Best Chess Clocks

If you are looking for a new chess clock to keep track of your games and tournaments, look no further than this article. We have created a list of 9 amazing chess clocks that will surely meet your standards and needs.

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Best Chess Clocks

So, no more time to waste. Let’s get started!

What Is A Chess Clock?

A chess clock, for those unfamiliar, consists of two adjoining clocks with controls that pause one clock while beginning the other, ensuring that the two clocks never operate at the same time.

Chess clocks are typically employed in two-player games, such as chess and other two-player games, where the players take turns moving and need to be timed during their turn.

These products are also sometimes used in certain legal situations, e.g., for when each party is given a certain length of time to speak.

Competitive chess was recognized, back in the early nineteenth century, to be a time-consuming sport, with games typically lasting as long as 8-10 hours. 

In 1943, the famous chess match between chessmasters Howard Staunton and Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant was reported to have lasted more than 14 hours.

While this was a lengthy amount of time compared to the standard chess game, it wasn’t too unusual compared to the amount of hours that chess players would spend playing back during this era.

In the mid-1880s, event organizers began to experiment with shorter game lengths to make them more enjoyable for both participants and spectators.

Watches and sand-timers were utilized at first, and new regulations were implemented, including punishments for players who exceeded their time limit (usually a fine).

Mechanical chess clocks were later invented and introduced for this purpose. Nowadays, digital clocks are typically used instead, although mechanical clocks are still available and used by some players.

The Best Chess Clocks To Buy In 2022

Chronos GX Digital Game Clock

Chronos GX Digital Game Clock

Due of its dependability, this is one of the most renowned chess clocks on the market, making it one of the favorite clocks for professional chess masters.

The Chronos GX’s solid frame, wide buttons, and simple-to-read numerals are ideal for fast-paced games during which the clock may be susceptible to extreme stress from players rushing to hit the buttons.

This digital chess clock’s design could be improved, in our opinion. It comes in a variety of colours, but it lacks any genuine personality to set it apart from the competitors. 

Overall, this is a clock for individuals who need something long-lasting, that has all of the required abilities, and can be relied upon to survive a long period of time even after many hours of heavy gaming.

This clock retails at $128.95 on Amazon.com.

The Advantages Of The Chronos GX Digital Game Clock

  • A strong metal framework.
  • Buttons that are easily responsive to touch.
  • The numbers on display are large and easily-readable.

The Disadvantages Of The Chronos GX Digital Game Clock

  • The design could be improved upon.

DGT 960 Digital Chess Clock

This chess clock is lightweight and so easy to carry around in your pocket, as well as being foldable for added convenience.

The additional practicality pairs well with a similarly portable chess set, so you can carry both around on the go.

It also has a lot of useful features, such as a count-up and count-down feature, a time delay and extra time feature, as well as the capacity to produce Fischer random chess positions.

The timer buttons’ poor input can be a hassle. To ensure that the centre of the pad is pushed, you will need to apply a lot of pressure, using all of your fingers to push down. This inconvenience could potentially squander valuable play time.

If you stop the clock, the timer will be reset, and there will be no option to save your progress. This could be majorly inconvenient if you’re playing chess on site and need to relocate, especially if you have a magnetic chess set that can save your game.

Overall, this is a good clock that can be taken almost anywhere, making it ideal for playing games on the go no matter where you are.

This clock is available at chesshouse.com for $39.95.

The Advantages Of The DGT 960 Digital Chess Clock

  • Easily portable and storable.
  • Contains a 1-year warranty.
  • Contains many useful features.

The Disadvantages Of The DGT 960 Digital Chess Clock

  • Resets your progress when it has been shut down.

DGT 1002 Digital Chess Clock

The DGT 1002 is one of the simplest chess clocks on the market, with four easy-to-use dials at the top that render it not only simple to understand, but somewhat entertaining to operate.T

hose that value quality place a high importance on this clock.

The player can easily adjust the time and start the game by simply hitting + and –. When it came to developing this marvel that can run on a single battery, the designers seemed to leave no stone unturned.

There is no doubting that its large display and clear numerals have won the users’ unwavering loyalty.

However, when it comes to design, this is another clock that does not offer a lot of options. There is a lack of character that comes with this design, but this is easily overlooked when considering the rest of the features that this product holds.

