Grandfather clocks

Kieninger Grandfather Clock

01.29.13

When comparing grandfather clock makers, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks come out on top for design and overall quality in the minds of many high-end grandfather clock shoppers.  Kieninger Clock is run independently of Howard Miller Clocks, even though Howard Miller bought Kieninger Clocks about eight years ago.  Kieninger Clcoks, along with Hermle Clocks, remain the last two high-end grandfather clock movement manufacturers left in the world today who make grandfather clock movements in any high quantity.  Additionally, both Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks also offer their own lines of grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, wall clocks and more.  Kieninger is in our experience much better known in Western Europe than it is the USA, though it is certainly one of the finest mechanical grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock makers around today.

Both Hermle and Kieninger make and offer their own brand of clocks, in addition to selling their clock movements, including mechanical wall, grandfather clock, grandmother clock, and mantel clock movements to other makers, including over the years Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks and others.  The movements offered are generally speaking, and in our opinion, fairly comparable in quality, although sometimes that needs to be examined on a clock-buy-clock basis.  Both offer mechanical movements with chimes including Westminster, Whittington, Ave Maria, Ode to Joy, St Michaels and Bim Bam chimes.  The movements with either brand, for grandfather clocks, can be cable-driven or chain-driven, have an automatic night silence feature or not, be time only or time and strike, or single chime, usually the Westminster, or triple-chime clocks.  The clocks may have a working moondial, a faux or fake moonphase dial, or none at all.  A chime silence option is offered on most all, but not all, grandfather clocks, wall clocks, grandmother clocks and mantel clocks movements made by each of Kieninger and Hermle.

Kieninger has been around for almost 100 years, so some of their earliest clocks, including early floor clocks by Kieninger, can be considered antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.

One unusual aspect of Kieninger Clocks is that almost all of their models are made to order in Germany AFTER an order in placed with an Authorized Kieninger Dealer like 1-800-4CLOCKS in the USA.  The lead time between when an order is placed and when it is actually delivered is generally 2-3 months.  All orders are considered Custom and once an order is placed is cannot be canceled.  Generally, when a customer expresses an interest in a particular clock, the Authorized Dealer needs to check with Kieninger in Germany to ensure that all the component parts are available and advise if there may be any timing issues in that regard.

Sounds a little difficult, time consuming, and a lot of patience is required.  Given the number of ultimately satisfied customers who end up purchasing a Kieninger Clock, the wait and cost appear to be well worth the time and money.

Sligh Grandfather Clock

01.20.13

We get many calls from owners and recent purchasers of pre-owned Sligh Grandfather Clocks wanting to know more about their clock.  Is it a good clock?  Well made?  A highly regarded grandfather clock brand?  Heirloom quality?  What could I sell it for, also known as what is it worth?  For how much should I insure it?  Is it possible to purchase the same grandfather clock model today, if not made by Sligh, then perhaps by another grandfather clock company.

Sligh clocks were well made grandfather clocks, with most of their grandfather clock line being reproductions on antique grandfather clocks that the Company found especially appealing and/or salable.  The parent company, which still exists today, is Sligh Furniture.  However, Sligh exited the grandfather clock market perhaps 10 years ago and no longer makes any SlighGrandfatherClock.com .  The grandfather clock cases were generally well made with solid wood grandfather clock cases, and the movements were generally German, mostly mechanical movements made by Hermle Clocks.

Some time after Sligh exited the grandfather clock market, the American Clock Company Bulova Clocks bought, as we understand it, not the company per se, but rather the design rights to the same models that had been manufactured by Sligh.  Additionally, the same manufacturing facility was still available to Bulova for many of the Sligh Grandfather Clock models.  So Bulova Grandfather Clocks were born, or rather reborn, with the old new or new old Sligh models.  That lasted for about 5 years, with many beautiful well-made grandfather clocks being sold made by Bulova and branded as Bulova Grandfather Clocks being sold by us among other leading high-end grandfather clock retailers.

