The iconic mid-century modern clock. In an 1981 interview with Ralph Caplan, George Nelson told the story of the creation of the Ball Clock:
‘We were all involved in cooking up these clocks, and Irving [Harper], in the end, was the one who made them complicated, beautiful, and so on. And there was one night when the Ball Clock got developed, which was one of the really funny evenings. [Isamu] Noguchi came by, and Bucky Fuller came by. I’d been seeing a lot of Bucky those days, and here was Irving and here was I, and Noguchi, who can’t keep his hands off anything, you know—it is a marvelous, itchy thing he’s got—he saw we were working on clocks and he started making doodles. Then Bucky sort of brushed Isamu aside. He said, “This is a good way to do a clock”, and he made some utterly absurd thing. Everybody was taking a crack at this...pushing each other aside and making scribbles.
At some point we left—we were suddenly all tired, and we'd had a little bit too much to drink—and the next morning I came back, and here was this roll [of drafting paper], and Irving and I looked at it, and somewhere in this roll there was the Ball Clock. I don’t know to this day who cooked it up. I know it wasn’t me. It might have been Irving, but he didn’t think so. [We] both guessed that Isamu had probably done it because [he] has a genius for doing two stupid things and making something extraordinary...out of the combination...[Or] it could have been an additive thing, but, anyway, we never knew. So we did the Ball Clock, which was, in its piddling way, a sort of all-time best-seller for Howard [Miller, because] suddenly it was decided by Mrs. America that this was the clock to put in your kitchen. Why [the] kitchen, I don’t know. But every ad that showed a kitchen for years after that had a ball clock in it.’
Vitra, https://www.vitra.com/en-us/magazine/details/the-best-ideas-come-at-night, date accessed: June 1, 2020
- GEORGE NELSON BALL CLOCK
- Handmade in Poland
- Original George Nelson Clock produced by Vitra
- Dimensions: 13 in diameter (33 cm)
- Weight: 3 lbs
- High quality quartz clock movement
- 1.5v battery powered (included)
- Materials: metal, wood (balls), acrylic lacquer finish
Please call 704-981-0636 or submit the form below to inquire about Ball Clock.