Now pretty much everyone has heard the expression the clock keeps ticking away, or tick tick tick, or even tick toc tic tock, but how often have you had the same applied to grandfather clocks ticking away with time.
Now the focus of this floor clock post may not be entirely what you expected. What we want to focus on here is the volume not only of the ticking of the grandfather clocks, but also the volume of grandfather clock chimes. Our focus here is on high quality 8 Day German mechanical grandfather clocks movements that our used today by companies such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Kieninger Clocks and the Hermle Clock company, with the two main high-end movement manufacturers being Hermle Clock and Kienininger Clocks. Both of these German clock makers and grandfather clock movement makers have been making movements for well over 100 years. In more recent years, features have been added to grandfather clocks like automatic nighttime shutoff, illuminated grandfather clock dials, multiple chimes including not only the best known Westminster Chime grandfather clock, with Whittington Clock Chimes and St Michaels Clocks Chimes, but also adding Beethovens Ode to Joy chime or Schuberts Ave Maria chime. Some people still long for the mechanical two-note bim-bam chime, found more on antique clocks and vintage clocks, but still seen on many models.
So what has happened to the grandfather clock volume over all these years. There is the volume of the sound of the grandfather clock or floor clock ticking, there is the volume of the gong of the hour, and there is the volume of the grandfather clock chimes. All floor clocks have one direction in which they have moved over the years, which is that the grandfather clock chime, ticking and gong volumes have been built-in so that it has effectively been turned down more and more over the years.
If one listens to an antique grandfather clock and compares it to a present day Howard Miller grandfather clock, or even a vintage 20 year old Ridgeway Grandfather Clock, one will find that the gong volume has gone down progressively over the years. For grandfather clocks that chime, whether the Westminster Chime or even a Bim-Bam chime, in general one will also find that the grandfather clock volume has gone down over the years.
Recognizing that people used to use the clocks more as a way to keep track of time, it makes sense that grandfather clocks were built to be heard throughout a home. Nowadays, now are there not only many other ways to tell time, e.g. on television, iPods, game systems, smartphones including the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy III, and PCs themselves, but there are also many more items in the home competing for the full attention of household members. What might happen if a grandfather clock started gonging SO LOUDLY during the Super Bowl being watched by a rowdy group congregating around a giant flat screen tv … well, we might not want to see what might happen. While most all grandfather clocks will have a chime-silence option, it might be overlooked, or might even be an issue for some for everyday conversation, listening to music, or watching their favorite television shows.
The actual volume of the tic tock has also gone down, which most clock consumers today would probably find to be a plus. The grandfather clock chime mechanical movements of today have also been modified to lower volumes, for much the same clock reasons as noted above.
One question we are asked often is whether it is possible to adjust the volume of a mechanical grandfather clock strike or chime. The short answer is no, not really, for most all models. Small adjustments to raise the volume can be made, but that might risk damaging the movement or the loss of the correct chime notes. Lowering the grandfather clock volume has some possibilities, yet that is a question we rarely get in today’s grandfather clock marketplace.
Quartz grandfather clocks, also known as battery operated grandfather clocks, will likely have a volume control, but one has to be especially careful that they are buying a good quality floor clock with a clock movement that is built to last. There are more and more cheap imports of this type.
Lastly, there should not be much of a difference between the volume of a chain-driven grandfather clock vs a cable driven grandfather clock.
As with everything in life, there are exceptions, such as tubular chime grandfather clock movements, but that is a subject we will address separately.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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?
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
Perhaps this should not come as a surprise for grandfather clock enthusiasts, but we at 1-800-4clocks.com have found that a great way to get real and interesting news relating to pretty much all aspects of grandfather clocks, as well as some on wall clocks and mantle clocks, is to simply type into the Google or Yahoo or Bing search engines the phrase news grandfather clocks.
We have found some exciting are interesting timepiece and horological pieces just by looking at this clocks search term on a regular basis. One also finds what might be considered some of the more fluffy grandfather clock pieces, such as videos by grandfather clock shops and retailers showing rows of clocks, or a YouTube video link to how to wind a grandfather clock or that kind of more very basic feature clock story.
In today’s news search, we saw that what would historically been considered a miniscule amount of mercury in a grandfather clock, just 2-3 ounces, spilled from the pendulum of an antique grandfather clock in the Charlestown Navy Yard near Boston, and it was treated as a HazMat incident by the local Fire Department and other authorities. When the author of this post was a child, that amount of mercury was considered non-hazardous and was an amazingly fun element to play with (note we are not suggesting you try this at home or anywhere, as scientific knowledge has changed over time).
Some of the best antique grandfather clocks, as well as antique mantel clocks and even antique regulators and wall clocks have mercury pendulums, usually with glass vials containing the mercury, and sometimes also sealed in metal inside the pendulum. The amazing property of mercury is that it expands and contracts depending upon changes in temperature, and in such a way that it allows for the most accurate timekeeping of pretty much all mechanical grandfather clocks and mantel and wall regulator clocks, with the possible exception of fusee bracket clocks and fusee driven grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and the occasional fusee wall clocks one is lucky enough to come across. Yet both antique clocks with mercury pendulums, and antique fusee movement driven clocks are among the most expensive and most collectible of the clocks out there, partly because of their fine movements and relative scarcity in addition to their amazing mechanical timekeeping abilities.
