Best Atomic Clock Reviews

Being excellent at time management is a skill that almost everyone truly desires in the world. To do that, there is a need to use a timekeeping device, called a clock. The clock has been developed through the ages of utilizing pendulum, replaced by the quartz crystal, and then modernized by precise oscillations of cesium atom which is a so-called atomic clock.

The atomic clock is built and controlled by the frequency of radio waves from an electronic oscillator. The first man who suggested to use atomic transitions for time measurement was Lord Kelvin back in 1879. Then, in 1930, Isidor Rabi developed a method called Magnetic Resonance. National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now NIST) built the first atomic clock from an ammonia absorption line device. However, it was less accurate than the quartz clocks in 1949.

Louis Essen and Jack Parry, in 1955, built the first accurate atomic clock, which was based on a certain transition of the atom of cesium-133 (Wikipedia). The implication that happened afterward was the redefinition of the second which was referred to a specific atomic frequency.

The development of commercial atomic clocks experienced many changes since the 1950s to modern commercial types. Here, we try to cover the top 10 atomic clocks. While doing so, we also categorize them into each class. You will also find some key factors to look for your reference or guide before owning one.

ProductPictureSpecificationPrice
#1. La Crosse
WT-3102S
[Best Overall]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- autoset to exact time
- auto-update for DST
- 4 USA Timezone Settings
check price!
#2. La Crosse
WT-3143A-INT
[Best Analog]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- 4 USA Time Zone settings
- larger analog display,
- autoset by radio signal for accuracy
- autoadjust for daylight savings time.
check price!
#3. La Crosse
WS-8117U-IT-AL
[Best Digital]
Mounting type: Wall & table
Features:
- 12 moon phases display
- wireless indoor/outdoor temperature
- instant transmission
- auto-update for DST
check price!
#4. AcuRite
75077A3M
[Best Weather
Forecast]
Mounting type: Wall & tabletop
Features:
- self calibrating forecast
- indoor/outdoor condition monitoring
- large display
- 7 supported timezones
- DST.
check price!
#5. Monex
Atomic
Talking Clock
[Best Alarm]
Mounting type: Wall & tabletop
Features:
- Full range alarm sound
- able to speak time, day, date, & hourly time
check price!
#6. Sangean
RCR-3
[Best Radio]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- dual time display (LCD and analog)
- 4 alarms by HWS buzzer or radio
- 14 memory presets (7AM/7FM)
- adjustable LCD display brightness
- portable digital player connectivity
check price!
#7. Hito 3.8”
Atomic Clock
[Best Bedside
Type]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- 4 timezones
- glow in the dark
- indoor temperature
- 5 languages selection.
check price!
#8. River City
801-403C
[Best Pendulum
Model]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- Wood case of cheery finished alder
- Auto-adjust for daylight saving time
- Great for long term use.
check price!
#9. Oregon
Scientific
RM313PNA
[Best Projection
Alarm]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- Autoset to the US atomic clock
- Indoor thermometer
- Time projection onto ceiling, wall, etc
- Alarm with snooze.
check price!
#10. Sharp
SPC569
[Best Desk
Model]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- Dual alarm
- Colorful calendar and weekday
- Battery back-up system
- Adjustable backlight.
check price!

Top 10 Best Atomic Clocks

1. La Crosse Technology WT-3102S 10” [Best Overall]

best atomic clockIt is such common knowledge that La Crosse Technology is a world leader in atomic time and weather instruments these days. As proof of that reputation, its products always claim the atomic clock market’s top tier lists. If you are really searching for the best atomic clock, then La Crosse Technology WT-3102S is the best choice for you.

It is equipped with the 4 USA Time Zone Settings: eastern, central, mountain, and pacific. With this, you can set the time according to where you stay in certain US regions. It can automatically set to the exact time. You do not need to worry about spring and fall because it automatically updates daylight saving time (DST). To get the best clock setting, keep in mind to put or place the clock near the window and face Colorado. It is because Colorado is where the radio signal station exists.

Its frame is featured black inner trim with a chrome-colored finish. The flat lens will cover the clock face from dust and debris. The price is lower than WT-3143A despite having the same 4 USA timezone settings. However, its display is smaller than WT-3143A. The manufacturer also includes the instruction manual and user guide alongside the product itself. So, you will be well-informed about the product in a short time.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • 4 USA Timezone settings
  • Autoset to exact time
  • Autoupdate for DST
  • Lower price

Cons:

  • Smaller analog display

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: battery lifespan?
  • A: A good AA alkaline battery can last about 24 months.
  • Q: supported timezones?
  • A: Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.
  • Q: Clock position?
  • A: Do not place the clock near any electrical appliances. The best spot is near the window and facing Colorado.

