Grandfather clocks

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.

Americana Grandfather Clocks Intro

10.06.12

1-800-4CLOCKS.com is proud and excited to be introducing into our Authorized Grandfather Clock Dealer and grandfather clocks product the entire current selection of Americana Grandfather Clocks and Americana Grandmother Clocks.  A quick look at these Americana Floor Clocks will give you an appreciation for the incredible style and quality, not to mention amazing grandfather clock designs and additional grandfather clocks shoppers will now have in addition to the more established brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Hermle Clocks, and others.

In fact, the Americana Grandfather Clock company was founded by the individual who headed Ridgeway Clocks when it was a Division of Howard Miller Clocks for some years.  These clocks attempt to delight and wow the customer and floor clock shopper with gorgeous high quality for the most part triple chime grandfather clocks that are made of 100% of the type of wood that is described including Oak, Mahogany, Cherry and Rosewood.  The Americana Grandfather Clocks also feature both some wonderful examples of contemporary grandfather clocks and Traditional grandfather clocks.  Grandmother clocks too!

All of these models come with both an automatic nighttime shut-off and a working rotating moonphase dial – for those clocks that feature a moonphase dial.  All have German mechanical cable-driven movements.  Some have a dual lighting system which illuminates the case and in some models the dial as well.  Some even have the look and feel of genuine antique grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks or floor clocks.

There is also an amazing and helpful to prospective grandfather clock shoppers array of heights in the clocks, so that many can be considered grandmother clocks as well as grandfather clocks, the only real difference being the height.

All of the Americana Clocks have the wildly popular Westminster Chime, and some also have the Whittington Chime and the St Michaels chime as well.  The styles also include a white grandfather clock and a black grandfather clock, with the white grandfather clock being an especially tough one to find in a good quality grandfather clock brand.

It is absolutely worth expanding your horizons in your search for a grandfather clock.  Not only do we want to be the ones who Add Time to Your Life ™, but we also want you to have the grandfather clock with the greatest design and workmanship possible.

Here are some examples from the Americana Grandfather Clock Collection:

Americana Capitol Grandfather Clock
List: $6,150.00
SALE: $4,612.50

Americana Atlanta Grandfather Clock
List: $6,478.00
SALE: $4,858.50

Americana Indio Grandfather Clock
List: $4,182.00
SALE: $3,136.50

Americana Savanna Grandfather Clock
List: $4,510.00
SALE: $3,382.50

 

Floor Clocks All Discounted

09.02.12

As the Long Labor Day Holiday weekend begins to wind down, and as floor clock and grandmother clock and grandfather clock shoppers look for the best deal, great floor clocks discounts, and grandfather clocks on sale, we hope all floor clock customers will come take a look at what we have to offer at 1-800-4CLOCKS and 1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

Just this morning, we got a call from a lady in Michigan who had been given a cheap grandfather clock by her grandson as a present, and it had been of such poor quality that a cable had literally simply fell off of and out of the clock.  The floor clock had been purchased at a well known store we had heard of.  Sadly, when she mentioned the name of the clock model, we knew she was a victim of a worthless imported clock brand that names their models after well-known models of well-known and respected clock makers, and them somehow succeeds in selling these pieces of junk to major retailers all across the country.  The customers, because they cannot get the clocks to work, then “Google” or “Bing” the name of the clock, and because we well a completely different type of clock by another maker, but of the same model name, they reach out to us for help.  This nice lady said as soon as she saw the 3 page instruction sheets she knew she was in trouble.  Not only did it not show any clockmaker or company name, but it also gave zero contact information.  The retailer who sold the floor clock to her relative refused to be of any help, at least partly because this grandfather clock gift had sat unopened in her home passed the period when they allow returns according to their stated return policy.

Had this floor clock not been a gift from a close relative, she indicated she literally was so frustrated with her grandfather clock gift she literally would have taken it out back, axed it so that it could more easily fit in a mailable container, and sent it to the CEO of the well-known retailer where this gift was purchased for her.  But she could not, easily anyway, have explained its absence in her home to the relative who gave it to her.  We informed her we could locate a a clock expert in her area, but we both already knew that spending even another $100 on this piece of grandfather clock junk would be throwing good money after bad.

