One partial solution: if there's a notification icon on the lock screen, the clock shrinks to a smaller, more normal format. I happen to have an app with a persistent notification, so my clock is always smaller and (to my eyes) easier to read than my spouse's identical phone. Also makes it easier to tell our phones apart!
You might find a weather app or something similar you didn't hate with a persistent notification. I'm not a fan of persistent notifications ... but right now I kind of like it.