The grandfather clock history for Sligh and Bulova gets even more confusing as time goes by.  After Bulova exited the marketplace, many grandfather clock retailers, including 1-800-4CLOCKS, continued to sell our inventory of Bulova Grandfather Clocks, and we still have fewer than a handful remaining.  To simplify the history from here, we will only highlight select but relevant details to us.  1-800-4CLOCKS was fortunate enough during this time period to offer many of these same models, made the the same people with the same movements in the same cases, and keep them “alive”, and they were branded Museum Clocks™ Grandfather Clocks.  The Museum Grandfather Clocks line by Museum Clocks™ was successful and we were happy to be able to offer these great American made clocks with German mechanical movements to the public when they might not otherwise have been available.

Another more recent development is that Hermle Clocks actually purchased the semi-independent manufacturing facility that had been manufacturing solid wood cases for Sligh, Boluva and Museum Clocks™.  It has enabled Hermle Clocks to offer their “Made in America” Hermle Grandfather Clocks line, which is a great grandfather clock line and one which we sell proudly.

Any questions?

Hermle Made in America Grandfather Clocks

 

 

Amazon Grandfather Clock

12.13.12

When one thinks about Amazon Grandfather Clocks, does it make you think of the largest of the large grandfather clocks, or does it immediately bring to mind the clocks sold on Amazon dot com.  At the bottom of this post, you can see a picture of what many describe as the world’s largest grandfather clocks.  It is located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, and has been estimated to be as tall as 25 feet.  Others also claim the title for the “Amazon Grandfather Clock”, or the world’s largest grandfather clock.

At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we used to list many of our grandfather clocks in the Amazon Store or website.  This year we chose not to, but may once again list our grandfather clocks collection on Amazon.  We found it hard to distinguish ourselves from the crowd of other Sellers on Amazon, because the way it is currently structured so much of the focus is on price.  And while we strive to only offer the lowest price available online, and even have a Low Price Guarantee, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS believe the reasons to buy from us are additional to price, and include free in home set-up of your grandfather clock by a technician authorized by one of the grandfather clock companies for whom we are Authorized Dealers, as well as a delivery approach that surprises and delights our customers and is more than what many refer to as their white glove service, free shipping, and no sales tax to our customers outside of New York State when the clock is shipped outside of New York.

We also are grandfather clock experts, and are happy to take the time required to answer and educate any customers who have real questions and are serious about grandfather clock shipping.  So when customers are looking for grandfather clock discounts and grandfather clocks on sale, when they come to us, they are rarely disappointed but rather frequently become long-term customers.

We take the time to discuss the advantages of different brands, the difference between chain-driven and cable driven mechanical grandfather clocks, quartz or battery operated grandfather clocks, and the many features including faux vs rotating moonphase dial, automatic night shut-off of the chimes, chime silence options, illuminated dials, cabinet lighting, and triple chime vs single Westminster chime grandfather clocks.  Nowadays, the chimes on grandfather clocks can include include one or more of Westminster Chimes, Schubert’s Ave Maria Chime, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy chime, the more classic Whittington and St Michaels Chimes, and the simple two note bim bam chime.  The quality and maker of the grandfather clock movements are also critical in assessing whether your clock will truly be an heirloom grandfather clock.   Many people say I want a German grandfather clock, without always knowing what the available options are, along with their pros and cons.  The quality and construction of the grandfather clock case is as critical as the quality of the mechanical grandfather clock movement, which typically is an 8 day movement.

We carry only the grandfather clock brands that we believe offer the best overall value to our customers, and these include Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Collection, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks, and of course Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.  Each may have their own pros and cons, but among these brands we find we can meet the need for anyone serious and in the market for a quality grandfather clock built to last and of heirloom quality.  Additionally, grandmother clocks are offered by all these makers, and are generally simply categorized that way based on their height, with 82 inches in height as the rough cut-off size of a grandmother clock vs a grandfather clock.

