What came before Glance…

Glance Tech
3 min readNov 1, 2016

Wall clocks are probably the most ubiquitous of objects. Just about every home has at least one or two hanging on the walls, as do offices and countless public spaces. Clocks help us govern the flow of our day and stay on schedule with those around us…no wonder they are so essential.

Since we are pretty nuts about clocks here at Glance, we thought it might be fun to look at the history of clocks — believe it or not, it is a history worth exploring!

How things began:

Sun, water and sand clocks were the first attempts at creating useful time fixtures. While these old clocks did give people an approximation of the time, they were not very accurate or reliable.

Even though our first attempts were not all that useful, time is a crucial component of life, and thus the search for the most effective clock continued.

The first mechanical clocks were invented in England (1386) and France (1389). Naturally, mechanical clocks were far more accurate than those which relied on sun or sand. The downfall of these mechanical clocks, however, was their weak power source. Consider Galileo’s design for a clock with a pendulum (pictured below), it’s a design that works wonderfully until it runs out of energy.

Quartz & Modern Mechanical Clocks:

After the initial birth of mechanical clocks, the next big evolution came about five hundred years ago. Peter Heinlein, born in Germany, invented the first modern mechanical clock, which was very similar to the clocks that we have today.

Beginning in the seventeenth century, people started to focus more on wall clock design. In fact, owning a wall clock was a way of signalling class and prestige. While the mechanism of the wall clock did not change at all until the nineteenth century, it did go through a number of design variations during that period.

At some point we came to the Quartz clock, which might be called the most popular clock of all time. Quartz made wall clocks quite affordable and therefore more common in homes and public spaces. Indeed, it was the Quartz clock that made the wall clock so ubiquitous. These days wall clocks come in just about every shape, design and color.

Glance & The Next Generation of Wall Clocks

We like to think that Glance represents the next generation of wall clock. Moving forward from Quartz, we’ve come to a time when clocks do more than just tell time, they help you schedule your appointments, alert you of incoming calls, and help monitor your sleep — just to name a few modern functions.

It seems the age of the smart clock is here, and Glance is one of its leading designs. We can’t wait to see what else comes in the future, but, at the very least, it doesn’t look like clocks are going anywhere!

Do you have any favorite wall clock designs or fun facts? Share them in the comments section, and don’t forget to show your love for Glance by contributing to and sharing our crowdfunding campaign!



Glance Tech

Introducing Glance clock which shows information from your Apps, smart home devices and more!