So the point here is that the lowest price or the seemingly best grandfather clock or floor clocks discount may be no discount at all, if it falls apart before it works, or even if it stops working after a year or so.  Another twist on this grandmother and grandfather clock shopping theme is many find out after the clocks they ordered arrive, while they may look in the pictures or on the web like the models of higher priced clocks, they may not only require significant clock assembly, when no grandfather clock plan was called for or advertised, but also the material may be quite cheap, and most certainly they are not getting an heirloom quality grandfather clock or heirloom floor clock they can pass down to generations to come.

What is the lesson learned here.  The key one is even one going for the greatest grandfather clock discount and floor clocks savings and sales, makes sure you are purchasing a quality clock.  One of the best ways to do that is to purchase higher-end brands known for quality floor clocks, and then deal with a reputable floor clock dealer known not only for great service but also being reputable.  We would not surprisingly suggest 1-800-4CLOCKS as the single source for all your floor clocks and grandmother clocks and grandfather clock selection and savings needs.  Sticing with well-respected brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks and Floor Clocks, as well as Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, is the best way to proceed.  Furthermore, know what you are buying.  Understand the difference between models both within certain makers and between floor clock makers as well.  Only pay for the grandfather clocks chimes you really want, and the floor clock options, with automatic nighttime shutoff and illuminated dials as just two examples.  additionally, do you want a rotating moon phase grandfather clock dial.  What about the pros and cons between brands.  Solid woos cases.  German mechanical movements playing the Westminster Chimes or Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional Whittington and St Michaels Chimes.  What about a quartz chiming grandfather clock vs an 8 day keywound chiming mechanical movement.  Also, is atomic time or radio controlled time important to you.  These are all factors to consider in your grandfather and grandmother and floor clock decision making and shopping.  We want you to be happy with your Floors Clocks purchases not only now but with the very same grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks for generations to come.

Floor Clocks No Junk Purchases Allowed

Floor Clocks – No Junk Purchases Allowed

Floor Clocks Howard Miller

08.31.12

We are proud to be introducing for the first time on 1-800-4CLOCKS.com some Howard Miller Floor Clocks previously not added to the grandfather clocks or grandmother clocks sections of our website, whether viewing by maker such as Ridgeway Clocks or Howard Miller Clocks or by type of clock, including keyound chiming grandfather clocks or single chiming Westminster Chime Grandfather Clocks or triple chime grandfather or floor clocks, which might also include chimes such as Schubert’s Ave Maria Chime or Beeethoven’s Ode to Joy chime.

Some of these clocks have been available for some time, but we try to always offer the best balance of selection or choice, including grandfather clock value,and grandfather clock or floor clock discounts including grandmother clocks on sale.  We are now proud to expand our line to include such Howard Miller Floor Clocks, also known as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Howard Miller Grandmother clocks, including the following:

Howard Miller Raymond Grandfather Clock 611-182 model 611182

Howard Miller Raymond Floor Clock 611-182 611182 model

Howard Miller Cleo Floor Clock Howard Miller Cleo Floor Grandfather Clock model 611-172 611172 Grandfather Clocks

Howard Miller Cleo Floor Clock model 611-172 611172

These two Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or Floor Clocks will add an excellent dimension to the existing selections of Floors Clocks already available also from other makers including Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and Ridgeway Floor clocks.

We encourage customer to ask questions so that they know the pros and cons not only between different makers of clocks but also within the product range offered by each floor clock maker, such as cable driven floor clocks vs cable driven floor clocks.

The Howard Miller Cleo Grandfather Clock is particularly interesting because it comes in a Chestnut finish, which is much more unusual than the more typical cherry floor clock and oak grandfather clock finishes seen on many other floor clocks on sale.

We encourage our customers to look at and understand all the makers of clocks, understand the movements inside each floor clock, know what chimes are on each grandfather clock, understand the different chime possibilities, and understand not only the differences between each movement maker, but also the movement chimes and other features that may be available on a floor clock, such as a rotating moonphase, a subsidiary seconds dial, automatic nighttime shut-off, chime-silence option, mechanical vs quartz floor clock movements, and even illuminated dials and lights inside the floor clock case.

Also, it is always a good idea to understand the differences between antique floor clocks vs vintage floor clocks and new grandfather clocks.

Floor Clocks for Sale

08.29.12

We had an interesting idea about marketing grandfather clocks at both Yankee Stadium in New York and Fenway Park in Boston.  We are fans of both baseball teams, and yes, that makes for some interesting internal battles, but all in good fun.  Anyway, we had the idea of selling floor clocks, such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, by handing on coupons and order forms at each of these 2 stadiums.  So instead of Get Your Beer Here, it would be Get Your Grandfather Clock Here or Get your Floor Clock Here.

