Unusual Mantel Clocks

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As one of the focal points in any room, a mantel should be treated with the same level of attention to detail as a console table. Lend style and functionality to this area is by incorporating them with unusual mantel clocks. Practical with touches of whimsy, these types of clocks will make your fireplace more interesting as it adds another layer of your personality. Whether you’re into chic pieces or vintage styles, these options from our design team will tickle your fancy.

6 Recommendations and 154 Ideas

Updated 12/12/2022
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Skeletal Clock

Skeletal Clock


With a minimalistic appeal, these unusual mantel clocks are ideal for compact spaces. Its minimal silhouette and numberless design add touches of industrial styling. Made completely from metal and finished with a vintage inspired coating. 

$48.99 $54.99

Designer Advice:

Turn this into an accent piece on the mantel by placing it on a stack of books or a wooden block to add height. When selecting a wood riser, opt for one in a dark stain for a contrasting palette. Or you can choose a similar wood tone to the clock to make it look like one whole piece.

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Vintage Clockwork

Vintage Clockwork

Canora Grey

These unique mantel clocks are a joy to look at under its clear dome. Intricate mechanical operating mechanisms are visible to see its inner workings. It features analog numerals and comes with a passing bell strike chime. 

$351 $657

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Eye Clock

Eye Clock

This unusual mantel clock is a vintage piece from the 1960s. A gorgeous one-of-a-kind timepiece with a dusty pink exterior encasing an ivory face. It features raised gold numerals with chrome detailing for a timeless look. 

Designer Advice:

Perfect for eclectic and midcentury modern spaces. Its chic combination of soft pink and gold accents would look great atop a white or a black mantel. Mix it with other quirky items such as tapered candle sticks, concrete vases, and designer books. Select those in pastel colors such as seafoam green, blue gray, or neutrals such as beige and wheat.

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Farmhouse Clock

Farmhouse Clock

August Grove®

Perfect for cottage-inspired spaces, these quirky mantel clocks feature a round pewter silhouette with perched bird accents. The nostalgic clock face is a traditional analog system. It’s gray and rustic finish blends easily with other decor. 

Designer Advice:

Perfect for a white brick mantel design. You can either place the clock in the center, flanked by taller elements such as baluster candlesticks with weathered white finish, or on the side. If you choose to place it in the center, place an anchoring piece behind like an artwork with a pastoral landscape or a still life drawing in lighter color. 

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Chic Gold Clock

Chic Gold Clock

Howard Miller®

Exquisite mantel clocks that can easily elevate a space. It features striking traditional Roman numerals in its face surrounded by polished brass tones. It is an indoor carriage clock made from sturdy metal for a luxe feel. 

Designer Advice:

This sophisticated piece would look more attractive when combined with items that have contrasting textures. These could be decorative pieces with matte, rough, or weathered finishes such as vintage books, plants, or a concrete vase. For a bit of shine, you can also incorporate polished surfaces coming from glass, stained wood, or smaller metallic ornaments. 

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Dali’s Clock

Dali’s Clock

Wrought Studio™

These unusual mantel clocks from UK add a surrealistic touch to any space. It is a whimsical piece inspired from one of the classic artworks. Place it on any flat service to showcase its illusion of melting. 

Designer Advice:

Harness the artistry of this clock by styling your shelf with a surrealist approach. Its polished silver color would look deliciously attractive when contrasted by a dark or bold colored shelf, be it in black, dark green, or bright red. On top of the shelf, place a Greek bust statue, a plant, and a graphic artwork leaning on the shelf wall.

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Unusual Mantel Clocks

Buying Guide

For modern interiors, you should look for a unique mantel clock that represents the decade that you’ve mainly drawn inspiration from when decorating your home.

For example, art deco mantel clocks usually involve trapezoid shapes and the bold, geometric typefaces that characterized the 1920s. In mid-century modern rooms (50s and 60s), you could consider longer rectangular or oval designs, starburst elements, and lines rather than numbers.

For modern-inspired interiors that don’t focus on a specific décor style, you can emphasize their vintage feel by choosing darker wooden models.

You want your unique mantel clocks to be the main focal point on your mantelpiece, so, when you’re decorating with these pieces, refrain from introducing too many other pieces of decor in the same place. When you do place other decor pieces nearby, make sure that they coordinate instead of contrast; this will make the clock seem like the star of the show instead of having to compete for attention.

