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Clock Punk

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Gears can do so much more than power simple clocks!

"Clockworks click and they clink within
Locks and riddles of rings will spin
Cogwheels linking the springs and pins
The walls are closing in"

A Setting Trope similar to and perhaps derivative of Steampunk, involving lots of artsy clockwork mechanica.

This style of Speculative Fiction seems to have arisen in the wake of Steampunk (as a recognized phenomenon, at least; one can find a fair number of older clockpunk-like fictions). If that genre could be built on a lot of steam-powered technology and Victorian fashions and images, why not look a little further back, to the era that invented more basic technologies and had its own style? Hence, in Clockpunk stories, gears and simple machines predominate, and feature in both heavy machinery and portable devices. The visual style draws on the Renaissance and Baroque eras, so mechanisms and casings will typically be adorned with intricate decorations and carvings, making some very beautiful-looking machinery if it's done right.

As the basic technology predates steam, clockpunk devices need another source of power. Wind or water mills can fit, but clockpunk machines may literally have to be wound with a key. Science-savvy audiences may note that the amount of energy stored in a clockpunk device often seems far greater than the amount of energy it takes to rewind them. Given such practical problems, writers who don't want to just Hand Wave things may resort to more fantastical power sources, such as gunpowder — or, very often, Functional Magic or Alchemy. Fascinatingly enough, the latter fits the Renaissance/Baroque style of the genre very well; this was the last era of European history when serious scientists could study such things without losing all credibility. Clockpunk settings may mix their Renaissance/Baroque feel with lighthearted fantasy; due to Fantasy Gun Control, mixing Clockpunk tech with Functional Magic is less of a strain on Willing Suspension of Disbelief than more advanced technologies.

Clockpunk settings are often populated by Clockwork Creatures. Expect invocations of Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. This may connect to other Punk Punk styles, especially Steampunk and Cattle Punk — and also Dungeon Punk. Gunpowder Fantasy is also overlap when it comes to gunpowder as a fantastic resource.


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  • While the setting in general isn't Clockpunk, Guts's left arm in Berserk definitely counts. It has a magnet in the palm so he can hold his sword, a repeating crossbow which can be attached to the top, and a gunpowder cannon that is built right into the arm. It may have been inspired by the similar right arm of Götz von Berlichingen (listed in Real Life).
  • Hiwou War Chronicles, also known as Clockwork Fighters, uses this sort of imagery.
  • Clockwork Planet, an entire planet including its orbit made of clockwork parts.
  • Fena: Pirate Princess: Karin's inventions range from guns and lighters to full sized submarines, all powered by springs.
  • In King of Bandit Jing — the third chapter of the manga/third episode of the anime — Jing visits a town entirely based around clocks for its design and society. Besides this town, there is a lot of Clockpunk in Jing in general.
  • In Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, the inhabitants of Alamos Town use mostly Clockpunk tech.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Many of Theecat's gadgets in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World are Clock Punk. Ringo is particularly fascinated by them, as he can't figure out how the clockwork horse robots can morph so smoothly, like rubber or plastic.

    Film — Animated 
  • In the prologue of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Spider-Gwen confronts an alternate version of the bird-themed supervillain Vulture from a universe centered around the Italian Renaissance, accidentally transported into her own universe. A self-declared genius and engineer, the Vulture employs various gadgets and machinery inspired by inventions of the Renaissance, including lamp oil bombs based on Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter sketch, Greek Fire grenades, and jointed wooden wings pulled by strings. This Renaissance style also extends to his animation, as he is portrayed like a living da Vinci sketch, with constant scribbles and descriptions around his weapons.
  • Although most of the technology in The Steam Engines of Oz is Steampunk, some of the Tin Man's automaton soldiers are clearly clockwork (and, as a Mythology Gag, look like Tik-Tok from the Land of Oz novels).
  • At the climax of The Thief and the Cobbler, the One-Eyes attack the Golden City in an enormous war machine that runs on this. Its complexity ultimately proves its undoing when a single tack causes the entire thing to fall apart in an absurd chain reaction.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes and its sequel give the eponymous character a clockwork orchestra. Many of his deathtraps also make use of impractical clockworks, giant screws, and other analogue technologies.
  • While she's not really, Truly Scrumptious disguises herself as a clockwork ballerina to get into the castle in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That this isn't immediately dismissed as unbelievable implies that the Toymaker is regarded as talented enough to create such a thing (which makes one wonder why he's not in the dungeon with the other inventors working on a flying car).
  • Cronos tells the tale of a bio-mechanical clockwork artifact prolonging the life of its user.
  • The Hellboy films are full of Clockpunk:
    • Hellboy (2004) has a Russian mausoleum with clockwork deathtraps. One of the villains, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, is a clockwork zombie Cyborg Nazi assassin.
    • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, there's Wink, an ogre with a chained clockwork Rocket Fist. And the eponymous army is made up of clockwork robots; even the crown that controls them fits together like clockwork. And at the end, Hellboy and Prince Nuada fight on giant, moving cogs.
  • Hugo's aesthetic is based heavily on clockwork. Justified in that it's set in a railroad station built in the late 19th century; and not checkable since the original Gare Montparnasse is long gone and the mid-century-modern replacement no doubt was planned to use the same electric-pulse synchronized analog clocks you'd find in a large public High School (and may have been upgraded to all-digital).
  • Pan's Labyrinth dabbles in this a bit, with the camerawork paying careful attention to the enormous cog-like millwheels of the house, or Cpt. Vidal's thematically important pocket watch.
  • Return to Oz features a wind-up, clockwork mechanical man, Tik Tok. Though seemingly from the Steampunk era, he is entirely cog-and-spring-powered.
  • The Three Musketeers (2011) features some Clockpunk gadgetry.

