Grandfather clocks

Tempus Fugit Grandfather Clocks: Time Flies on a Grandfather Clock!


Many grandfather clocks, and some mantel clocks and wall clocks as well, have the words Tempus Fugit shown above or on the dial of the clock.  1-800-4CLOCKS has received thousands of inquiries over the years with questions about “My Tempus Fugit” grandfather clock. And Grandmother Clocks for that matter.  Tempus Fugit Clocks — would you pay a premium for them?

Tempus Fugit, it is important to note, is not a brand name for clocks, like Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and so forth.  Tempus Fugit is simply the Latin for “Time Flies”, and is inscribed on and above the dials of many grandfather clocks.  No single clock company or watch manufacturer has the exclusive right to using the words tempus fugit. This time term is in the public domain, and can be used by anyone, at any time.

Tempus Fugit also shows up on many other timepieces, both antique and new, pocket watches, wristwatches, and sundials and even some sandtimers.

So when comparison shopping and looking for grandfather clocks discounts or any clock on sale, just remember, don’t be fooled by a bargain price for a Tempus Fugit clock.  This is another tip to shop smart and save you money while comparison shopping.

Grandfather Clock Maintenance: A Brief Guide to Add Time to Your Life™


A question asked of 1-800-4CLOCKS almost all the time is how often to both oil and clean my mechanical grandfather clock. There is no question that oiling and cleaning at appropriate intervals both make the grandfather clock run more smoothly continuously throughout its life, and increase the clocks longevity. Without oiling and cleaning at defined times, not only will the grandfather clock not perform as well over time, but the life expectancy of the movements, or at least certain critical parts inside, will most certainly be shorter.

Having said the above, 1-800-4CLOCKS also gets many requests for oiling kits, and each time the person is asked if they know what they are doing when it comes to oiling a clock. The simple reason is that if one puts too much oil in or on the grandfather clock, or in the wrong places on the movement, one can really cause a major problem for the clock in the present and the future.

Just as you want to make sure you or your auto mechanic know what they are doing when working on your car, you want to know that whomever is servicing your clock is not just randomly “throwing oil into an automobile engine.” The analogy of a car’s engine to a grandfather clocks movement is not a bad one — both have inner metal workings in need of both oiling and cleaning.

OK, so how often!!??!! We will tell you what is generally recommended by 1-800-4CLOCKS for high-end mechanical grandfather clocks like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks. Oiling is recommended every 2-4 years, and a complete cleaning every 5-8 years. The same for Antique Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks. Many experts will recommend more frequent oiling and cleaning of grandfather clocks. Few will recommend much less over time. It is suggested, however, that any time your mechanical grandfather clock is appearing sluggish or losing time (or has stopped running, as an extreme example), a cleaning and or oiling may be in order (after ruling out more obvious causes, e.g. leveling your clock, or making sure it is in beat).

With proper maintenance, a grandfather clock will last many many lifetimes, and will be a treasured heirloom that can be passed down to future generations.

Howard Miller Shreveport Triple Chime Grandfather Clock 610-790Howard Miller Shreveport Triple Chime Grandfather Clock Model 610-790

Grandfather Clocks Chimes: Hear the Westminster Whittington and St Michaels Chimes


Have you visited the website recently? Whether you are looking for Grandfather Clocks and trying to decide on whether you want a Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks, or a Mechanical Keywound Wall Clock or Mantel Clock with Westminster Chimes only or one with Triple Chimes, you know have the ability to hear the clocks chime on the 1-800-4CLOCKS website.

The Chimes, which are shown with each clock model that offers them, play what we believe to be the best recorded chimes available today on the internet. As an example, take a look at the Taylor Model of Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, and you will see the Triple Chimes – in this case Westminster, Whittington, and St Michaels – that you can play as many times as you like! 1-800-4CLOCKS has worked hard to bring you online as much of an in-Store shopping experience as possible.

Most all clocks that are described as Triple Chime are Clocks that play the Westminster Chimes, the Whittington Chimes, and the Saint Michael’s Chimes. When that is not the case, it should be clear from the description in and of each clock.

By the way, all of this applies to chiming Grandmother Clocks, Wall Clocks, Mantle Clocks and any chiming clock!

