Smith of Derby Crafts the UK’s Highest Clock for London’s Skyline

February 12, 2024 Creative

Last year we collaborated with Make Architects and Skanska to design, manufacture, and install a remarkable new timepiece for 20 and 22 Ropemaker Street, gracing the skyline of Old Park Lane Management’s latest development in the City of London.

Standing at a staggering 400 feet tall, the Ropemaker Clock now holds the title of the highest clock on any building in the United Kingdom. In wanting to pay homage to the London’s rich history of clockmaking, and nearby Clerkenwell where much of this took place, our clients said they chose to work with us as they were looking for makers who carry the tradition of clockmaking who can manufacture and install new clocks.

Balancing Modernity with Tradition:

The project presented a unique challenge: to create a contemporary clock that pays homage to the esteemed clockmaking history of nearby Clerkenwell while seamlessly integrating with the building’s sustainable 21st-century design.

Working with Make Architects who designed the building and clock, we’ve made a clock which features hands reminiscent of a classic wristwatch, illuminated by energy-efficient LEDs for nighttime visibility. The robust T500 movement, typically used for large eternal clocks, guarantees smooth and reliable operation, ensuring precise timekeeping for years to come. While aircraft-grade aluminium hands and acrylic panels further highlight the focus on durability and modern design.

Key Achievements:

  • Highest Clock in the UK: The Ropemaker Clock’s 400-foot height surpasses any other building clock in the country, marking a significant new landmark in London’s skyline.
  • Tribute to Tradition: The design subtly nods to the legacy of London clockmaking while maintaining a modern and minimalist aesthetic, achieving a seamless balance between past and present.
  • Craftsmanship and Innovation: Smith of Derby’s expertise in traditional clockmaking methods, combined with their embrace of innovative technology, has resulted in a timepiece that is both visually stunning and technologically sophisticated, guaranteeing its longevity and functionality.


About the author

Nicholas Whitworth: