This is an international analog clock so you can see what time it is in other cities. With a lazy susan bearing, some magnets, and a couple of bolts this baby rotates and then locks in place, thus changing the time along with the city name on top.
If you're lucky enough to be wandering around NYC, you should check out the MoMA store which has a much higher percentage of awesomeness per square foot than most places I had the chance to see out there. MUJI fountain pens!
Inside, I saw an interesting clock by Charlotte Van Der Waals. You can see versions of it here. Basically, the clock rotates to 12 different spots, each with the names of two cities embossed into it. It's a cool trick. A 30-degree rotation moves the hour hand forward or back an hour. Clever, but almost too good to be true, right?
Yes, it is.
The first problem was the price. The range is $75 to $190 and that's too much for a clock that I could make myself. The second problem that I saw later is much worse. It doesn't work. This thing is seriously made useless by Daylight Saving Time. Tokyo doesn't observe it, the southern hemisphere countries have a reversed schedule, and the starting times vary from country to country. How does the fancy design for $190 sound now?
To solve this there need to be multiple faces that could be swapped. You could go by just a couple of faces (summer and winter) and get by or be more anal and make more. Personally, I'm just making two since it's really just the Tokyo time I care about. I could've just bought two clocks and had some tacky labels on them, but this is for my home and I don't want to feel like I live in an office.
Step 1: Buy a Cheap IKEA Clock
I highly recommend the Rusch clock from IKEA. At just thee bucks it's one of the best deals in the massive warehouse store that smells of cinnamon rolls. Even cats love it!
Step 2: Rip Out the Guts
Plastic cover? Gone.
Hour, minute, and second hands? Gone.
Paper backing? Gone, too.
Step 3: Drill Out Holes
The lazy susan bearing has four holes in it so carefully find out where it needs to be for it to be centered and mark the positions. Then drill them out.
Step 4: Add the Magnets
Mark out 12 spots equally around the circle on the back and hot glue neodymium magnets onto them.
Step 5: Attach Lazy Susan Bearing
Drill out four holes for the bearing and then screw it into place.
Step 6: Bolted
Drill two holes in the wood for the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions.
Step 7: Attach the Clock
Put some short short bolts through the holes in the clock and hold them in place with some nuts on the bottom.
Step 8: Print Out a New Backing
Take some time to decide what you need in an international clock.
No, really, why the hell are you doing this? This will help you to choose what cities are important for you to know about. If you're only thinking about the states, forget about it. This project isn't worth it. You can keep a few hours of difference straight in your head. So what cities do you need to keep in contact with?
For me, it's the need to know what time it is for my parents who live in Tokyo. It didn't take long to figure out the seven or eight hour time difference (Japan has no DST), but I figured it'd be fun to know what time it was over there. And I went ahead and added more cities as well. Just be careful because different countries have different dates for DST starting and stopping and countries in the southern hemisphere are backwards about it. Which, you know, is how it should be.
I used Illustrator to make my clock face. Photoshop could also work. Or you can make one by hand.
Just remember to have the countries going clockwise as you go West around the globe.
Step 9: Cut!
Slice it out and keep some tabs sticking out that will help keep it in place.
Step 10: Add the Hands
Plop the hour hand and the second hand and you're done. Use the minute hand to clean your teeth or scrape out your ears. Now just rotate the clock to whatever city you want to know about and you're golden.