Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Clocks and Watches!

Clocks have always been popular DIY projects, whether here at Adafruit or from many of the other great people out there in the open source HW community.  Looking for something practical and fun for that special someone this non-descript winter-themed holiday season?  Here’s our guide to some of our favorite hackable open source clocks and watches!


It’s sleek, it’s distinctive, it’s affordable and it’s got a great name: TIMESQUARE!  If you’re looking for a bit of portable geekery, you can’t go wrong with this kit.  Added bonus?  It’s a great way to teach someone how to solder with a working reward at the end of it!

Alpha Clock Five

You’ll know what time it is from clean across the room factory floor with this well-engineered bit of LED glory: Evil Mad Scientist Lab’s Alpha Clock Five!  It has 2.3″ characters, a high precision RTC, a rear panel LED backlight (it’s the details that matter, after all), and it’s available right here at Adafruit or direct from EMSL.

Ice Tube Clock Kit

Wake up every morning with this pinnacle of Russian technology glowing beside you, and you’ll be saying доброе утро (dough-bro-ye oo-tro) in no time!  Made with real Russian tubes, gets these wonderfully hackable clocks while they last since once the factory is emptied of it’s communist-era know-how, there won’t be anymore of these available! Ice Tube Clock from Adafruit.

Bulb Dial Clock

You know who figured out how to make cool clocks way before the Russians with their nixie tubes?  The Babylonians!  When they weren’t busy crushing and conquering anyone who looked at them the wrong way, they were busy chillaxing in their hanging gardens telling time on their sundials.  In a bit of Ancient Ur meets California, the Bulbdial Clock Kit from Evil Mad Scientist Labs — get the feeling there’s some light-hearted sibling rivalry here in the clock department? — is a modern take on a classic invention: It works like an indoor sundial, but with three shadows of different length. You tell the time just like you do on a normal clock, by reading the positions of the hour, minute, and second hands.


With a sleek enclosure designed by Woz, this fun kit is supremely hackable with a 128×64 graphic LCD and an easy to program ATMega328 processor.  Ready for your next soldering and programming challenge?   This is a great kit to step it up a notch and get creative designing your own clock!


Looking for a sleek basis for your own custom clock project?  Have a look at the open source ClockOS!  You can see one iteration of this clock in the header of this guide … I’d be curious to hear from anyone whose tried it out themselves!


Here are your 2012 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 19, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 20, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 21, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 17, 2012. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 23, 2012. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/12.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!


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