2. La Crosse Technology WT-3143A-INT 14” [Best Analog]

best analog atomic clockAs the leader of atomic time globally, it is not a surprise if La Crosse Technology will claim the best analog atomic clock. An analog clock is known for having the hours, minutes, and second’s hands. If you require the best analog atomic clock, then WT-3143A-INT from La Crosse Technology will be the best for you.

It is designed classically with a sturdy plastic framework. The display is a 14” clock dial, 2” wide frame, and larger than WT-3102S. Therefore, it becomes easy to read. For the operation itself, it is mostly auto-set, auto-update for DST, with one AA alkaline battery, which could last over 12 months and over 3 years with two additional batteries. The auto-update DST can be switched off or on depending on your need. The four supported timezones are pacific, mountain, central and eastern. If you have little knowledge about the atomic clock, rest easy because the manufacturer already includes the user manual and FAQs to guide you about the atomic clock.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • 4 USA Time Zone settings
  • larger analog display
  • auto-set by radio signal for accuracy
  • auto-adjust for daylight savings time

Cons:

  • more expensive

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: battery lifespan?
  • A: one AA alkaline battery could last over 12 months and over 3 years with 2 additional batteries.
  • Q: Supported time zones?
  • A: mountain, pacific, central, and eastern. If you are not in the region where DST is needed, then switch off the DST button on its back.
  • Q: best position for the clock?
  • A: six feet away from any household electrical appliances, near a window, and facing Colorado.

3. La Crosse Technology WS-8117U-IT-AL [Best Atomic Digital Wall Clock]

best digital atomic clockThe digital atomic clock is not free from La Crosse Technology’s influence. As expected of the world atomic time leader, it offers the best digital atomic clock. In case you are looking for one, this product will definitely be the best choice.

It offers the new wireless technology, called instant transmission, designed and developed by La Crosse. That said, it will enable the immediate update from all outdoor data measurements. It aligns with the feature of wireless indoor/outdoor temperature monitoring.

For the display, it has dual LCD, upper and lower. The upper LCD is for standard time display (hour, minute, second), radio reception icon, WWVB time, alarm icon, and clock battery indicator. Simultaneously, the lower LCD will display the sensor battery indicator, day, date, indoor and outdoor temperature, and the twelve moon phases.

It also has an alarm with snooze. The weekday display can be adjusted to one of four available languages (English, French, Spanish, and Germany). The temperature is selectable whether in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The time zone settings will be available for Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii, and GMT. With these many features on a single clock will be undoubtedly beneficial for you to have one.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • 12 moon phases display
  • Wireless indoor/outdoor temperature monitoring
  • Auto-update for DST
  • Alarm with snooze
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Instant transmission

Cons:

  • No backlight
  • Battery consumption is higher in a harsh environment

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: faint LCD?
  • A: change the batteries
  • Q: no WWVB signal reception?
  • A: face the clock to Colorado, try to wait overnight, make sure it is at least six feet away from electrical appliances, take the batteries away for five minutes, then put it back and wait overnight
  • Q: incorrect time display?
  • A: select the right timezone and daylight saving time

4. AcuRite 75077A3M [Best Atomic Clock with Weather Forecast]

Best Weather Forecast atomic clockHaving the standard atomic clock is an ordinary thing. However, imagine that there is an atomic clock with a weather forecast. In addition to that, it can self-learn and forecast the next 12-24 hours. It is going to be definitely awesome and beneficial to have one. AcuRite 75077A3M will be the best weather forecast atomic clock for you.

The strongest point that makes this product more outstanding than the others is it has a self-learning mode to predict the next 12 to 24 hours of weather. The large display makes it easy to read and view. It shows you the atomic clock’s data, selected timezone, weather icon, learning mode status, outdoor temperature (highest and lowest), indoor temperature (highest and lowest), day, date, and outdoor sensor reception bars.

The supported timezones are more than 4 usual timezones. They are pacific, mountain, central, eastern, Atlantic, Hawaii, and Alaska. The mounting can be hanged on the wall or put on the tabletop. For most people, the only drawback it has is it needs five batteries to operate—three for the display unit and two for the outdoor sensor.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Self-calibrating forecast
  • Indoor/outdoor condition monitoring
  • Large display
  • Seven supported timezones
  • Daylight saving time

Cons:

  • Requires more AA batteries.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: outdoor sensor reception shows no bars?
  • A: reposition the outdoor sensor and/or the display unit
  • Q: display screen error?
  • A: you probably need to make a battery replacement
  • Q: inaccurate forecast?
  • A: make sure that the learning mode already complete.