  • The Dwarves in E.E. Knight's Age of Fire use clockwork a lot.
  • The Age Of Unreason series by J. Gregory Keyes is set in an alternate history where alchemy has become a practical technology. Some of the devices it empowers also involve clockwork, and the period feel is very Clockpunk.
  • The title Doomsday Device in Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.
  • There's a bit of Clockpunk in The Baroque Cycle, most notably Daniel's mechanical computer. Interestingly, the series ends with him, towards the end of his life, looking approvingly at Newcomen's engine; the saga ends as the Age of Steam begins.
  • Although Jay Lake's Clockwork Earth series is mostly Steampunk, the series title points to one massive example of this. In fact the entire Solar System is a massive clockwork device.
  • Deathscent by Robin Jarvis features robots powered by a mixture of intricate clockwork and advanced liquid-based alien technology — in the Elizabethan era. This was all made possible by a (supposedly) Benevolent Alien Invasion, which lifted all of humankind into a network of "islands" in space, linked by pathways the humans only vaguely understand.
  • William Gibson's The Difference Engine is primarily Steampunk, but there's still some elegant clockwork stuff mixed in; prominent examples include the Japanese drink-serving automaton and the fearsome wind-up submachine guns.
  • Later Discworld novels combine clockwork with some Dungeon Punk tropes and increasing amounts of Magitek. Also, one of Pratchett's earlier works is Strata, a sci-fi work set on a disc-shaped planet run by clockwork.
  • Titan clocks in The Doctrine of Labyrinths have some connection to magic, are made partly out of bone, have been around for millennia, and have the bonus feature of driving some of their listeners to suicide. Oh, and the biggest one that our heroes find is an out-and-out Doomsday Device.
  • In Elfstruck there is a character with wings made of silver, crystal, and visible gearwork that moves as she moves her wings.
  • S. M. Stirling's Emberverse involves a certain amount of quite Clockpunk-ish technology, especially in the third trilogy where he introduces bicycle powered trains.
  • Goblin Moon and The Gnome's Engine by Teresa Edgerton have an 18th-century fantasy-of-manners feel.
  • In William Alexander's Goblin Secrets, clockwork is heavily used. Graba has clockwork legs, as do some soldiers; some have clockwork arms; the captain has a clockwork eye.
  • Robert Rankin's Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse and its sequel The Toyminator take place in a Clockpunk/fantasy hybrid world. Lead character Jack can't bring himself to believe he's stumbled on a city populated by Living Toys and real-life Nursery Rhyme characters, but clockwork automobiles that never need fuel or, it seems, winding are apparently perfectly normal.
  • One of the most seminal works of "steampunk", K. W. Jeter's Infernal Devices, is actually clockpunk (there's actually no steam-based technology at all in the novel). Every odd bit of tech ran on a genius inventor's clockwork gears, including a device that could destroy the world with resonant vibrations. It's in the sequel novel Fiendish Schemes, which has a Time Skip of almost a decade and the inventor's MadScientist technology was sold to the Royal Society by his son, that steam engine technology is introduced and a resultant technological revolution has happened is when the story becomes true steampunk.
  • Since the series revolves so much around time, it's fitting that Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series features a lot of clockpunk-esque technology when inside the House.
  • It's not exactly Clockpunk, but this genre descriptor is the one which seems the best fit for Wynne Whiteford's semi-hard sci-fi story Lake of the Sun, where the Martians have retreated far underground due to the loss of Mars' atmosphere and now use spring powered cars and boats which are wound from waterfalls along an underground river. The rewinding seems to take an improbably short time even though the master springs at the waterfalls are supposed to be immensely powerful.
  • The Mechanical of The Alchemy War series features a wide range of sapient clockwork servants. While there is a strong magical element to their creation, they all tick-tock constantly, which causes trouble for an escaped Clakker slave who is trying to hide in a wall.
  • The Medici Trilogy by Martin Woodhouse and Robert Ross portrays Leonardo da Vinci using several interesting techniques and devices, apparently later lost to history. In the first book, he invents small, readily transportable cannon and the ballistic math to fire them accurately at targets he can't even see. Instead of trying to smash down walls, Leonardo and the cannoneers he turns into a strike team blast open doors — or wipe out troops with grapeshot. He's also shown to have developed a mini-telescope. In the third book, he develops a clockwork mini-ornithopter as a toy, and later builds hang gliders to slip his team into an enemy-held city.
  • The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Nightingale has a clockwork device in a central role.
  • Certainly Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy must count: The first book is not called The Clockwork Rocket for nothing!
