Reconstructed Clock




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Analog clocks may be classic but they are a little boring, hack an analog clock to display the time in a different way.
By adding rotating numerical dials to the hour, minute and second hand the time is read by where the dials fall along a vertical point on the clock face, rather than reading the position of each hand against a printed backing.

I chose the time reading position on my clock to be read at 12 o'clock, but you can put the mark anywhere on the plastic face and reset the clock's time for that position. 12 o'clock seemed like the easiest, most natural way to read the time.

The trickiest part of this build was creating a new clock face template, luckily I've provided you with the template I created. Feel free to modify it and use it on your own clock.

Here's a quick video of the reconstructed clock in action:

This confusing clock is a fun take on a boring analog time piece. Best of all, it can be constructed in an afternoon with minimal supplies.

Enough talk, let's disassemble!

Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • scissors
  • glue
  • printer
  • cardstock
  • paper
  • analog desk clock

Step 2: Break Down Clock

I got this analog clock from the Dollar Store, it comes apart very easily.

Dismantle your analog clock until you get to the clock hands and the numerical face plate.
Then, pull of hands and peel off the paper faceplate. You should now have a stripped clock.

Measure the dimensions of your clock, then measure the radius from axle to closest edge. You will need these dimensions later.

Step 3: Make/print Clock Face Template

In order for your clock to tell time correctly with the time reading on the dials rather than the face, your numbers need to go in reverse order. Since there will be a dial on each hand we will need three templates, all printed with the numerical values for each counter-clockwise.

Searching online I found a standard clock numerical faceplate and modified it with photo editing software. You are welcome to use the reverse clock template I used for my project. You may need to resize the image to fit the dimensions of your clock based on the dimensions taken earlier for your specific analog clock design.

Print the reverse clock template on your computer, then cut out each dial.

Step 4: Glue Template to Cardstock + Clock Hands

Using glue, stick the paper templates to stiff cardstock. This cardstock will give your dials some rigidity and will allow each dial to rotate without getting caught up on the other dials.

After glue has dried cut out each dial, then glue the corresponding clock hands to the backside of their respective cardstock dials.

When all glue has dried install the hand-cardstock-papertemplate back on the clock, starting with the hour dial and finishing with the seconds dials. Some minor adjustments may need to be made to the cardstock to allow for free rotation of each dial.

Step 5: Mark Position to Read Time

With all the dials working smoothly, reinstall the entire assembly inside the protective housing.

The last step is to mark on the clear protective where you would like to take time readings from. I chose the 12 o'clock position, as it seemed the most natural. You are free to choose anywhere, just set the time accordingly.

Put fresh battery in your clock and set it on your desk. you're sure to be the envy of all your coworkers with this unusual and entertaining clock!

Did you make your own reconstructed clock? Post a picture in the comments below and you're receive a digital patch and a 3-month Pro Membership to



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20 Discussions


2 years ago

This clock can tell time in more than one time zone. On the plastic cover, put another line in a different colour at the current time in a different time zone. This can be done for more than one other time zone.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Great question!
I definitely think this would work with a watch and it's where my idea originated, this version was larger and easier to work with for a first prototype.

Think you can make it into watch form? If you do I'll give you a 1-year Pro membership!


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Finally finished! It looks really good. I had a little trouble, because the discs were rubbing together too much, but it was an easy fix. I'm exited to try more Instructables from mikeasauras and am looking forward to them!


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

All right. I liked the first watch, but it was kind of plain. I decided to make a new one. I found a cheap watch at Target and made a new face template. The original face was blue, so I kept that idea.


Reply 3 years ago

Wow! I was just about to comment that it probably won't work because the motor of a watch it too weak

Proved me wrong ;)


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction these could be handy at times!


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Wow, that is pretty great you made it into a wrist watch!

I've awarded you a 1-year Pro Membership and a digital patch. Thanks for sharing! (and, I'm sorry I didn't even see this comment until just now)


3 years ago

I am seeking a solution for mounting a clock rebuilt using CD. So I can, publish this project.


6 years ago on Introduction

for those into clocks and that,


7 years ago on Step 5

The moment I saw this ible I knew I had to make one. Here it is, with the gears, but without the second pointer, as the clock doen't have one.

1 reply