The World Time Clock at Alexanderplatz

The World Time Clock at Alexanderplatz is a well-known and popular meeting point right in the heart of Berlin. Almost every native of Berlin has used this point as a meet-up spot at some point, but a lot of tourists also use this noticeable spot as a central meet-up or starting point. Even before the world time clock was place at Alexanderplatz, the square featured the "Urania monument" at the beginning of the 20th century, which already served as a popular meeting point. This was a column that was decorated with a clock from the clockmaker Urania and was used in this meet-up capacity with regularity by Berlin’s citizens.

After WWII, widespread reconstruction took place under the guise of the GDR right at Alexanderplatz. Various competitive bids were made for the right to make arrangement for the square. Industry designer Erich John gained the bid with his idea of setting up the world time clock there. He was responsible for the clock from the draft to its completion within nine months (1968-69). In after work brigades, he coordinated the cooperation of 120 colleagues from the art college and the company Rathenow Optische Werke. The clock is operated by a set of Trabi gears and a ball bearing from the industrial group Rothe Erde Dortmund – an early German-German technical arrangement, which Erich John contrived with aptitude and courage.

The film can be seen in German or English.

Book/Direction Regine Hilt | Camera/Editing Axel Gerke | Sound Andreas Presche

Many thanks to cinema director and Axel Gerke for their wonderful work and the trailer!


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