“ Brand: Auriol / Type: Clocks „
As a rule a person who owns a dozen or so working clocks would not even look at another clock let alone consider purchasing one, or so you would think... however, I am the exception to that rule.
Whilst shopping at Lidls I came across the Auriol photo wall clock. I did not purchase it then and there, but a few days after having my sitting room redecorated for the first time in a decade, I decided that this modern looking clock would just finish off the new look perfectly and so silently promised myself to buy one if still in stock. It was; I did.
Requires one AA size battery...supplied.
Weight with battery in place: 1.178kg
Measures 33cms in height and width and is 4cm deep.
The black numbers are 2cm high on a silver/grey metallic background.
It has 4 internal pockets to hold 10x15cm size images.
Comes with a 3 year warranty and comprehensive instruction booklet in five languages
The casing is made of a sturdy, black plastic; the face and matching surround displaying the numbers, appears to be of a thin metallic veneer. A glass plate covers and protects the hands and photo pockets into which pictures or photographs, each measuring 10cmx15cm, can be inserted.
At the rear, is a plastic plate held in place by large, plastic housing screws, one in each corner, which needs to be turned by hand in a clockwise direction to remove the plate and anticlockwise to fasten it to the main body of the clock. The battery compartment is positioned at the back of the clock in the centre; a gap in the plate allows easy access to battery and buttons.
At the top of the rear plate is a keyhole shaped recess, to hang clock on a suitable wall fixture, screw or picture hook.
Unlike ordinary battery operated clocks and watches, Auriol produce radio controlled systems, which receives time pulses called DCF signals, transmitted by one of the most accurate clocks in the world in Germany. The accuracy is such that it varies by one second in a million years. Fortunately, I will not be around by then to check the truth of that statement.
Because this is a radio controlled clock, the set up is slightly different and more fascinating than setting up an ordinary clock.
Firstly, remove the back plate and slide out the photo holder. This is another plastic insert with well defined, walled cavities into which photographs are placed. The narrow walls prevent the pictures sliding around. Once the back is replaced and secured and battery inserted; the clock will then automatically search for the DFC signal and sets the hands to the correct time. The process takes a couple of minutes to complete. It is fascinating to watch, for if the hands are at say 9 o'clock and the time is 10 o'clock, the minute and hour hands slowly pass the ten and do a complete circuit around the clock before settling on 10 o'clock.
There are three buttons on the battery compartment, namely M.SET, RESET and REC. Which can be used to either start the process or to set the time manually. Starting it manually is useful if for some reason the DCF signal has not been detected. Manual modes are over ridden once the DCF signal is received.
The M.SET button will start the minute hand moving in one-minute steps to allow the correct time to be set manually.
The RESET button is to reset the clock to default settings, so that the process can be re-started should the clock not initially react.
The REC button is to start the searching process for the DCF signal, used when the battery is changed.
After removing it from the box, scrutinising the instructions, placing my pictures into the frame, and adding the battery, the clock began searching for the DCF signal and the hands moved slowly around the clock. They went way past the actual time and continued the circuit until it almost reached the correct time. In fact, it stopped half an hour too soon, so I pressed the REC button and started the process again, once again it stopped half an hour short of real time.
I was beginning to think that Germany had lost half an hour and was almost ready to take the clock back to Lidls, when I thought to try setting the time manually. I pressed the M.SET button and kept it depressed until it reached the correct time, the hands slowly moved forward, one minute at a time. At the hour I released the button and the clock has kept perfect time ever since.
Normally when it is time to set my clocks to Summer time by moving it forward an hour, I would complete this tedious task the night before, but I wanted to see if the Auriol clock would reset the time without my help. Sure enough, by morning, the clock had set itself to British Summer time. I am hoping it will reset itself again, when we have to turn the clocks back an hour.
Auriol produce different designed radio controlled clocks. I chose this one for its modern design and to be able display my favourite photos; I have not been disappointed.
2014: This clock, so far has kept perfect time and changes automatically from British Summer time to winter time and from Winter time back to summer time... Brilliant.