We have even thought of customizing particular grandfather clock models for particular baseball teams, such as the Red Sox Grandfather Clock, and the Yankee Floor Clock or Grandfather Clock.  We imagine the licensing fees would be rather steep, assuming the team logos are still available for licensing floor clocks and grandfather clocks.

One question we have is whether fans recognize the term Floor Clock as having essentially the same meaning as Grandfather Clock.  We know that interior decorators and home decor experts are fluent with this vernacular, but that does not mean it is necessarily the same demographic that is attending Yankees and Red Sox baseball games.  Having hired people to work at sports stadiums before, one of the least desirable outcomes is to have baseball fans turn negative toward any vendor.  For that reason, we have also thought of perhaps having, like a Baseball Bat Day or a Baseball Hat Day. perhaps we could have a Yankees Grandfather Clock or Red Sox Grandfather Clock Baseball Day, where, say, one of every one hundred ticket holders would win an authentic Hermle Floor Clock or one of more popular models of Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks.  With the right kind of promotion, the economics should be reasonable, and we could make many grandfather clocks shoppers very happy and it would be the ultimate discount grandfather clock and discount floor clocks.

It way be that Howard Miller Wall Clocks or Hermle Wall Clocks, or even a mantle clock made by either of those companies, or Ridgeway or Bulova, or Kieninger Clocks would be a good alternative to offer at this type of event, but it is not likely to elicit the same type of enthusiasm as a Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks or Howard Miller Floor Clock or one of the Hermle Grandfather Clocks.

One home run idea would be if a clock were built with a “take me out to the ball game” chime and perhaps the home team songs, which would of course have to come in every clock and team and model combination, with the home team song chiming on the hour for a grandfather clock or floor clock.

Who are you rooting for?

Should we try to offer floor clocks and grandfather clocks with New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox Logos?

Would going to a game where you had a chance at winning a Boston Red Sox Grandfather Clock or New York Yankees Floor Clock make you more likely to attend a sporting event?  What about Wall Clocks and Mantel Clocks?

Discount Grandfather Clocks Shopping

08.28.12

The landscape of the grandfather clock marketplace is forever changing. New high-end players and some of the existing high-end manufacturers like Americana Grandfather Clocks as a new player and Hermle Clocks new series of Made In America Hermle Grandfather Clocks are examples that the upper end of the grandfather clock marketplace can and will continue to thrive and offer high-end well constructed solid wood grandfather clocks with the best made grandfather clock mechanical movements available today.

One area that seems to have declined over the last decade, and been perhaps a toll of the Great Recession, is high-end grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans supporting those kits.  The company we looked o as the leader in this market, Kuempel Chime Clocks of Minnetonka, Minnesota, went out of business perhaps 5 years ago, and they not only sold great grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans, but also high-end wall clock kits and mantel clocks kits and plans.  Kuempel used only mechanical German movements made by Kieninger in all of their clock kits, including grandfather clock, wall clocks and mantel clocks.  We used to gladly steer prospective grandfather clock customers and shoppers, looking for a project to build a high quality grandfather clock, in their direction.

Another company, Mason and Sullivan, comes to mind that used to make, many years ago, we estimate 20 and before, great grandfather clock plans and wall clock plans and mantel clock plans.  Their clock plans typically were for reproductions of historic and special clocks by known makers, including the clockmakers John Goddard and Simon Willard and Aaron Willard, as examples.  While they also sold some kits with plans, usually with Hermle German mechanical clock movements, they also had many plans which were used by real craftsmen of their times.  Some of these can still be found today on eBay.

When grandfather clock shopping, looking for discounts on high-end grandfather clocks, and grandfather clocks on sale and shopping in general, an informed and educated customer is the best type of customer and the one who will get the best deal on grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and be most satisfied with their grandfather clock purchase, not only for years, but for the generations that follow.

Understanding the best grandfather clock brands, which not only include the new Americana Clocks grandfather brand, but also those of Howard Miller Clocks. Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Grandfather and Floor Clocks, including Hermle’s new Made in America line, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, just to name most of the preeminent brands available today.  But a smart clocks shopper also needs to understand the differences between mechanical grandfather clocks, e.g. chain driven vs cable driven granfather and grandmother clocks, as well as the many features both within and between product lines and brands.  Especially nowadays, one needs to beware of cheap imitation imports which may not last for long at all or may also require much assembly work on the grandfather clock.  We continue to get many calls from frustrated grandfather clock shoppers who purchased a floor clock, even from the major department stores or so-called big-box stores, only to find they have nowhere to turn when their grandfather clock no longer works, or never worked to begin with.  The grandfather clock shoppers realize too late they have been had, after thinking they had gotten a great grandfather clock bargain.

