Grandfather clocks

Bulova Exiting Grandfather Clocks Business


Bulova Clocks, known informally both as the Bulova Clock Company and Bulova Watch Company, has pretty much exited the grandfather clocks marketplace. We are deeply disappointed with Bulova’s decision to stop manufacturing these high quality gorgeous grandfather clocks.

Bulova took over the designs of the Sligh Grandfather Clock Company, also known as Sligh Furniture, when Sligh itself decided to exit the grandfather clock marketplace several years ago. Sligh had a great reputation in the business, and Bulova carried on with the same quality and worksmanship in the making of these Floor Clocks, with the same German mechanical movements made by Hermle and with the cases being made in Canada.

There still are other makers of grandfather clocks with many many offerings of super high quality grandfather clocks, including Howard Miller Clocks, the Hermle Grandfather Clock Collection, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and Kieninger Clocks. All of these high-end mechanical grandfather or tall case or longcase clocks have mechanical movements that are German, and have solid wood cases of excellent quality. They offer both cable driven and chain driven weight driven grandfather clocks. At a lower price point, they also offer quartz or battery operated grandfather clocks.

We hope another grandfather clock maker will take over many of the design, and perhaps even use the same manufacturing facility-plant in Canada to keep making these great clocks. It is worth noting that Sligh had made some clocks many years ago which were wonderful reproductions of other classic clocks. While that may be wishful thinking, perhaps these much older designs could also be brought back to life.

We will continue to be an Authorized Dealer for Bulova Mantel Clocks and Bulova Wall Clocks. As we will for Bulova wristwatches and Accutron watches and Wittnauer wrist watches and Caravellenwrist-watches as well.

Our assumption is that Bulova, with a history more in wristwatches and watches than clocks, wants to focus more on its core competency in wrist-watches.

Bulova, it is not too late, and we hope you will change your mind and stay in the grandfather clock business for many years ahead.

Bulova Villa Grandfather Clock Model G0801

Bulova Villa Grandfather Clock Model G0801

Grandfather Clocks Howard Miller


Which is the best maker of grandfather clocks?  This is a question we are asked almost daily.  It is a difficult question to answer, both because there is so much cross-ownership in the world of grandfatherclocks, and because there are so many criteria to take into account when comparing both within single grandfather clock brands as well as between the various grandfather clocks brands.

One “fact” seems simple, and least in the opinion of the writer of this blog post.  Based on overall perception and awareness by consumers and organizational buyers of grandfather clocks, Howard Miller grandfather clocks have the most overall awareness, and are perceived by most — the large majority, is our sense — as being the highest end grandfather clocks maker.

We should point out that the mechanical grandfather clocks we sell all currently have high-end German movements, made either by Hermle (whose grandfather clocks movements were used by Howard Miller Clocks exclusively before they purchased Kieninger about seven years ago) or Kieninger (which also makes its own branded Kieninger Grandfather Clocks).  To complicate matters of comparison further, Ridgeway Clocks (which is owned by Howard Miller Clocks) also currently use Kieninger Clocks movements in their Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.  And just when you thought you had a grasp on the high-end grandfather clocks market, one should be aware that Bulova Grandfather Clocks have been using high-end Hermle Clocks movements, and not surprisingly, Hermle Grandfather Clocks use Hermle grandfather clock movements.  Also, Bulova Clocks, in recent years, has been making grandfather clocks using the Sligh grandfather clocks designs with Hermle grandfather clocks movements, as Sligh Furniture used to do before they exited the grandfather clocks marketplace.

All of these grandfather clocks makers use solid wood cases, at least for their wooden vs.wrought iron or stone waterfall grandfather clocks.

If you know think you understand the high-end grandfather clocks market, just wait 2-3 months.  It will no doubt continue to be a somewhat wild grandfather clocks ride.

