The Largest Clocks In The World

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  Editorial credit: Abrar Sharif /
The Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Editorial credit: Abrar Sharif /

The largest timepiece in the world, according to Guinness World Records, was the one designed by Jim Bowers in the United States for the 2012 Burning Man festival. Bowers' timepiece had a diameter of about 2.8 km (1.75 miles) and a clock face area of approximately 8.42 square km (3.25 square miles). It was created using hour towers and lasers: the hour towers were set in a circle with the laser in the middle. The length of the minute/hour/second arms is 1.6 km (1.02 miles) each. Bowers' clock had three lasers (seconds/minutes/hour) with its central tower acting as the sundial during daytime and casting its shadow over numbered granite slabs on the ground. Marcus Hertlein, a laser physicist, engineered the clock's mechanism.

Below are the largest clock faces that are permanent fixtures.

The Largest Clock Faces In The World

1. Abraj Al Bait

Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Abraj Al-Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Image credit: MAbdullah/Shutterstock

The Abraj Al-Bait is a government mega tall complex comprising seven skyscraper hotels in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The central tower, known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, holds the biggest clock face in the world. It is the fifth-tallest free-standing and third-largest structure in the world. Construction of what would become the world’s newest largest clock ended in 2012. All the clock’s four faces have a diameter of about 43 meters (141 feet) and are illuminated by about 2 million LED lights. The clock is on a 600-meter high (1,972 feet) complex with 120 floors.

2. Istanbul Cevahir

Clock face on the glass ceiling of the Instanbul Cevahir Mall, Istanbul, Turkey. Image credit: Делфина/Wikimedia Commons

The second-largest clock in the world is on the large glass roof of the Istanbul Cevahir Mall in Şişli district, Istanbul, Turkey. The clock has a diameter of 32 meters (105 feet) and it was designed to beat the record set by the Floral clock in Tehran, Iran. Constructed in 2005, the digits of the clock are about 3 meters high (10 feet). The mall had the largest leasable area in Europe from 2005 to 2011 and it is one of the largest malls in the world.

3. Surat Floral Clock

Surat, India’s floral clock is the largest botanical clock and the third-largest clock face in the world. The clock exceeds the next-biggest garden clock, in Switzerland, by about 2.2 meters (7.2 feet). As a floral clock, it is made up of plants and soil and has a diameter of about 24.25 meters (79.72 feet) with each of its hands weighing 1,763 pounds. About 25% of the clock’s area has a reinforced concrete slab where its machinery is fitted. It was built on 22.98 acres of land donated by the Navin Fluorine Company.

4. Central do Brasil Clock

Central do Brasil Clock Tower, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image credit: Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

The fourth-largest clock-face in the world is on a 135-meter tall tower (443 feet) in Central do Brasil train station in Rio de Janeiro. The station was the last train stop of the railway network in Rio and it links the city with Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, but the railroad is deactivated. The train station serves as an important transportation hub in Rio de Janeiro since it offers a connection to the city’s bus station and the subway system. It has a 20-meter diameter clock face (65.6 feet), and it was built in 1943.

5. Duquesne Brewery Clock

Duquesne Brewery Clock, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. Image credit: Lee Paxton/Wikimedia Commons

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Duquesne Brewery Clock was the world’s biggest single-faced clock when it was built in 1933. The clock’s face has been used to advertise various brands over the years, including Coca-Cola. The watch has a face with a diameter of 18 meters (60 feet) with a 7.6-meter (25 feet) hour hand and a 10.6-meter (35 feet) minute hand. John Franklin designed the clock, and it is powered by a 1.25 horsepower Janett motor. Franklin built it in Georgia and then shipped it to Pittsburgh. Before being purchased by Duquesne Brewery Company in 1961, the clock was on the Hillside of Mount Washington and it displayed advertisements for various beverages. The clock advertised different brands until 2017.

Benefits Of Large Clock Faces

Other than telling time, these clocks are national monuments. These clock towers are lasting landmarks with some famous ones being Elizabeth tower (Big Ben) in London, Zytglogge tower in Switzerland, and Rajabai tower in India. Over the years, some of these clock faces have been used for advertisement purposes like the Duquesne Brewery Clock.

The Largest Clocks In The World

RankClock LocationDiameter (Metres)
1Abraj AL Bait TowersMecca, Saudi Arabia43
2Istanbul Cevahir Istanbul, Turkey36
3Floral ClockSurat, India24.2
4Cenral do Brasil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil20
5Duquesne Brewery ClockPittsburgh, USA 18
6Colgate ClockJersey City, USA15.2
7Flower ClockTehran, Iran15
8Grozny-City Towers Façade ClocksGrozny, Russia13.6
9Allen-Bradley Clock TowerMilwaukee, USA12.25
10Colgate Clock Clarksville, USA12.19

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