The “Author Clock” by Mechanical Design Labs

📖 Author Clock was an idea we simply couldn’t shake, so we had to build it. A teleportation device powered by literature from every corner of the Earth. And fairly useful for telling the time too. 🕰️

Mechanical Design Labs

Literature nerds, say hello to your next major non-book purchase: The Author Clock is a “novel” (get it?) clock that displays the current time through more than 13,000 (and growing) unique literary passages hand-selected from great and diverse works of fiction written around the world over the past seven centuries.


Created by mechanical engineer Jose Cardona, industrial designer Luke Gray, and electrical engineer Max Paulk — and with ongoing quote curation in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and German) by editor Yasmin Sara Gruss — the Author Clock got its start as a Kickstarter project back in fall 2021, where it received more than $1.3 million in backer funding when they were asking for only $20K.

There’s a story snippet for every single minute of the day, and some of those minutes have multiple quotes assigned to them, and more quotes are added all the time via Wi-Fi, so there’s really no end to the variety of what you’ll see.

The clock itself is comprised of a glass e-paper display framed by a bezel of recycled ABS plastic, which is then encased in solid white oak. It also features a base stand and a knurled control knob crown that are both made from polished brass. It’s really a beautiful object.


They have two sizes to choose from — a smaller one (“Vol. 1”) that is readable from an arm’s length away and rests nicely on a desk or nightstand, and a larger one (“Vol. 2”) that can be wall-mounted or placed on a bookshelf and is readable from across a room.


Every bookworm needs one of these clocks, I daresay. The two sizes are priced at $199 and $349 respectively.