IKEA Dekad Clock

Ever since I saw this clock last week, I’ve been obsessed with it, like I just had to buy it and bring it into my apartment. I’m not really sure why. Fate knows. But there is a connection between me and precision instruments, somewhere deep within. And I guess I’ve always liked mechanical clocks, coveting them as I saw them in stores here in China.

The only problem is that all the “mechanical” alarm clocks I’ve seen aren’t real. They are of this style, but the bells on top are plastic and non-functional. And there are a lot of these kinds of clocks, from “Hello Kitty!”, to Snoopy, to Winnie the Pooh.

So when I was browsing through IKEA and saw that their Dekad alarm clock was real, I fell in love with it. I even had a fascinating dream about an intricate mechanical clock the next day.

It took me a week to come to the conclusion that I had to buy it to satisfy my obsession. It only cost me 39 RMB, or $8 CDN. It’s black, though I remember it as being blue. It has an adjustable rate, and I’m still fine tuning it to keep accurate time. It wakes me up though (if I remember to wind it), and I can know what time it is now by just glancing across the room.

23 thoughts on “IKEA Dekad Clock

  1. Noah

    I have one too, but I was wondering what the little slidy switch at the back at the bottom was for?

    Do you know?


  2. Darren Post author


    It’s labeled +/-, if I recall correctly, and it lets you adjust the speed of the clock in case it runs too fast or too slow. It helps a little.

    — Darren

  3. Russell

    I bought one the other day because I love its classic style and the way it is a real clockwork clock—no batteries. Also I realised the glow from my old clock radio was annoying me. In the middle of the night it was quite bright. But this clock does tick very loudly. Does it bother anyone? I am trying to get used to it.

  4. nas

    hey i just bought one today and now i haven’t got a clue where the battery goes, it seems like my alarm clock doesn’t want a battery in it…

  5. Natalie

    I just purchased this clock as well…

    I realize it is a wind up clock (with quite a loud tick, it’s true) but I’m having trouble with the “instructions” on the back.

    There are two fold-over keys with arrows pointing counterclockwise and two additional turn keys, one pointing counterclockwise and one clockwise. Each key style either has a bell image or not. I know that the bell image is for the alarm setting, but I haven’t been successful in getting it to go off yet.


  6. Tyler Puckett

    My Dekad’s keys are made of cheap metal that is very malleable. The “spokes” on the keys have broken off. Can anyone recommend a more substantial set of keys I can buy online for a reasonable price, or does Ikea stock replacements?

    Thank you.

  7. Sasha

    I have the clock, and like Natalie I am having trouble getting it to go off. How do you adjust the alarm? The instructions didn’t come in the package with me as a matter of fact, so I simply guessed on what to do. I put the time, and it ticks. I’m not understanding what the small clock under the 12 is. Explain please?


  8. Darren Post author

    Okay, let’s see if I can explain for everyone how to set the alarm. (Unfortunately, my clock was lost when I shipped it back home to Canada, so I’m going by memory here.)

    The two fold-over keys that Natalie describes above are used to wind the clock’s springs. One key winds the clock itself, for keeping the time. The other key gives energy to the alarm hammer. You will need to wind the alarm key after each use of the alarm.

    On top of the clock, there is a sliding “switch” which locks the hammer. You slide it open to enable the hammer to ring the bell.

    And finally, the “small clock under the 12” is the dial that tells when the alarm will go off. It only has an hour hand. So, in the picture above, you can see that the alarm went off at 8. It cannot distinguish between a.m. and p.m., so the alarm will sound twice a day (but only if you wind it in between). The time of the alarm can be adjusted by one of the twisty knobs at the back of the clock, to the nearest 15 minutes, more or less. If I recall correctly, the alarm dial turns counter-clockwise when you adjust it.

    So, to summarize:

    1. Wind the clock and set the current time on the big face.
    2. Wind the alarm and set the hour when you want to get up on the small dial.
    3. Open the alarm hammer “switch” at the top of the clock.
    4. Wait to be awoken.
  9. micrasys

    How do I use the + / – section to adjust the rate of the clock? I can’t figure out how to move it to slow the time down. Right now—when I first bought it—it’s close to the + side and the time was fast by 4 minutes after a day. So I want to move it closer to the middle. Do I use a needle or something to physically slide it that way or is there a way to adjust one of the other knobs to turn it?

  10. Darren Post author

    Just use a needle, sharp object, or small screwdriver to slide it closer to the middle. That’s all. Good luck!

  11. micrasys

    Also how often do you find you have to wind the clock—like once a day or so? I guess I’ll eventually figure this one out by winding it and seeing when it runs out. But then I have to adjust the time again if that happens so I prefer just to know ahead of time. What do you guys find—like once a day, every few days, every week?

  12. Micrasys

    Thanks Darren, I was able to adjust the clock rate now with a needle. It seems to be pretty accurate now, although I’ll gradually fine tune it over the next week or so until it’s as close as I can get it. Roughly, the correct rate for my clock is right between the + and the middle section. I’m not sure why I bought this clock at Ikea—my Seiko battery clock that I bought in Osaka 9 years ago lasts for over a year before each time I need to change its battery, and it’s quieter (tick tock tick tock), and is always exact on the rate of time automatically. But still somehow, this Ikea Dekad wind up clock is really cool mechanically that I had to buy it. At $10CAD it was a fair price. If anything they may not always make these kinds of clock any more in the future so it’s good to have just for that reason.

  13. JD

    Just bought one of these. A warning to all, be careful not to drop it or bang it. I don’t remember dropping mine but sure enough it’s winding stopped and when I opened it up I realised it was too complicated to attempt a repair.

    Hope it lasts for everyone else.


  14. Kim

    I too would like to know how often I’m supposed to wind the clock. If I turn the knob at the back for 5 turns, it barely lasts 2 days. Am I doing something wrong?

  15. Darren Post author


    You’re not doing anything wrong. You should wind this clock once a day, say before bedtime. That’s how mechanical clocks are.

  16. Randy

    AHHH!!! I JUST figured out why I couldn’t get the thing to keep accurate time!… There’s a plus/minus, faster/slower, slider *BUT!!!* it’s backwards!… faster is to the left! .. doesn’t the word think ‘to the right is more’ like a number like?

    (Why is mathematics right-handed?)

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