The Karlsson Clock company are known for their minimalist and innovative design aesthetic. They say you can’t reinvent the wheel, but they didn’t say you can’t reinvent the clock! Karlsson Clocks certainly re-imagine everything about modern clock design – an unexpected tweak here or a splash of color there can make people sit up and take notice. Just like product designers like Maarten Baas captured the world’s attention with a series of burned furniture dubbed ‘Smoke’, Karlsson Clocks continue to produce intriguing yet beautiful collections that embody the dichotomy of decay and renewal.
You could say Dutch design is often about dichotomies – a tug-of-war between the streamlined and quirky, the functional and avant-garde. But these contrasting qualities make for some interesting and unique takes that are evident in all Karlsson Clocks.
So what is special about Karlsson Clocks? Aren’t they just another type of modern clock hanging on your wall, perched on your desk, resolutely tick-tocking their way into the future? A clock is one of those objects you never notice until you need it, hardly what you would call a centre piece or a focal point. A necessity, yes. Practical, certainly. But a design statement? Most people might say no, but they probably don’t own a Karlsson Clock – and it might be time to think again.
The Dutch brand Karlsson Clocks takes the best of its country’s design sensibility and applies it to one of the most utilitarian objects in your home or office. Their team of international designers creates timepieces that are modern and eye-catching, with graphic elements and unique shapes that turn the humble old clock into a true piece of art.
Taking inspiration from both retro and contemporary elements, each Karlsson Clock design brings a little bit of oomph into a plain room. The charmingly old-school Calender wall clock would fit right into anyone’s office, while the Spider novelty clock, with its colored spokes has an industrial, modern feel. For the younger ones, there’s the multi-colored kids clock shaped like a stack of books to bring a bit of whimsy to an otherwise drab desk, or the puzzle-inspired model to brighten up a plain white wall. Are you one of those people who loves capturing every little moment with a snapshot? The DIY Passe-Partout has twelve frames in various sizes for your photos – a large wall clock that not only tells time, but tells your stories as well.
I love the Digibell digital alarm clock, with its retro style, aluminum finish and ‘ surprise! – digital face; this is probably the one alarm I won’t sleep through. I have a penchant for plain clocks that have no numbers, and there are plenty of minimalist Karlsson Clock designs to choose from. One of my favorites is the Falling Numbers model, its clean white face contrasting sharply with the numbers scattered about and spilling over outside the frame.
Other popular Karlsson Clock pieces range from classical and timeless to trendy and fun. So whether you are looking for something simple and subtle, or something a little more kitschy and unconventional, take a look at these Dutch darlings. And the next time you think clocks are little more than boring old devices that tell time, take a look at your gorgeous Karlsson Clock. I can guarantee you won’t be looking at the clock simply to check the time anymore.
Karlsson are a Dutch manufacturing and design house, who produce some of the finest and most iconic modern large wall clocks. If you enjoy modern, minimalist design you will love their range. The designers like to break their products into three categories –
- The “timeless” collection is a series of beautiful, minimalist clocks, any one of which Frank Lloyd Wright himself would have been proud to own. Less is more in the Timeless collection, and that’s exactly the concept behind the “Little big time” (think of a clock without the face, glass or surround). It looks fantastic, strikingly different.
- The “time of your life” collection draws on fashion and trends to make quirky or humorous statements. These clocks are conversation pieces, most with a colorful and friendly air to them. If you like bold colors and themes, check out this almost eccentric range. Kids will love them, try the fun “Jungle Bells” or “Peekaboo” designs for a gift or high quality furnishing to the bed room.
- If you thought any of those were a bit wacky, just wait till you see the Karlsson Works collection. These masterpieces are unashamedly unique, and are a showcase for design and technical achievement. Not toys or for the faint hearted, be amazed when you see the ingenuity of the “world timer” (forget numerals – when you can have a miniature working clock, showing a different time zone in place of each number), or the “time talks” which does away with numbers entirely – showing the time in constantly changing sentence form (Twenty-five-past-six).
If you are someone who likes to work at a classic roll top desk with an intriguing array of items around your workspace (the kind that young children want to play with and look at, but that are not really toys!), be sure to look into these amazing clocks before you go and buy another boring old desk clock at Walmart… 😉
Karlsson Wall clocks are more than time pieces. Form follows function is no longer the mantra, and some of these units blur the boundary between art and technology. Check it out for yourself, and imagine how one of these could be a focal point in your living room, or in the office. They are a practical piece of art.
Thanks to moonhouse for the image.