We also carry antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks, and yet never quite know what we will or will not have in stock at any one point in time.

Now if you have read this far in this post, you are likely someone who has or will do their homework when grandfather clock shopping, and will likely find 1-800-4CLOCKS if not in our Stores then at our website online, or in one of our eBay Stores.  As a shopper myself, I have been fond of Amazon dot com’s Prime Service, which includes free delivery.  Yet we offer that and so much more, that even that gets lost on Amazon.  If you think we should be listing our clocks on Amazon, we would very much like to hear from you.  You may well see our selection of grandfather clocks there next year.

Amazon Grandfather Clock – perhaps largest in world at 25 feet, in Kewaunee Wisconsin. photo credit Mark Burio

 

 

 

Cheap Grandfather Clock

12.13.12

When shopping for grandfather clocks, there really is a difference between discount grandfather clocks and grandfather clocks on sale vs cheap grandfather clocks.  A poorly made grandfather clock, even if it has the same look as the grandmother clock or the grandfather clocks made by the highest-end makers, such as Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks and Hermle Floor Clocks and Kieninger and Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, it does not mean they are built to last.  All too many of these floor clocks are modeled to look just like the real thing or genuine article, with the problem being that they are poorly made, have inferior movements that will not work well or last long, and the cases are not solid wood, but rather thin plywood if they are not plastic imitations of a particular model of a high quality grandfather clock and its look.

This Holiday Shopping Season is the first where there are widespread offerings of grandfather clocks in the $200-$500 price range.  While one should not judge the quality of anything based on its price alone, it is an excellent bet that if this is a new grandfather clock that is being sold at that price point that it will likely be a piece of junk, if not immediately then after a couple of years.  We get too many calls from customers who have purchased these clocks, and for many of them subsequently finding out that there is major assembly required, and in many other cases they just cannot get the clock to operate and guess what, there is no contact information or customer service to call to get help.  Even the retailers, including some of the national major retailers, will not offer any assistance, even if they could, or allow the customer to return the poor quality grandfather clock for a refund or even a store credit.  We hear so many times, but it looked so nice on the internet, or it looks just like the Howard Miller such and such Grandfather Clock or like one of the so and so Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.

Looking at the weight of the grandfather clock is one easy way to weed out the ones that are poorly made.  Sometimes a model weighing 10 pounds may look a lot like a grandfather clock by Howard Miller or Ridgeway that weighs, say, 150 pounds.  Also, who made the clock movement is key, and whether it is a mechanical movement or quartz driven movement.  Unfortunately, there are poor quality movements made very cheaply in both quartz grandfather clock and for mechanical grandfather clocks.  If a grandfather clock has a clock movement made by Hermle Clocks or Kieninger Clocks, then you know you are almost certainly getting a high quality movement.  Evaluation and smart shopping about the grandfather clock case is another element.

The grandfather clock chimes is another element.  Some mechanical movements will have a Westminster Chime, but it will sound nothing like the quality sound of a Westminster Chime, or the Whittington, St Michaels, Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes that are included in different mechanical grandfather clocks as well as quartz wall clocks by Howard Miller or Ridgeway Clocks.

The old idioms and adages “You Get What You Pay for”, and “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is the case” is true for grandfather clocks as well.  And unfortunately, it is not a high quality grandfather clock case.

Grandfather Clocks and related Idioms Adages and Proverbs

Hermle Grandfather Clock

12.08.12

Franz Hermle started the Hermle Clocks Company in the Black Forest region of Germany in the early 1900s.  Today, Hermle Clocks makes some of the finest and highest quality grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks available today anywhere in the world.

Time never stands still and is becoming increasingly precious. Ever since its founding in 1922, the company, started by Franz Hermle in Gosheim, has developed constantly.  With its three German cornerstones – Uhrenmanufaktur, Mechanische Uhrwerke, and Drehteile – Hermle serves diverse markets and customer groups worldwide.  Fully in keeping with its mission to ensure that with each product, it develops, manufactures and delivers the very highest in clock making quality.  Grandfather clocks have been one of their special offerings throughout, with Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandmother Clocks, and Grandfather Clocks made by other makers with Hermle’s mechanical grandfather clocks movements inside their cases, all being extremely sought offer and collectible.