This clock is available on Amazon.com for $21.99.

The Advantages Of The DGT 1002 Digital Chess Clock

  • Large screen to view the numbers.
  • Clear, easy-to-read numerals.
  • Very easy to use.

The Disadvantages Of The DGT 1002 Digital Chess Clock

  • The variation of designs could be improved.

DGT 3000 Digital Chess Clock

The DGT 3000 is undoubtedly one of the greatest digital chess clocks available, featuring a range of added features that have exploded in popularity among veteran chess players.

This clock includes a huge display that shows you the setting you’re using, the time period you’re in, and the colour of the player on both.

It also contains a timer, which, unlike many other DGT chess clocks, displays the overall total time invested throughout your match.

Smashing the buttons in the spur of the moment might be problematic with this clock, as the plastic casing is relatively thin and could easily be shattered if handled too aggressively.

You’ll have to fully concnious of how carefully how you handle this device, which may distract you and your competitor from the thrill of an intense game.

Blitz chess, as well as various delay effects such as the Bronstein delay, US Delay, and Fischer random chess, are all available under the options.

It also has a number of tournament variants, along with 5 fully-adjustable extra slots which allow you to tailor your settings to the type of game you wish to play.

This chess clock may also be connected to any of DGT’s electronic chess sets, allowing you to play online with the appropriate chess equipment.

To commemorate DGT’s 25th anniversary, it also offers a limited edition model of this device with a  wood-print plastic casing.

This clock retails at $119.95 at chesshouse.com.

The Advantages Of The DGT 3000 Digital Chess Clock

  • Several modes available to play games other than chess.
  • Huge display for viewing.
  • Can be connected to DGT’s electronic chess sets.

The Disadvantages Of The DGT 3000 Digital Chess Clock

  • Very delicate plastic frame that could get damaged if hit too hard.

Diamond Quartz Analog Chess Clock

The makers of this chess clock have made it a priority to provide a high-quality product at a reasonable price.

The usage of this battery-powered analogue clock is simple, reliable, and virtually error-free. It is also simple to operate, with the large screen being its strong suit, providing the user with some much needed convenience.

The clock’s qualities have rendered it indispensable for educational establishments, organizations, and informal games, where its popularity has skyrocketed due to the sheer excitement of its users.

A potential downfall could be that, when playing chess, some players prefer to use a digital clock because it takes less effort to see the time through numbers rather than working it out manually.

If you are happy using an analog clock, this may be the perfect one for you.

This clock is available at chessgames.com for $24.95.

The Advantages Of The Diamond Quartz Analog Chess Clock

  • Several colors to choose from.
  • Battery-powered.
  • Large screen to view clocks.

The Disadvantages Of The Diamond Quartz Analog Chess Clock

  • Analog design, rather than digital (potential disadvantage depending on player’s preference)

INSA Wooden Mechanical Chess Clock

INSA Wooden Mechanical Chess Clock

The traditional wooden aesthetic of the INSA Wooden Mechanical Chess Clock, paired with its simple functionality, makes it a very attractive choice for amateur players who simply want to experience a conventional chess match.

The solid light wooden frame of this manual chess clock surrounds a huge, crisp screen with two analogue clocks inside.

The display is wide enough to read at a quick peek, and it includes a last-minute signal that warns players when their time is almost up.

In terms of capability, it’s a tad limited compared to some of its competitors on this list. It does not have a timer, so you have to count down the time manually.

It has a wind-up mechanism that may keep the clock running for a long time, depending on just how much you had wound it up.

Because of its restricted capabilities, this clock probably isn’t suited for US Chess Federation regulated play or tournaments, but it’s still a good mechanical chess clock for a leisurely game amongst friends.

This clock is available for $99.95 at chessgames.com.

The Advantages Of The INSA Wooden Mechanical Chess Clock

  • A sturdy timber framework.
  • The display is large and simple to read.
  • Last-minute reminder functions included.

The Disadvantages Of The INSA Wooden Mechanical Chess Clock

  • The functions are limited.

LEAP Chess Clock Digital Chess Timer

This compact chess clock is relatively inexpensive and simple to operate, making it an excellent choice for clubs, organizations, and classes that teach and play the game of chess.