If you want to stop by the 1-800-4CLOCKS Store in Grand Central Station in New York City, you can of course hear the Chimes in person. 1-800-4clocks also wants to take the mystery out of shopping for clocks online.

The Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes will also be on the 1-800-4CLOCKS website within the next 2-3 weeks.

Any and all input from horology and time or timepiece or music chime or chiming enthusiasts is more than welcome!

Howard Miller Triple Chime Taylor Grandfather Clock Model 610-648

Howard Miller Taylor Grandfather Clock Model 610-648 with Triple Chimes of Westminster, Whittington and Saint Michaels

Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller Clocks vs Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks


The last post in this grandfather clocks blog, while comprehensive and accurate (we believe), deserves to be clarified for one relatively simple to explain grandfather clock difference – which is the difference between Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.

Howard Miller Clocks acquired the Ridgeway Clocks Brand, known for its premier Grandfather Clock selection, 3-5 years ago. The wood cases for most all of the mechanical clocks are now made by the combined Howard Miller Clocks team, and while the styles are different and the Ridgeway Clock brand has kept its name, both the mechanical clocks and the grandfather clock cases are, in our opinion, of virtually identical quality. Both use German made Kieninger movements almost completely for their mechanical clocks.

Are the mechanical Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks better than those made and branded with the Howard Miller Clocks brand name? Our view is that the mechanical grandfather clocks lines are of almost completely comparable quality and worksmanship, for the reasons stated above. Both brands offer amazing collections for wonderful pieces to add to your timekeeping collections, and to Add Time to Your Life®.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks compared to Hermle, Ridgeway, Kieninger, Bulova and more


Even for the somewhat seasoned and knowledgeable clocks collector, figuring out which Company makes the best clock, has the highest end reputation, the best value, ownership structures and changing interrelationships between companies over time is quite a daunting task. We aim to simplify and demystify in this blog post.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks have for some period been the leading high-end brand of choice of a large majority of Americans, with some estimates saying their high-end market share has been as high as 90% and more. Howard Miller Clocks, the mechanical ones, all have high-end German made movements (more on this later).

Hermle Grandfather Clocks, whose mechanical grandfather clock movements and cases are almost all made in Germany, by Hermle itself. Interestingly, until more recent years (e.g. roughly last 3-5 years) most all of the mechanical Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks had Hermle Movements inside of them! Why no longer?

Howard Miller Clocks went out and bought Hermle’s leading – and really one and only remaining competitor to Hermle Clocks (for clock movements) in the world – then the ONLY OTHER very high-end semi-mass manufacturer of movements for mechanical clocks, Kieninger Clocks, which was much smaller than Hermle at the time. In our view, with some minor subtleties, the quality of Hermle Movements is roughly comparable to the quality of Kieninger’s Mechanical Clock Movements, and they are both of super-high quality.

So Howard Miller Clocks gradually started swapping out Hermle Clock movements for Kieninger Clock movements – the Company it now owned – to the point now where almost all Howard Miller Mechanical Clocks now have Kieninger movements.

Think you understand the landscape of grandfather or father time machines now? HA! What about Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks? And what about Kieninger Grandfather Clocks? And the relatively speaking more recent introduction of Bulova Grandfather Clocks, which bought many of the design rights to the highly regarded Sligh Grandfather Clock Brands when it went out of business.

Bulova Grandfather Clocks? Their mechanical movements are made by Hermle, and their cases are hand-made in Canada. Howard Miller’s cases are made in the USA. Kieninger’s Grandfather Clocks, as you might expect, use Kieninger German made movments and have their cases made in Germany.

Now what about the great designs of Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, one of the oldest grandfather clocks companies in the world, and one which has many AMAZING designs! Guess what? They are now owned by Howard Miller Clocks. Their cases are made in the USA and their mechanical movements are mostly made in Germany – Kieninger as you might have guessed! Ridgeway Clocks fashion-forward clock designs also use some quartz movements. As near as we can tell, the origin of the quartz movements are not at this point uniform either within or between Companies.

Hope yo have this all straight. No more time to study! The quiz is in 60 minutes! :) Stay tuned for a continued wild ride!

Grandfather Clocks: Cable Driven vs. Chain Driven Mechanical Clocks Movements


One question addressed to on a regular basis is what is the difference, and what are the relevant pros and cons of a chain driven grandfather clock vs. cable driven grandfather clocks.

