The Bramwell Brown Blog

What the Gift of a Clock Means

There are a few ways to tell someone that they’re important to you, and one timeless way has been the gift of a timepiece. Whether it’s for an anniversary, a housewarming, birthday, or any other significant milestone, gifting a clock is a classic way to show someone that you appreciate them in your life.

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock hanged on the entrance wall

Image source: @the_old_posthouse

One of the reasons why a clock is a meaningful gift is because it is often necessary, in the form of a watch or a wall clock, since we live in a society where we need to keep track of time. Time helps to ensure that we’re part of the important events in our lives--a friend’s celebration, holidays with family and ceremonies meant to recognize and validate us. Clocks obviously help us to be on time for the mundane things too, like getting to work early or keeping our appointment with the dentist.

However, there is a tendency for things that are necessary to also be a bit boring and plain. Here’s where giving the give of a clock can be a truly thoughtful experience. You can opt for something luxurious and meaningful that the owner can be pleasantly surprised with and have as an elegant necessity. Below we go through some of the meanings that are imbued in clock-gifting.

1. Gifting a Clock is a Milestone Marker

Graduation milestone

A wall clock or a watch are excellent ways to commemorate special events in someone’s life. A luxe present for someone’s graduation to mark that they’ve completed what was a trying and significant event in their life, and they’ve come out of the experience with more education and qualifications to enrich their life. It’s something that the recipient can appreciate every time they see it, to honour their time spent in higher education.

Gifting a timepiece is a symbolic and metaphorical way to recognize this unique moment in time, as it passes and we accumulate more valuable experiences in life. It can be hard to focus on each of them, but by tying the experience to a physical object, especially one so topical as a clock it can help ground these events to something that serves as a constant and ever-present reminder.

Other ideas for gifting a watch or clock during a memorable moment can be as an engagement or marriage gift. Though it’s typical for rings to be exchanged, you can consider it as a complement gift or maybe breaking away from tradition with something more purposeful. Another way to gift it is through business connections--maybe a business partner that has gone above and beyond or a client that has been with your company for years. A timepiece gift is pretty intimate and in that way, can be incredibly meaningful for someone.

2. Gifting a Clock has Symbolic Meanings

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock

When you give a timepiece, you’re giving the gift of time--not literally, but metaphorically. It can symbolize that you want this person to be or stay present in your life by being able to keep track of time. Most of us check our time on our computers or smartphones, but that tends to get us sucked in by everything else going on. A clock or watch is pure in purpose, it tells the time and that’s it, allowing you to stay focused and not get off track mentally.

You can also imbue the timepiece with the recipient’s personality, picking out a watch or a clock that fits them exactly. It can be far from ordinary and still an everyday piece the person will cherish. You may want to consider a clock from Bramwell Brown, a quaint and well-made wall clock that also tells the weather with hand-assembled artistic weather scenes. They’re also durable, a quality that makes it an ideal gift that will last for a long time and go with them wherever they choose to call home. 

Finally, one of the best and most intimate parts of gifting a timepiece is that because it is something that a person will look at and be making use of every day, it will become a constant reminder of you. 

Recommended Reading: 5 Unique Family Heirloom Ideas to Invest in & Pass Down

3. Cultural Meanings

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock in the kitchen

Image source: @oxfordone

Gifting a clock in Western culture has most of the meanings that you’d guess--connotations of luxury, intimacy and thoughtfulness. However, in Eastern areas like China, gift-giving can be a bit different. The typical push and pull of being given a gift in Western culture and the initial refusal of “you’re too kind, I can’t possibly accept this” is an offense in Chinese culture, being seen as not liking the gift.

The issue of gifting a clock in Chinese culture comes from the translation and resemblance to other words. The phrase translates to sòng zhōng, which has implications of death. The meaning conveys the affairs necessary to close for a burial ceremony. However, this is only for clocks, so watches are more acceptable as a gift since the translation is more benign after translation.

4. Other Considerations

Image source: comedowntothewoods

You might also want to think about the staying power that the wall clock or watch has. Quality craftsmanship and care will ensure that the clock lasts a long time and can be passed down to future generations.

Also important to note is the recipient’s lifestyle. Someone who is constantly on the go can benefit from a timepiece, but someone who is a traveller or frequently moving homes may make better use of a watch or a smaller clock that is hardy and portable.

Recommended Reading: What to Buy Your husband for the First Year Wedding Anniversary

Gifting etiquette is something to keep in mind. Often when receiving a gift, the recipient may feel beholden to return the favour. Most times when there is a power dynamic such as parents gifting to children, there is less of the pressure or expectation to gift back. But in certain cultures, like Eastern ones or in relationships of equals, it may seem more of a requirement to give a gift after getting one. If you want to make sure that your recipient isn’t pressured, let them know explicitly that it’s a gift from the heart and your gift is seeing their happiness and enjoyment from it.

A fantastic addition to any room: take a look at our Weather Clocks

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock