Garden City Melbourne has its fair share of iconic clocks which not only add to the allure of fabulous Melbourne but also keep Melburnians up to date on the matters of time. Steeped in history and blessed with extraordinary design, each of these clocks is a beauty to behold.
The following list is a non-exhaustive collection of some of the most remarkable and captivating iconic clocks of Melbourne. Happy exploring!
Melbourne's most popular and illustrious clocks are indubitably the Flinders Street Station clocks, a fantastic collection of 11 clocks. The oldest station in Australia, the Flinders Street Railway Station was built in 1910 and is the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere.
There are nine clocks at the main entrance under the dome at the Flinders Street Station. These clocks are operated by computer and keep everyone informed about the departure times of suburban trains. There are two time clocks, one positioned above the nine clocks in the crest of a triangular façade and the other located in a tower that can be seen from both Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street.
In 1983 the original indicator clocks were removed from service and were replaced with digital displays, but a colossal public outcry resulted in the old clocks being restored to their former glory within one day.
Historical importance aside, these clocks have even added to Melburnian dialect. The popular idiom "meet under the clocks" refers to meeting below the row of clocks at the main entrance of the Flinders Street Railway Station.
If the Flinders Street Station clocks are the most popular clocks in Melbourne, the Melbourne Central clock is the second most popular one.
The Melbourne Central Shopping Centre was originally designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in the Metabolist style and was constructed between 1986 and 1991 by Japanese firm Kumagai Gumi. The construction costs added up to a staggering $1.2 billion.
The giant fob-watch clock on Level Two of the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre is a thing of beauty. It was designed by Seiko and was presented as a gift to Melburnians. This classic clock hangs from a gold chain that is twelve and a half metre long and weighs two tonne. Every hour on the dot, a marionette display drops down from the bottom of the watch, with Australian galahs, cockatoos and two minstrels performing Waltzing Matilda under the watchful gaze of some koalas. As onlookers snap away, this wonderful clock announces the time to the world.
The Forum Theatre of Melbourne houses another popular clock. The clock tower above the Forum Theatre stands in all its elegance on the corner of Flinders and Russell Streets.
The Forum Theatre, formerly known as the State Theatre, was built in 1928 and opened its doors to the public in 1929. In that era, it was the biggest theatre in Australia with a seating capacity of 3371 people.
This spectacular and exaggerated Arabic inspired building comes complete with a clock tower. The copper-domed clock tower has an imposing presence and is visible from far and wide. At a height of 49 metres, this magnificent tower literally towers over several Melbourne establishments and only enhances the beauty of the grand Melbourne landmark.
4. The Royal Arcade
Image by John O'Neill & jjron via Wikimedia Commons
Built in 1869, the Royal Arcade is a hub for gorgeous boutiques, fascinating shops and exquisite cafes. Exuding the old style charm, the Royal Arcade houses a fantastic clock. An integral and famous feature of the arcade is the Gaunt's Clock, which is guarded by two giant statues of the mythical figures Gog and Magog. Since their installation around 150 years ago, these two gigantic statues have never failed to struck the chimes at every hour and can be heard from every nook and cranny of the arcade.
The Royal Arcade can be found at 339 Bourke Street and you can admire the wonderful clock between 9am and 5:30pm throughout the week and the weekend.