The Ultimate Cuckoo Clock Buying Guide
Cuckoo Clock Information
…there is also plenty of information that will help guide you in the right direction.
This includes info regarding:
- various clock elements
- installation requirements
- sound options
Here is all the information you will need to make the right decision as well as important information about maintaining your German cuckoo clock so that it will remain in your family for generations.
In particular, there are six manufacturers that we know and trust to produce these clocks.
Rombach & Haas
Purchasing a clock from these manufacturers also comes with the esteemed VDS certificate of authenticity.
Do keep in mind that quartz movement clocks do not come with a VDS certificate, as they do not meet the requirements for this certification.
VDS clocks must have a mechanical clock movement, which quartz movement clocks do not.
VDS certified clocks must also be produced in the Black Forest region.
Before discussing the various elements you can choose from when selecting a cuckoo clock,
…it is important to understand the pricing of these clocks.
More detailed clocks will obviously have a higher price than simple clocks.
There are some general guidelines to keep in mind that will help you select a clock that is in your budget.
No matter what clock you choose, you can be sure that it will be totally handmade and of the highest quality.
- 1-day movement clocks are usually less expensive than 8-day movement clocks;
- Clocks with musical elements are more expensive than those without. More musical tones or melodies are also more expensive than those with fewer tones or melodies;
- The more carvings there are, the higher the price will be. If the carvings are hand painted and hand carved also means the price will be higher;
- Additional hand-carved elements also result in a higher price- such as a roof, cuckoo bird, or clock hands;
- The overall number and size of the carved elements will help determine the price;
- Clock size- the larger the clock, the higher the price;
- Clocks with a night shut-off feature will be more expensive than those without.
..it is important to know that there are two main styles of cuckoo clocks which you can choose from- Chalet clocks and Carved clocks.
Chalet clocks feature a carved house.
Carved cuckoo clocks typically show popular scenes from nature.
Mechanical vs. Quartz Movements
- mechanical movement clocks
- quartz movement clocks
Traditional cuckoo clocks feature mechanical clock movements.
You have the option of either:
- a 1-day movement (which must be wound every day), or
- an 8-day movement (which must be wound once a week).
The movements are controlled by weights which are typically in the shape of fir cones.
In order for a cuckoo clock to be a genuine Black Forest clock, the movements have to also be produced in the region (in addition to the clock itself).
Quartz movement cuckoo clocks take away the need for winding and are powered by batteries.
While these lack the traditional feel of the mechanical movement clocks, they offer an easier way to have a traditional looking clock in the home without the work of having to wind it.
You will find that these clocks are just as high of quality as mechanical movement clocks.
It is just a matter of preference and cost when determining which type of clock you desire.
Mechanical vs. Quartz Movements
In mechanical movement clocks,
the cuckoo call is produced by the clock’s movement
…most clocks will also have a cuckoo bird that moves or flaps its wings when the call is sounded.
Other Musical Elements
If you purchase a Carved Clock with musical elements, it will likely contain popular German folk songs such as “Edelweiss” or “Der fröhliche Wanderer.”
…1-day movement clocks will play music at each half hour as well as at the top of each hour.
Quartz movement clocks also feature musical elements and will typically play music at the top of each hour. They can contain up to 12 different melodies,
…where as mechanical movement clocks typically have two melodies.
Clocks will also feature a varying number of tones (as we mentioned previously, more tones typically result in a higher price, but also a higher quality of sound). Usually there are between 18 and 36 tones.
These may be:-
- beer drinkers lifting their glasses
- wood choppers swinging axes
- dancing couples
Numerous clocks also feature a moving cuckoo bird in addition to the cuckoo call. The bird may flap its wings or move in and out when the call is sounded.
Types of Wood
Maple wood is used in place of Linden wood.
Night Shut-Off Features
During the day, this is a lovely experience.
..many people prefer to have quiet during the night.
This is especially important if you have young children who are light sleepers. If you sleep in listening range of your cuckoo clock, you likely want to purchase a clock that has a night shut-off feature.
- The first is a manual shut-off, which you must activate each night by turning a lever that quiets the clock.
- The other type is an automatic shut-off, which is much more convenient.
With this feature, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the lever each night.
You have to be very careful when shipping a cuckoo clock, as you do not want to damage the various elements of the clock, such as the chains or the figurines.
- First remove the pendulum.
- Always make sure the clock chains are pulled up and secure them with a piece of string.
You do not want the chains to get twisted or for them to fall off of the inner wheels
- Additionally, place a piece of paper in the spiral gong of the clock.
- Be sure to add a lot of padding (such as newspapers) to secure the clock in place in the shipment box.
Do not use small packing elements like peanuts as they could get stuck inside the clock!.
- Place the clock and the wrapped pendulum in a box.
If shipping back to the store for service,
…include your personal information such as your name, address, email address, and phone number.
Keep the box your clock arrived in in case you ever need to use it to ship your clock back.
There are a few main points to keep in mind when installing your clock.
..always consult your manual before beginning the installation process.
- First, it is important that you select a secure wall to mount your clock on.
Authentic cuckoo clocks can weigh a significant amount, so be sure to find a solid stud in the wall and use that for mounting.
- You also need to have plenty of space (several feet) below your clock in order to have room for your chains and weights to hang freely.
- Make sure that you do not turn your clock upside down.
This can cause your chains to fall off of the wheels of the clock.
Warranty and Caring for Your Clock
All of our Black Forest clocks come with a 24-month warranty for mechanical parts.
It is rare to experience an issue with your clock, but should a problem arise, we will work with you to solve the problem and get your clock back to perfect working order.
To ensure your clock runs for a long time,
…it is best to have regular maintenance performed on the clock every 5 years or so. This will only help to preserve and extend the life of your clock.
Having your clock professionally cleaned and oiled will ensure your clock lasts for generations. The mechanical movements in your clock are meant to last around 30 years, and potentially more if you keep up with regular maintenance.
On your end, you can help preserve the life of your clock by not exposing it to extreme temperatures (either hot or cold). Keep your clock indoors and away from dusty or humid conditions.
Should you ever need new parts, you can come back to our website or to the website of your clock’s manufacturer.
You may also consider going to a website such as timesavers.com which specializes in clock parts.