Hermle clocks, including Hermle Grandfather Clocks, are made by hand to a large extent and enhanced with interesting technical as well as visual details, making them highly sought after.  Whether floor grandfather clock, wall clock, table clock, ship’s clock or a regulator, Hermle Clocks masterpieces  represent time in its finest form all over the world.  There are many Hermle clocks out there in the world that are considered antique grandfather clocks, antique mantel clocks, and antique wall clocks.  Hermle has been around long enough to have earned that distinction with its earlier clock models.

In 1922, the founder Mr. Franz Hermle founded the Franz Hermle Clock Company located in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg, a small town in southern Germany’s Black Forest region. Within 10 years the company became known as one of the most efficient manufacturers of clock movements in the clock industry.  Even though the first half of the 20th Century brought with it many difficulties to overcome, including the complete dismantling of the factory after the World War II, Franz Hermle and his sons’ dedication allowed them to prosper while other companies struggled.

Franz Hermle passed away in 1953 and left a modern and prosperous operation to his sons Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich Hermle.  With tremendous willpower and energy, they continued to build the company into the worldwide leader in manufacturing mechanical movements and clocks.  Along with Kieninger Clocks, they are one of the last 2 remaining clock companies who make high end high quality grandfather clock movements in any large quantities.
In 1977, Hermle decided to establish another manufacturing facility, Hermle Black Forest Clock Company to serve the North American market out of Amherst, Virginia, USA. Hermle Headquarters in southern Germany is now in its third generation, and still family owned and operated. Hermle employs over 200 people in 3 locations in both Germany and USA. In October 2010, Hermle Gosheim was rebranded as Hermle Uhrenmanufacktur GmbH, and as of January 2011, Hermle Black Forest Clocks re-branded and renamed itself as Hermle North America.
Hermle Clocks has just recently started making solid wood grandfather clocks with the cases all being Made in America.  Known as it Made in America Grandfather Clocks line, the clocks in this great selection are just beginning to come to market.  We think these grandfather clocks in particular, which still have the Hermle German mechanical movements inside, are worth a special look by people shopping for high-end grandfather clocks.
Looking for grandfather clocks on sale or discounts on grandmother clocks, mantle clocks or wall clocks made by Hermle.  It never hurts to call us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-4CLOCKS, ext. 1) to see what special unadvertised sales or grandfather clock discounts we might be offering.  You might just find your favorite grandfather clocks on sale.

Here is a sampling of some of our favorite Hermle Clocks:

Our Favorite Hermle Grandfather Clocks

Hermle Wall Clocks Hermle Wall Clocks

Hermle Mantel Clocks Hermle Mantel Clocks

Original Founding Hermle Clocks Location in Old Gosheim Germany

Howard Miller Curio Grandfather Clock

12.07.12

Curio grandfather clocks are sought after by many grandfather clocks shoppers and collectors who want to also be able to display collectibles or other keepsakes or mementos inside the shelves of the grandfather clocks with shelves, also known as Curio Grandfather Clocks.  One type of curio grandfather clock which used to be made, but we have not seen on the market in the last 10 years, is corner curio grandfather clocks, which were built to physically slide into the corner of a room.  Apparently, the demand must not have been there for the clock manufacturers to keep making this model.  But Howard Miller Clocks and Hermle Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks and Americana Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Clocks take note – we do get several requests each year for corner curio cabinet clocks.  This suggest at least a thousand times of that type of curio grandfather clock could be sold in the marketplace.

