The MCLK12 McIntosh mantle clock might appeal to you if you're 1. an audiophile with some love for the McIntosh aesthetic, 2. have a mantel in dire need of a clock, 3. well heeled enough to consider a $2,000 clock. But for those of us with more modest means, there's another option…a budget DIY option.
ShareBrained Technology's "The Chronulator" is an electronic clock kit composed of two analog meter gauges for hours and minutes, offering the same information as the $2,000 McIntosh shown above. But since this is just a DIY kit designed to work with the open source sensor-control, Arduino software, this means you can program your Chronulator to display time, but beyond that, use it for other projects like displaying the speed of your internet connect or maybe how many unread emails are in your inbox [shudder].
The kit requires soldering and a bit of imagination (A pre-constructed $79 option is also available if you're feeling lazy). But as you can see from some of the gallery examples posted on the Chronulator site, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and perhaps your maker shop skills. One our favorites showcased on the site is Adam's Frosted Plexiglass mantle clock:
"The front panel is 3/16″ thick P-95 Plexiglass which is matte/frosted on one side. In addition to diffusing the light the matte finish doesn't show fingerprints. I have a drill press but it's disassembled and stored so I had the panels cut and drilled at Tap Plastics. When I took my SketchUp drawings in they admired them and then said they don't do metric. (I don't know if that's a Tap corporate policy or specific to that store.) It was easy enough to modify the basic dimensions to inches but the 15mm spacing for the meters and the circuit board didn't fare well given their 1/16″ tolerances. In the end there was some time spent with a rat tail file. Fortunately the washers cover the evidence."
Equally beautiful is Tony Hobb's wood case Chronulator he designed and built himself to his exact specs, evoking the aesthetic of a Tivoli analog radio.
Plenty more Chronulator examples to check out over at Flickr.