Continue Time by Sander Mulder



Dutch product designer Sander Mulder has designed a wall clock with a single, articulated arm that can display hours, minutes and seconds all at once.


The lightning-shaped mechanical arm continually changes shape over a 12 hour period.


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Here's some text from the designer:


While moving to a new house our clock was damaged severely in transport, to a point where it’s minutes- and seconds pointer fell of the central axis, and where just laying in the transparent bubble cover.


Witnessing the random patterns that occurred with the hour pointer still rotating, the first concept for the Continue Time clock was born.

On this Continue Time clock, two out of the three pointers rotate around another pointer, instead of the central point on the clock face, as with traditional clocks.

The resulting kinetic artwork is continuously changing its shape during a full rotation of twelve hours. While creating mesmerizing patterns on your wall the pointers are still read as with any traditional clock.

Technical Information:

Limited edition of 20 pieces + 1 artist proof.
Material: aluminum, brass.
Design: Sander Mulder.

Posted on Thursday July 16th 2009 at 5:30 pm by Zaynab D. Ziari. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Nick the Greek

    this is bloody brilliant, how has no-one thought of this before?

  • Michael
  • Luis Dias

    Very beautiful

  • Morgan Geist

    Hello, This is Morgan

    The form and function is undeniably new and ground breaking as far as typology of wall clocks are concerned. Kudos.

    However a number of questions come to mind.

    a) an analogue clock is possibly the most intuitive and efficient mechanical interface we know. Why shall we re-learn how to read a clock? a new language and visual interface for the sake of form.

    b) lets say we get used to reading it after some time and now it only takes us 2secs to read the time. How will this heavy and complex (lets not forget beautiful) mechanism be powered? obviously this model is running of a power adapter. It would be like watching that black and white disc on your electricity meter.

    c) why do we STILL need to put an eames chair in the photograph to authenticate that yes, this is DESIGN.

    Its a beautiful machine, maybe not a great clock.


  • batu

    this is someit elsse, this beautiful crispy tasty and orgasmis….
    i m so excited….

  • DRAW

    amazing strong!

  • vico

    want mine!
    not really design, cause it’s quite hard to read but what a beautiful piece of art!
    so much more than a wall clock…

  • stunning!

  • is that the musician morgan geist with the eames comment? if so, love your music!! :)

  • eric luyckx

    i would like to see it mooving !

  • Year of The Monkey

    @ Morgan Geist

    Nicely put.

  • Indi

    Where can I buy this?

  • Cr

    Truely awesome .. beautiful !

    @ Morgan
    You are really talking BS in point a + b. Seriously !
    .. but are right about point c though.

  • cpcp

    yes yes yes!
    This is genius!
    The shapes it creates…. presumably every now and again it straightens out, and fully folds up?

    aaaaaaaaaaah I want one SOOOOOOOOOO badly

  • Brian

    Another brilliant product.

    We will hoist a pint again at Milan next year!


  • wasn’s someone from the RCA doing exactly that more crapyly assambled this year in milan?

    more violent and a more jumpy time machine:
    Zoro Feigel
    watch the video!!!

    nice idea though

  • Veronica

    Nick the Greek: It has been done before!

    I’m just wondering why the guy who did it first isn’t being credited.

  • toodles

    haha caught out. well done veronica. why am i not surprised?


  • bodkin

    If you hadn’t noticed the handinhand clock is only a picture on a computer screen, Sander Mulder has actually made one. For real. Slight difference there. I’m sure lots of people drew pictures of aeroplanes before the Wright brothers made a real one fly. It’s only right that the Wrights get the credit.

    In much the same way Leonardo Da Vinci drew a sort of helicopter once but he doesn’t get the credit for all helicopters. Duh!

    It’s one of the fundamental principles in our design society that nothing is truly original. Get over it, this is a beautiful clock beautifully crafted and deserves credit for it.

  • Roy

    I saw a flash version from Hand In Clock. It’s somewhat mesmerizing. I wouldn’t mind that on my wall.

  • In response to comments posted above, Sander Mulder has sent us the following:

    After noticing some negative comments on the internet, regarding similarities between my Continue Time clock and Johan Bisse Mattssons Hand in Hand flash animation I have chosen to respond:

    I am convinced that the Continue Time concept is ‘my idea’; if such a thing exists.

    What I mean with this last phrase, is that it is of course impossible for me, or anyone else for that matter, to state that they came up with an idea that no one in history has ever thought of.

    What I can, and will say is that when I came up with this concept, years and years ago, I was unaware of anyone else with similar ideas.

    I have written a short timeline on the Continue time development process, which might be worth to consider for all that want to pass judgment on this matter:

    1. This idea came to me many years ago, and after a long shelving time (because of the complexity and investments involved) I have decided to
    actively pursue the concept since late 2004.

    2. I asked a Brazilian coder, to make a Flash animation for this idea in 2005. This animation has since then been extensively used for explaining the concept to all parties involved and also has been online (password protected that is) since then. This animation indeed looks remarkably similar to the hand-in-hand animation. We did not choose to show this animation on our website when we re-launched this idea past Friday, because by now we had a much better thing; a movie of the working prototype.