There are a lot of very poor quality curio grandfather clocks, not to mention grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks in general, which may not only stand the test of time, or meet your level of satisfaction for chime quality or grandfather clock cabinet construction, but they might not even be strong enough to hold some of your collectibles safely over many years.  We only carry grandfather clock brands that we know are heirloom quality and will meet or exceed the expectations of customers with high quality standards.

Many people put statues and figurines on display in their curio grandfather clocks, as well as dishes, family photos, vases, sterling silver candlesticks, trophies, bowls, mementos of all kinds, and even collections of other clocks, including miniature grandfather clocks.  We would love to hear from you if you keep something else in your grandfather clock curios.

Many readers of our grandfather clock blog know this already, but many others will not, which is that Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks are now the same grandfather clock company.  Howard Miller purchased Ridgeway about 10 years ago, and about 8 years ago moved Ridgeway Clock’s manufacturing from Virginia to Howard Miller Clock’s production facility in Michigan, and since then, comparable grandfather clocks, including Ridgeway Curio Grandfather Clocks and Howard Miller Curio Grandfather Clocks, are all made in the same place by the same people, and comparable models have the identical Kieninger Clock German mechanical grandfather and grandmother clock movements.  Howard Miller was smart enough to recognize the value of the brand equity in Ridgeway Clocks, which has both such a rich history and loyal following, that the Ridgeway Clock name was kept, in essence, as a separate product or model line for Howard Miller Clocks.

Here are some of the more popular Howard Miller Clock and Ridgeway Clocks Curio Grandfather Clocks:

Howard Miller Majestic Grandfather Clock

Howard Miller Majestic II Grandfather Clock

Ridgeway Decorah Curio Grandfather Clock

Ridgeway Richardson I Curio Grandfather Clock

Ridgeway Richardson II Curio Grandfather Clock

Most all of these clocks have 8 day mechanical movements made in Germany, and have at least the Westminster Chime as well, with some models having additional chimes from which to choose.  Additional special features, like a working rotating moonphase dial , automatic nighttime shutoff, and chime-silence options are also included on many of these curio floor clocks.  These clocks also make wonderful wedding gifts and anniversary presents, when one has a very special milestone, with the wedding presents usually coming from parents, and the anniversary gifts coming as frequently from “the children” as they do from one of the spouses.  We also sell many of our grandfather clocks on eBay, and offer zero percent financing for varying length, up to 18 months, for qualifying customers.

Clicking on the links to the right of each picture will take one to the product page describing each of the Curio Grandfather Clocks in greater detail.  We welcome any and all inquires from anyone who is thinking about purchasing one of these clocks, or wants to have a more basic understanding of the differences between different models and makers.  There are other Curio Grandfather Clocks out there, some of which we sell as well, including those by Hermle Clocks, and we are pleased to take the time to discuss with any serious customer the pros and cons of different makers and models.  We also know grandfather clock shoppers are always looking for grandfather clock discounts and the best deal or grandfather clocks on sale.  We sometimes offer unadvertised grandfather clocks discounts and specials in our Store.  Always feel free to cal us to inquire.

eBay Grandfather Clock

10.23.12

Did you know that for several years 1-800-4clocks has had a presence on eBay selling both new and antique grandfather clocks, pocket watches, wall clocks, atomic clocks, mantel clocks and other antiques, selling new Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks in particular at our ebay UserID GrandfatherClocks , which can be found on UserID, which alternates between grandfatherclocks and grandfather-clocks store on eBay or see or GrandfatherClocks UserID World on eBay.

Historically, we have been featuring Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Hermle Grandfather Clock collection and more.  We plan to be adding even more, including Howard Miller Wall Clocks and Mantel Clocks, and Ridgeway mantle clocks and wall clocks.  We expect to be adding Schneider Cuckoo Clocks very soon as well, including the 8 Day Movement mechanical cuckoo clocks, as well as the 3 day mechanical cuckoos, and the quartz driven cuckoo clocks also made by the German company Schneider.