  • Tik-Tok is a clockwork soldier in the Oz book Ozma of Oz.
  • Pasquale's Angel by Paul J. McAuley is set in a Clockpunk-Rennaisance Florence (with some steam power) where Leonardo Di Vinci is an engineer instead of an artist. The protagonist teams up with investigative reporter Niccolò Machiavelli to solve a Locked Room Mystery murder and uncover a wider conspiracy.
  • In Perdido Street Station, khepri technology is primarily based on "metaclockwork" designs, alongside a bit of Organic Technology.
  • Used in The Phantom of the Opera to an extent; a large proportion of the Phantom's death traps and other devices involve sophisticated clockwork. It's also mentioned that when he was younger he built realistic-looking humanoid automatons for the Shah of Persia. Given that, when the book was written, clockwork was about as fancy as most technology got, this makes sense.
  • The Productions of Time by Paul Witcover.
  • The main setting of Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief, the Oubliette Colony on Mars, follows the aesthetics of Clockpunk very closely, most notably with the Watches that measure each citizen's time as a Noble before they are turned into robotic Quiet. They combine mechanical clock parts with quantum entanglement, but in terms of technological advancement they are a hyperadvanced transhuman civilization (and still the technological backwater from the perspective of the inner planets).
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson is set in a very different America where guns and trains are powered by wind-up mechanisms and even churches include clockwork-powered automaton statues of saints and cogwheel imagery in the stained glass windows. Justified, as it turns out that the early settlers found that clockwork repels the 'chalklings' they were fighting, so ended up using it for everything.
  • The Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian story "Rogues in the House" mixes clockwork with Dungeon Punk. Instead of being the typical Evil Sorcerer, the villain of the story, Nabonidus, is basically the evil offspring of Leonardo da Vinci and Machiavelli and uses various clock-tech devices to secure his home.
  • The Sandman (1816) by E. T. A. Hoffmann is one of the earliest representatives of the genre. The storyline features an inventor who creates a highly sophisticated clockwork automaton that passes as a human, as well as a creepy trader of barometers and spyglasses that are also implied to have paranormal properties (namely, looking into a spyglass can distort the perception of reality, driving a person to madness).
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series mostly runs on Steampunk but there are also some clockwork devices like crank driven ornithopters and automobiles. This is particularly so in the Wasp Empire, which is slightly behind the Lowlands that it is invading technologically.
  • In Sky Pirates!, clockwork is the main form of technology in the System, including clockwork robots and clockwork machine guns (which, in keeping with the novel's tone, have such a ludicrously low rate of fire that it would almost be faster to reload by hand).
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street features the clockpunk creations of the main character.
  • In the Cyberpunk novel The Windup Girl, advanced metallurgy is used to create hand-wound 'kink-springs' which are the only available portable power source in a future where all the oil has been used up.
  • Philip Pullman is best known for His Dark Materials, but he also wrote Count Karlstein which is sorta this and Clockwork which is completely this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • More generally, the Time Lords seem fond of clock motifs, from the gear-shaped hats to their writing system, which is full of circles and looks like some sort of seasonal chart.
    • There are clockwork maintenance droids in "The Girl in the Fireplace". Unlike most such things, these are from the 51st century, appearing to be meant to repair a spaceship without the need for conventional power sources.
      • "Deep Breath" features a return of the same type of clockwork droids.
    • The Twelfth Doctor's title sequence incorporates this. Instead of an ethereal aesthetic used in previous seasons, the time vortex is represented by a tunnel made of winding cogs before a spiraling clock face appears that introduces the TARDIS.
  • The award-winning opening to Game of Thrones is filled to the brim with stunning Clock Punk. King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and other important locations rise out of the map like a mechanical pop-up book, evolving as the show focuses on new locations.
  • The CBBC series Leonardo has Leo (of course) creating Clockpunk devices for the sake of it, and a sinister conspiracy who want to use clockwork as a weapon.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Explorers" Sisko and his son build a Bajoran light-sail craft with a distinctive clockpunk appearance.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Concerning Flight" features a hologram of Leonardo da Vinci equipped with the space-age technology to realize his designs. A few other Voyager episodes feature his creations as well.

