This clock was famous, but the internet ruined it.

This clock was famous, but the internet ruined it.

It feels like no-one’s told the world about this yet. ■ AD: 👨‍💻 NordVPN’s best deal is here: – with a 30-day money-back guarantee! ■ More: Royal FloraHolland’s flower auction in Aalsmeer had a famous clock: a literal Dutch auction where the first person to press their button would win. But it’s no more, and that’s down to the internet.

Location camera: Dion Huiskes
Editor: Michelle Martin
Producer: Jasper Deelen

Footage via Open Images: and is from Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0 (which does not extend to the larger video, see )

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48 Responses

  1. lil frikandelbroodje says:

    Hey Tom! While this clock may not be in use anymore as far as flowers go, there is still a fully functional (analog!) version in the BroekerVeiling museum. They do a practical demonstration involving the pressing of the buttons and such as well, super interesting and fun to see how auctions used to be held.

    • Mr Seeker says:

      @Ragnhild they call it “doordraaien”. When the clock hits the low end that the seller is willing to sell it for, they just get turned into flower waste. Happened a lot during the pandemic…

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin says:

      It’s always good to know that a museum is preserving something that has otherwise lost its purpose.

    • Jude Evans says:


    • Yoshi Animations says:

      Omg I never ever expected to hear Broekerveiling here 😀 Especially since Broek op Langedijk is such a small town. I live 100m away and some of my paintings got sold that way there.

    • Arno Mulder says:

      dankjewel frikandelbroodje

  2. Not Just Bikes says:

    I’m not sure what surprises me the most: that the clock is gone or that Tom Scott is running a VPN ad. But I’m not a stickler for tradition, and I loved every minute of it.

    Also, my Dutch is good enough that I didn’t need the subtitles at all. Nice.

    • xstma says:

      He’s doing the Nord sponsor because there is no mention of privacy or security, just the ability to change location

    • Thijs Havinga says:

      Oh my, greatest crossover of all time opportunities here.

    • Moreno Kristovan says:

      in the business world, tradition is rarely more important than money
      -Tom Scott 5:46
      XD He said it himself kekekekek

    • Eduardo says:

      @No_ Plan thank you

    • No_ Plan says:

      @Eduardo In 2019 Tom Scott made a video about how unnecessery VPNs are. And in the Same video he said that it now would be very unlikely that a VPN Service will sponser him after saing that.

  3. KilleRoyNL says:

    Did you just rickroll us during the sponsor part? “Oh, ik zal je nooit opgeven”, “Oh I’m never gonna give you up?” It’s a funny feeling, being educated about something in your own country (let alone something you pass by whenever you commute to the office) by someone that is from abroad, but if it’s anyone, I’m glad it’s you. Your videos are always interesting!

  4. Salutations YT! says:

    i like how tom is VERY careful with how he words his advert, everything he criticised in his anti VPN Ad video was sidestepped, mainly because his use for the VPN is a practical use for researching the Video your watching. he does not mention the Privacy or the security of Nord VPN once, removing the VPNs main selling point whilst still making it work

    • BangDroid ✪ says:

      @AnEagle “insanely trusted by his fanbase”
      That may change. I’ve lost some respect for him after this.

    • JuKo says:

      @Marissa no that’s not correct

    • AnEagle says:

      @Xwtek I mean getting endorced by Tom Scott is el Dorado for them. He’s insanely trusted by his fanbase, and if he endorces them after what he said a few years ago, it shows to the world they have learned.

    • Moreno Kristovan says:

      in the business world, tradition is rarely more important than money
      -Tom Scott 5:46

    • Thread Bomb says:

      I think most people use VPNs to access out-of-region media, not to be extra secure in their shady internet dealings.

  5. Eden Lippmann says:

    I still can’t get over how Tom completely changed how VPNs as a whole are advertised, with that video. I can remember before and after, and there was an almost seismic shift away from cybersecurity scaremongering and towards the actual (legally acceptable) benefit of location-hopping.

    • x says:

      There are a lot of people, especially the kind of people who would be watching videos like this, who actually need these things from a VPN service. I had to recommend one to another expat because he wasn’t able to access his bank’s website from outside the US. I’ve been in that same situation. It’s a good idea for them to branch out and have youtubers talk up other practical uses for them rather than just trying to market to people who don’t need them.

    • David Ciani says:

      “legally acceptable” until you use it to violate your contractual agreement with your favorite streaming sites.