If you look right now, as of the date of this post, you will not find much on eBay from us by way of Grandmother Clocks or Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller or Ridgeway, but we plan for that to change within the next week.  We expect to be offering the full line of mechanical Howard Miller Clocks, mechanical Ridgeway Clocks, as well as some of the nicer wall clocks and mantle clocks by Howard Miller and Ridgeway Floor Clocks that are quartz-driven.

Regardless of whether we list our antique clocks or new clocks on eBay or on our 1-800-4clocks website, we find that many customers end up calling us, frequently because of our easy to use toll-free number as well as our long-term association and background with Catalog sales, which may seem in some ways like a throwback to the past, but many customers like to talk to a live clock specialist who can both understand their questions and give them accurate answers.  For that reason among others we do not believe in using call centers to staff our phone lines, nor have we historically put any of our grandfather clock or wall clock or mantel clock salespeople on commission, because we believe that selling the customer only the grandfather clock or other clock that they really want is good for them as well as us in the long-term in the form of repeat business from past clocks customers.

Many of our sales are from prior customers, and we work hard  both to obtain and maintain customer loyalty.

Any suggestions as to how we can make our grandfather clock or gallery clock or mantle clock or other timepiece business more user-friendly or more effective and efficient, not to mention reasonably enjoyable, please let us know.  We welcome customer feedback, and too frequently receive it only when there is a problem,  We recently wrote a post that we have never taken up an offer from a customer who has volunteered to put up a positive testimonial online if we tell them where, meaning what website, we want it to go.  WE should probably do both more formally.

Grandfather Clocks on eBay, from 1-800-4CLOCKS with eBay ID grandfatherclocks and eBay Store grandfather-clocks.

Grandfather Clocks Resource

10.21.12

It is decision time.  You have decided you want to purchase a Floor Clock or Grandfather Clock.  You have seen grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks in the homes of some of your friends.  You maybe even grew up with a grandfather clock in your home, or that of a close relative whom you visited often.  You may have a vague recollection of some of the brand names of some clocks.  Was it Howard Miller Clocks or Herman Miller Clocks.  Both somehow sound correct, and interestingly, they are, as Howard Miller was the son of Herman Miller who started his career at Herman Miller and quickly started focusing on making Herman Miller Grandfather Clocks, Wall Clocks, Mantel Clocks and more.  Then Howard Miller set up his own company just across the Street from Herman Miller Inc, and to this day, the companies remain located across the street from one another in Zeeland, Michigan, though the founders of both companies have long since passed away.

You may also have heard of some other popular brands, such as Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.  What you need is the best Grandfather Clocks Resource available.  At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we strive to make this very blog, grandfatherclocks dot com, an amazing resource where you can research virtually anything about both antique grandfather clocks as well as new Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Floor Clocks, Kieninger Floor Clocks and Hermle Grandfather Clocks.  One can not only learn about the different high-end modern day grandfather clocks makers, but also those in the recent past, such as Bulova Grandfather Clocks and Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks and antique floor clocks and vintage grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks.

Using our categories on this website, one can research and find explanations or grandfather clocks styles, such as a split pediment traditional grandfather clock, or a bonnet top grandfather clock or one of the many contemporary grandfather clocks types we both profile and sell.  We address how to get grandfather clock discounts, and make sure you are getting your grandfather clock on sale.  Perhaps most important, one wants to make sure both that they know they are getting a high quality grandfather clock built to last and of heirloom quality.  There are too many out there that looks alone suggest are too good to be true at their price points, and to a great degree the if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, applies to grandfather clock shopping and discount grandfather clocks as well.

The quality of the grandfather clocks movements is another critical element, and we address that fully, including the best makers, which are German, the grandfather clock chimes with Westminster and Whittington and St Michaels chimes being the best known, but also Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Schubert’s Ave Maria, which have become popular on a small number of mechanical grandfather clocks.

Special features are reviewed as well, including automatic night-time shut-off of your grandfather clock, illuminated dials, lit cabinets, rotating moonphase dials, subsidiary seconds dials, tubular chimes on grandfather clocks, bim bam chimes and much more.