  • Animusic: "Resonant Chamber" features a massive, composite stringed instrument that looks like something out of Leonardo da Vinci's imagination and plays itself with jointed mechanical fingers.
  • Emilie Autumn's stage shows involve Clockpunk and Steampunk props and costumes.
  • Given the name of the band, it should be no surprise that Clockwork Quartet make heavy use of Clockpunk themes. The Watchmaker's Apprentice is a Villain Song about a disgruntled ex-employee framing his boss for murder using a weaponized pocket watch.
  • "Turn me On" [1] by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj being involved in various gear-based shenanigans.
  • Rush's 2012 album, Clockwork Angels, has a lot of Clockpunk elements. The same could be said of both their 2010 Time Machine tour and the tour they held to promote Clockwork Angels.
  • Vernian Process, to a degree. Especially songs like "Her Clockwork Heart".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Economist had a strip captioned "The car that has Big Oil shaking in its boots," and pictured a terrified business man looking at a wind-up car big enough to ride in.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Gear Chronicle clan of Cardfight!! Vanguard uses this aesthetic to emphasise its Time Travel theme. All cards have clocks or gears in their artwork, and even their Instant Runes resemble clock faces. The whole aesthetic is miced with a heavy dose of Steampunk, resulting in cards like Chronocharge Unicorn.
  • Among RPGs, Deadlands: The Weird West seems able to slide between Cattle Punk, Steampunk, and Clockpunk as players may demand. However, it's predominantly Steampunk, as mechanical gizmos are usually powered by ghostrock, an extremely efficient coal imbued with spiritual energy. The same substance can be alloyed with iron to create a lighter, stronger, more pliant steel, allowing for the creation of far more efficent springs, and so supernaturally efficent clockwork devices.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, The Lawful Neutral heaven is Mechanus, a place where continents, cities, and even many of the local lifeforms are actually made out of gears.
    • Some of the domains of Ravenloft make use of clockpunk-style mechanisms. These may be either genuine clockwork technology, or golems that only look like clockwork, depending on the domain and the sanity (or lack thereof) of their makers.
    • Gnomes in the Dragonlance setting are dedicated tinkers who build clockwork devices to do pretty much anything. Fortunately for the high fantasy setting, they rarely ever work.
  • DragonMech has a of complicated clockwork machines, both alone and in combination with Steampunk.
  • Being a generic system, GURPS can of course handle clockpunk settings, and the genre is covered in several supplements:
    • GURPS Steampunk, a genre book, and its follow-up, GURPS Steam-Tech, cast their net wide enough to take in Clockpunk, with discussion of the cinematically efficient spring technology needed to power a Clockpunk setting and so on. (According to The Other Wiki, GURPS is the Trope Namer for Clockpunk, which probably means that these books get the credit.)
    • Among the countless alternate timelines encompassed by the Infinite Worlds setting, several are described as more or less Clockpunk, with functional alchemical science, clockwork mecha stomping over Europe in the Thirty Years War, or whatever.
    • The Alchemical Baroque setting book combines a dash of clockwork tech with a lot of 18th century Fairy Tale style.
  • Mage: The Ascension features a certain amount of miraculous Clockpunk tech, mostly in the hands of especially eccentric members of the Sons of the Ether. Even more substantially, the Renaissance-era spin-off game, Mage: The Sorcerers' Crusade can not surprisingly get very Clockpunk; one supplement, The Artisan's Handbook, is basically all about that.
  • Unknown Armies' "Mechanomancers" are Clockpunk magicians in the modern day, who build sentient constructs powered by fragments of their own memories.
  • Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game introduces the Tinker class who excels at fashioning technology of this sort. The game (especially in its expansions, Magic & Mayhem and More Magic & Mayhem) also provides many clockwork and steam-powered technological devices, machinery, and weapons, powered by the mythical substance phlogiston.