The framework is built of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is extremely resistant to direct damage, which is ideal given the potential for abuse with chess clocks during particularly stressful games.

It’s also padded underneath to keep it in place, so you don’t have to worry about it getting knocked over.

Novice players will appreciate the simplistic appearance and simple operations, which provide all they need in a chess clock in a small handheld package.

It has a variety of capabilities that make it a flexible timer, in addition to its initial simplicity that pulls people to it. It also has both a count-up and a count-down function.

Unfortunately, it does not have any additional setting slots for customisation, but it does allow you to alter the pre-programmed parameters on a session-by-session premise.

Although the user manual explains how to fully set up the clock, it does not explain how to restart it, which is slightly frustrating. To reset the game timer, most users have to turn it off and on.

This error is perplexing since this device has been in development for a long time, so we would assume that it would have been corrected by this point.

There is no option to establish a delayed time. Instead, it provides bonus time, which is prohibited per competition rules. Therefore, this clock is best to be used by amateur players for casual games, rather than any serious matches.

Overall, this clock is great in many aspects, but it probably shouldn’t be used by anyone who isn’t looking to play smaller, more casual matches with friends.

This clock retails at $25.99 on Amazon.com.

The Advantages Of The LEAP Chess Clock Digital Chess Timer

  • Easily portable and storable due to size.
  • Extremely sturdy build and design.
  • Easy to set up.

The Disadvantages Of The LEAP Chess Clock Digital Chess Timer

  • Needs to be switched off and on again to reset the timer.

Official FIDE DGT 2010 Digital Chess Clock

Since its debut launch in 2007, this digital chess clock has been improved upon to create this variation.

This second-generation model adds features such dark blue buttons to make it more appealing to the eye, as well as Scrabble functions to make the device interoperable with a broader range of games.

You could now also include Canadian and Japanese byo-yomi to your playing rota, in addition to chess, due to its added features.

The clock also includes temporal features like Fischer random chess, and the Bronstein delay, which permits you to continue playing without fear of forfeiting due to time limits.

However, the Bronstein delay is handled in a somewhat uncomfortable manner. It simply adds your extra time to your total amount, rather than delaying the clock for your assigned time limitation.

The chess clock’s different time functions demonstrate that, while it’s fantastic for competitions, it’s also ideal for a casual chess match.

The monitor on this edition of the clock is considerably larger than on the previous one. It’s easy to see why the FIDE considers this the best chess clock, with its easy-to-read digital numbers and simple programming.

This clock is available at the Digital Game Technology website.

The Advantages Of The Official FIDE DGT 2010 Digital Chess Clock

  • The World Class Federation has given their approval.
  • In a single game, you can use multiple time controls.
  • It’s great for competitions as well as casual use.

The Disadvantages Of The Official FIDE DGT 2010 Digital Chess Clock

  • The Bronstein delay feature can be awkward to use.

Tempest Chess Clock

The Tempest Chess Clock may be the one for you if you prefer a more modern touch to your chess games.

This clock is not actually a clock at all, but rather a foundation on which you place your smartphone and install the tempest chess clock software to use.

The software is free, but you’ll need the unique security code that comes with the base to utilise it.

It uses a backrest to keep the phone erect, and the high-quality padded sleeve keeps it secure. The major drawback here is that it will not be able to hold every phone in place.

Providing your phone fits the base, there shouldn’t be any issues, but you may want to check the dimentions of your phone before purchasing.

The software includes all of the typical time controls and defaults found in a traditional chess clock, and it is so  simple to use. Thankfully, it doesn’t involve any complicated programming to achieve the desired result.

You will also be given the option to choose whether you want to use a digital or an analogue clock, and this can be altered at any time.

This software retails at $49 on Amazon.com.

The Advantages Of The Tempest Chess Clock

  • Easy-to-use app.
  • You can choose between digital or analogue.
  • Sturdy material.

The Disadvantages Of The Tempest Chess Clock

  • You will need a smartphone or smart device to use this software.

Final Thoughts

So, there we have it: those were our 9 top picks for chess clocks. Check through each of the pros and cons lists to find out which of these devices is the right one for you and your style of game play.

We hope you found this article interesting and informative.

Jenna Ostria