As the retailer Mr. Syms used to say, An Educated Consumer in Our Best Customer.

Grandfather Clock and Mantel Clocks made from grandfather clocks plans and mantel clock plans from Mason and Sullivan in a Press Photo from 1978

Grandfather Clock Riddle

07.25.12

Who does not love a good time or clock related riddle.  Well, we came across on at Dictionary.com the other day, and as a leader in the grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock industry, we feel it is especially worth sharing.

This one is also much better than the old one about throwing a clock to see time fly.

This clever question goes as follows – what is once in a minute, twice in a moment, and never in 1,000 years?  Hint – the answer is shorter than one word.

OK, have you put your thinking cap on and figured this clock and time riddle out for yourself, or do you need to keep reading?  The answer is, simply, m.

Hope this is clear to all you clock enthusiasts out there.  Now when you are sitting in your living room furnished with a Howard Miller grandfather clock, a Hermle wall clock, and a musical Rhythm Clock whether Small World or other, you will have an additional tidbit to entertain your family and friends.

Any more time riddles?  Let us know and we will be happy to share them here.  Feel free to post simply as comments, or write to us with our userid grandfatherclocks on eBay.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer.

Special thanks to www.Dictionary.com

Grandfather Clocks History First 250 Years

07.01.12

Since grandfather clocks were first being made and introduced in the mid 1600s, there were perhaps a good 200 plus years where makers of grandfather clocks were highly decentralized, originally from Merry Old England and other parts of what are now the united Kingdom, and gradually spreading to other parts of Western Europe, and then Eastern Europe, with Germany and its Black Forest, France, Austria being among the major centers of origin of what are known today as grandfather clocks.  As with makers of antique pocket watches over this time period, the makers of the movements were frequently different from the makers of the cases.  A look at the Swiss pocket watch history over time shows this same truth and experience, with one clear reason being that it takes a different skill set to make a fine movement than it does to craft a silver or gold pocket watch case or carved wooden grandfather clock case.

As the grandfather clock, as well as wall clocks and mantel clocks and even pocket watch markets matured in the 1800s, these trends continued, and even some 250 years later, such esteemed retailers as Tiffany & Company in the USA and Europe, as well as J E Caldwell in Philadelphia, and countless European-based retailers, would frequently contract for small lots of grandfather clocks, pocket watches, wall clocks and mantel clocks, and other timepieces, where at the end of the day the retailer would put their name on the dials, and sometimes the movements (other times they asked the movement makers not to sign the movements with their own names so it appeared the retailers were more fully integrated manufacturers).

In the earliest years of grandfather clocks, or longcase or tallcase clocks as they were then known, after they started to be made in larger numbers, it was only the most wealthy families that could afford them, which in itself is not too surprising.  The makers of the grandfather clocks knew their target market at that time, and recognized that the buyers of grandfather clocks also frequently had servants and other house-workers including maids and butlers.  So these same makers came up with models that were less expensive, and with movements that instead of lasting 8 days with each wind, which was the norm for the finest grandfather clocks, these clocks would last for 30 hours only between windings.  As the servants time was deemed by the buyers of clocks to be less valuable, this both allowed the wealthier individuals the status of having a grandfather clock that was a cut above those of their servants, and yet their helpers had the advantage, or perhaps burden depending upon how one looks at it, of keeping to actual timed schedules and routines.  A major leap forward in organization and management, which would be as useful for businesses at that time as for fully staffed homes.

When shopping for antique grandfather clocks or antique grandmother clocks, one must always be mindful, aside from whether the clocks parts are all original to each other, at whether a clock has the 30 hour vs 8 an day movement (sometimes one will also come across grandfather clocks with 30 day movements, usually known as regulators, but that is a category unto itself).  Generally speaking, a grandfather clock with an 8 day movement will be considered much more collectible and valuable than a comparable clock with a 30 hour movement.  To begin with, it would have cost a lot more at the time it was made not only to purchase it but to make it.  Additionally, all other things being equal (which they are most definitely not in some instances), the grandfather clock with the 8 day movement probably had more work and finer materials and craftsmanship put into both the movement and the case.  Additionally, a 30 hour grandfather clock movement would have had to have been wound almost 3 times as many times as an 8 day movement, so there is much more of a chance of either a worm or replaced movement in a 30 hour clock.  Having said that, we would never say to steer clear of 30 hour antique grandfather clocks for these reasons, especially if it is appealing and collectible in other ways or for other reasons.