  • The first act of The Tales Of Hoffmann, recounts the story of Hoffmann's first love, Olympia, a wind-up automaton. In her most famous aria ("Les oiseaux dans la charmille"), her gears would run down periodically and so has to be cranked back up before she can finish each line.
  • The set of Wicked is based around this motif, with turning gears adorning the wings of the stage. The stage itself is supposed to represent the Clock of the Time Dragon, with the face of the clock always visible upstage.
  • The wheel of death act in Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana has clock gears as its (computer-generated) backdrop. As the acrobats make the wheel spin, the gears turn and generate electric sparks!

  • Clockpunk-style mechanisms appear at times in BIONICLE, although they have never really dominated the universe. Toy-wise, most of the earlier sets had gear-based action features, which the designers gradually abandoned. Story-wise, Turaga Dume's secret chamber in the second movie had a sundial-mirror-thing built into its floor, that used a clockwork mechanism to rotate. And though we didn't see it, the Vahki robots also made use of these according to Word of God.

    Video Games 
  • The Mad Hatter's realm in American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns is mostly made out of clockwork and giant tea sets.
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood leans on this slightly by having Leonardo da Vinci actually construct some of the machines he designed in real life, including a flyer, a tank, and an ironclad gunboat, all of which you get to use.
  • Bungo to Alchemist plays this trope to heaven and back. Gear motifs are absolutely everywhere, all weapons have a gear on them or two, ditto the monsters, and the anime adaptation has the subtitle of Gears of Judgement.
  • The Castlevania reboot Lords of Shadow features a truly beautiful series of levels blending this with elements of Dungeon Punk and Lightning Can Do Anything, even culminating in a series of boss battles against a electrified clockwork scorpion... thing. Makes a sort of sense, considering you're meant to be exploring Dr. Frankenstein's (that one, but not) laboratory.
  • ClockWerx is a clockwork-themed Puzzle Game, with an Excuse Plot that varies between regions. In the Western version, you're trying to fix the Master Clock of the Universe; in the Japanese version, an altercation with a cursed alarm clock sucks you into another dimension where you yourself become a clock hand.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death has no form of power generation and no large beasts of burden, so the weights that power the clockworks of various machinery have to be rewound by human work.
  • While the Dishonored setting is more of a Gaslamp Fantasy, Steampunk and Diesel Punk world, clockpunk seems to be the favored technology for Kirin Jindosh in the second game. His entire mansion is a massive clockwork device where flipping a switch causes every room to elaborately shift around. He's also devised a series of Clockwork Soldiers, mechanized automatons that operate via a series of spinning gears and cogs.
  • Dungeon Siege has mostly a straight fantasy setting, but the goblins have a distinctly Clock Punk feel, with most of the enemies you fight in their area being clockwork goblin-shaped robots wielding grenades and flamethrowers.
  • Dwarf Fortress lets you build pumps, traps, doomsday devices and even computers (painfully slow but Turing complete) with stone gears, wooden axles, metal pumps, and water/magma, powered by water wheels or windmills.
  • The Automatons in Endless Space are incredibly complex clockwork robots that are the only traces of a long-dead race. The Automatons, who previously merely tended the vibrant world they were abandoned on, achieved sentience when exposed to Dust. Their ships prominently feature a hybrid of sleek curves and huge gyroscopes and gears.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has the Dunmeri (Dark elf) Physical God Sotha Sil who lives in a Clockwork City of his own creation, where he studies the "hidden world". There are plentiful gears and spindles, some reaching gigantic proportions, which act as death traps to invaders. Sotha Sil's creations reach full blown Schizo Tech status, as he created complex computer systems, semi-organic cybernetic servants, turned himself into a Cyborg, and may have even uploaded his own mind into his city (meaning he may not have been killed during the events of Tribunal) all while the rest of the world was stuck in medieval stasis. You get to visit his city in both Morrowind's Tribunal expansion and The Elder Scrolls Online's eponymous Clockwork City expansion.
  • The gnomes of Ak'Anon in EverQuest build their city and society around tinkered up Clockwork contraptions. 500 years later in EverQuest II, the clockwork robots took over Ak'Anon and renamed it to Klak'anon. Kicked out by the very contraptions they built.
  • Fable II veers closer to this than Steampunk. The only fantastic technology in the game appears to be clockwork, including clockwork repeating flintlock weapons.
  • Final Fantasy IX has strong elements of Clockpunk, mixed with a magical fantasy setting. Lindblum is probably the best example of the gear and clockwork machinery. Steam power has been developed, but due to the prototypes being stolen or faulty, it isn't harnessed by the heroes until the third disc.
  • Final Fantasy XII, though a futuristic science fantasy game, has one level which is an ancient tower with a clockwork elevator.
  • The Charr civilization in Guild Wars 2 are described as this in an interview.
  • The House Of Da Vinci, a Follow the Leader knockoff of The Room, is a continuous series of Clockpunk puzzles, obstacles and mini-games ostensibly crafted by Leonardo himself. Extra bonus points for this trope in that Easter Egg diagrams of several of Leonardo's Real Life Clockpunk inventions are scattered throughout the game, granting access to nicely-rendered working recreations of these devices in a rewards gallery as you find them.
  • In Hypnospace Outlaw, one of the subcultures you visit as a moderator of a GeoCities-influenced pseudo-internet is a Clock Punk fandom with its own quirks, stories (of questionable quality but a certain charming earnestness) and distinctly rough, DIY aesthetic.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has clockwork Power Armor and weapons, and several types of clockwork robots.
