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The Spot-on Sundial - a new concept in sundials

Welcome to the great world of contemporary scientifically accurate* sundials

The original brass Spot-On Sundial was designed by Piers Nicholson and introduced to the market in 2001. Since then, more than 900 customers all over the world have bought them as presents for big occasions or simply for their own pleasure.

The brass horizontal Spot-On Sundials are made in 3 different sizes, either on square baseplates measuring 17, 27 or 34 cms., or on round baseplates measuring 15, 25 or 32 cm. diameter.

And you can make your sundial completely personal by having your own message engraved on the side of the gnomon as shown here

*The Spot-on sundial can be read to within a minute or two (it is marked in 5 minute intervals). Unlike many sundials, the Spot-on sundial is scientifically accurate and, if set up accurately, will display True Time with complete accuracy - see explanation below centre.

sundial in brass - horizontal

Horizontal brass sundial

Larger Horizontal brass sundials

Polar brass sundials

Order your sundial online

sundial, 34 cm square, brass

The big innovation with Spot-On Sundials is the slit in the gnomon (which casts the shadow) When the sun is at its highest, a shaft of sunlight shines through this slit and across the noon circle on the dialplate. This enables you, the customer, to set up the sundial with great accuracy so that you can read it to the nearest minute or two

Please click on any of these pictures to get a much larger version!

Please scroll down the page for our complete product list with prices


Custom-made stainless steel Spot-On Sundials

sundial in stainless steel - 42 cm. Stainless steel Spot-On Sundials incorporate the "line of light" feature shown in the picture (left); this enables them to be set up with great accuracy. They also give interesting reflections of trees, clouds and buildings. The surface is mirror-polished apart from the shot-blasted matt circle which gives a strong shadow for the hour lines.

The custom-made dials (24 cm. and larger) are individually designed for the exact latitude of their location, and the engraving can be simple or elaborate to suit the needs of the customer.
sundial in stainless steel  - 30 cm. (above) 30 cm. stainless sundial with a simple inscription, showing the reflections
(centre top) 42 cm. sundial in our Epsom
show garden showing noontime "line of light"
(centre) 42 cm. sundial in Horniman Museum garden mounted on a wooden post and with a more elaborate inscription
sundial in stainless steel  - Horniman Museum sundial in stainless steel  - 15 cm. (above) The standard 15 cm. standard stainless sundial, designed for small gardens and balconies, with a special engraving on the side of the gnomon. This can be supplied with a stainless steel plinth.

The brass polar sundial (right) is so-called because the dial plate is in the same plane as the gnomon, which points to true North on the earth, and the north celestial pole in the sky. This dial is a domestic version of the much larger Tylers and Bricklayers Millennium Sundial near the Millennium footbridge in central London.

polar sundial in brass

The shadow of the oxhead gnomon in the middle just skims the left-hand upright at 6 in the morning, and then advances as a paralllel line along the dial plate. At noon, the shadow is immediately under the gnomon and the line of light appears, as shown in the picture. The shadow continues across the right hand side of the dialplate and finishes on the edge of the right-hand upright at 6 pm

Universal Polar Sundial - suitable for any latitude

The sundial which can travl the world with you! Our new Universal Polar Sundial is adjustable, and so can be set exactly for any latitude between the Equator and the Arctic Circle. And, if you move house, you can just reset it to your new latitude!

The Universal Polar Sundial is available in two models, one with a large baseplate which can be engraved with a substantial message, and the other with a small baseplate. It will shortly be available in a Southern Hemisphre version with the hours increasing from right to left.

The Universal Polar Sundials also feature the split gnomon, which gives the line of light shown in the right hand picture

picture of sundial

The skywheel

The Skywheel is an innovative design of equatorial sundial. The gnomon points to celestial north, and the dialplate, in the form of a wheel with 24 spokes,is at right angles to it, and thus in the plane of the equator. The shadow travels across the dialplate at 15 degrees an hour, and thus the shadow falls precisely over one of the spokes every hour. Between times, there are 10-minute nicks and 5-minute cushions on the inner rim of the Skywheel