Grandfather Clocks Parts Movements Keys Service


We would suggest the following 3 resources:

  1. 1. Look on this page on our website to see if you can find an answer to your question(s): just click on ->
  2. 2. You can locate a Howard Miller Authorized Service Center local to you here -> NOTE that all mechanical Howard Miller clocks had Hermle movements in them until about 5 years ago, and that most any if not all of these Service Centers should be able to work on any Hermle Clock.  This Service Center Network is a great resource, and we have had an excellent experiences working with Service Centers around the Country (and also Canada) using this Service Center Network.  Probably at least half of these Service Centers can work on antique clocks too, as well as other Brands of Clocks!!!!
  3. 3. You can order Hermle (and other) Parts (e.g. movements, weights, pendulum, keys, etc.) from the following 2 suppliers -> and  While we have no relationship to them whatsoever, we personally have had good results working with them ourselves.  Their contact information is available on each of the noted  websites.  We would most definitely recommend calling them rather than attempting to order from their websites (which would likely be a fruitless effort).

Grandfather Clocks Sales and What to Look For – Discounts?


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


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


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,

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

Grandfather Clocks for Sale Mantle Wall Clocks too


Are sale prices and bigger discounts on grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks more important for retailers to offer now that the economy appears finally to be emerging from the recession. While many of the macroeconomic financial indicators are good, there are still an awful lot of people out there hurting in their pocketbooks.  And while August retail sales showed some significant gains, even excluding the auto cash for clunkers program, the pain out there among consumers is still palpable.

As President Obama noted just today, it is unlikely that any significant new job creation will take place until 2010, based on the history and patterns for recovery from previous recessions.  Sadly, employment is a lagging indicator of economic rebounds, a fact that never made much sense to me but always seems to have held true over the last periods of economic turmoil.

So back to grandfather clock discounts in the 4th quarter of 2009.  We are still noting that clock shoppers at all price points are more price sensitive than ever before.  We think that this new kind of smart consumer shopping is here to stay.

We always have grandfather clocks on sale, and many of our customers come to us telling us we have the lowest prices they have seen on the internet, or they have heard about the grandfather clock discounts we offer from their friends who have shopped with us over these many years.

Smart shopping is hear to stay. We are trying to adapt to this reality by continuing to offer highly competitive prices, but also by offering advice and overall customer service to our clocks customers that is second to none.  Just today one of our customers decided to purchase a Ridgeway grandfather clock from us despite the fact that it was being advertised by the discount chain Sam’s Club at a much deeper discount.  they knew that if there were a real problem, Sam’s Club would, in their opinion, likely be clueless as to how to handle the issue, at least compared to us.

Customer service, including educating consumers about their options, not even to mention offering many more choices, is a truly value add retail proposition.  We know that our grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, and wall clocks customers appreciate and recognize that, and want to go where the expertise and best selection is.  We are delighted that business dynamic still holds, and especially treasure our repeat customers. Also, in a landscape with ever-changing manufacturers, grandfather clocks by Howard Miller, as well as Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clock Collection, Hermle Grandfather Floor Clocks, and the Kieninger Grandfather Clocks all continue to have a special place in the high-end market.  We expect that to be true for the foreseeable future.

Wall clocks by Howard Miller Clocks, as well as mantel clocks by Howard Miller and Ridgeway Clocks, and Hermle Wall and Mantle Clocks, Bulova Clocks of all types, whether they are mechanical or quartz, continue to have customers drawn to them because of their superior quality.

We do not want our grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks  customers to have it any other way.

Coffee Tea or Grandfather Clocks


With the beginning of the Memorial Day Weekend, as many turn to honor the many men and women who have served in the military both recently and over centuries, still others are focusing on the end of Summer, welcoming Fall and a new School Year, and what is known in the retail industry as the famous fourth quarter including the Holiday and Christmas shopping seasons.

So first we must salute the many millions who have and still do serve in the armed forces, and cherish the memories of the countless many who have given the ultimate sacrifice, whose lives have been lost as well as those whose lives were irrevocably altered for the worse.

