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This Is Why Luxury Cars Have Analog Clocks

The Auto Sunday is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Why do luxury cars, with all the bells and whistles attached to it, have analog clocks? Isn’t that a bit counter-intuitive?

Analog CLock On A Luxury Car Dashboard
Analog CLock On A Luxury Car Dashboard

With the advent of new technology, everything has been replaced with digital products. One of them the clock. Now, make no mistake about it, digital products are actually effective. Digital clocks are often regarded as cheap because they are mass produced.

Analog products, with the care given to them by those who produce them actually give off a feeling of exclusivity that digital products just can’t.

And this is what really sells the idea. You basically add another component into your car that not all cars in production today get. The analog clocks in luxury cars are the cherry on top on a very tasty, classy and very expensive car.

Analog Clocks In Luxury Cars Serve As A Focal Point For Everyone In It

Try getting into the cockpit of a modern production car and you basically see a beautiful dashboard with a nice array of gauges showing your rev meter, speedometer, gas gauge. It’s durable hard plastic, well-organized and is easy to clean. The stick shift is pristine and highly functional. It’s beautiful and well laid out in a thoughtful manner.

Production car cockpits are designed to maximize driver and passenger comfort while increasing the efficiency of driving the machine. 

Now get into a Bugatti or a Rolls Royce and you immediately see a huge difference. It just screams luxury everywhere you look. It has everything that a production car has and more. 

Bentley Cockpit
Bentley Cockpit

And smack dab in the middle of the dashboard is a beautifully designed timepiece that makes everyone take a second look. It immediately elevates the elegance of your dashboard. Analog clocks silently announces to everyone that you are now seated in a luxury car. 

Its beauty can start conversations. It serves as a reassuring focal point that you paid good money for a luxury car. It gives you the peace of mind that you are in a car designed by experts and no expense was spared in its design, reliability and aesthetic appeal. 

No one notices the digital clock on the dash. It’s basically taken for granted. 

The Intertwined History Of Time Pieces In Luxury Cars: The Simple Afterthought That Stayed In Everyone’s Minds

There used to be a time when owning a car was in itself a luxury. Not everyone could afford it back then. It was very expensive to produce a car in those days.

The Ford Model T, the most popular car back then didn’t have a clock. Everything was there to serve a functional aspect.

Certain luxuries were put in place as the demand for cars grew for those who could afford it. Better seats, shocks, suspension and engine were the more practical demands from people who bought cars. It didn’t take long for customization to take place.

Cars became more comfortable, more luxurious as time went by. Everyone just wanted to have a vehicle that only they had.

This understandably drove car prices through the roof.

Enter Jaguar, Mercedes, Bugatti and Chrysler and they started making cars targeted specifically at the elite crowd.   

Luxury Cars In Monaco
Luxury Cars In Monaco

In a bid to make their cars stand out from the rest of the crowd, they had to put more trim in, more accessories and of course, a better performing car. The analog clock was added as an afterthought.

But it was this simple afterthought that seemed to have stuck on the dashboards of luxury cars as time went by. It just became a standard feature that everyone had to put in place to complete the look.

This idea soon found its way into production cars. And that’s why all cars nowadays have clocks on their dashboards.

The Coming Of The Digital Age And How The Analog Clock Was Re-imagined Into A Luxury Item

So, all cars nowadays have clocks. Digital clocks.

The digital age made the installation of a digital dashboard clock a more viable option in terms of production costs. Low cost components meant discounts that could be passed on to customers worldwide. 

Even luxury cars got on with the trend. But that soon changed when the same four companies, Jaguar, Mercedes, Bugatti and Chrysler decided to buck the norm.

Mercedes Benz
Mercedes Benz

Instead of going with the readily accepted digital dash clock, Rolls Royce installed a beautifully crafted analog clock. Jaguar followed. Chrysler did the same thing. And when Bugatti finally made its come back guess what was on the dash? Yep. An analog clock.

This created a buzz amongst car enthusiasts that the analog clock was making a comeback. But not just any analog clock. It had to be beautifully crafted by the world’s best craftsmen.

So clock makers were tasked to create beautiful timepieces that fit the entire theme of the car. There was no space for LED faces on cars at this price. 

Understandably, the production costs also rose. But that didn’t pose a problem to people who wanted these cars because they had an almost unlimited supply of money to spend.

The clock makers also wanted to show off their excellent workmanship so these analog clocks became more and more intricate without going overboard with the design.

That sparked off a light bulb inside the car industry’s marketing geniuses’ minds. They collectively started marketing these analog clocks as luxury items that only a few could have. That exclusivity made everyone want it. And if they had to buy a car just to get that clock, they would do so without hesitation.