Use pieces of decor that have similar colors or materials in them to achieve this effect. However, we’d pare back on other decor pieces and truly let the unique mantel clock shine in its home environment.

Both decorative and functional, mantel and tabletop clocks provide a stylish way to keep up with the time. While many of us look to our phones to find out the time, mantel and tabletop clocks can also provide a sense of nostalgia and purpose even in today's high-tech world.

As such, it may have been a while since you've shopped for a mantel or tabletop clock. If you've done any type of browsing so far, you know there are so many clocks to choose from! We've created this handy guide to help you home in on your perfect timepiece and wind down your search quickly.

  • A mantel clock is designed to sit atop a shelf (mantel) above the fireplace. These clocks are decorative and have been a mainstay for mantel décor for centuries. They generally have an outside casing of wood or metal and a face with hands pointing to numerals as the internal mechanism keeps time; as such, they are considered analog in function.
  • A tabletop clock sits atop a table or shelf and can be decorative, utilitarian, or both. They come in both analog and digital displays (digits reflect time instead of the clock face with hands and numbers.) They come in all styles, shapes, and materials.

When is the last time you heard a clock chime, gong, or tick-tock? Taking the time to read the hands of an old-school analog clock face can bring immense pleasure. Or if you are into contemporary style, a silent modern digital clock in brilliant metal will give you a sense of timeliness. No matter, there is a clock type to suit your taste and needs.


Often brass or silver mechanism with ivory or white face enclosed by a glass dome. As its name suggests, it runs approximately a year without changing the battery or winding the key. For use on a mantel, shelf, and tabletop.


A metal face clock with a decorative wood case and handle on top. Tends toward traditional style. Square or rectangular in shape.


First created centuries ago for use in horse-drawn carriages, these clocks have a large handle at the top for holding. They are best used at the bedside or sofa side as they are smaller than most mantel clocks. Come in brass, gold, and silver casing with decorative faces and hands.


With its distinct camelback shape, this traditional clock is the most common type of mantel clock. It is most often made of smooth wood with a round clock face.

Old World/Maritime

Made from wood or metal, these clocks keep time as well as additional measurement devices like air pressure and direction.


Can be vintage with alarm bells on top or digital with alarm speaker. Come in a variety of shapes and styles from traditional to contemporary. Ideal for setting at the bedside or on a table.

A myriad of clock styles to decorate your mantel, tabletops, and shelves can be found. Some have decorative faces, while others have cases made of pure brass. To help you determine the clock for you, consult the décor styles with correlating detail suggestions below.

  • Traditional: Wood or metal casing, ornate detailing, decorative clock face with Roman numerals, accent legs or pedestal, handle top, glass dome. Analog.
  • Contemporary: Analog or digital, numberless face, modern numerals if any, geometric or round shape, stainless or nickel casing.
  • Vintage: Analog, round or oval case, brass or stainless finish, alarm bells on top, decorative face, roman numerals, rounded feet.
  • Modern: Medium to light wood or leather casing, mid-century style, retro numerals, and slender hands. Analog.
  • Antique: Pendulum style mechanism, wood or metal casing. Analog.
  • Eclectic: Decorative themed faces and casing - nature, birds, flowers, sports, beach. Wood, metal, plastic. Digital or analog.

From quartz clocks to digital alarms to antique models, the mechanism used to power these timepieces typically fall within three categories:

  • Battery-Operated: Battery power offers smooth movement that keeps excellent time. No-fuss and low-maintenance. Available in both mantel and tabletop clocks. Tabletop travel clocks are also made with batteries.
  • Key Wound: These are typical of antique clocks, and luxury made clocks. A key is inserted into a hole then wound on a dial to activate the clock's mechanical mechanism. These clocks need to be wound every 8, 14, or 31 days depending upon the movement setting.
  • Electric: Common to digital and radio clocks, an electrical cord is plugged into a wall socket to power the clock's timekeeping mechanism.

Both type clocks run the price scale from ten to thousands of dollars. Antique mantel clocks will run at the top of the scale, while digital alarm clocks start as low as a few dollars. Once you decide on placement and budget, then you'll be able to figure what clocks fit within your price range.

