LUMICHRON Clock Company enclosed tower clocks are ready to install, right out of the crate!
Tower Clocks and Case Clocks
We typically refer to an enclosed tower clock as a Case Clock for its style of construction. Some call it a canister or drum clock. We call it a Case clock because the clock motor and illumination are completely self-contained within a case, including the back of the clock (all with an architectural-grade powdercoat finish). It is a completely assembled unit, shipped ready to install. We’re not in the canning business (a Can) or the music/oil business (a Drum), or the furniture business (a Cabinet). Watches are in a ‘watch case’ and tall grandfather clocks are in a ‘long case’ — the word case comes from Horology. We take Time seriously, so back to the roots, in a historical and etymological sense.
A Tower Clock can be any large clock, usually mounted on a dedicated structure or wall/facade for the purpose of displaying the Time to The Public. If you are looking for only the hands and numbers/indexes, see ‘Skeletal Clocks’.
More Clock Part definitions:
Face or Dial? We typically call it a ‘dial’ but it’s used interchangeably with ‘face’.
A Chapter Ring is part of the dial design, it is the outer graphic band/track with minute tick marks
A Crystal – this is the glass or acrylic protection, (a ‘closed-face’) in front of a clock dial/hands – LUMICHRON clocks feature tempered glass crystals for superior clarity and durability.
A Bezel is the circular ring which holds the crystal in front of the dial.
Indexes – in lieu of numbers, sometimes markers or ‘indexes’ are used, typically on 5 or 15 minute intervals
Roman numerals – Roman numerals, the numeric system used in ancient Rome, employs combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values – on a clock the hours are shown as I, II, III, IIII, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII. It is standard for 4:00 to be “IIII”, as it visually balances out the “IIIX” at 8:00, and so as not to get mixed up with the “VI” at 6:00.
Arabic numerals – This is the numbering system that is familiar to most of us — 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. It is also known as the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. The numbers can be in any font of course . . . or we can create or match a custom font for you.
A Retainer Ring is used to hold a dial in place when there is no bezel/glass protection in the case of an ‘open-face’ clock.
Size – LUMICHRON clocks are measure by the outside case diameter, not the width of a dial or the site opening through the bezel. In the event of a skeletal clock, it’s the distance from the top of 12 to bottom of 6, or equivalent indexes. A mounting flange for through-front installations is not included in the ‘size’.
A Skeletal clock features only the hands and indexes/numbers only, sometimes with a background dial, non-illuminated. If the dial is illuminated, then we’re back to a ‘tower clock’. Sometimes the hands and indexes/numbers are halo-lit – light shines out the back against the wall – a nice choice if the walls are light in color.
There are three basic types of large outdoor clock tower façade:
1) A clock with an illuminated dial – a case clock, or enclosed tower clock, as discussed above
2) A clock with hands and numbers/indexes only – A skeletal clock [link]
3) A skeletal clock with a background dial, typically non-illuminated [link]
Tower Clock Time Control
All clock tower, building, architectural, outdoor clocks manufactured by LUMICHRON Clock Company are completely automatic for hands-free operation. The time is managed by a master clock controller, usually located in the electrical room – secure and accessible. This device keeps track of the time with a quartz crystal with a lithium battery back-up, often synchronized with a GPS antenna for exact synchronization with NIST (Atomic Time, link). When the power is interrupted or DST changes the master clock will reset the display clocks automatically.
Tower Clock Illumination
A tower clock typically features an illuminated dial/face, back-lit with long-life (100,000 hour+) LED’s. If you don’t want an illuminated face, see skeletal clocks, with (or without) a dial. A LUMICHRON clock face is unbreakable sign-grade (UV Protected) polycarbonate and the back-lighting can be of several color ‘temperatures’, ranging from warm 3100k to cool 7200k. A nice medium tone is 4200k.
