Make a Customized Clock That Runs Backwards




What this Instructable will teach you ?
To take a plain old timepiece or clock and make it run backwards and fit it into a really cool clock face to make your own customized clock you can hang proudly ,because you made it yourself.

How cool is it?
well, its pretty cool take it from me i had this clock in my dorm room for a year and everyone who has seen it has asked me how to make one or asked me to make one for them. (like hell i'll make one for you...).

Has this been done before?
yep. there is another Instructable for this which is also very detailed if you want another source to clear your doubts. link: By crazypoop.
But i made the reverse clock 4 years ago for my science project about the working of a clock.

Why would you want to make a clock that runs backwards?
Because its cool.


Step 1: Things You'll Need.

Tools: None

Other things:
1. You'll need a quartz movement . i.e the part of the clock that actually has the mechanics and the hands. I took mine from an old clock that i had lying around which i never used. you can also buy one its pretty cheap.

2. Carboard, Paper and pens to make the clock face and to make the numbers on it.

3. Extremely optional is a Digital camera to record each step because the Instructable involves opening up the clock and removing the cogs so you might want to record each step when you put the parts back in.

That's all . So, without further ado lets make a creepy backwards running clock.

Step 2: Opening the Clock.

You need to be careful in every step because its all clock work and the mechanisms are delicate.

Remove the hands and the battery from the clock movement. Open up the outer cover and make sure to take a picture or spend a few seconds to note the positions of the cogs because you'll need it when you are putting it back together.

What you need to do is reverse the polarity of the electro magnet in the motor that runs the clock. you do that by reversing the electromagnet itself . The 'U' shaped metallic thing with the coil wrapped around it is the electromagnet.( see in the next picture.).

proceed to next step.

Step 3: Revrsing the Polarity of the Electromagnet.

Remove all the cogs that come in between your access to the electromagnet.(need i say carefully?)

Remove the electromagnet and DO NOT break the coil's connection with the clock or you're screwed.
remove the u shaped metal from inside the coil and flip it 180 degrees. and insert it again into the coil. and put the electromagnet into the clock. I know this step might seem hastily explained but theres simply no other way to put it. See the pictures and i am ready to answer your queries about any step as well.
(NOTE: You might have to remove the tiny little plastic things that keep the magnet in place because they might cause a problem after you reverse the magnet.)

And now for putting it all back together......

Step 4: Putting It Back Together.

Refer to the pictures that you took or from your memory put the cogs back in place and be sure to put them the right way up. Put the cover back on. and insert the battery and see if the cogs turn.

trust me if the cogs are turning they are turning the way you want them to be turning. If they are not turning, now that's when you have a problem.

Step 5: Making the Clock Face.

I looked for ideas to make a clock face on the internet and this is the coolest one i found that i could make very quickly.
try searching for 'Whatever clock' on google.

Just cut out a sturdy cardboard into a square and stick a paper of color you want. Then make the design onto the paper, cut the right sized hole dead center and insert the clock movement from behind. Or you could also design the clock face on the computer and print it out.

Now put the hands of the clock in the right place and insert the battery to see if they move anti-clockwise. They will !!!!

see next step as well please.

Step 6: And Finally...

I've had this clock for years and still the anti-clockwise running thing feel weird. Every time i see it i expect it to run the right way because my mind has been conditioned to it. So it is worth doing just to trick your mind into seeing everyday things in a different perspective.

If you know any way to do the same thing more easily I'd like to know about it, or if you liked this instructable. Even if you didn't like this instructable I'd like to hear about it so feel free to criticize.

I also made one for my GF with the word Meh. instead on Whatever and if you had other cool ideas about the clock face tell me about them.



  • Fandom Contest

    Fandom Contest
  • Party Challenge

    Party Challenge
  • Woodworking Contest

    Woodworking Contest

39 Discussions


1 year ago

where can you buy the 'quartz movement\/hands' other than from an existing clock. Never seen them on sale....


3 years ago

I finally got all the parts put back and it works.Think God,now i"ll make my lg. wall clock. Think you so much. Will send a photo when it"s done. Thank"s again.


3 years ago

I finally got all the parts put back and it works.Think God,now i"ll make my lg. wall clock. Think you so much. Will send a photo when it"s done. Thank"s again.


3 years ago

I finally got all the parts put back and it works.Think God,now i"ll make my lg. wall clock. Think you so much. Will send a photo when it"s done. Thank"s again.


5 years ago

Try a record like a music record disc. I made many record clocks but I might try a counter clockwise one.


7 years ago on Introduction

I did it! It took some work (I hadn't ever played around with clock movements before, so this was kind of scary for me) but it worked wonderfully :D Thank you SO MUCH! :D

I don't want want to be rude or anything I'm just having trouble with it. Do I need a soldering pencil??? How do I change the polarity??

1 reply

Not really any need for soldering here, to reverse the polarity of the electromagnet, you kinda just have to flip it. Thats not really reversing the polarity here as i just realised. Its just reversing the electromagnet itself. Comprende?


8 years ago on Introduction

I tried this, and it really worked!

It was so good I ended up giving the clock away as a Christmas present.

2 replies

I want to give it as a gift too but i must have done something wrong cuz mine is not working and I broke two clocks trying

Ok I have a problem I just broke 2 clocks doing this experiment. The first one I got to the end and it wouldn't work so silly me I tried again and broke the second one should I try for a third cuz the methods dont seem to be working


8 years ago on Step 6

Sometimes these clock will go backwards if you just reverse the battery
save a lot of trouble?

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Yeah, sometimes the circuitry of the clock is not meant to take reverse current. It might work or it might not—though it probably won't cause harm to the clock either way.