5. Monex Atomic Talking Clock [Best Alarm]

best atomic clock with alarmAn alarm is one of the common features a clock usually has. However, what about the talking alarm? Well, this feature surely has more advantages for the owner. Moreover, Monex atomic talking clock undoubtedly will be the best alarm clock for them, especially when used by blind or people with bad vision.

It is featured with full range alarm in human voice form and date announcement. The alarm is settable from the volume button. To operate, it needs 2 AA batteries. It can adjust automatically to summer/winter time by radio signal. It has hourly time announcement from 8 AM to 10 PM and can be deselected. The alarm sound could be 5 minutes long, with a beep tone and the current time announcement. For some, the drawback it has is it only has a female voice with a British accent. At the same time, some customers may need a male voice as the time announcer.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Full range alarm sound
  • Able to speak time, day, and date
  • Help people who could not see very well

Cons:

  • Only one alarm available can be set.
  • An only female voice with a British accent
  • No backlight

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: really speak of the day, date, and time?
  • A: press the top button once for telling time, twice for telling day and date.
  • Q: speak another language?
  • A: No, English is the only language provided here.
  • Q: type of spoken English accent?
  • A: it speaks with a female British accent.

6. Sangean RCR-3 AM/FM Atomic Digital/Analog Clock Radio [Best Radio]

AM/FM Atomic Digital/Analog Clock RadioSince its establishment in 1974, SANGEAN electronics has been a reputable manufacturer of world band radio, portable pocket radio, and advanced audio equipment. It offers a radio product that may differ from most radios out there. Sangean RCR-3 will be the best atomic clock radio for you, as many benefits will be yours.

Just like how common radio works, it can tune for 14 memory preset stations, both 7 AM/ 7 FM. It has a dual time display: the analog clock and LCD—no need to worry about the display brightness because it is dimmable and adjustable. There are four different alarm options to set by radio or HWS buzzer.  The supported timezones cover both European countries (-2H, -1H, 0, +1H, +2H, +3H) and US (EST, CST, MST< PST, ALAS, HAW). It is also featured with a 3.5mm aux-in socket that allows the users to connect their digital player such as iPod, smartphone, MP3 using a male-to-male 3.5mm stereo cable. Remember to put the clock on a flat surface like a tabletop. Aside from those benefits, you may need to spend an extra budget as its price is a bit expensive.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Dual display, analog clock, and LCD
  • 14 memory preset stations (7 AM/7FM)
  • Adjustable display brightness
  • 4 alarms by HWS or radio
  • Portable digital player connectivity
  • European and US timezones supported

Cons:

  • expensive

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: supported timezones?
  • A: it supports European (-2H, -1H, 0, +1H, +2H, +3H) and US (EST, CST, MST, PST, ALAS, HAW)
  • Q: power supply?
  • A: 120V/60Hz for the US version and 230V/50Hz for the Europe version.
  • Q: suitable digital player?
  • A: iPod, smartphone, MP3 or CD player.

7. Hito 3.8” Atomic Clock [Best Bedside Model]

Best Atomic Clock Bedside ModelHaving a clock at the bedside is really convenient, moreover, if you are a punctual person. A solid and pocket-size clock would be suitable for this case. Hito offers its product Hito 3.8” which is absolutely going to be your bedside clock.

The unit supports four timezones. It has five languages selection for weekday while the default is English. The alarm volume will ascend to a loud enough level. The unique feature is the nightlight, where it auto-adjust the brightness to dim enough for sleeping. It will also tell you about the indoor temperature. The drawback it has is its small display because of its solid and compact size.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • affordable price
  • 4 timezones
  • Glow in the dark
  • Indoor temperature
  • 5 languages selection

Cons:

  • Small display

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: alarm volume?
  • A: loud. The duration is 60 seconds. If snooze is activated, it will go off 5 times in a 5-minute interval
  • Q: clock readability in the dark?
  • A: there is smart auto-light or nightlight mode. Switch it on for the night use.
  • Q: supported timezones?
  • A: pacific, mountain, central, and eastern.

8. River City 801-403C [Best Swinging Pendulum Model]

Best Swinging Pendulum Model Atomic ClockEven though the era has come to the modern age, there are always some of us who prefer having the classic model such as the pendulum model as our clock. However, what if the classic model also works with the principle of the atomic clock? La Crosse Technology makes it possible with its product named River City 801-403C. This product is definitely going to be worth it for you.

