocks display more than just the time. The most common extra information is the date, though how the date is displayed varies. For example, one clock may only show the numerical month and day while others only show the day of the week.

Temperature is also commonly displayed, whether it shows both the indoor and outdoor temperatures or only one.


If you’re regularly up late, having a clock with backlighting is a must. The best backlit clocks trigger the backlighting after it hits a certain time to preserve the battery.

How much you can expect to spend on a modern wall clock

Most modern wall clocks cost $50 or less, no matter the design or included functions. Clocks with a heavier emphasis on aesthetics can cost as much as $150. You can also find luxury-brand clocks that cost thousands of dollars.

Modern wall clock FAQ

How often do I need to change the batteries in my modern wall clock?

A. That depends on your clock and what type and quantity of batteries it uses. Some clocks need to have their batteries changed several times a year while others can last a whole year or more. To be safe, you should check your clock’s batteries once every three months.

What’s the difference between an indoor and outdoor modern wall clock?

A. The main difference is an outdoor modern wall clock has extra protections such as rust resistance and weatherproofing. These protections rarely affect the clock’s looks, so it should blend in indoors if that’s where you want to place it. Indoor clocks have no such protections and should never be hung outside.

Where should I place my modern wall clock’s outdoor temperature receiver?

A. It should be placed in a shaded and reasonably protected area. If it’s placed in an area that sees direct sunlight throughout the day, it will display an incorrectly higher temperature reading. If it’s not protected it won’t last as long as it should.

What’s the best modern wall clock to buy?

Top modern wall clock

Sharp Atomic Clock

Sharp Atomic Clock

What you need to know: There’s nothing more modern than a clean and efficient design.

What you’ll love: The time is atomic, meaning it automatically sets and adjusts. It displays the indoor temperature and uses an exterior receiver to read the outdoor temperature. It also displays the month, day and day of the week. It comes in black and silver.

What you should consider: The clock and outside receiver must be within 100 feet of each other. It isn’t backlit and the bottom half can be hard to read at a distance. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top modern wall clock for the money

Jomparis Silent Non-Ticking Round Wall Clock

Jomparis Silent Non-Ticking Round Wall Clock

What you need to know: This minimalistic and affordable clock is a good choice for any home.

What you’ll love: It’s available in 12- or 13-inch sizes and in nine color combinations, including classic black and white and a bold yellow and white. It makes no noises. The large numbers and tiny dots on the rim make it easy to glance at.

What you should consider: A few customers had issues with the batteries disconnecting, causing the clock to be out of sync. It also can be hard to read at a distance.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Yisiteone Classical Large Decorative Wall Clock

Yisiteone Classical Large Decorative Wall Clock

What you need to know: This is a good choice if decoration, not function, is your goal.

What you’ll love: It comes in medium or large sizes in either gold or black. Operation is completely noiseless. It requires some assembly but it goes quick and hanging is a dream. The pendulum adds a touch of movement to make the design more dynamic.

What you should consider: It’s expensive and it’s difficult — or downright impossible — to tell the time. It’s also practically invisible if it isn’t placed on a contrasting-colored wall.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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