A time lock (also timelock) is a part of a locking mechanism commonly found in bank vaults and other high-security containers. The time lock is a timer designed to prevent the opening of the safe or vault until it reaches the pre set time, even if the correct combination(s) are known. Time locks are mounted on the inside of the safe's or vault's door. Time locks were originally created to prevent criminals from kidnapping and torturing the person(s) who knows the combination, and then using the extracted information to later burgle the safe or vault, or to stop entry by staff at unauthorized times.
Modern electronic time locks have some functions not available to mechanical time locks, like resettable timers and pre-set times to activate.
A time lock has nothing to do with time-delay locks.