Monday, February 8, 2010

blog #382 >> Alarm Clocks

Well, it may be time to find a new alarm clock. After a long drawn out search, I had finally found the perfect alarm clock a few months ago at "The Bins." But last night it started to make a buzzing sound that doesn't go away. Preferably, I only want my alarm clock to make noise when I need to wake up. I have had a terrible time finding the perfect alarm clock. This is probably because I'm insanely persnickety when it comes to watches and clocks. In order to be the perfect alarm clock, it must first and foremost WORK! This may seem obvious, but I have bought clocks in the past simply because they looked neat and didn't try them. Take the chicken alarm clock for example, it was a really swell old West German alarm clock that had chickens whose heads would bob back and forth as it kept the time... only it wasn't repairable. In fact, I think I've bought no less than... hmm... seven? alarm clocks over the years, and none of them have been quite right.

This has brought me to the list of things a clock must have:

1. It must run and keep time accurately as is. Clocks are rarely cheap and easy to repair.

2. It must be analog, no digital clocks for me... I like watching the second hand go 'round.

3. It needs 12 numbers, not tick marks, not Roman numerals, not dots. Numbers. I need something I can read when I'm half asleep.

4. It must have a light so I can read the numbers, or at least glow in the dark hands.

5. It must run silently. This rules out most all wind up alarm clocks that tick, but knowing me, I'd forget to wind it anyhow. So electric is probably best.

6. I don't need a loud alarm clock, the more quiet it is, the better. It doesn't take that much to wake me up. When I had a radio alarm clock, I'd turn the volume all the way down, and even the tiny click of the switch was enough to wake me up. One of the other alarms clocks I bought once was so loud it would scare me awake every morning. I got really tired of waking up with my heart racing in a complete panic to turn it off. That clock didn't last very long. Plus it didn't have a light.

7. If it's old and metal, it cannot be rusty. Even if it works and is rusty on the outside, it won't take long for the rust to spread to the inside, and nothing can bind up those old gears quite like rust.

And here are the best of the ones I found online, although many of them do not fit the criteria above.

Vintage General Electric Alarm Clock – $26.00
I think this is my first pick for a new alarm clock. Unfortunately, it does not have a light up dial, but if it has glow in the dark hands, I might just be able to live with that. Plus, it would go really great with the 40's furniture in my room.

Vintage Intermatic Music Minder Alarm Clock – $28.00
I really like this clock as well, and the radio half of it makes it pretty unique. Also having a radio clock allows me to adjust the volume of the alarm. I'm not sure if it has a light or not, which is certainly a draw back. And I can see it doesn't have a complete set of numbers. However, I really like the snooze timer that allows you to pick how long you want to set it for.

Vintage Westclox Moonbeam Electric Alarm Clock – $12.25
I love the style of this clock. I also love that it wakes you up not only with the alarm, but also with a light. This is very appealing since I hate waking up in the dark. However the clock part is broken, it won't keep time, and although the alarm and light half work on it, I've learned that it is not cheap or easy to get old clocks fixed. This makes it an automatic "no buy" in my book.

Vintage BAKE LITE yellow clock - westclox – $30.00
This clock is much like the one above it, only the clock and alarm part of it work, and the light is out. Unfortunately, I don't think that it's the type of light bulb you can get at the hardware store. However, I suppose you could buy this clock and the clock above this and cannibalize them together. But I've learned that I'm better off buying just one clock that actually works.

Vintage mechanical GERMANY alarm clock Adler – $18.00
I really like these tradition old alarm clocks too. And I like the musical sound they make verses the harsh buzzing sound that most electric alarm clocks make. However, I'm assuming it's VERY loud. It looks loud. I bet it ticks loud too. Plus, I can see that it's not going to have a lighted dial. I would definitely want to try this before I bought it.

Vintage Baby Blue Detailed Baby Ben Winder Alarm Clock – $14.50

I love this little Baby Ben wind-up clock too. But I think getting a wind-up clock would simply lead to me being late to work. Although, I've read lots of great things about the quality of the older Big Ben clocks, which makes me want to get one.

Vintage Big Ben Westclox Electric Alarm Clock – $28.00
In reality this is probably the most practical of these clocks. Everything works, it's electric, it's got numbers, the only thing I'm not sure about is if it's a light up. It's hard to tell, but I don't think it is. It does appear to have glow in the dark hands however... I just wish it was a little bit older looking.

Vintage Pale Pink Westclox Alarm Clock – $15.00
Or if I were really smart, I'd just buy this one. It's exactly like the one I've got now and love, but pink. However, I'm always open to try something new, and I'm not that fond of the buzz it makes at 7am. Also, I'm sort of afraid it will start making the same constant rattling noise that this one makes now.

Westclox 1950 Big Ben Moonbeam Pink Alarm Clock – $30.00
At this point whomever is reading this is probably thinking, "All these clocks are really old! If you're so concerned about finding an alarm clock that works, why are you looking at old clocks? If you're this picky about clocks you should probably just buy a NEW clock." Yes, that argument does have some weight to it. But just because a clock is new doesn't mean it won't break the first month you have it. In fact, these old clocks are much better made and will in the end probably be running years after your new clock is dead. But I know that doesn't always hold true. So here's a new clock I liked that's a remake of the Moombeam models above.

Alright, I suppose that's enough about alarm clocks for now. And I think it's time for me to go and see if old buzzy has decided to quite down for the night, or perhaps I should pull the old travel alarm clock out of my dresser.

Good night!


Leingang Family said...

I adore all of them! I don't know if I could pick one... But I may just put one on my ever-growing birthday list! :o) Let us know which you choose.

Term Papers said...

beautiful clocks that i have never seen before

Ian Maranon said...

These alarm clocks are classics and will withstand the trends of time. Beautiful indeed.