Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clock News Alert

10.26.09

A number of our customers have requested that we send out special notices, mostly by email, when there is grandfather clock news which seems like it might be of importance to them.  This could include special promotions on grandfather clocks or grandfather clock discounts.  It might also include new product introductions of the type of clocks — including not only the grandfather clock news, but also important developments in wall clocks, atomic clocks, mantel clocks, or any other clocks niche in which a customer indicates a strong interest.

Would a grandfather clock news alert, or we would call it simply grandfather clock alert, or perhaps Grandfather Clocks Update, be something of interest to you?

Please let us know if you think this is a good idea, and how it might be improved or modified to be of most help to grandfather clock aficionados everywhere.

Also, what should we name it?  While we are partial to Grandfather Clock News Alert, we are open to different and better ideas.  What’s your clock alert opinion?

Are you interested in news about particular grandfather clock companies, or say, when new Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks are introduced.

Please let us know.  We value your input tremendously.

Grandfather Clocks Sales and What to Look For – Discounts?

10.21.09

As Western Civilization is beginning to enter its annual Holiday Season, with the associated crass commercialism and materialism, not to ignore, though, the ever-time and always worthy hopes for Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men and women.  Did not mean for this to sound like a Hallmark Greeting Card.

Casual Shoppers and those more seriously looking at grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks are facing an ever growing variety of choices.

More and more “cheap stuff” – not inexpensive, but cheaply or poorly made, are flooding the market with brand names one has never heard before but are named so that they somehow do have a ring of familiarity, and associated legitimacy, for prospective timepiece buyers.  The grandfather clocks discount and sale category have been especially targeted with a flood of poorly made grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks, with many parts made of plastic and generally with battery operated quartz movements not attributed to any maker and not likely to last very long either.  Oh, and don’t forget the instruction book.  We get countless calls from individual aspiring horologists who just purchased one of the poorly made clocks (we won’t name the Stores, but several big-name chain store names keep coming up) and want the instruction booklet that was somehow not inside or with their clock.  If we had it to send, we might actually do so as a courtesy, but in this case we are highly doubtful that these instruction books ever even existed in the first place.

Okay, so if a smart shopper stays away from the no-name cheap stuff, what else should they look at?  Good name brands do make a world of difference both in knowing you are getting a quality clock and also knowing that someone will still be there to service the clock, or replace it if absolutely necessary.   Some of the trusted names we carry and have had overall excellent experience with are Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Bulova Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Movado Clocks and more.  While the movement and casing quality may vary within brand, they are generally reasonably highly consistent, and high-quality, across similar product segments within each line, e.g. traditional mechanical wood-cased grandfather clocks.

Sticking with grandfather clocks, there are 4 basic types of grandfather clocks when considering the movement types.  First, and least expensive, are quartz or battery-operated movements.  These have the advantage of being much lower cost, have volume control, no need to wind,  auto night shut-off, and are usually found in smaller clocks.  The disadvantages include the fact that the chimes are recorded and on a sound chip, and can vary pretty dramatically in sound quality, but really never as good as a mechanical clock where one hears the chime rods actually being hit by hammers.  Second, are chain driven mechanical clocks, which usually have 8 day movements, and are wound by pulling down on each of the 3 chains to bring up each of the 3 weights (some clocks models have 2 weights and some only one).  Many people are drawn to these clocks because they are the type they grew up with.  The chime sound quality is good.  The only real downsides are that the movements are not likely to last as long as a cable-driven grandfather clock movement (discussed next), and these clocks tend to have fewer “bells and whistles”,  e.g. working moonphase dial, and automatic nighttime shutoff.  Since the movements are physically smaller, they tend to be in smaller cases with less depth as well – so they can sometimes be the perfect fit for that special space .

Third are mechanical cable-driven grandfather clocks.  These are the clocks that are wound in the dial-face with a winding crank key.  For practical purposes (keep in mind there is a 4th clock movement type still coming), this is best, or at least tied for the best, type of clock movement.  They can last several generations, have the ability to have multiple chimes, and these clock models have varying degrees of the “extras” or bells and whistles, including illuminated dials and amazing carved wood cases.

Fourth is the little-known tubular chime grandfather clock, where long hollow pipes, made of different metals, act as the chime rods.  These clocks have a much deeper and louder gong sound.  Very few people even know what they are.  They are expensive to maintain, if for no other reason that few people know how to work on them.

This is a very general clocks shopping guide which can be used as a handy reference when looking for grandfather clock discounts and grandfather clocks on sale.  If you go for one of the name-brand clocks, one can be fairly certain that they are getting their money’s worth.

More to come on this horological subject.

GrandfatherClocksionista Fashionistas Watch Out

10.13.09

Almost everyone has heard of Fashionistas, and has their own different interpretation of the meaning.  Well, watch out, because a new breed on consumers are emerging who  may do to Grandfather Clocks what Fashionistas have done to the world of fashion.  Anyone care to guess how the grandfather clock of the future might be affected?

A GrandfatherClocks-ionista is a person devoted to grandfather clocks, particularly those that are rare and unique, or very high-end. It is a term used to define a person, whether a serious collector or passionate timepiece shopper, with a penchant for grandfather clocks shopping and a natural flair for combining both traditional and contemporary clocks styles.  In today’s society, being a GrandfatherClocks-ionista is by no means a negative term.