We attempt here to summarize what we see and believe to be the major differences between these two mechanical movements.

At this point in time, all of the mechanical movements for both Chain Driven and Cable Driven Grandfather Clocks that we sell are made in Germany, and are top quality.

Why buy a chain driven grandfather clock? First, we should address the difference between the a chain driven and cable driven grandfather clock. Both have 8 day movements. Cable Driven Grandfather Clocks are wound in the dial, whereas chain driven grandfather clocks are wound once a week by pulling the chains down to brings the clock weights back up again and start the cycle all over again.

Here is our opinion of the advantages of chain driven grandfather clocks vs. cable driven grandfather clocks. First, the clocks which are mechanically chain driven are generally less expensive in price, because they cost less to produce. Second, because chain driven movements are smaller, they tend almost always be made for and installed into smaller grandfather clock cases to fit into smaller spaces (length, height, width) than cable driven grandfather clocks. Many can even be termed Grandmother Clocks because they are generally relatively smaller. Third, we find that people who grew up with Chain Driven Grandfather Clocks tend to have a sentimental attachment to this style — and what better reason could there be for that!

The advantages of Cable Driven Clocks, as we see them, are first, that the movements tend to have a much longer lifespan (but do not forget a chain driven movement can be replaced at relatively low cost), say 50 vs. 100 years with continuous use). Second, one does not have the chains flopping around next to the clocks’ weights and pendulum. Third, the sounds of the chimes may be marginally better with cable driven clocks. Fourth, the chain driven clocks tend to be housed in grandfather clock cases which are not only larger (including height, width and depth), but also both more decorative and elaborate, and expensive.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, as well as Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Floor Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather, and Bulova Grandfather Clocks, all have some selections in these areas.

The good news is that whichever you pick, you are likely to be very satisfied over time!

Grandfather Clocks Personality Profile


Marketers have since the 1960s broken down various market segments for very industry on factors other than the previously timeless demographic market segmentation (age, sex, race, etc.).  Thanks for this gargantuan leap in marketing can be mostly traced to Daniel Yankelovich, with important contributions from his colleagues Florence Skelly and Arthur White.   Psychographics have since played a critical part in both targeting specific groups of people, such as Road Warriors, individuals defined as living and working more than a certain days of week out of town, and in describing behavior and actions of groups of people, with Reagan Republicans coming to mind.  Grandfather Clocks buyers are no exception to this time honored approach to marketing and sales.

Not surprisingly, there exist today personality profiles and surveys to help a prospective clocks buyers choose a grandfather clock that both best suits their personality and also makes a relevant statement about how they view themselves.   Questions range from the more obvious such as whether your home decor style is contemporary or traditional, to whether relaxation is achieved by watching movies, reading a book, or practicing yoga, or whether time spent during the Holidays would be used to give formal dinner parties, traveling to visit family and friends, or volunteering with a charity to help others.  For vacations, is a trip to Disneyworld in order, a week in Paris France perhaps, or touring the USA by automobile, or exercising.  For time at home, is the dining room, the living room, the Den, or the Kitchen your favorite place to spend time.  And is shopping, is price your sole criterion, and if not how important are brand names, features, and selection of styles.   After answering these questions myself, I was told I am a traditionalist at heart.  From time to time, I aspire to having a timeless look that can be passed down from generation to generation.  A specific grandfather clock model was recommended to me based on my answers.

Want to know where you can take this grandfather clocks personality profile test?  Ask us any time!

Grandfather Clocks: Meaning to Individuals Regarding Time and Life


What does your grandfather clock signify to you about the meaning of time?  This is a subject so many people comment on when ordering a new factory direct grandfather clocks at wholesale prices, or Antique Grandfather Clocks.   See down below for our basic thoughts and reasons we have heard from our Grandfather Clock customers.

We want your responses and input!

This Grandfather Clocks blog entry is geared toward the many meanings of clocks and time, throughout the history of clocks and timekeeping.  The history of having a grandfather clock in one’s own home, and it was only in the 1700s that clocks started being available in Europe in any numbers in the general population, and only by the most affluent individuals (grandfather clocks were only invented in the mid-1600s).  Back in the ages of sundials and sandtimers, and even from Galileo’s early theories on the ability to keep and tell time, people had no means for a clock even if they were the “Bill Gates” of the Renaissance era!