  • A stately wood and brass mantel clock set above the fireplace surround makes an impressive focal point in the traditional living room or study.
  • Battery operated tabletop clocks are ideal for decorating spaces where electric plugs are sparse.
  • A decorative desk clock can keep you on track while working from home.
  • Use a large digital tabletop clock beside the bed to track time when eyes are bleary with sleep.
  • Gift an anniversary clock to a special couple in honor of their milestone.
  • Choose a tabletop clock with filigree scrollwork and decorative face for a touch of French style on a shelf or table.
  • Perch a tabletop clock on a stack of books for alongside a table lamp for a pretty vignette.

A mantel or tabletop clock can add style and function to any room from the bedroom to the living room. These classic pieces can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your décor and lifestyle. 

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Traditional Metal Mantel Clock

Traditional Metal Mantel Clock

Vintage with distressed details, this mantel clock is the perfect addition if you want to add an old-fashioned touch to your home. Its aqua finish adds a pop of color to your decor and instantly brightens up the surface.

Featuring a flat back and an overall dimension of 8.5'' H x 9.5'' W x 3.75'' D, this metal timepiece suits desks, etagere displays, fireplace mantels, and console tables best. Pair with small plants for a charming layout.

Unusual mantel clocks

Graceful polished wood and a floral inlay carved from wood characterize this mantel clock. It almost makes one think of the talking clock in a certain well-known fairy tale musical. The face looks quizzical but is really a landscape carving.

Vercelli Mantel Clock

Vercelli Mantel Clock

Unique mantel clocks 1

Nice modern mantel clock. Found on ladies gifts décor website. I've never assumed that clear plexiglass with subtle aqua blue tint would look THIS elegant. Pretty thing! Classic round face w/ black Roman numbers

Country Farmhouse Dorris Clock

Country Farmhouse Dorris Clock

This dorris clock with a country farmhouse and antique charm is a classy and versatile tabletop piece clock. The Arabic numbers are easily readable and its carved bracket feet provide firmness on the surface.

Featuring a whitewash finish and a sleek rectangular design displaying elegant crown moldings and beveled framing, this clock can effortlessly blend with other decors and color palettes. Place next to a small houseplant and a stack of neutral-colored books for a relaxed and charming arrangement.

Art deco mantel clock

Artistic, decorative and practical mantel clock with stylish wooden accents. Its square face features white hands and Arabic numbers on yellow background, so they are readable without any problems. The clock's mechanism works in a reliable way.

Large Gear Da Vinci Desk Clock Which Rotates 360 Degrees with Silver Engraving Plate. Unique Anniversary Gift, Wedding, Retirement and Appreciation Award

Unique mantel clocks 3

An avant-garde take on an unusual wall clock, made out of cold cast resin which resembles antique brass. The wall clock is battery operated and has a distorted structure which resembles a famous painting by Salvador Dali.

Bardwell Mantel Clock

Bardwell Mantel Clock
Striking tabletop clock beaming with traditional flair. It grabs praises with its elaborately carved wooden case. Clear glass panels with golden framing expose golden clock mechanism and round face with Roman numerals.

Pettine Wood and Metal Mantel Clock

Pettine Wood and Metal Mantel Clock

Solid and well built, this mantle clock is a great option if you’re looking for a functional and elegant addition to your tabletop. It’s heavy, sturdy, and has a vintage design that really makes a statement, whether it’s placed on a shelf, mantel, or dresser.

This wood and metal clock features worn-out details and a dome-shaped plastic cover, making it look like a real antique piece. Coordinate with decors in dark hues for a mysterious and classy atmosphere.

Worthington Mantel Clock

Worthington Mantel Clock

Unique mantel clocks 21

This key-wound chiming clock features a glass inlay in the top, perfect for viewing the working insides. Any person who was fascinated with the ticking of a clock or the lazy swing of a pendulum will appreciate this elegant mantle clock.

Unique mantel clocks 26

Japy Unique Antique Red Boulle Boudoir Mantel Clock C 1880

Statesboro Chiming Mantel Clock

Statesboro Chiming Mantel Clock

Art deco mantel clocks

German Mantel Clock by Jacobus Mayr | From a unique collection of antique and modern clocks at German Mantel Clock by Jacobus Mayr Offered By MS Rau Antiques $38,500

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Antique French Empire ormolu mantel clock of winged goddess

Unique mantel clocks 4

Antique French mantel clock, porcelain and ormolu, Napoleon III period. - Gavin Douglas Antiques

Important neo classical malachite and ormolu mantel clock 19th century

Important Neo-Classical Malachite and Ormolu Mantel Clock, 19th Century | From a unique collection of antique and modern clocks at

Vintage cloisonne decorative mantel clock


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