GrandfatherClocksionistas simply look at Grandfather Clocks as Art, and the sense of style they develop along the way is the true masterpiece.  They are very knowledgeable and realistic when it comes to timepiece and horological trends, and mixing home decor and interior decorating and design fashions in with their current tastes in clocks.

GrandfatherClocksionista is the lexical combination of the words GrandfatherClocks, and Sandinista, a Nicaraguan authoritarian political party.  Despite recent trends to make this term more acceptable, it should be noted that while its etymology connotes negative political consequences when used in North America, when combined with another term like the horological Grandfather Clocks, it would take on an air of levity and poking fun at the serious grandfather clocks collector.  People might think of this term as more like the Grandfather Clocks Police when it comes to looking at and commenting upon grandfather clock design and trends in timepieces.

Ultimate, the GrandfatherClocks-ionista is one who believes in the power of Grandfather Clocks and the exalted nature of wall clocks, mantel clocks, atomic clocks, and watches too.  They may know, or at least think they know, all of the major Grandfather Clocks brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, and Hermle Floor Clocks.  And also a lot about antique grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks too.

We will advise as we see this trend increasing or tapering off.  Let us know what you see and hear any time about clocks as it relates to this trend and timepieces.

The fashion police.
Fashionista is the lexical combination (see ‘portmanteau’) of the words Fashion, which is the socially decided (see ‘groupthink’) garb to be worn by those wishing to be accepted in high society, and Sandinista, a Nicaraguan authoritarian political party.

Grandfather Clocks Costume for Halloween Just in Time

10.10.09

OK, this customer visiting with us asked us a perfectly natural question, and it BLEW US AWAY (and yes, we do live reasonably well-rounded and interesting lives).

This grandfather clocks customer asked us, without a hint of any hesitation, if we might be able to secure for him a grandfather clock costume for his child’s upcoming Halloween party.  Now, have we been missing a HUGE marketing opportunity that never even occurred to us, or is this perhaps the only customer on Earth – although we do accept orders from outer space, but with shipping at cost – who might even be in the market for a grandfather clock costume?

Candidly, we have never seen a grandfather clocks costume to be used on Halloween or any other occasion.  Yet we certainly think it is a quite cool idea.  We wonder if any clocks enthusiasts out there have either seen a costume with someone dressed as a grandfather clock or grandmother clock.

If current sources exist, we would love to hear to about them and perhaps feature them on our main website.  If they are not yet in existence, we would still be quite interested if someone could design-make such a costume in time for Halloween this year. We would be delighted to feature this costume alongside our  grandfather clocks.  Whether the “creator” wants to  specifically have a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, or a Hermle Grandfather Clock, or one from the Ridgeway grandfather clock collection, we would let you decide (after exploring the trademark issues).  We would LOVE to feature a grandfather clocks costume for Halloween in time for this season on our main clocks website, www.1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

Hope to hear from some-many of you soon. And please be safe on Halloween!

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock

10.03.09

A Howard Miller Grandfather clock is the most requested brand of grandfather clocks which we receive, over time, throughout the years, and all through our long timepiece history.  The Howard Miller Clocks brand, especially as it extends to grandfather clocks, is the most well known high-end clock brand, certainly in the USA.  The Howard Miller Clock makers have earned this reputation with the biggest assortment of grandfather clocks by far, always made with high quality solid wood cases — unless a different design — and with German-made Hermle mechanical grandfather clock movements in all clocks going back maybe 5-7 years, and with Kieninger German made movements in more recent years for their grandfather clocks.

While Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks are our best sellers in general among Floor clocks, we are proud to sell and be Authorized Dealers for other grandfather clock brands as well, including Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clocks Collection, Kieninger Premium made to order (and then shipped from Germany) grandfather clocks, and the entire Hermle grandfather clock collection.

All of these clocks, for their higher end grandfather clocks selections, feature German-made mechanical movements and solid wood cases. Grandfather clock discounts and everyday low prices and sales apply for all Howard Miller Clocks, including Howard Miller wall clocks, mantle clocks, atomic clocks and desk clocks too!  This is true for all the brands we carry and all types of clocks, including cuckoo clocks.  Grandmother clocks, by the way, are simply shorter versions of grandfather clocks.  It is that simple!

This is especially important to be cognizant of as more and more cheap imports are flooding the North American market, with clocks with many plastic parts and particle board.  Many of these cheap imports also require a major assembly effort, and we cannot emphasize enough how many calls we get from frustrated buyers of these cheap imitation imports looking for help from us even though they did not purchase it from us.  The old Latin phrase, caveat emptor, or Let The Buyer Beware, is as true in the grandfather clock industry as it is in the financial markets.

Another aspect of the Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Collection worthy of note is the different lines they have within the brand, including the Limited Edition Grandfather Clocks, the Howard Miller Presidential Series of Grandfather Clocks, the Ambassador Grandfather Clocks, and the Furniture Trend Design grandfather clocks by Howard Miller.  All of these collections are worthy of looking at for what each has to offer the customer in his or her own way regarding style, size, design and rarity.

We would always like to hear from our 1-800-4CLOCKS.com customers about their personal favorites in time for timekeeping at its finest.

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