When trying to both understand and name the visible parts of a grandfather clock, many individuals do not know where to begin.
Most people know that grandfather clocks have a pendulum, and weights, and are in a free-standing case, but when one gets beyond that point, may people, grandfather clock discount shoppers included, become at a loss for words as to how to describe the different parts. Even having said the above, many people confuse the weights with the pendulum and vice versa.
We came across one excellent diagram, with credit given below, for the various parts of a grandfather clock:
Clock with a pendulum that is operated by weights and housed in a tall (usually over 2 m high) straight body, which stands upright on the floor.
The in this case split pediment or swans neck is shown at the top, with the finial sticking out at the very top center of the clock. The working moondial, although sometimes they are stationary, rotates ones every 29 1/2 days in keeping with the lunar calendar cycle of a full moon. The dial, hour and minute hands, and in this case a subsidiary seconds dial are also shown.
This particular grandfather clock is a chain-driven model, not a cable driven grandfather clock, and is therefore wound by pulling down on each of the 3 chains, one at a time, to bring up each of the 3 weights to the top of the weight case. Because this clock has 3 weights, we know that it must be a chiming grandfather clock. The pendulum swings back and forth as the weights gradually do down over time, most likely over an 8 day period. And the plinth of the grandfather clock can be seen at the bottom of the case.
We like this grandfather clock diagram, and it’s great to see referenced sources like this available online to grandfather clocks shoppers, whether or not they are looking for a brand name like a Howard Miller grandfather clocks or Ridgeway or Hermle grandfather clock, or so they can just be more informed shoppers when looking for high-quality grandfather clocks on sale.
Should one purchase a new grandfather clock? What about a so-called used antique grandfather clock. Antique grandfather clocks are used grandfather clocks, are they not? Are the floor clocks made in the last 20 or 30 or 50 years as good as the new grandfather clocks made today, by such makers as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and Hermle Clocks. Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Floor Clocks, and Hermle Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks are among the most popular high-end brands on the market today. Interestingly, these same grandfather clock makers have each been manufacturing grandfather clocks for nearly a century or more.
So what is an educated grandfather clock shopper looking for the best selection and savings to do? When considering new vs. used grandfather clocks, we think it is best to compare “apples to apples”, meaning to compare for example a new howard miller grandfather clock to a pre-owned or used howard miller grandfather clock, or a new hermle grandfather clock to a pre-owned hermle grandfather clock. Given the many thousands of makers of antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks, trying to compare a new or used howard miller grandfather clock to an antique grandfather clock would require the comparison of a dizzying array of details which would be at best difficult to compare.
So should one seriously consider buying a pre-owned or used grandfather clock, such as a howard miller grandfather clock. We would suggest the same caution a smart shopper would or should use when considering shopping for a new or pre-owned automobile. The most basic tenet being sure one knows what one is purchasing, and ideally also getting a “no lemon” guarantee or a guarantee that lasts for a meaningful amount of time.
The risk is that one buys a money pit, and throws good money after bad in trying to get one’s grandfather clock, whether made my howard miller or ridgeway or hermle or kieninger, to run as well as it did when it was new, and to have the longevity that would come with a new grandfather clock. Also like automobiles, if a grandfather clock is not well cared for, one will end up paying a lot more over time in grandfather clock maintenance and for grandfather clock repairs.
At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we have to date resisted the temptation of offering pre-owned or used howard miller grandfather clocks that would also come with a warranty we would offer, as but one example of offering used grandfather clocks.
But as with most things in life, we are keeping our grandfather clock options open.