About This Work
GEORGE NELSON BALL CLOCKS
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 diameter, 2.5 deep in. (33 x 6.4 cm)
- Weight: 1.25 lbs
- High quality quartz clock movement
- 1.5v battery powered (included)
- Materials: metal, wood (balls), acrylic lacquer finish
Quick Help & Manual
Setting the time
Never adjust the time by moving the hands. Use the dial on the back of the clock to set the time.
Replacing the battery
All wall clocks are powered by a AA 1.5v battery (included).
Gently dust with feather duster or micro fiber cloth. Be careful to not knock item from the wall. For exposed hands, occasionally blow dust from the movement shaft to prevent build up. To clean stains, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with a very diluted mild, non-abrasive detergent, and promptly dry. Contact us about any stubborn stains or mechanical issues.
Extending the life of the movement
The clock movement is replaceable, but with good care, it can last 10-15 years. To extend its life, change the battery once a year and keep dust from building up on the hands and movement. Do not display the clock in a space that gets intense sunlight & heat throughout the day. Always adjust the hands in a clockwise-movement using the dial or knob on the back of the clock only; the gears are designed to move in one direction.
Please contact us immediately if your clock arrives damaged or is malfunctioning. We want you to find joy in your George Nelson clock: if you are not happy with it, we will accept a return or exchange within 14 days if your clock is returned in perfect, unused condition (including box). Buyer pays return shipping plus 5% restocking fee. As always, we prefer you ask questions before purchasing.
5 Year Limited Warranty & Repairs
George Nelson clocks produced by Vitra are guaranteed against defects under normal use, for 2 years on parts & labor from the date of purchase. Parts only are covered from years 2-5; if the replacement part does not fix the issue, a full replacement may be authorized. Normal wear and tear damage or defects are excluded from warranty after 2 years. The movement is covered under the 5 year parts warranty.
We stock replacement movements and hands. Please contact us if you have any problems throughout the life of your clock—whether in or out of warranty.
- Setting the time
Are you an authorized Vitra retailer?
Yes, we work closely with and order directly from all of our makers.
How long do the movements last?
With the proper care, quartz clock movements can last 10-15 years. They are both reliable and inexpensive to replace.
Do you sell replacement parts?
Yes, we stock replacment hands and movements.
Why shouldn't I buy a lower priced knock-off?
The simple answers are build quality and resale value. Quality is difficult to discern from photos, but we all know how objects poorly made look after a few years.
Where will my item ship from?
On hand items ship directly from us in NC. Other items that are in stock in the US ship directly from Vitra's fulfillment warehouse in NJ. Custom order items can have lengthy lead times, but are worth the wait since there are lower quantities of these works produced.
Why should I purchase from a small gallery?
We don't understand why you wouldn't. Instead of reaching a different customer service rep whenever you call, you'll work primarily with the owner at Clock Forward. If you want to share anything wonderful or not so wonderful about your clock, we really want to hear about it. Once our work is installed in your good home or business, we want it to stay there—and we'd love for you to purchase more work from us.
- Are you an authorized Vitra retailer?