Kevin J. Harrigan | July 19, 2022

Mechanical clocks are nothing new. However, what imagery that term conjures is more likely to be a complex gearset behind a luxurious watch or clock face — and not what YouTube channel SPE, out of Australia, debuted on their page earlier this year.

The accompanying video depicts a mechanical clock outfitted with three roller chains, which themselves rotate through the necessary digits each place requires in a 12-hour timepiece. SPE had the digits custom laser cut to replace links in the roller chain. However, rather than a continuously rotating shaft that is stepped down to deliver measured, proportional torque equal to the passing of minutes or hours, it seems that the actual clock movements are triggered by a digital controller and managed by microswitches.

Nonetheless, SPE’s sprocket and chain time machine is a sight to behold. At dinner parties, it might be a conversation starter, which would only be interrupted by the noisy clicks of metal chain sprocket, of course.