    • Robby Bevard says:

      @whuzzzup The reason many people get VPNs is so they can illegally torrent things without being tracked.

    • Sinister Pixel says:

      @Diggnuts I run it too but this is one ad I’d definitely recommend watching for the sheer novelty of it

    • awaitwhat says:

      @whuzzzup versus hiding your identity to do online crimes, which vpns don’t want to focus on but people do use them for it

  6. John Curtix says:

    Worked here for a few years when I was a teenager, getting rid of cardboard waste, getting empty carts all over the place and working in the fridges were some of the thing we did mostly. Really had a lot of fun there and on days when it rained a lot (and I wasn’t working there) I often also cycled from one end to the other because no wind and rain in there. Really great seeing a video, wish I knew you were visiting Tom!

  7. Lara’s Hope says:

    You can always count on Tom Scott to educate you on something you never knew you wanted to be educated on or need to. I’ve seen tulip fields and farms but I never knew it was such a huge logistical thing with selling/buying flowers.

    • Ruud Bleeker says:

      Good farmers/growers care about their product and the quality at which it reaches the consumer. This is true all around the world I would hope but it certainly is in the Netherlands. So that’s why the people who grow these flowers started this marketplace and made it as efficient as possible with the technology available to them at the time, and as Tom points out in his video it is still updated whenever the need arises. This means that a perishable product like a flower that’s cut from it’s roots can be sold and shipped so fast, internationally even, that it will still stand fresh in a vase in your living room for a week or more.

  8. István Lovász says:

    Bless you for this sponsor spot, especially after your video about VPNs and honesty. As someone with mild understanding of the inner workings of computers and the internet, I’m happy how the sponsor was not about security claims, but rather examples of real-world use by average people. Also thank you for calling out US sites not even bothering to comply with GDPR, they deserve a mention in negative light.

    • IoEstasCedonta says:

      If we’re talking about large websites, sure, but some history nerd’s personal website (remember those? ah, the days…) – it ain’t happening.

    • urouro niwa says:

      @Daniel Hackney It’s more expensive if you don’t really intend to follow the spirit of the regulations. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the bulk of cost is in machinations around avoiding the consequences of following the regulations most of the time. I’ve implemented GDPR in a company that does hundreds of millions of dollars in business and it wasn’t onerous. It took 2 of us less than a month. In terms of our budget, it barely registered.

      I could go into details, but honestly people make a hash out of GDPR — often intentionally, I think. They *want* it to be complicated. I could go on for considerable length on how to approach the task, but this is not really the place 😉 At least for our transition we’ve gone from a company that did as little as possible for privacy to a company that *likes* the GDPR. It actually makes sense from a business point of view. Instead of trying to extract a few pennies on a lot of complicated, under the table transactions, we build a relationship with our customers and focus in fulfilling their needs. In a word, GDPR has been *profitable* for us.

    • Paul Cassidy says:

      GDPR is bureaucratic, excessive and overly prescriptive; a typical EU law. It’s because it’s this way that the response is to avoid it if possible. The EU will never learn. Well done US companies.

    • 142536475869708090 0897867564534231 says:

      if only companies would not do bad things without being forced to 😔

  9. Elle van Veelen says:

    It always makes me happy when someone makes a video about my country hehe. Also: there are actually still small auctions that use a clock, or auction houses that do re-enactments. I went to one as a kid once. I ended up accidentally forcing my mom to pay €5 for an apple hahaha!

  10. hi its aria says:

    Before watching the video, I thought this might’ve been a case of internet people ruining something just for the sake of it, but it is actually the mere existence of the internet that ruined the clocks. Ironic, considering I’ve never heard of them until being on the internet.

    • Matthew W says:

      It’s not just here too. Stock exchange floors are empty relics of what they once were.

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin says:

      @Dillinger Video killed the radio star, but some footage of the radio star is still shown on video.

    • ApplesPapples says:

      I was actually hoping that people on the internet had intentionally ruined a money clock. Kinda disappointed now.

    • idkhow2type says:

      @Lemon i would say its clickbait because its misleading. while its technically true that “the internet ruined it”, people usually have a certain expectation when hearing that phrase, ie “internet people ruining something just for the sake of it”. i still agree that the actual story is interesting, its not what i and possibly a number of people expect

    • Lemon says:

      @idkhow2type The title says the internet ruined it, the video shows that the internet LITERALLY ruined it. How is it clickbait?

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