# What's the time on the LEGO clock tile?

I am reasonably confident that this tile is meant to be 2:57:38, but I am wondering if anyone knows why this time might have been chosen?

I also recognize the Disney clocks all have a different time (11:53).

[edit: changed to correct time- thanks henrik]

Addendum: Why did I ask this question? Earlier this year, the LEGO Xtra line included a sticker pack, and it included this clock face, scaled up for a 4x4 stud circle. I found myself wondering if this sticker pack was a tribute to the 6000 ideas book. On re-exaiming the sticker sheet in the 6000 ideas book, the clock sticker is set at 08:00:20. It almost looks as if the 'newer tile' that we have been speculating about is similar, but switching around the positions of the large and small hands, and altering the position of the hand pointing towards the 8 slightly.

I love the idea of "School's out o'clock",suggested by some below, but could it have just been a transcription error by a graphic designer in the early 80's? Or indeed a 'correction'?

Or is it just a way of having the hands roughly equidistant apart on a clock face?

[Thanks@JohhnyB for assistance with Stack exchange etiquette]

• @Henrik sorry- you are quite correct. I’ve edited my original post. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 7:34
• For an analog clock the hands might indicate one of four times: 3:57:38, 9:27:08, 12:42:28, 6:12:53, but note that because the short hand points exactly at an hour mark all four of these times are impossible. The hands are close to indicating the only possible time of: 2:57:38 but for that to be correct the short hand should be slightly anticlockwise of its present position by about 0.25 degrees. Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 5:27
• @Dan1138: Can you actually see that the hand is pointing exactly at the hour mark, and not a point 0,25 degrees before? (BTW: how do you get as little as 0,25 degrees? My quick calculations gave over 1,3 degrees.) Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 6:25
• This is a great question. Perhaps the designer(s) could chime in. Anything short of that is speculation. Speaking of, my guess is that the placement of the hands is aesthetically pleasing and makes this look "clock-ish" right away. But the idea that the time has significance, that's a fun thought. Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 17:56
• @Henrik, 0.25 degrees is an error based on my faulty math skills. On recalculation the short hand moves through a 30° arc, and the long hand is 3 parts in 60 of a full circle. The correct anticlockwise angle is (90-(30*3/60))°. The correct angle is 1.5°. Sorry for my error. Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 1:31

This is Part# 4150px1.

Okay, I didn't call/write LEGO for answers. This is just speculative guesswork (and I should be ashamed).

First off, sorry, for not giving you time to explain the full relevance of the Disney clocks with regards to your question. There are other clock patterns besides this pattern, and the "Just-Before-Midnight" Disney pattern.

So, I was trying to get your connection, until I thought about what you wrote, and what I thought in my mind.

You wrote the Disney clocks all have a different time (11:53). I thought in my head "Just-Before-Midnight", because in many fairly tales, Midnight, is the magically important event.

So, it got me thinking: If I were a Danish LEGO designer, and I was making toys for school aged children, then what would be a magically important event to a grade schooler? If an adult's time could ever be important to a child, what time would that be?

Hmm, maybe the few minutes before 3:00pm, the time school lets out and for them, the real magic begins?

So, I'm guessing, 2:57:38pm might be the same "Just-Before-The-Magical-Event" subconsciously embedded in every grade school boy or girl's head, and some random LEGO designer had the insight to try and capture it.

• I had the exact thought of school being almost out, but wasn't sure how common my childhood experience was compared to other people and countries. My own kids let out of school at 2:30 1-5, and 3:00 6-12. So, your speculation is not alone ;) Come to think of it, any Calvin & Hobbes fans? I think Calvin let out at 3:00 also, and the mid-80's timing (of the part) is spot on. Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 23:45
• Things might be different in other cities, but I went to school in Denmark from 1982, and we were generally let out when the last scheduled lesson was over, which was often different for different days of the week. Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 8:55
• Found the comics I was thinking of, looks like it was 2:30 for Calvin. I was really wanting to call it the "Calvin Clock" piece. :( Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 9:47
• I love the idea of ‘just before schools out’. Re Disney 11:53- legend has it that that was the time of the opening speech at the original Disneyland as well... Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 10:59
• According to this source, schools do not go out at 3 o'clock in Denmark... expatfamilyindenmark.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/… Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 19:28

My search for information pertaining to the history of this printed piece turned up no results. Not to say there isn't any, I just couldn't find anything. I honestly never gave it much thought before and assumed they simply chose an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of the clock hands.

I found that this part first appeared in 1983 on set# 7824 "Train Station". This set and the next two released with this part (sets 6392, 4554) all show the clocks displayed as the time you mentioned, 2:57. This would seem to suggest that this was the time originally intended, as you had speculated. These sets, released between 1983 to 1991, had similar "travel" themes which made me question if 3:00 was a common time for trains and planes. The first set, #7824, DOES have 3:00 listed on it's schedule sticker. But, the next two do not.

Then, interestingly enough, in 1996 they were consistently changed for the next 6 sets to 11:43-ish, until 2004. Then, in 2007, they seem to become somewhat random in how they're oriented in the sets. I made a picture compilation of the first 16 sets to include this piece, in order of date released, with the orientation of the clock shown in the lower right:

I also was curious about other clocks that Lego has released in sets and if there was any sort of consistency with the times. A quick search on Bricklink for "clock" under "parts" brought up a very long list of pieces depicting a broad range of times: