In the days of now antique grandfather clocks over 100 years ago, the vast majority of grandfather clocks were time and strike. The grandfather clocks would gong on each hour for the number of hours (e.g. 4 for 4 o’clock), and once on each half -hour.
Precious few grandfather clocks also played chimes, e.g. the grandfather clock westminster chimes which requires five notes, or perhaps the well-known bim-bam chime, which plays a ting-tang two note chime on every half-hour and on each hour for the number of hours. Some very special antique clocks, such as one we now have for sale that was made in the 1700s in France, has a string that one can pull and the grandmother clock will then gong first for the hour with the number of hours, and then on 2 notes to signify each quarter hour. This grandmother clock, or small grandfather clock, has what has since become known as a repeater function, which is prized both in clocks of all vintages, as well as in pocket watches.
Modern day grandfather clocks, at least the higher-end ones, come generally with at least one chime, with the westminster chime being the most popular. They also come with with choices of chimes and grandfather clock sounds including the whittington chime, the saint michaels chime, the ave maria chime, and the ode to joy chime. many of these grandfather clock sounds can be heard on our website at 1-800-4clocks.com.
Special features nowadays can include auto-night shutoff features with the chime stopping at 10pm and starting up at 7am, for example, or with quartz grandfather clocks, even volume control of the grandfather clocks sound.
These same features can be found frequently on howard miller mantle clocks, ridgeway wall clocks, and hermle mantel clocks.