Skywheel equatorial sundial
Printable list of products

 Complete list of our sundial products

Prices are in £ (GBP). Approx. conversions to Euros: multiply by 1.2 and to dollars: multiply by 1.6 (Mar 2011) or see xe.com
Product Material Dimensions
cm. (ins. approx)
Weight kg
(lb. approx)
Suitable for:
Latitude range
Price (£) excl delivery
despatch time
Original Spot-On Sundial
        (8 models)
Brass 17 x 17 x 12H
6½ x 6½ x 4½H
1.9 (4.3)  26 to 58 N
and 27 to 41 S
2 days (note 1 & 5)
Standard 27 cm. Spot-On Sundial (1 model) Brass 27 x 27 x 18H
10½ x 10½ x 7H
5.0 (11) 48 to 54 N £205
2 days(note 1)
Standard 25 cm. dia. Spot-On Sundial
(Round Base)
(1 model)
Brass 25 dia x 18H
10 dia.x 7H
5.0 (11) 48 to 54 N £195 (note 1)
Standard 34 cm. Spot-On
        (1 model)
Brass 34 x 34 x 24H
13½x 13½ x 9½H
7.0 (14.4) 48 to 54 N £325
1 week (note 1)
Spot-On Polar Sundial
        (4 models)
Brass 32 x 13 x 12H
12½ x 5¼ x 4¾H
5.25 (11½) 44 to 54 N £315
1week (note 1)
Universal Polar Sundial
Brass 30 x 10 x 12H
12 x 4 x 4¾H
6 (13.2) 0 to 65 N/ 0 to 65S
adjustable for latitutde
the sundial which can
travel the world with you
2 days note 7
Universal Polar Sundial
Brass 30 x 30 x 12H
12 x 12 x 4¾H
8.5 (17½) £495
3 weeks(note 7)
24 cm. Stainless Spot-On Sundial Stainless
24 x 24 x 14H
9 x 9 x 5H
9 (20) any latitude;
5-9 weeks (note 3)
30 cm. Stainless Spot-On Sundial Stainless
30 x 30 x 16H
12 x 12 x 6H
9 (20) any latitude;
5-9 weeks (note 3)
42 cm. Stainless Spot-On Sundial Stainless
41.8 x 41.8 x 21.5H
16½ x 16½ x 8½H
12 (28½)

any latitude;

5-9 weeks(note 3)
Circular 42 cm. dia. Stainless
Spot-On Sundial
41.8 dia. x 21.5H
16½ dia.x 16½ x 8½H
12 (28½)

any latitude;

5-9 weeks(note 8)
The Skywheel      (note 4) Stainless
baseplate: 15 x 45
wheel dia. 49
overall height 35

any latitude;

Contact for price

(1) plus £45 for up to 60 letters of special engraving if required, + 3-7 days        (2) plus £65 for up to 60 letters of special engraving if required, + 3-7 days  (3) typical - can be quicker for urgent orders        (4) Can be made to larger sizes by special order (5) Can be supplied with a round baseplate of 15 cm. diameter - £5 extra (6) Can be supplied with a round baseplate of 32 cm. diamenter - £15 extra   (7) also available in a Southern Hemisphere version. (8) 1 available; normally 12-15 weeks delivery and can be made to any required size (9)

can be engraved on the side of the gnomon at 60 for 60 letteers

Sundial engraved for a personal giftThe new Spot-On Sundial combines modern functional design with unrivalled accuracy.

3 models of Spot-On Sundial to suit all situations from small urban gardens to large open spaces and public areas

All models can have an engraved message on the side of the gnomon to give a unique gift for an anniversary, birthday, wedding, or special event.

Brass sundial with the "line of light"

Spot-On Sundial in brass

The main feature of the Spot-On Sundial is the divided gnomon* constructed of two parallel plates with a small air gap. This permits a ray of sunshine to pass through for a few minutes at solar noon, more...

The Unique Line of Light


All our sundials are designed to stand on any horizontal surface. If you want a plinth please click here for for some suggestions

Spot-on Sundial in Stainless Steel

An interesting dial which gives excellent reflections in the mirror-finished stainless steel, and, with the contrasting matt circle on which the hour lines are shown, gives the appearance of "floating on air" more...

These stainless steel dials are individually designed for their precise location and incorporate engraving text, logos, or drawings agreed with the client.

These elegant and robust dials incorporate the split gnomon, so that every day at solar noon a line of light will shine through the gnomon along the noon line.

When you have decided which sundial you want,
you can now buy it in our new Spot On Sundial store!

The Spot-On Sundial is easy to read

The shadow of the top slanting edge of the gnomon travels round the sundial in a clockwise direction (for our Northern Hemisphere models). This shows the shadow falling exactly on an hour line . The time is 8 am winter time (indicated by the VIII Roman numerals) or 9 am in Summer Time/Daylight Saving Time, more...

Note from the Designer

People often ask what is so special about the Spot-On Sundial and how it came to be designed. If you too are interested in this, here is the full story!

Piers Nicholson

Ordering a Sundial

If you are ordering the original 17 cm. brass sundial, first choose the right model for your latitude. Then decide whether or not you want an engraving. Then go to our Spot On Sundial shop to order.

For other sundials, please send us an Email saying where you live and which sundial model you are interested in.

Setting up

Detailed instructions are provided for brass and stainless steel sundials, advanced set up for super accuracy, indoor set up.

Choosing the correct model for your location

Horizontal sundials need to have the angle between the gnomon (which casts the shadow) and the dialplate appropriate to the latitude where they are to be used. The original 17 cm. square Spot-On Sundial is made in seven models suitable for most of the Northern hemisphere, and there is also one Southern hemisphere model - use this page to help you decided which is the correct model for you. If you want the gnomon angle to be exactly right for your latitude, you can use our advanced setup, but this is not necessary for most practical purposes unless you can be certain that the base is accurately horizontal to better than a half of one degree.
Three of our larger models (two in stainless steel and one in brass) are custom-made for the latitude where they will be placed.

Spot-On Sundials, Hampstead, London, England
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