That’s why these analog clocks are now essential pieces on luxury cars. 

But don’t think these analog clocks are anything to scoff at. They still fetch a pretty high price for something so small.

Analog Clocks Versus Digital Clocks

Now we could discuss the finer points of analog clocks on luxury cars all day but the question is: can’t they make a digital clock that looks like or could function like an analog clock?

Bugatti
Bugatti

Apple, Samsung and a bevy of other digital watch and clock makers have timepieces that you can program to change depending on the need.

The Apple watch for example can take on several faces so you can maximize your productivity aside from checking the time. Get the Apple Watch Series 3. That’s a good example of what Apple can provide as a company.

New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Band
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Band
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Band
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Band

If you’re looking for a Samsung digital watch that performs as a GPS, and health tracking device, here’s a good example: Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Don’t have a particular brand in mind? There are digital watch makers like Yamay and Willful who provide watches that basically are as good as those from the top brands mentioned.

Digital clocks are easy to adjust to whatever you want it to do. These watches can just as easily be slapped onto your dashboard as you can on your wrist. But, if you’re looking for a more conventional digital clock for your car’s dashboard, here’s one from Fdit.

Car Clock Digital Solar Powered Car Electronic Clock Stick-On Luminous Car Clock Dashboard Auto...
Bell Automotive 22-1-37015-8 Digital Clock, Multicolor, one Size
LOCEN Car Dashboard Clock Thermometer, Digital Electronic Temperature Clock Gauge with LED Backlight...
Car Clock Digital Solar Powered Car Electronic Clock Stick-On Luminous Car Clock Dashboard Auto...
Bell Automotive 22-1-37015-8 Digital Clock, Multicolor, one Size
LOCEN Car Dashboard Clock Thermometer, Digital Electronic Temperature Clock Gauge with LED Backlight...
Car Clock Digital Solar Powered Car Electronic Clock Stick-On Luminous Car Clock Dashboard Auto...
Car Clock Digital Solar Powered Car Electronic Clock Stick-On Luminous Car Clock Dashboard Auto...
Bell Automotive 22-1-37015-8 Digital Clock, Multicolor, one Size
Bell Automotive 22-1-37015-8 Digital Clock, Multicolor, one Size
LOCEN Car Dashboard Clock Thermometer, Digital Electronic Temperature Clock Gauge with LED Backlight...
LOCEN Car Dashboard Clock Thermometer, Digital Electronic Temperature Clock Gauge with LED Backlight...

 Analog clocks on the other hand just tell the time. But they also serve another very important, esoteric reason. They enhance the beauty of your dashboard. 

Master clock makers make analog clocks for luxury cars. You have a limited piece that goes perfectly well with your car that only very few people have. Your analog clock is a statement that very few people can claim to own. 

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Analog Clocks For Luxury Cars, Are They Here To Stay?

Or is this just a case of little boys growing up to become big boys who wanted the cars of their youth?

Nostalgia is a very powerful marketing tool. It appeals to the emotional responses of men (and women), prompting them to reach into their pockets and handing over money to whomever has what they want. Take note, this is not a need based purchase.

Bentley
Bentley

So it is understandable that most of these boys who grew up in the lap of luxury or those who’ve fallen into success and fortune have this perceived notion of what a dashboard on a luxury car looks like. Men choose cars based on emotions too.

And then there are those who have a passion for exquisitely made timepieces. Having one not just on your wrist but also in your car gives them that feeling of contentment.

Whatever it is, the industry doesn’t see this trend changing in the near future. Those with the money for luxury cars will still demand analog clocks. And manufacturers catering to this elite crowd are more than happy to oblige.

Here are some really good examples of clocks for your car that you can install to enhance its over-all look:

Related Questions:

Can Your Car Manufacturer Replace A Defective Analog Clock?

Yes. Like any product or component that comes with your car, your analog clock can also be replaced by your manufacturer should it have a production defect or if it becomes worn down after years of use. The good thing is the quality inspection for clocks is very stringent so defects are very few.

How Do You Set Your Analog Clock To Reflect The Right Time?

Like any clock, you can set your analog clock using the hour and minute knobs through the dials incorporated within the car. It’s a little bit more complicated than with regular cars as you have to reach in and turn the knobs. But then again, they’re designed to last forever and work without issues.

Can You Request For A Digital Clock Instead Of An Analog Clock In You Luxury Car?

Yes, you can. But, why would you? Luxury car manufacturers are more likely to dissuade you from doing that for the simple fact that it changes the dynamics of their car inside. Still, they also believe that their customer is king (and sometimes, an actual king or queen) and acquiesce to the request.

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