The quality and workmanship of the grandfather clock case, much like those that were built by hand of solid wood many generations ago, is another critical factor to consider.

Understanding the type of grandfather clock movement, whether it is cable driven or chain driven or quartz driven or a tubular chime mechanical movement – all of these take either prior knowledge or some researching or explanation to understand the relative pros and cons of each.

Antique grandfather clock shoppers face a special challenge, both in understanding what they are getting, making sure they are not overpaying, making certain the clock will not become something like a car lemon, making sure all of the main grandfather clock parts are original, and not put together in a grandfather clock chop shop equivalent, and finally, being sure they can have someone available who knows how to fix their kind of grandfather clock, and understanding what the grandfather clock repair and clock maintenance costs are likely to be both in general and compared to a brand new grandfather clock.

We also suggest specific organizations and websites, such as the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) at nawcc dot org, and their library, as a great resource for researching the history, but not the value, of your antique clock.  This is but one of many clock resources we have shared.

The ultimate grandfather clock resource, we like to think, especially for understanding new clock purchases, is us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257).  While we can’t help you research your existing vintage or antique grandfather clock, we are delighted to explain pros and cons of all of the choices facing a serious grandfather clock shopper.

NAWCC  Logo

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC dot org) is one unusually great resource for grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock and pocket watches research, especially vintage and antique

 

Grandfather Clocks Made in Germany

10.14.12

Customer-focused grandfather clocks stores like ours always try to keep our finger on the pulse of our customers’ wants and needs.  Interestingly, more and more grandfather clocks shoppers are focused on where the floor clock movements in particular are made for the grandfather clocks they are considering. While most every shopper wants a good grandfather clock discount and are always looking for grandfather clock sales, many have realized that the flood of cheaply made imports that are in cases and resemble grandfather clocks, are frequently cheap grandfather clocks that will not work for long, require further construction, have poor sound quality putting it mildly, and most certainly are not built to last and are not like the heirloom quality grandfather clocks that we sell.

Currently, and over the last few years, literally all of the new mechanical grandfather clocks we sell have grandfather clock movements that are made in Germany.  The major brands like Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger and Americana Clocks all have mechanical grandfather clocks with the clock movement itself made in Germany.  The two remaining high-end mechanical grandfather clock movement makers who make grandfather clock movements in any large quantities are the Hermle Clock Company and Kieninger Clocks.  Both makers make clock movements of excellent quality.

Antique grandfather clocks, historically, have included these same fine German Clock movement makers, but also others in Germany, England, Switzerland, the USA and many other countries.  The grandfather clock movement makers industry has consolidated and shrunk over time, like many other industries where the antiques version of the product still being used today is similar to those antiques used historically.  This is true for antique grandmother clocks as well.

The grandfather clock cases is another matter.  Many excellent grandfather clock cases can and are made in many different parts of the world.  The quality of the antique grandfather clock case or new grandfather clocks cases really depends on the quality of wood and then the quality of workmanship and material that goes into the making of the case.  Grandfather clock shoppers need to be careful that they are purchasing a floor clock in a quality clock case built to last, and not one built to simply resemble others on the market that are built to last but other than the similar look do not have any of the positive attributes in a quality grandfather clock case.  The continuing popularity of the term Black Forest Clocks, originating from the Black Forest of Germany, is a testimonial not only to the historical quality of German Clocks, and especially their clocks cases.  Seth Thomas Clocks were probably the biggest maker of American Grandfather Clocks cases, and wall clocks and mantel clocks as well, over the last century.

Interesting, Made in America or Made in the USA is making a comeback in the grandfather clocks market.  Probably the best example is Hermle Clocks, with its new Made in America grandfather clock line (the grandfather clock movements are still German-made), and features many high-quality grandfather clocks.  Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks have cases that for years and years have been made in Michigan, USA, and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks were made in Virginia until they were consolidated into Howard Miller Clocks Michigan facility 5 or so years ago.