Tower Clock Size
To decide on the size for a case clock for your clock tower, look at it in context. An old rule of thumb was a foot in diameter for every 10 feet of building height, but that is really only for legibility of the dial. For example, a 24” diameter clock on the 2nd story of a building looks pretty small. It’s better to think of the clock as an integral part of the architecture, and size it accordingly. Viewing distance is also a consideration and we have a reference sheet for distance/legibility dial style.
Most tower clocks are of round of course . . .but square, rectangular, or even oval tower clocks are an option.
A LUMICHRON clock size is the outside diameter of the case, excluding any mounting flange if so provided. It’s not the sight opening through a bezel or diameter of the illuminated face. In the case of skeletal clocks, it’s the distance from top of 12 to bottom of 6.
Tower Clock Service
A LUMICHRON fully enclosed outdoor clock case is always constructed with proper service access, either through the front or completely from the back. Keep this in mind when specifying or designing a building clock, especially a tower clock. If the back is non-accessible, then the front shall be and vice-versa.
Through-front outdoor tower clock service: The bezel (holding the glass crystal, sizes up to 42” diameter) or dial retainer ring (for open-face dials, 48” and larger) are held in-place with perimeter screws which need to be kept accessible, especially if applying an EFIS or other exterior finish after the clock is installed. All internal components are accessed through the front.
Through-back outdoor tower clock service: The back of the clock is completely removable, often with butterfly service doors, depending on size. The dial can be removed, with the motor and hands. No exterior lift is necessary, only an interior room with easy access and to accommodate the service.
A LUMICHRON tower clock is serviceable by qualified personnel. This includes electrical contractors and electric sign companies. Complete records are maintained for every clock made so factory assistance is readily available. Complete Operation and Maintenance manuals are available upon request.
Benefits of a Fully-Enclosed Tower Clock
– Easy to Install The clock is shipped complete, ready-to-install. All the parts, including dial, hands, motor, support brackets, lighting elements, etc. are self-contained (enclosed front and back) and fully assembled. Site electricians or local sign companies are qualified to install a complete tower clock manufactured by LUMICHRON.
– Protection A fully enclosed case provides protection for the clock movement as well as the lighting elements – this is especially important when considering dust/dirt/varmints and bugs drawn to the light! Less exposure to ‘the elements’ means longer life.
Tower Clock Details and Specifications
Generally, any large clock installed on a dedicated façade for such is a “Tower Clock”. Sometimes referred to as an Architectural Clock since it defines or becomes an integral feature of the architecture, or a Building Clock, since it’s part of the exterior of a building, or an Outdoor Clock since it’s usually installed outside on the exterior of a structure.
Outdoor Tower Building Architectural Façade clock specifications are listed in the CSI MasterFormat category Manufactured Exterior Specialties, 10 74 13. Written specifications for any outdoor building clock can be provided as well as CAD drawings, simply drop us an E [link] and we’ll respond promptly. Click Here to see basic PDF drawings.
How To Order a Tower Clock
Simply send us an e-mail to request a quote. All projects are different so we will need to know:
- Size of clock
- Number of clocks
- Type of clock:
- Case with illuminated dial
- New construction, do you have an opening in the wall?
- Existing façade, so anything new is to be mounted on the surface
- Skeletal, hand and indexes/numbers only
- Including a background dial
- Halo-lighting for hands
- Case with illuminated dial
Here’s our Catalog
A Few Other Considerations for a LUMICHRON Tower Clock
All LUMICHRON exterior tower clocks are custom manufactured to meet site requirements. We have standard configurations to start with, but our specialty is providing a solution to your unique challenge, presented in a timely, cost-effective, professional manner.
We take every outdoor clock project personally and in order to best serve our customers we have no outside sales or representatives – you deal directly with the manufacturer. Once a project has been awarded you will receive detailed shop drawings and submittals for approval prior to construction. Normal delivery time for a typical building clock is about 5 – 8 weeks, depending on current backorders at the time. If you need it sooner, just let us know and we’ll see what’s possible!
Let LUMICHRON Make Time For You!