Not surprisingly, many of the customers of 1-800-4CLOCKS are currently serving in the military both in the USA and overseas, as well as many whose service to this Country comes up as a point of discussion while shopping with us.  Also not surprisingly, the military and defense industry are users of many timepieces, and we have had the occasion to work together numerous times.

As we settle into the Fall Season, clocks of all kinds and types – grandfather clocks, wall clocks, mantel clocks, antique floor clocks – will be thought about as potential gifts for loved ones.  Hence the coffee or tea comparison in the title.  The question of giving clock as a present, particularly one of the nicer higher quality ones, is generally thought of when one wants to gift a gift that is, ironically, not fleeting like time.  Rather, clocks, particularly grandfather clocks, are more and more given as heirloom quality gifts meant to symbolize continuity between the generations, and clocks are given as wedding gifts or presents, wedding anniversary presents for a special anniversary — we’ve had a 40th wedding anniversary grandfather clock and a 50th wedding anniversary clock go out in the last week alone.  Sometimes these are special gifts from a spouse to mark an important milestone, such as a special birthday or wedding anniversary.  Bridal Registry requests, including parents, and parents-in-law to be who want to give something special to their child on their wedding day, are becoming more and more common (we very recently had one Father of the Bride who insisted that the entire Bridal Party, including Groomsmen and the Best Man, make a special trip to the new home of the Bride and Groom on the very morning of their wedding to see their new grandfather clock).  We know the parents were pleased.  We can only hope all others in the wedding party called to see this new Howard Miller Grandfather Clock were similarly gratified.

So when thinking about presents in the Fall, somewhat ironically, one of the longest lasting presents one can give is one that measures fleeting time.

Grandfather Clocks Antique or Not


Well this is a subject that the author of this blog post has been stewing about for some period.  Grandfather clock sellers, and for that matter sellers of wall clocks and mantle clocks as well, will frequently describe their specific grandfather clocks or other clocks as antique, even when it is ONLY ten, twenty, or thirty years old!

By that definition, I am an antique as well … but I sure do not feel like one.

When I was growing up, an antique anything always had to be 100 years old, at the very least, to qualify as an actual antique.  This is the definition we at have always used as  that milestone when an item moves from the vintage milestone to the antiques description!  Or occasionally, we might take the liberty of time definition if something is near antique, such as 90 years old or something.

OK, now before both taking the moral high ground and potentially looking like an idiot on our Grandfather Clocks Blog, I am about to look up the actual definition!  Be right back, or as many might instead time today, brb.

INTERESTING … not as cut and dry a definition as I might have thought.  I have learned something new.  When used as a noun and according to USA Customs law, an antique is in fact defined as something more than 100 years old.  But when used as an adjective, there is apparently a LOT more flexibility in the meaning.  Look below at the dictionary definition excerpted here from


1. of or belonging to the past; not modern.
2. dating from a period long ago: antique furniture.
3. noting or pertaining to automobiles approximately 25 years old or more.
4. in the tradition, fashion, or style of an earlier period; old-fashioned; antiquated.
5. of or belonging to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
6. (of paper) neither calendered nor coated and having a rough surface.
7. ancient.


8. any work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or the like, created or produced in a former period, or, according to U.S. customs laws, 100 years before date of purchase.

So cars can be referred to CORRECTLY as “an antique car” if it ONLY ABOUT 25 YEARS OLD!?!?!?!!!!!!!

Live and learn!!!!  Even though realize I may now be defined as an “antique blogger”, at least I am still able to learn and adapt, even though a may have been born from a period long ago according to the definition, let’s say, of my children, or indeed of many out there.

Here’s where I think we antique clocks folks may still have the advantage of the younger (or vintage :) ) folks.  How many younger people today know the difference between a noun and an adjective, and even more so, when to properly use each one.  I submit that in this day and age older antique people will be much much better at this then their younger counterparts.

OK so how do we get back to grandfather clocks and how to classify them.  I guess I first may owe an apology (even though I did not say anything this time, I just thought it) to the young man who tried to sell us his battery driven antique grandfather clock that used to belong to his grandmother who got it as a gift twenty or thirty years ago.

