New Arrival – Retro Clocks by Karlsson

Retro Staff |  Comments

If a clock that accurately tells time is good, then a decorative, stylish clock that tells the world something about you is even better!

We just received a new assortment of clocks from Dutch manufacturer Karlsson that – like vintage designer clocks of old – are works of art as well as timepieces. Karlsson has a reputation for innovative designs that walk the line between contemporary and retro. Avant-garde, whimsical, casual yet stylish, these clocks are made to get noticed.

Retro Bubble Mirror Clock

While featuring contemporary elements, these Karlsson clocks are mainly inspired by the Mid-Century Modern style – also known as Modern, Atomic Age, Postwar, or the Eames Era (for the influential husband-and-wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames). Primarily associated with the 1950s but actually encompassing the late 1940s to 1960s, Mid-Century Modern is characterized by abstract shapes and dynamic themes influenced by science and the idea of “progress.” In the economic boom of the postwar period, great architects and designers working for furniture companies sought to bring creative decor to the average person’s home. (See Ann’s excellent blog on 1950s Decorating Style for more on this.)

Time Around the World Clock

Architect George Nelson was the most influential clock designer of that era. From 1945 to 1972, he served as Director of Design for Herman Miller, Inc., a Michigan furniture company known for its quality work. Under Nelson’s artistic vision, the company became the leading manufacturer of the Mid-Century Modern style, with its clean lines and geometric shapes. This design revolution led manufacturers like Seth Thomas, Lux and Westclox to adopt Nelson’s style and bring it to homes and offices all over the country.

Some of our Karlsson clocks are beautiful examples of Nelson’s style, such as the Wood Discs Starburst Clock. It cleverly reimagines a classic Nelson sunburst-style clock. Abstract arms or rays radiate from the clock’s center. These rays are dotted with wooden discs of various sizes, with the largest on the outer edge, giving the overall impression of a burst of energy. Like a Nelson original, it’s cool and interesting but also very elegant. A variation on this theme is the Large Discs Wall Clock, which features concentric rings of polished steel radiating from a central disc.

Do It Yourself Retro Style Flower Clock

Other Karlsson clocks focus more on original and quirky rather than traditional designs. Take the World Time Aluminum Wall Clock. A typical international clock would have several dials devoted to different cities, and so does this one. But this huge, 20″ x 15″ timepiece wows with a beautiful world map printed on its aluminum surface, which serves as a backdrop for a block-style clock. Another innovative “world” clock is the Around the World Clock. It lies flat on the wall but the artwork on the face makes it look rounded like a globe. And the metal hands are tipped with little airplanes! It’s a very clever and attractive timepiece, perfect for an office or your own “little traveler’s” bedroom.

Travel Around the World Clock

Meanwhile, the Golden Record Clock and Black Record Clock look just like LP albums, complete with faux grooves and center labels. These are an obvious choice for music fans, and their abstract design makes them great decor accessories for a modern-style living room or dining room, as well as an office. And for you hands-on types, we offer the playful DIY Flower Clock. This colorful clock features bright plastic “leaves” that you can position any way you want to customize the clock’s look.

Contemporary Gold Record Clock

You don’t have to know anything about Mid-Century Modern or George Nelson to appreciate the creativity and attention to detail exhibited in the Karlsson clock line. Karlsson has taken an everyday object and made it into something decorative, stylish and fun. And for you, that means turning a clock you need into a clock you want. Take a look at the Karlsson line or any of our great clocks and see what looks good to you. We clearly have plenty of time!