    3. From 2005 I have been working with 2 commercial companies and 1 education institute trying to realize the idea.

    4. A relatively small group of trustees, like employees and interns of my company and the companies I have been working with (plus Friends & Family of course) have been introduced or even working with this idea over the past years.

    5. This final version of the Continue Time (as shown) was started in 2008.

    6. It was originally to launch at Salone fair in Milan ( April 2009 ), and actually it was up in our gallery at Via Voghera for half an hour or so with public watching us fiddle it, before we had to remove it due to transport damages (which made it malfunction badly).

    7. Because of this intended launch there actually was a datasheet and a still image of the clock to be found on our website for almost a month;
    stating “soon more info”. Our website is visited by many people on a daily basis.

    8. When we came back from Milan it turned out that the repairs needed where quite extensive, and we decided to remove this content to be able to properly launch the idea later (which we did past Friday).

    Well, I hope this clears up matters for everyone. Now that I found out about the hand in hand concept I have just contacted Johan Bisse Mattsson by telephone about this whole thing personally. We both did not know about each other or the ideas, so we agreed upon having the same idea at different points in time, and will leave it at that.

    With this thing spread all over the internet it’s impossible to check all comments and reply personally. Anyone who still wants to share his/her opinion can always mail me at the mail address to be found at my website.

    Sander Mulder

  • After Sander Mulder phoned me, I sent him the following email with my interpretation of the phone call:
    Hi Sander!

    Thanks for your phone call about half an hour ago where we discussed who was first with the hand in hand clock concept.
    I think the only thing we can conclude from the call is that we at the moment cannot say who was first.

    Best regards,
    Johan Bisse Mattsson

  • Morgan Geist

    Hello, This is Morgan

    This has become an interesting debate about the origins of the idea.
    It happens often that two designers come up with the same/similar idea in the same era. well, I think it is not very important who was first.

    What is important is that here we have very similar ideas but with very different outcomes, one 2 dimensional and screen based and the other physical.

    As bodkin stated the Wright brothers took the initiative to actually make a machine that flies, and hence they deserve the credit.
    However one can not say that Mattson’s outcome is any less than that on Mulder’s. I actually think it is stronger. Why? because, Mattson’s outcome is more robust and tackles the issues relating to the physical fragility (stated by Mulder himself) and energy consumption (pointed out by myself).

    Of course we find the physical mechanisms of Mulder’s creation fascinating and beautiful, but as a robust and perpetual design which a clock must be, Johan Bisse Mattson wins by far.


  • I have now sent Sander Mulder another e-mail to further clarify the matter. The content of this e-mail is as follows:

    — — —
    Hi again Sander,

    After doing extensive research on the internet and evaluating available information, my conclusion regarding the Hand in Hand Clock concept is the following:

    1) It is virtually impossible to say who first had the idea to design a clock by connecting clock hands according to the Hand in Hand Clock concept. Perhaps it was you, perhaps it was me or perhaps it was somebody else?

    2) I was most probably the first to publicly present the concept to the general public, with my design subsequently being featured on several prominent design blogs worldwide.

    3) I was also first to publicly release software versions (a fully-functional flash-enabled website, and a downloadable screen-saver).

    4) You were most probably the first to produce a real-world mechanical clock according to the principles of the concept.

    Johan Bisse Mattsson

    — — —

  • toodles

    well said Johan. This is a strange situation but i would agree that having seen this idea before. it is only fitting to say that Sander’s work was inspired by….


  • jos

    maybe this issue has been set up so there would be a lot of arguiing about so the designers will get more attention about their new products ..

  • Veronica

    Jos – I doubt it! I bet this is a nightmare for both of them.

  • michelalano

    This is a great piece of work regardless of who came up with the idea first. The interesting thing is what kept me and my partner up all night talking: The hands have to be adjusted to mimic the standard hand position for it to be readable. For instance, at every half hour, the minute hand is pointing straight down, but in relation to it’s pivot point (the hour hand), the minute hand never makes a full revolution. The hand travels 55 positions for every hour. Similarly the second hand only travels 59 positions for every minute.

    I could be wrong about this, but that’s what we came up with. Anyone have an idea?

  • michelalano

    wait wait, as soon as i posted that i have a feeling it’s totally wrong.

  • Scott Sullivan

    I’m sorry I’m so late to this discussion – I was busy last year. I came up with this clock concept back in the late 1980’s and made several clocks that I sold and gave away to friends mostly. Sander’s clock is beautiful. My version was wall mounted and did not show the movement (I think the movement in Sander’s version is beautifully made, but distracting to the clean lines of the hands). I know that words are cheap so see US patent no. 4,852,072 or click on the following link:

    I had stopped working on this clock around 1995 and moved on to a watch version (a bit harder).



  • Maishado

    Dont worry: Japan isn’t getting the Olympics and this isn’t getting built. Thanks to the little island in the sea.