Live and learn.  Time and time again!

Grandfather Clocks Movements – Replace or Repair


In more modern grandfather clocks, there are 3 major categories of grandfather clocks with related movements, which are cable driven grandfather clocks, chain driven grandfather clocks, and quartz grandfather clocks, which are battery operated (there is also a tubular chime grandfather clock which has yet a different movement, but these clocks, while perhaps the most collectible, are the least collected because of their high price tag — so not addressed in this post).

The finest of the 3 movements, in our opinion, is the cable-driven mechanical clock. These magnificent timepieces, especially when the movements are made by the leading German movement makers Hermle and Kieninger, can in our experience expect to have a true heirloom life expectancy of 50-100 years with proper care, literally spanning several generations. The movements are generally 8 days, so winding once a week keeps then running continuously. The chime quality is the best because one actually hears the hammer striking the chime rod on each note. And cable driven movements can come with many bells and whistles, such as automatic nightime shut-off options, and many have triple chimes, with 2 in addition to the Westminster Chime. The downsides are there is no volume control for practical purposes, and grandfather clocks with these movements tend to be the priciest, though within a wide price range.

Grandfather clocks with chain-driven movements have some advantages and disadvantages as well. The movements themselves are smaller, so they are generally put in smaller cases, resulting in grandfather clocks with less height and depth than average. Many are attached to chain-driven clocks for sentimental reasons, especially if one grew up with one in one’s home. They are generally less expensive. They are also mostly 8 Day Movements, so if one “winds” the three weights by pulling down on each of the 3 chains once a week, the clock will run continuously. The only downsides we see with this type of movement are that the associated grandfather clocks do not generally have the same “bells and whistles”, e.g. automatic nighttime shutoff, or a moving and working moonphase dial. Perhaps the biggest downside in our experience is that the lifetime expectancy on a grandfather clock with a chain-driven movement is perhaps roughly half of what it might be for a cable-driven grandfather clock movement — in our experience maybe 25-50 years for a chain-driven grandfather clocks vs. 50-100+ years for a cable-driven grandfather clocks.

Now quartz grandfather clocks, which are battery operated, have a separate set of pros and cons. The pros are they are the least expensive to purchase, they have volume control, most have auto-night shut-off, and one does not need to remember to wind one! The cons are that the cases tend to be not as nice as those grandfather clocks housed with mechanical movements, and the sound of the chimes is not as good as with a mechanical grandfather clock. The reason for that is with a quartz grandfather clock one is actually listening to the chimes on a sound chip, and it has a higher pitch and “tinnier” sound. In our experience, a high quality quartz movement for a grandfather clock might be expected to last 10-25 years.

The good news for all 3 of these types of clocks is that the movements can either be repaired or replaced, even many many years later (we will go out on a limb here, be futuristic, and say they should be available for the next 100+ years, if a replacement movement is needed). Proper care and maintenance of a clock, including a “check-up” with cleaning and oiling every 5 years, is a must to preserve the longevity of your clock. When parts where out, and they will, there is always the question of whether it is cost-effective to simply replace the movement, or to fix the worn or broken parts, e.g. worn pivots or a broken wheel.

Quartz movements are generally most cost efficient to have replaced. They are inexpensive. With cable driven and chain-driven grandfather clocks, one really needs to look carefully at the pros and the cons of each action, with a special focus on the cost and likely longevity factor weighing in with either choice for a grandfather clock. Currently, there would not seem to be a reason to keep the clock “all original”, but tell that to the kid who’s mom threw out his old junk baseball card collection in a house clean-up. The conventional wisdom and collectibility factor could be a set of changing rules over time.

Have a grandfather clocks service center that you trust makes all the difference. We might also recommend getting 2 opinions if that is possible in your situation.

If one is horologically inclined, one could even order a new movement directly from an authorized supplier, such as or One needs all the numbers and markings on the back of the clock to be most certain-likely to get the “exact” or close to exact movement.

Any specific grandfather clocks questions or comments, please feel free to post them here at, operated by

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