This is the official manual for the latest Org-mode release.

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8.7 Countdown timer

Calling org-timer-set-timer from an Org mode buffer runs a countdown timer. Use ; from agenda buffers, <C-c C-x ;> everywhere else.

org-timer-set-timer prompts the user for a duration and displays a countdown timer in the modeline. org-timer-default-timer sets the default countdown value. Giving a prefix numeric argument overrides this default value.