  • Lies of P is a Dark Fantasy based on The Adventures of Pinocchio set in the 19th century, which features several mechanic puppets that seem to be key-operated, with a heavy emphasis on gears in their design that give them stilted movements.
  • Machinarium is a fascinating blend of clockpunk, Steampunk, and Diesel Punk.
  • Metroid:
  • The Clockwork Beast from The Neverhood.
  • Angels in Nexus Clash use all sorts of ingenious clockwork devices in their buildings and war machines. The Lightspeaker and Seraph are particularly reliant on clockwork robotics, since their patron deity is the god of Cooperation, whose portfolio includes both political and literal machines.
  • Okage: Shadow King has Madril, a town devoted to Clock Punk.
  • Pirate101 has the same technology of Wizard 101 used in Valencia only they are much more beautifully crafted.
  • The clock tower in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.
  • The entire setting of Resonance of Fate. The game world takes place in Basel, a clock-punk gigantic tower that houses whole continents. The entire thing, everything, including atmosphere generation, rock-grinding in lower levels, the architecture of the buildings, even what passes as the in-universe version of God is made of gears. It has been working for centuries as humanity's last refuge from an unspecified disaster, but of course, come the course of the plot, glitches in the system has started to manifest. It's also very, very massive. Look at the thing!
  • Rise of Legends has the Vinci faction, which has a clockwork Soldier armed with a Lightning Gun, a clockwork Spider, armed with a flak cannon and an "electrical web generator", and an experimental computer device than allows you to manipulate your economy.
  • The Soul Series of fighting games have this level of technology apparent in several arenas (Zasalamel's stage in III and Hilde's stage in IV), in Yoshimitsu's clockwork prosthetic arm, and in Ashlotte in IV, who is a clockwork robot. The setting is Earth in the 16th Century.
  • This is the entire basis of Souls-like RPG Steelrising; an Alternate History version of The French Revolution where the mad King Louis XVI is brutally suppressing any opposition with his army of clockwork automaton soldiers, while you play as Aigis, the advanced prototype bodyguard of Queen Marie-Antoinette, fighting back against the king's tyranny.
  • While Stonehearth is obstinately rooted mostly in a medieval fantasy setting, it dips a bit into this trope with the inclusion of an Engineer class, who can build various clockwork gadgets.
  • Super Robot Wars X: The Order of Mages' mechs and magic are clockwork themed.
  • The Syberia Adventure Game duology revels in all kinds of clockwork mechanisms: from a Cool Train that has to be rewound at each station, to quasi-sentient clockwork automatons.
    • And you better call them "automata", never "robots".
  • Thief has a fair share of this, along with a Darker and Edgier medieval take on typical Steampunk.
  • This is how Orbal energy works in the Trails Series. Crystals called Septium composed of seven elements (water, fire, earth, wind, space, time, and mirage) are placed inside clocks that are wound up, releasing specific kinds of energy depending on the source. Stacked together with a circuit board inside a larger watch creates battle orbments, pocket watches that unleash spells. Interestingly, this occurs in a formerly middle-age society which quickly turns the old order on its head, forcing nobles to employ orbal users in their military and scramble to keep up in a technological arms race. The end result is a world gone Steampunk by way of orbments in half a century. A few years later in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, radios are becoming common with primitive computers having just been invented.
  • The devices summoned by Squishy Wizard Amadeus in Trine all have a gear motif to them.
  • The Watchmaker (2018) is set in a giant clock tower, which is a world of massive gears, giant dolls, and various other devices.
  • The 2007 Adventure Game What Makes You Tick, inspired by the aforementioned novel The Sandman (1816), is presumably set in the modern times (as evidenced by the protagonist drinking Dr. Pepper from a metal can), but features some clockpunk devices, including a girl with a mechanical heart, and the overall atmosphere is reminiscent of Gothic fiction era.
  • Wizard101 has clockwork golems as enemies throughout the spiral. They often fight along side the usually stronger Iron Golems.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Clockwork Raven has a flying clockpunk castle as its main setting, with a healthy infusion of Magitek. The titular machine is a gear-powered ornithopter its protagonists build to escape to the surface.
  • The Copper-Colored Cupids, and the rest of their offscreen Creator's technology, definitely fall within the aesthetic. As common in Clockpunk and Steampunk, of course, more is achieved with it than should be considered possible — but, of course, the Cupid Homeworld has a good relationship with its laws of physics, so who knows.
  • The Dominion from Dominion and Duchy is described as using clockwork technology. To clarify, this is a science-fiction series featuring a galactic government run from a clockwork planet! The gears are apparently turned by something called an "Eternity Gate".
  • Numerous SCPs in SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-217, a virus which turns the organisms it infects into clockwork creatures.
    • Also SCP-882, a gearbox that mind-controls people into feeding it spare parts, and SCP-914, "The Clockworks".
      • These objects, along with others, are believed by the Church of the Broken God to be the pieces of a clockwork god, and they fight the Foundation in an effort to retrieve and reunite these parts. If they succeeded it would probably result in everything on Earth being transformed into clockwork, including the Earth itself, but the Church is probably just fine with that.
    • SCP-172 is a highly advanced human-shaped robot, somehow created entirely out of clockwork.
  • The setting of Twisted Cogs has technology more advanced than just clockwork, but just a little too outdated for Steampunk