So if you are really into either clock news in general, or grandfather clock or floor clock news in particular, a search engine query along the lines described above is a great way to stay current.
Any clocks news stores you come across that seem particularly noteworthy, please let us know either in the comments section or by emailing us, and there is a good chance we will feature them if we feel our regular readers will be interested.
News Grandfather Clocks search on Google
We could not decide whether to put this post in our Grandfather Clock Blog, or in our Clocks Blog focusing more on Wall Clocks, Mantel Clocks, And Atomic Clocks of all types. Both of these clocks blogs also focus on wristwatches and pocket watches, including digital timepieces. So in the end we opted to show off some exciting new technology in the Grandfather Clocks Blog.
This new wrist communication and timepiece device is designed by a company called MetaWatch, and they are referring to this timepiece just below as a smart-watch. It is supposed to eventually, if not initially, allow access to email, to give current weather and forecasts, to send and receive text messages, and to interact with various other computing features and smarthome control devices, including changing the channels on a television, if we remember correctly.
We would be very interested in hearing about consumer and business reaction to this type of device, as well as whether it could or might somehow be incorporated into a grandfather clock or perhaps a mantle clock. One unusual use of clocks, which to date we have not sold, is to include cameras in clocks, which can be used either for virtual surveillance or recorded and replayed surveillance. Some electronics resellers have purchased clocks from us for this use.
We are especially interested in any ideas which might somehow for with a home-based grandmother clock or grandfather clocks. While to date most all of the digital clocks offered that we sell are Howard Miller Wall Clocks or Hermle Gallery Clocks or Ridgeway Wall Clocks, we have not given up on the concept of digital grandfather clocks and even digital street clocks. We will soon be offering large LED table clocks and wall clocks, with large numbers and letters in different models, with some showing the day and date. Some will also feature blue LED time lights in addition to wall clocks feather the more traditional red LED lights. Atomic LED clocks are not far behind.
Architectural Digest’s recent feature about fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s garden in the Dominican Republic (“Paradise Found,” July 2012) was the perfect welcome as I took on my new role as the magazine’s contributing garden editor. Almost three decades ago, it was Oscar’s late wife, Françoise, who introduced me to the New York publishing world, taking a risk on this just-off-the-boat garden writer and sending me on my first serious magazine assignment.
My debut was for House & Garden, where she was an editor, and for it I flew to the Dominican Republic, on my way to an elegant, orchid-filled paradise in Santiago de los Caballeros that belonged to the fashion designer’s friend Gustavo Tavares. My introduction to international reportage and etiqueta tropical was a beautiful luncheon in the open-air dining room of Gustavo’s house, Villa Pancha. The Vanda orchids outside were 30 years old and ten feet high. Cattleya, Ascocenda, and Renanthera orchids decorated huge tree ferns, a winding tunnel was draped with Thunbergia, and a tropical jardín blanco brimmed with snowy Rex jasmine. And there I sat with Oscar and Gustavo, in the midst of fresh gardens and crisp linens, grimy and wilted in two-day-old clothes. (The airline had lost my bags. Some things about my work never change.) “I will have something sent over,” Oscar offered. “What are you? A size four?”
I have not been a size four since I was age four, but it was the nicest thing he could have said to a nervous neophyte. A bit embarrassed, I looked down at the table only to see an enormous white vegetal disk—almost as big as the salad plate—being set before me. Sensing my wonder, Oscar declared, “Well, Gustavo, these are likely the largest hearts of palm any of us will ever see.” And turning to me, he pronounced the most kind and generous editorial advice anyone could ever give: “Never be afraid to ask questions. You’ll learn so much.”
Villa Pancha was my launchpad for a career of worldwide assignments, always in gardens, always with wonderful people. Nine years after that memorable lunch, a bit of star-studded serendipity took me back to Gustavo’s home. I was asked to scout locations and write for the 1993 PBS television miniseries Gardens of the World, hosted by Audrey Hepburn. (I wrote for the companion book, too.) The series producers had decided I would make the trip of a lifetime and travel the globe in search of the world’s most important and beautiful tropical gardens. Apparently they had dug up that old House & Garden article and decided I was an expert.
The trip was an astonishing feat. Hard to imagine now, but without the Internet, cell phones, or digital equipment of any kind, we explored ancient and modern gardens and prepared the way for Audrey. Our locations were high in remote mountains of Sri Lanka, in urban Singapore, among the green interior regions of Bali, in a garden in Venezuela that dated from the 1590s, and—circling back around the globe—the Tavares garden in the Dominican Republic. Gardens of the World won an Emmy, but no one realized this would be Audrey’s final on-camera appearance. Yet she left a legacy to all who love gardens: In a seven-minute trailer, the actress spoke beautifully about the age-old urge to create, explore, and enjoy the most ephemeral of all the arts.
For me, the garden is any place that’s outside, even when the outside has crept back into the house in the form of greenhouses, conservatories, courtyards, and the like. Curious? Wonderful. Stayed tuned. If you want more details regarding any garden element, designer, landscape architect, or plant you see in Architectural Digest, send me an e-mail. Your queries will drive our choice of topics. Remember: Never be afraid to ask questions.