Not too surprisingly, given that grandfather clocks were introduced and made before the industrial revolution, production and manufacturing of both clock movements and cases was highly decentralized, both within and across markets.  It also was more of a craft and an art form compared to many other forms of innovation, so there were many many thousands of makers across Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America.

Switzerland, while never quite the center for clocks that it was for pocket watches and became for wristwatches, by itself had tens of thousands of amazingly talented watchsmiths and clocksmiths, and they tended to be clustered by and within families, and over time collaboration between families of watchmakers.  As with clocks, watches movements tended to be made by one group, with the cases sourced to specification by the watchmakers.

When looking at the quality and workmanship of yesteryear, frequently the best place to see it is to look at antique pocket watches.  The author of this post has opened pocket watches that are 100 years old, 200 years old, and 300 years old, and unbelievably, they not only may start running immediately (perhaps required a cleaning or oiling, especially to be accurate timekeepers, but frequently not), but they look as if they could have been made yesterday, and in addition, that they may have another 100 or 200 or 300 years of life left in them.  Opening an antique pocket watch gives one the feeling, sometimes, of opening a time capsule.  This is also true if one looks at the more standardized timepieces made in America by say, the Waltham Watch Company or Elgin Watches.  If one wants an example of how American manufacturing can be so consistently incredible and built to last, one needs to look no farther than a sampling of the many  timepieces made by these American companies.

In an era where Made in America may be getting a second (or 1000th) look, a look back at these masterpieces of quality, workmanship and reliability would be great aspirational examples of the quality we Americans have been able to provide the world over, and built to last and at affordable prices and with continuing innovation.

John Harrison was one of the most influential horologists ever, whose work in England in the 1700s contributed not only greatly to grandfather clocks and pocket watches, but also to linking not only the telling of time for ships on the water, but also how it related and might link to not only navigation on the high seas but also planetary movements.  He also invented some incredibly cool clocks, including one known as The Grasshopper Clock.

Wall Clocks for Less

05.15.12

Many grandfather clock buyers start out looking for wall clocks, only to realize that what they really wanted for their homes were a floor clock, more commonly known and referred to as a grandfather clock.  Some times a customer just realizes the presence and beauty and sound that can come from a traditional grandfather clock, such as a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, and other times a customer may actually ask to see what they frequently term a grandfather wall clock.  Some of these shoppers mean a traditional or contemporary grandfather clock while others are referring to a large weight drive mechanical chiming wall clock that they nonetheless think of as a grandfather clock.  One of the basic definitions of a grandfather clock or grandmother clock is that it is free standing, and therefore not hung on a wall.  Mind you we always recommend to our customers, as with any tall, large heavy piece of furniture, to anchor it to the wall as well, so the clock could not be pulled down or fall down on unsuspecting victims, either because of childhood shenanigans or forces of Mother Nature, like an earthquake.

In the last six months we have noticed that many of what might be, or have been, considered to be among the higher end retailers, are now carrying more and more cheaply made clocks at seeming too good to be true but actually bad value prices, with many of the  clock models designed to look very much like the higher price and much better quality clocks that they had previously only sold exclusively, e.g. the higher quality mechanical grandfather clocks made by Howard Miller and Hermle Floor Clocks or Howard Miller Keywound Chiming Mantel Clocks, or Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and mantel clocks.  Ridgeway Clocks and Infinity Clocks, not to mention Black Forest German-made cuckoo clocks by the Anton Schneider Clock Company, and we are now seeing what are essentially cheap knock-offs that frequently require assembly, are made of particle board or thin woods not likely to last for very long, and with movements that do not even begin to compare with, for example, the German made mechanical winding grandfather clock movements that are in all the mechanical grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks we currently sell!

Here are some of our highest end most interesting grandfather clocks, which some might think of as grandfather wall clocks:

Kieninger Edwards Grandfather Clock <-[Links to clock on our website - amazing contemporary tubular chime grandfather clock Made in Germany]

Howard Miller J. H. Miller Grandfather Clock <- [also links to our website - another amazing tubular chime clock with German movement, traditional style, Model 611-030 611030]

Also worth a special look are the:

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