Christmas shopping and gift giving for the Holidays, is fast approaching, and Grandfather Clause Clocks :) are more and more on the minds of shoppers – both Antique Grandfather Clocks or New Grandfather Clocks.  Whether a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, one from the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, a Hermle Grandfather Clock, a Seth Thomas Clock or one of the Kieninger Grandfather Clocks or Bulova Grandfather Clocks, or an Antique Grandfather Clock.

Here are some of thoughts we have heard and thought ourselves – please add to or comment on this list:

1.  The 1876 Grandfather Clocks Song by Henry Clay Work, as the lyrics go, suggested that the Grandfather Clock was a kindred spirit with its owner, when the clock was relatively young chiming joyously with 24 Gongs when his new bride arrived, and ultimately, many years later, stopping, and some might say dying, when, as the clock lyrics go, “it stopped, short, never to run again when the old man died”.

2. Some say they love or want grandfather clocks because it feels as though they actually have control over time.

3. Some go even further, and say they feel it gives them some further sense of control with the World in general.

4. Others say they love clocks because time is so ephemeral, and as the Patek Philippe watches ads say, roughly, you are only holding you timepiece for the next generation.  In that context, keeping time offers a sense of continuity.

5. Some see clocks and grandfather clocks of helping them to recognize their own mortality, almost as a countdown clock, helping not only with telling time but also having the clocks seconds minutes and hours almost as a Death Clock, or a time clock telling or reminding them that their days on Earth are increasingly numbered and waning.  Almost like a stopwatch counting down their time.

6. And of course, there are those who are simply looking at clocks from a home decor or interior decorating standpoint.  Others simply remember their parents or grandparents or friends of parents as having a certain special clock, and they want to revive both that feeling of warmth and feeling, many times of awe, from when they were children.

We want to know what you think.  Please respond to this clocks blog listing with your thoughts, and we expect all legitimate post will be added to our blog.

Grandfather Clocks Blog thanks you, and we look forward to your input.

Grandfather Clocks Contest – Best Antique and New-Vintage Grandfather Clock


Grandfather Clocks Blog is Pleased to Announce the 2007 Grandfather Clocks Contest brought to you by 1-800-4CLOCKS.

Many people have a favorite among the many grandfather clocks they have seen or may themselves own. The reasons can be many, from antique grandfather clocks with mercury pendulums, astronomical dials, amazing casework and carving, the chimes or even built in music box or automata – whether made by Britian’s J.J. Elliott , Tiffany and Company, Walter Durfee, Winterhalder & Hoffmeier, Seth Thomas Clocks, or one of the new makers like Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, the Ridgeway Clock Collection, Kieninger Clocks or the thousands of other makers of antique grandfather clocks or new grandfather clocks. Home-made grandfather clocks and those built from grandfather clock kits are also welcome.

The 1-800-4CLOCKS 2007 Grandfather Clocks Contest is open to everyone, and will offer two grand prizes of $250 gift certificates good for 1 year at 1-800-4CLOCKS. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED BY DECEMBER 31, 2007. No purchase is required, and each individual may submit one entry only (for each Category). Your ORIGINAL photo(s) AND description (the more detailed the better) must be included with your entry. You do not need to be the owner of the clock you submit, but potential copyright issues may prevent posting more than a description if there are any copyright issues regarding the photo or description. The winners will likely be featured, along with their clocks if desired and as possible, on the website.

There are 2 Categories – one for each $250 grand prize (Gift Certificate at 1-800-4CLOCKS):

1 for Best and Most Interesting Antique Grandfather Clock, and

1 for Best and Most Interesting New or Vintage Grandfather Clock.

Please mail via USPS your photos and description to us at:

2007 Grandfather Clocks Contest


15 Vanderbilt Avenue, Store 31D

Grand Central Terminal

New York, NY 10017


Please remember to include your name and all your contact information. We regret that it will not be possible to return any entries, and ALL must be sent via USPS and postmarked by December 31, 2007. The winners for each category will be decided by the Staff of 1-800-4CLOCKS at their sole discretion. We recognize that grandfather-longcase-tallcase clocks have such a rich history, and we expect picking a winner amongst the many spectacular grandfather clocks will be both a subjective and difficult decision.

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