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears, wherein most examples are Gummi-built Lost Technology.
  • Mechanicles from Disney's Aladdin: The Series makes heavy use of it.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a more Far Eastern variation of this. They have very few to several elements in Fire Nation's military throughout seasons (book) 1 and 2. This punk was even explored in comparison with Steampunk in a season one episode when the Gang visits the Northern Air temple, which is now occupied by Earth Kingdom refugees. Their unofficial leader was named "The Mechanist"; his personality and talents in creating technology were based on daVinci himself. Only one of his inventions, the Air Balloon, which is later upgraded, becomes a plot element two seasons later. It's used by the Fire Nation's military during the invasion of their capital to capture warriors, leading to the loss of the attackers.
  • The tinker fairies in Disney Fairies use this a lot.
  • In Futurama, Leonardo daVinci's hidden inventions have this. So does the entire planet of Vinci, though they do also have holograms and rendering software.
    • We don't see how the holograms and rendering software work. They could also run on Clockwork.
  • In Tiny Planets, the protagonists' home features a variety of shiny brass cog- and spring-driven devices. It's also one of the aesthetics visible on the Tiny Planet of Technology — which itself is set up like a life-sized orrery, with moons that don't so much orbit as stick out on long poles from a rotating ring at its equator.
  • The fortress of Nox from Wakfu (pictured) is composed entirely of Clock Punk. Makes sense, considering that he is a Xelor.

