2014 in Schwäbisch Gmünd is a time of major upheaval - the 'Landesgartenschau' is the predominant theme from spring till autumn. This tranquil southern town is the home of one of the most innovative clock manufacturers, Biegert and Funk. Since 2009 the company have been causing quite a stir with their word clock the Qlocktwo, as well as raking in numerous design awards.
The 'Landesgartenschau' has created many new opportunites for building projects in the area, including the business development 'Gamundia' directly opposite the train station. The building, which is to become the new home for the design school, has provided the two inventors Marco Biegert and Andreas Funk with a platform to create the largest version of their unique word clock to date. The front plate of the clock which displays a matrix of letters, is a colossal five meters square, made from subtly rusted corten steel and weighs in itself over two tonnes. Each one of the 110 letters is cut from the 16mm thick steel plate using high precision laser technology.
It took more than two days, some very heavy equipment and a good head for heights to assemble the clock which weighs in at over five tonnes. As many as 60 bolts hold the framework in place and the rest of the technical data is equally superlative. As in every Qlocktwo the letter-matrix contains 110 LEDs. In the 'civilian' version these consist of single diodes but for the 'Gamundia' each letter is lit by a weatherproof LED spotlight with a powerful illumination and a whole cluster of LEDs.
As in the much smaller standard series, the words change in a five minute rhythm. It is five past nine. The exact minutes are represented by four corner points. The whole thing is controlled by a high-quality, specially developed electronic system which, amongst other things, automatically adjusts the brightness. The lights are therefore dimmed at night subsequently reducing the power consumption. Radio reception ensures that the timepiece has precision timing. The 110 point matrix makes even special showpiece events such as the New Year countdown possible.
The project was initiated by the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, The Landesgartenschau Gmbh, Scholz Edelmetal and Biegert and Funk – so a real made in Southern Germany affair.