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When you’re putting the finishing touches on your at-home bar setup, we recommend including a good bar clock, whether as a decorative touch, or just because it’s, you know, helpful to have around. Our recommendations for the best bar clock range from strictly convenient to statement-making.
If you’re going for pure function and your style tends toward the modern, something like an Amazon Echo with the digital clock included is actually perfect. Convenient to store and easy to use, it also has Alexa built-in, and comes with that other bar essential: a speaker.
We selected a few other clocks that are popular for bar set-ups, which vary widely in terms of vibe. We like the neon vintage Harley clock, for example, because it gives us a neighborhood dive kind of feel, minus the bikers. The novelty pool table clock looks surprisingly grown up in a bar area surrounded by things like leather arm chairs or mahogany. And the “rustic” clock is that rarest of decorative pieces that looks good in both your homey bar and your Aunt Linda’s midwestern kitchen (you should call her by the way).
What to Look For In a Good Bar Clock
We took a few other things into consideration when compiling our list, in addition to the particular bar atmosphere each clock evokes.
Decorative: First things first, is style a concern for you at all? If not, we’d recommend looking for something small and easy to store, and extra points if it’s multi-use.
Installation: While it’s not the most important thing in the grand scheme of clock-shopping, we did take into consideration how easy each clock will be to install. Make sure you have any extra tools if you’re going to need them, and check what kind of batteries, wiring, or charging the clock needs.
Size: Measure your space carefully before buying any kind of wall fixture, keeping in mind outward dimensions as well as internal.
Function: If you only need the clock as a decorative accent, perhaps its ability to tell the time accurately is low on your priority list. If it is not, and you are eschewing a digital model, check for mechanical defects or shoddy craftsmanship that might mess with the efficiency of your product.
1. Amazon Echo Dot With Clock Gen 3
Frankly, an Echo Dot is probably going to be more useful to your day-to-day than you realize anyway, but we find that it is particularly well-suited as a bar clock. As far as straightforward time-telling goes, it has an accurate, digital time display, which, if you are not close enough to see with your eyeballs, can simply shout the time back at you if you ask Alexa.
Other reasons the Echo makes a great bar clock include its small size — about an inch bigger than a hockey puck — which makes it easy to stash behind the vodka, and the fact that it’s a speaker which connects to your Spotify/iTunes/Pandora, etc., solving two bar needs in one. Alexa can also adjust your lighting and thermostat, handy for any bar, not just the one in your house.
This model is the Gen3, which is a little bigger than the earlier second generation. It has high-quality audio, connects to WiFi and Bluetooth, and is compatible with both iOs and Android.
Pros: Small, discreet, and comes with all the functions of Alexa.
Cons: Does not add a decorative accent, and small size can make the time difficult to read.
2. Harley-Davidson Essential Bar & Shield Neon Clock
If you want a decorative clock with a specific look that seems to actually say something, we recommend this Harley-Davidson neon shield clock, which says to us, “That’ll be three bucks for that beer and we only take cash.”
More seriously, we really love the idea of bringing the atmosphere of a laid-back, local favorite watering hole right to us, and Harley-Davidson is a classic motif.
While the design is the real selling point, you should note that this is a reliable quartz clock that people agree keeps very good time. It is on the large side, at 12 inches in diameter and a little over two pounds.
The clock itself and the neon light are actually powered separately, so it comes with a power cord for the clock and requires a AA battery for the light.
Pros: Strong design style and quality mechanics.
Cons: Requires separate battery to power the light, and is on the large side.
3. Trademark Pool Rack Quartz Clock
There are a few ways to style this novelty pool table clock. As an accent in a restaurant or your home bar area, it’s a playful touch — literally — and adds a relaxed, college bar vibe too. The clock is also great for a game room or man cave, and can also be displayed standing up on a counter or on a bookshelf, say, for your library or den.
It measures 12 inches tall, so it will take up some space, and uses one AA battery to operate, the upside of which being there are no awkward or unsightly cords. This is an accurate quartz clock, particularly notable for how quietly it ticks.
Pros: Playful design and operates quietly.
Cons: It’s a niche design that won’t work everywhere.
4. Vintage Wall Clock, French Art Decor
The muted colors and old world-style numerals of this vintage-looking clock give it its popular French bistro style. And while we can no longer in good faith call that style “eclectic,” we can say that it still evokes a comfortable, two-bottles-of-red-wine and a charcuterie board feel.
We also like that it is made of eco-friendly wood, which the manufacturer states is moisture and mildew-proof, providing for a longer-lasting clock. And if you’re the type of person to get irritated by small noises, you’ll be happy to hear that this clock is also silent, so no ticking.
One of our larger picks, it is 18 inches around, so be sure to leave a large space of wall to accommodate the size. It takes one AA battery to operate, which should last for 10 months.
Pros: Attractive bistro style and silent mechanics.
Cons: Quite large and should not be used outdoors.