    Real Life 
  • The Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Europe were basically this trope. As slavery was prohibited, water power, wind power and various clockworks and weight power devices were used extensively. The only thing which prevented the full Clockpunk society to emerge was the state of metallurgy - sophisticated steel and brass alloys were discovered only in the 19th century, when Steampunk was already in vogue.
  • As mentioned above, Leonardo da Vinci is noted for, among other things, sketches of then-futuristic devices that resemble clockpunk versions of modern devices including helicopters, gliders, parachutes, main battle tanks, and even robots. Testing has suggested that his designs for triangular parachutes and Gatling guns would have actually worked. In fact, the majority of them seem like they would work. The problem is that they're inefficient and in Leonardo's day a lot of them would have been extremely difficult and expensive to construct, if not downright impossible: most of them relied on human or animal muscle power.
  • From Leonardo's own time, Gianello della Torre designed his own flying machines and machine guns, and actually built a primitive automaton and a self-powered water system that were apparently things of wonder. His coworker Blasco de Garay and his apprentice Jerónimo de Ayanz (who was also a Genius Bruiser with a career as a strongman and soldier) designed several man-powered submarines and diving suits, with Ayanz successfully testing his. Dipping into Steampunk, Ayanz also built what was perhaps the first steam-powered machine employed for industrial purposes before the Industrial revolution.
  • The ancient Greeks had some pretty advanced clockwork-style devices that we know next to nothing about, because the only surviving sample is the Antikythera mechanism, and the written record about their machines is very thin. But studies of the Antikythera mechanism put its complexity and craft as comparable to 17th century Europe.
  • Al-Jazari, a medieval Arab scientist, had many inventions, including a musical band made of automatons, centuries (two centuries, to be precise) before Leonardo.
  • Super-Flywheels is a moder mechanical accumulator of energy, which is promoted by number of scientists, like famous Soviet inventor Nurbei Gulia.
  • Japanese karakuri dolls and their 18th century European counterparts: gear-driven robots that could do things such as play music, serve food or write. Pretty much the direct ancestors of those creepy fembots they always show in Japanese tech exhibitions nowadays.
  • In Europe in the period directly before the Industrial Revolution kicked off, clockwork technology had become very advanced, to the point where some truly elaborate setups were constructed in the richer royal courts. One example was an entire clockwork garden where as you walked through it, pressure on the floor plates would cause various clockwork animals to react as if alive. Several natural philosophers of the time wrote of these clockwork displays as their inspiration for later machinery.
  • The cronometre - a nautical clock used on making navigation calculations and finding the latitude. Development of the cronometre was an essential step for the evolution of worldwide maritime commerce routes.
  • The difference engine.
    • Its successor, the analytical engine, had it ever been built, would have been the first ever general purpose, programmable, Turing-complete, digital computing machine. How awesome is that?
      • Awesome enough that someone's trying to finish the design and build it.
  • The mechanical calculators. Later models (after 1930s) could have several thousand gears. See for example John Wolff's Web Museum of mechanical calculators. Famous examples are the German Curta device and the Swedish Facit device. They worked on hand crank, thus "cranking out the solution".
  • The mechanical difference machines - mechanical computers used on resolving calculus problems, such as differential equations or multiple variable problems.
  • The analogue computers and planimetres, used on universities and technological institutes to resolve difficult mathematical problems before the emergence of electronic computers.
  • The humble cash register. Ca-ching!
  • The sea clocks of John Harrison. He was never trained as a clockmaker, he was just a genius and taught himself. In the process, he developed the grasshopper escapement and encased roller bearings. He eventually built four sea clocks, designed for the purpose of solving The Longitude Problem, something which had been disastrously impossible before. Check out Dava Sobel's book Longitude for more on the subject.
  • The Dreyer Fire Control Table and the Dumaresq - the Royal Navy fire control computers. The dumaresq was used on finding the declination and range of the enemy vessel, and the fire control table was used to calculate the firing solution - the correct azimuth and declination for own guns so that the shells would hit the enemy vessel on the move.
    • The Admiralty Fire Control Table which superseded the Dreyer Fire Control Table after the WWI was basically an electromechanical device working on the same principle. It remained in use until 1970s until electronic computers were sophisticated and physically small enough to supersede it.
  • World War 2-era torpedo data computers and naval fire-control systems were entirely mechanical computers capable of making complex calculations and giving precise firing solutions. American computers were also capable of continuously tracking enemy ships, unlike the British, German, and Japanese computers which only gave instantaneous firing solutions.
  • Occasionally invoked even today, as an alternative to powered devices. An example would be spring-driven carts that automatically roll themselves across a factory floor when a predetermined weight is transferred onto them, then tip out their contents and roll back to their previous position.
  • The Old London Bridge stood for over 600 years, housing buildings up to seven stories high, overhanging the water and the road by seven feet, as well as a drawbridge, and two waterwheels which not only powered pumps and mills, but also interfered with the river's flow and boat transit. Truly a marvelous monstrosity of the clockwork era.
  • The Iron Hand of Götz Von Berlichingen, a prosthetic that Von Berlichingen made after he lost his hand to a cannonball. It had fully articulated fingers that could be manipulated by a series of springs, levers, and buttons and could hold anything from a quill to a sword. He made this in 1504. See, Ash Williams' hand isn't so unrealistic after all.
  • The Middelaldercentre (Medieval Center) is an open-air museum in Denmark wholly specialized in researching, recreating and presenting the various technologies of the Middle Ages, including some rare and overlooked ones. Here's a short but succinct video presentation on just some of the working replicas of mechanical medieval technology recreated for the museum. Some of the rarer or more unusual devices hadn't been built for over 500 years. A must-visit for any clockpunk afficionado.
  • A NASA proposal to study extremely harsh environments where digital computers would have a very hard time as Mercury or Venus (due to the intense heat), or the moons of Jupiter Io and Europa (due to the intense radiation) is the AREE rover, basically a wind-powered (in Venus) automaton equipped with an analogic computer.
  • A surprising example is the phonograph/gramophone. While we associate sound recording technologies with electronics today, and the phongraph was invented in 1877 (during the heyday of early experiments with practical uses of electricity) by Thomas Edison (known for his work with electricity), the phongraph is wholly acoustic/mechanical technology. Up through the 1920s and even past then, recording sounds depended entirely on a stylus or needle directly carving a waveform from a vibrating diaphragm into a disc or cylinder, and playing them back involved turning the disc or cylender to vibrate a stylus or needle, which would then vibrate a diaphragm, which would generate the sound (usually amplified by a simple acoustic horn). The recording medium was usually turned by a spring-driven mechanism basically like what was used to drive mechanical clocks. The upshot is that there's no reason in principle that a phonograph couldn't have been built 100 or even 200 years before Edison actually did it; the materials to build the phonograph were readily available (the wax and shellac used to make cylinders and discs would have been a stretch, as would the thin mica for the diaphragms, but not a wild one), the mechanical movements of early phonographs were actually simpler than those of mechanical clocks (since they only needed to turn at a constant speed, rather than count out seconds), and the precision techniques needed to make accurate clocks were the same as needed to make a functioning phonograph. The reason that nobody made a phonograph in, say, 1727 was that the basic science of sound—the understanding that sound was a pressure wave in air—was not fully understood until the 19th century. (Alternate history buffs and writers of fantasy set in the 18th century, take note.)


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Alternative Title(s): Gear Punk


Mech wolves

The flashlight guards have very noticeable wind-up keys in their design.

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