How To Choose An Outdoor Clock

Is it 'drinks-in-the-garden' o'clock, already? Probably! While they're obviously helpful to keep track of the time especially when you're enjoying a phone-free break, outdoor clocks can be turned into conscious decorative statements.

Combining style and functionality, they'll be the first thing your guests see when walking towards your front door. Here's how to choose an outdoor clock that ticks all the boxes!

Table of Contents Hide

What Type of Outdoor Clock Is Best for Me?

Traditionally, outdoor clocks are analogues. Digital clocks that are specifically suited for your external walls are extremely difficult to find, and it's even rarer to see them around (other than in professional settings). After all, they do leave out the decorative element that characterizes outdoor clocks!

Not all analogue clocks are the same, though! Here's what you can choose from.

What Are the Different Power Sources for Outdoor Clocks?

  • Battery-operated: this is the most common option, as it will work in any scenario, regardless of which direction your wall faces;

  • Solar-powered: although these clocks are a bit more difficult to find, they might be worth scouting for if your wall is directly exposed to sunlight for most of the day and if you care a lot about environmentally friendly alternatives.

Two Colored Battery Outdoor Clock
Battery Outdoor Clock and Thermometer
Battery Outdoor Wall Clock
Solar Powered Wireless Clock
Solar Powered Weather Clock System
Bronze Battery Thermometer Clock

Are There Any Other Special Features for Outdoor Clocks?

  • Temperature or humidity: any clock will tell you the time, but some can do better than that! Clocks with an integrated thermometer or hygrometer (measuring humidity) are handy if you live in particularly hot, freezing-cold or wet climates and appreciate keeping an eye on the current degrees and weather conditions;

  • Weather-resistance: unless you've got a good designated spot underneath the roof of your patio, make sure that you pick a waterproof clock so that it lasts you for years despite the rain. The safest choices are rust-resistant materials like plastic and powder-coated or painted metal.

  • We also recommend considering where you're going to be reading it from. If your garden seats or patio are a bit farther away from your house, look for simpler and bigger designs (at least 12 inches) with longer hands that allow you to tell the time immediately without having to squint in the sunlight or - worse! - get up.

What's the Right Outdoor Clock for my House Exterior?

Settling for an outdoor clock that's got nothing to do with the theme of your garden or that doesn't stand out against your wall is a waste of… well, time (and money!). Here are a few things that we recommend considering when choosing your outdoor clock:

  • To make it easier to tell the time, make sure that your clock creates a light and dark contrast against the external wall of your house; if you happen to have an exposed brick wall, look for plain monochrome faces (white will stand out the most);

  • If you'd like to maintain a cohesive look, identify the accent color in your garden or patio: have you got pink house numbers? A bright yellow fence? Go for a clock in that hue!

  • Another trick to keep the exterior of your house consistent and wow your guests with your impeccable attention to detail is to choose an outdoor clock that matches the existing theme of your garden and patio (e.g. nautical, flora, fauna, classical, etc.);

Old Fashioned Black Outdoor Clock
Outdoor Clock Thermometer in Creme
Outdoor Clock in Gold and Black
Bronze Nature Outdoor Wall Clock
Classic Grey Outdoor Wall Clock
Floral Outdoor Wall Clock
  • If, rather than a theme, your house follows a specific décor style, your outdoor clock could introduce it to your guests before they've even walked into your living room:

    • Arabic numerals or simple lines in a metal or plastic case that matches your main accent color can work well in a modern scenario;

    • Roman numerals are better suited for industrial, cottage-style, French country and shabby chic décors. For the last two, white or pastel colors, ornate designs and a discolored wooden-like feel can go a long way. As for industrial décors, you could even consider going face-less!

    • Have you been embracing minimalism? Then choose monochrome or two-color faces (with a natural palette if you want to add some Scandinavian vibes) and drop the numbers;

Black Modern Outdoor Clock
Country Styled Metal Outdoor Clock
Industrial Outdoor Wall Clock with Lights
Industrial Natural Stone Floor Outdoor Clock
French Country Styled Outdoor Clock
French Country Rustic Outdoor Clock
  • Traditional round monochrome cases and white or light-yellow faces are perfect for a retro feel;

  • Starburst shapes are clear indicators of mid-Century modern vibes;

  • Bohemian clocks can have brighter color combinations or even mimic specific textures.

Black and White Retro Styled Outdoor Clock
Retro Anchor Outdoor Wall Clock
Mid Century Modern Glass Outdoor Clock
Mid Century Modern Outdoor Clock
Bohemian White Outdoor Wall Clock
Bohemian Outdoor Wall Clock

Quick Tips

Let's not lose track of time or of the most important tips! When choosing an outdoor clock, keep these points in mind:

  • Most models are analogue: you can choose between battery-operated or, if your wall is directly exposed to sunlight, eco-friendlier solar clocks

  • Some clocks can tell the temperature and humidity, too: handy depending on your climate!

  • Weather-resistant materials like plastic and powder-coated or painted metal are vital if that wall is directly exposed to the elements

  • Go for a frame that is at least 12 inches wide if you don't usually sit directly underneath that wall

  • Choose a clock that creates a light and dark contrast against your external wall, one that matches the main accent color of your house exteriors or the theme of your outdoor wall décor, or one that follows the main style of your house.