It is designed and very well built of cherry finished alder wood case. To operate, it needs two AA batteries. It adjusts automatically to Daylight Saving Time. If the user wants to deactivate the DST, there is an unmarked button to press after pressing the timezone button. The unit has no chime in case the users expect it to have one. The drawback this unit has is that it has no hand for second.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Wood case of cherry finished alder.
  • Auto-adjust for daylight saving time
  • Great for long term use

Cons:

  • No hand for second

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: what kind of chime does it have?
  • A: it has no chime.
  • Q: can DST be deactivated?
  • A: yes, it can be deactivated.
  • Q: what to do if the clock has been searching for some times?
  • A: try to reset and replace the batteries.

9. Oregon Scientific RM313PNA [Best Projection Alarm]

Best Atomic Clock with Projection AlarmA clock with an alarm is a common thing in the world of clocks. As technology advances, the clock has some new features attached to it. A clock with the alarm and projection would be really awesome to own. As it will help you tell the time by looking at the wall, ceiling, or any surface. Oregon scientific RM313PNA would be the best one for you.

Despite its cute appearance, it has features that will make you drop your jaw. It comes with the feature of auto-set to the US atomic clock. Aside from time, date, and weekday, the display also shows you the indoor temperature. The strong feature is it can beam the large red-light projection of the time onto a wall or ceiling. The drawback is its small display.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Autoset to the US atomic clock
  • Indoor thermometer
  • Time projection onto ceiling, wall, or any surface
  • Alarm with snooze

Cons:

  • Small display

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: projection failure?
  • A: try to replace the batteries.
  • Q: how to deactivate the alarm?
  • A: push once for one day off and twice to turn the alarm off.
  • Q: backward projection?
  • A: hit + or – to flip the projection.

10. Sharp SPC569 Atomic Clock [Best Desk Model]

Best Desk Model Atomic ClockSHARP is believed that people in the world already know the name. It’s been producing alarm clocks for over 25 years. For office workers, to help you stay on track, Sharp SPC569 will be the best companion for your office desk.

The unit is equipped with dual alarms that will definitely help you as reminders to certain things or activities. The ascending alarm volume will not surprise you so hard such as standard alarm. The alarms icon is enriched with the status shown on display. It will tell you which alarm is on or off. The time, date and weekday are shown by different colors on the display. That feature makes it easy to read for the users.

The backlight can be adjusted with three-steps dimmer control. To do so, you need to press the snooze button on the clock top. The whole display will be illuminated for 5 seconds. When the alarm is on, the backlight will also be active. The unit has a battery backup system. It requires two AAA batteries. It will work when the main power source goes out or gets interrupted. Its function is to save time and alarm settings. The only drawback that we see of this unit is the bad (narrow) viewing angle.

Buy Now!

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Dual alarm
  • Colorful calendar and weekday
  • Battery back-up system
  • Adjustable backlight

Cons:

  • Bad viewing angle
  • No alarm volume control

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q: how to power this unit?
  • A: it operates by standard AC power. The battery backup is only to save the time and alarm settings when the main power is troubled.
  • Q: how to increase the alarm sound?
  • A: it has no volume control, unfortunately.
  • Q: work in Europe?
  • A: no, it works only in the US.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Atomic Clock

1. Suitable Location

The atomic clock operates by depending on radio signals. There are some locations where the radio signals are weak or even get blocked. In case you stay or live in a place like that, some troubles might happen for your atomic clock. The clock might not function well and show the wrong display of time or even lose time suddenly.

2. Features

As the technology is more sophisticated, many devices are combined or bundled with other test instruments in one package. So are the atomic clocks. The most common feature equipped with it is a thermometer, which shows data of temperature. The more features offered will likely increase the price you have to pay to own it. The modern types often come in a digital display with a night vision feature to help the owners know when the night comes.

3. Mount Type

Aside from various sizes, the atomic clock products also differ in the mount type. The old ones are most likely to be a wall mount type. While it is indeed old and outdated, there are still people who fancy the classic over the modern ones. On the other hand, the new ones come with a fresh and brand new mount type. Desktop and bedside type are two breakthroughs for the atomic clocks to give the owners a new experience.

Conclusion: What Best Atomic Clock We Prefer

We have come all the way and conclude. It is never in our intention to be a know it all guy who patronize you into buying one of the products explained above. We deeply realize that we are not free of flaws. However, we are trying to help you, as the reader or someone who plans to buy an atomic clock, by providing our article here as a reference or guide.

That being said, we highly prefer WT-3102S by La Crosse Technology as the best atomic clock. Aside from its analog display and affordable price, it works with the atomic clock’s principle and gives you the experience of a clock with 4 USA timezone settings.