Hermle Triple Chime Manchester Grandfather Clock
List: $6,147.00
SALE: $3,996.00

Hermle Grandfather Clock from Made in USA, with Floor Clock case made of solid American Maple Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandfather Clocks Repair

10.11.12

Grandfather Clocks owners sooner or later, with or without regularly scheduled grandfather clock maintenance including oiling and cleaning, will need to address the inevitable grandfather clock repair challenge or question.  We sell many brands of floor clocks, including Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks and the Kieninger Floor Clock collection.  Even these best of the best grandfather clock makers will find their customers in need of clock time adjustments, grandfather clock movement refurbishing of pivots and pallets, the occasional manual adjustment that may need to be made inside the grandfather clock case or movement or pendulum or pendulum bob or even to a damaged or worn finish or wood of the outside of a grandfather clock case.

In today’s more modern world, good grandfather clock repair help can be difficult to find.  Interestingly, after a rapid decline in the number of people able and qualified to repair timepieces including pocket watches, wristwatches and mechanical grandfather clocks, there seems to have been something of a renaissance in the number and quality of available repair people.  Some schools of horology, the study of timepieces, have revamped and added new classes and certifications, and the demand appears clearly present both for the apprentices in training as well as the eager customers on the other end.

Owners of mechanical mantel clocks and wall clocks and grandfather and grandmother clocks, whether made by Howard Miller Clocks or Hermle Clocks or Ridgeway or Kieninger or Americana Clocks will and should want only qualified clocks technicians to be working on their movements.  If a grandfather clock was made by a major established floor clock company, such as Howard Miller or Hermle or Ridgeway, there is an excellent chance that the preferred method for fixing the mechanical clock might be to simply exchange the old movement for an equivalent new one.  The repair can be less expensive.  One factor, though, that can catch people by surprise, is that grandfather clock makers have gradually effectively lowered the fixed volume level on grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks in recent years.  This has been done to meet changing consumer preferences and with more household items, especially electronics,vying potentially for attention at the very same times.  We get occasionally very puzzled calls from long-time clock owners and enthusiasts who do not understand why their new grandfather clock is softer in volume than their old one, lower in volume than the Howard Miller grandmother clock in the home of their Aunt Shirley.

Another piece of advice we give, and yes we do repair clocks ourselves so this might sound purely in our self-interest, but the reality is that repairs can take a long long time, frequently much longer than originally anticipated.  And yet we live in an I want it tomorrow culture, or a what could be so complicated approach on the part of customers.  It’s all about setting and managing and understanding reasonable expectations and drivers.  Frequently new parts may not arrive on time.  Sometimes they have to be hand made, which can be very expensive.  Most all repairs require multiple levels of quality control testing.  Sometimes the problem is difficult to isolate.  Sometimes a spare part may not be readily available and yet can be obtained with diligent follow-up on the part of the grandfather clock repair person, yet at the same time frustrating to the actual owner of the clock.  Reasonable expectations and communication are key.  I frequently tell customers do not ask us to fix it if you will be unhappy if it might take 2-3 months, because that may be necessary and realistic.  It’s a delicate balancing act!

Finding a grandfather clocks repair specialist reasonably local to you can be a challenge.  There are a variety of sources, including the Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau (of which we are proud members), membership organization like the National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors, the American Clock and Watch Institute (of which we are also proud members), and a good online database at Howard Miller Clocks website which is searchable by both zip code and state.  Keep in mind whether you are repairing a new or antique grandfather clock or wall clock or mantel clock, and what the specialty of any candidate grandfather clock repair person might be, as they may require different knowledge bases and skills.

Still looking for grandfather clock repair advice.  Always feel free to give us a call at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

Kieninger model NS Movement -

Precision Kieninger clock cable movement with 8 rubies and 6 bronze bushings, Graham steel pallet lever escapement, automatic beat adjustment, maintaining power & seconds indication.

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