When one thinks about buying one the best types of grandfather clocks available, the term black forest grandfather clocks frequently leaps to mind. The Black Forest region of Germany has for centuries been known as a center for high quality clocks of all kinds, including wall clocks and mantle clocks, but probably best known overall for black forest cuckoo clocks.
The wood harvested from trees is the black forest region of Germany is especially well suited for carving, and many many thousands of craftsmen have become expert in carving spectacular clock cases, most notably for Vienna regulators and German cuckoo clocks.
Interestingly, Germany, perhaps not coincidentally, became a center for some of the finest clock movements and mechanism makers, including companies like Gustav Becker Clocks, Winterhalder Hoffmeier, Franz Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Schneider Cuckoo Clocks, Kieninger clocks, Junghans clock company and many others.
Today, there are really only two makers of high-end mechanical grandfather clocks that manufacture movements in any quantity. One is the Hermle Clock company, which also makes its own line of grandfather clocks, which can legitimately be thought of as Black Forest Grandfather Clocks, and the other which is Kieninger Clocks, which are used today in Howard Miller’s mechanical grandfather clocks, as they are in Ridgeway grandfather and grandmother clocks and Kieninger Floor Clocks.
Interestingly, before Howard Miller Clocks purchased Kieninger Clocks several years ago, they used to have only German made Hermle movements in their mechanical grandfather clocks. After purchasing Kieninger, Howard Miller gradually began swapping out their grandfather clock models with German Kieninger grandfather clock movements instead of the German Hermle grandfather clocks movements.
And they can all be considered Black Forest Grandfather Clocks, at least as it relates to their mechanical grandfather clock movements.
Here is a fascinating fact that was shared with us today by ESL of New York City, attributed to an iPhone App called Amazing Facts, about the Big Ben Tower Clock in London. We know all grandfather clock aficionados like us will find this fascinating. Read on!
Apparently, this is a clock fact – Big Ben lost 5 minutes of time, with the minute hand being slowed down, when a passing group of starling birds decided to take a rest on the minute hand of the clock.
Anyone out there with any more information on this Big Ben event, please let us know. News source citations would be especially appreciated, and as appropriate, will be posted to grandfather clocks blog just below this entry.