The Bicycle Chain Clock mk2


After a family trip to visit our relatives, my father brought back a full mechanical Smiths Enfield clock. Unfortunately it wasn’t working properly, so we decided to spend some father and son bonding time repairing it.

The Smiths Enfield from ‘Great Britain’ it was written.
My father carefully removing the gears for diagnosis.
We discovered it was just the locking pin borken. It was fixed with a hair pin and epoxy.

Fast forward to the bicycle chain clock mk1, a semi completed project concept using chain position to tell the time. I have always thinking about getting a servo with Adruino / Raspberry Pi micro computer to program a functional clock speed, but it was never fulfilled since 2013. Now we have a working mechanical clock but not calibrated to the time we want… isn’t that perfect timing I should assemble this with the chain concept where theoretically I could calibrate to the desirable rate of  rotation?! The mk2 project is completed within a day cutting acrylic and put things together.

The completed chain clock with new design than mk1, next to my 31 years old vintage Italian road bike.


Left: Different from first prototype, I placed a larger cassette gear instead of the derailleur to add variations. The core was 3D printed to fit in a rotating shaft.

Right: Similar to mk1, you can tell the time from the position of the ugly red pin I anyhow picked. I should spend some time to look for a better looking solution.. The time between each cut on the acrylic is exactly 1 hour. The prototype 2’s grooves aren’t very visible, this is also something that can be improved with colored lines.


Above video was shot with a borrowed Panasonic GH4 and Olympus EM1.

Hope you like this project! I would like to thank my father for sharing his experience back in his high school days working as a clock smith. If you have some feedback and suggestions please leave it in the comments below!


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