Fibonacci Clock made with Arduino

Quite recently an interesting prototype has been launched on kickstarter to become a real product: a Fibonacci clock.


I am quite aware that not everybody is familiar with Fibonacci, who was an Italian mathematician who lived in the 13th century and introduced in his book Liber Abaci the concept of his “magical” sequence, where every number is the result of the sum of the same number minus one, plus the same number minus 2, to other European mathematicians. In math notation: Fn = Fn-1 + F n-2 , that is, where F1 = 0+1=1 and so on. Leading to a specific sequence: 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 …. known as Fibonacci Sequence.


Arduino Fibonacci Clock


"Liber abbaci magliab f124r". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -



Now, this is very technical, but as a matter of fact, it is still very important nowadays, as it is a sequence that is used in computer search algorithms (Fibonacci Search Technique) and, as another example, but not exhaustive, in the Fibonacci cubes, a graphical representation used for interconnecting parallel and distributed systems. 


They also appear in botanics, and many other scientific branches of studies.


But, going back to the newly appeared project, it is an absolutely innovative way of showing the time on a Fibonacci-based clock. And a clock full of style, too!

The author, Philippe Chrétien, launched his project as an Open Source project on Instructables, then decided to try it with Kickstarter to see if he could go into production with it, and he’s gone far beyond the initial request, so far. 


Although to many people it can seem a strange way to read time, the Fibonacci clock in ingenuous: the screen is made up of five squares with different sizes and colours. The side lengths of each square matches the first five numbers in the sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5.

The hours are displayed in red and the minutes in green. Therefore, according to what square is on and in which colour, you can tell the time. At the beginning, I am sure, it’ll be quite complicated, but after a while, one gets used to it. And its a stylish piece that would excellently substitute a normal desk or wall clock.


AS the author states, the color palette can be changed, and he took a picture of one of his Fibonacci clocks with a Mondrian-style color palette:


Arduino Fibonacci-clock


Now, if you’re interested in this mathematician’s clock, made with an Arduino and fully programmable, so that it can also be transformed in a lamp, via the Arduino IDE, you can have a look at Philippe Chrétien’s website or go directly to Kickstarter and see if you can grab one for yourself!


Have fun reading the time!


by Silvia Bianchi




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