Car Clocks

Car Clocks



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18th Century


More and more people began to travel by carriage, and needed timepieces that could go with them.

The carriage clock had a shockproof movement that was perfected by the French watchmaker Abraham Louis Brequet that could withstand carriage travel.


19th Century


Pocket watches were placed in leather holders that fit over the front board of the carriage. As inventors and manufacturers like Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Charles and J. Frank Duryea, Henry Ford, and Ransom E. Olds furthered development of the automobile, a new breed of clock was introduced—the car clock.

By 1908, speedometer companies were producing and marketing clocks as after-market accessories.

The car clock grew in popularity and several companies began catering to the growing market, including:

The Phinney-Walker Keyless Clock Company

The Warner Instrument Company

The Seth Thomas Clock Company

The Stewart Speedometer Company

The Chelsea Clock Company

The Boston Clock Company


Sometimes there was a clear difference between marine clocks and car clocks, but Waltham, a major supplier of car clocks, marketed identical timepieces for both.

Customers could choose to have car clocks that mounted on general interior surfaces, dashboards, steering wheels, gearshifts, and rear-view mirrors.

The winding mechanisms also evolved from key-wind clocks to stem-wind clocks to rim-wind clocks.

During the 1930s and 1940s, electric automobile clocks were in production, but mechanical clocks were still being offered.

In the 1950s and 1960s, electric clocks dominated the market until the advent of quartz technology.

Today's car clocks mostly have quartz movements, however new technologies like Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are available as both production abd after-market accessories.