What you want is clarity, information, and nice, clean lines—which doesn't rule out innovative shapes or juicy color. A playfully designed timepiece can actually make a task feel less onerous.
Clockwise, from top
- The sunflower clock was originally designed by George Nelson in 1958; its open construction lets the wall color show through. George Nelson, $965.
- Gold-plated and extravagant, this is an instant heirloom. Jaeger-LeCoultre.
- Get the temperature and barometric pressure along with the time. Ralph Lauren Home.
- Reward yourself for a promotion with an upscale brass swing clock. Tiffany & Co., $725.
- Sleek 1948 design (also by George Nelson) puts time on a pedestal. George Nelson, $365.
- For music with your coffee break, try a vintage-looking clock-radio. Tivoli Audio, $200.
- Oversize jumbled numbers on an orange square might counteract 4 o'clock slump. Dario Serio for Nava Milano, $98.
Jewel box with travel tray, Smythson of Bond Street. Desk blotter and pen, Graphic Image.