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By on December 17, 2010, with 25 Comments

In the Porro showroom in Via Durini 15, Milan, the Italian manufacturer is currently presenting this new optical-illusion-inspired wall clock, designed by the Swedish designer quartet Front. The piece you see on your left is entitled: “Front around the clock”, and is made from a metal disk with a diameter of 55 cm. The 12 hours are applied perpendicularly to the base and are only legible by their shadows cast on the white surface.

When people first notice the clock hanging from a wall (example photo inside this post), they don’t seem to notice what’s so different about it. Yet inspecting it from lesser distance, made them smile and whisper “ah!”. Why I am not so sure about this one, is because you probably need to apply special care to where sun light or other artificial light beams will be coming from.

  • Typeaux

    I have no problem with using a specifically-placed light source to create the “illusion” — this is, after all, using the same principles as the wire art and junk sculptures that create detailed shadows of something familiar (many of which you have featured in the past). In that vein, this clock is rather pedestrian in comparison with those artistic creations. Nonetheless, I think it qualifies under the same rules.

  • t

    Cute, it’s a clock and a sundial.

  • Slammer

    i guess you could just put a special light just for the clock in whatever possition you need, but ya a lot of light (like in a big office space) would probably ruin the effect. neat concept though. would sure be nifty for like a personal office space or home or something.

  • meh

    tsk tsk someone doesn’t know their left and rights!

  • a person

    That is sooo cool!!!!!
    I want one!!!!!!!!

  • josephine

    Yeah, you would have to choose very carefully where to put it, it would be hard to read it at night unless it’s by an artificial light source…

  • SnowBerey

    wtf lol
    ok so i took this pic i took not knowing how it looked. when i downloaded it to my computer i realized how confused my brain got when i looked at it. so the only reason this picture works is because i balanced the chair perfectly on two legs, i took a pic with my camera at its angle not knowing creating this illusion
i hope you like it and i also hope you post it :)
the link to the pic i took (i had to make a website to be able to show you) is……


    thanks for your time

  • Fae

    this is very cool

  • Dolphin


  • http://www.moillusions.com zajackengalpie

    Hmmmmm…. Pretty cool.

  • Radical Bombs

    oooh i get it now

  • Craynor

    sucks when the light comes from the wrong side :D

  • melinda

    I want one. Where can I buy it?

  • Debra Howard

    I want one!

  • Richard Haviland

    Very interesting and different for sure. I like it very much, would like one in my home. It would certenly make a great subject for lively conversation……..

  • awesomeman

    whats that big square thing in the last photo

  • Eva


  • Naufal

    hmmm nice ilusion but I want to say something… Yay First Comment!!!

  • Steve

    Very cool effect. It would be cool to have a clock like this, and just have a small light shining on it from the correct angle all the time.

  • Marco

    Seems obvious to me – the allusion is to the sundial – an earlier timekeeper.

  • voigt_meister

    Very cool. Add a motion sensored LED light and voila…time at any time!

  • Khaos

    Why do the hour and minute hands (or to be precise – the minute hand compared to the hour hand) seem to be in the wrong positions?
    For instance, in the topmost clock picture the minute hand is 5 mintues away from 12 – yet the hour hand appears to be between 3 and 4 (half an hour before the minute hand should reach 12).
    Is this also part of the ‘illusion’ – that the numerals will appear in the wrong positions? (Pretty useless clock if so…) Or is it the case that the clock doesn’t really tell the time (so its a pice of ‘art’ and not really a clock) thus allowing the arms to be independantly moved anywhere?

  • Khaos

    I guess I must be missing something here… A close-up of of the ‘front-around-the-clock-2’ image (the middle one, viewing the clock from the right) shows a hole in the centre of the clock face, through which the hands are attached – So this is (to my mind) definitely *not* a sundial, but a regular clock with internal mechanisms for moving the hands, although the mechanism doesn’t seem to be working very well in the pictures :-(.
    Maybe its just me, but I don’t really see how turning the clock numerals on their side, therefore creating the need for a light source to be constantly to the ‘right of the clock’ to be interesting. Again though, maybe thats just me… Or maybe I’ve missed something…

    My own favourite clock is the ‘Corpus Clock’ in Cambridge, England, which (to me) is way cooler than this one. There is a video explaining how it works at http://www.wired.com/culture/design/magazine/17-02/st_chronophage for anyone who is interested…

  • ZL123

    I kinda noticed it the first time…

  • Akire

    Its not practical. If u don’t hv sunlight, u can’t see the time.