Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Catalog

02.23.13

As a long-time leading retailer of grandfather clocks, we are frequently asked for our grandfather clock catalog.  This is especially true because of our roots in direct marketing as a grandfather clock catalog retailer with a memorable toll-free number.  Of course we have always sold and featured wall clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, grandmother clocks, atomic clocks, antique grandfather clocks, and antique timepieces of all sorts including pocket watches and some amazing antique grandmother clocks, regulators, congreve clocks, inclined plane clocks, automata, sterling silver sundial-compass combinations and much more.

Antique clocks always present a special challenge to market in a catalog, as any experienced auction house knows.  There is almost always just one of the antique clocks or watches for sale, so listing these timepieces with a fixed price can create many headaches.  Yet at the same time, despite the currently appearing ubiquitous presence of auctions online and off, from eBay to Christies to Sothebys, many buyers and sellers prefer the old fixed price antique market model, much like one would find in a fine antique clock and watch shop.

Many readers of this blog post, the fifty and over generations, will remember to some degree the old Sears and Roebuck Catalog, that literally set the standard for the catalog direct marketing revolution that it began.  Even the Catalogs themselves became collector’s items, as did reprints of the original Sears Catalogs.

However, fast-forward one hundred years into the future, meaning today, and the web and individual websites like 1-800-4CLOCKS.com have taken over as the modern-days Catalogs of choice.  New grandfather clocks and wall clock collections can be added daily.  Grandmother Clocks on backorder can be noted as such so grandmother clocks on backorder will not disappoint customers.  Complete new lines and brands can be added in a day.  Consumer expectations about the customer shopping experience have gone through the roof, as grandfather clock shoppers and those searching for wall clocks discounts and mantel clocks on sale expect that anything they see on a website for sale is absolutely in stock.

Grandfather clock makers such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Clocks, and Hermle Floor Clocks are much better then ever before about providing more current inventory data.  Yet at the same time, this grandfather clock, wall clock and mantle clock data will not be real time.  And some clocks, including Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks, and some of the Hermle clock models, including Hermle Grandfather Clocks and Mantel and Wall Clocks can have a 2-4 month lead time and are generally considered prepaid custom orders.  This is hard to communicate either in an old-fashioned direct marketing catalog and even in a great website like the one we have at 1-800-4CLOCKS.

1908 Sears Roebuck Catalog Sold Clocks and Watches

1908 Sears Roebuck Catalog Sold Grandfather Clocks and Watches

The good news is that with the advent of the internet, we are able to offer both selection and savings never before imagined even 20 years ago.  More choices, higher discounts on the best grandfather clocks, better pictures of each clock, and even the ability to hear a specific clock chime and offer supersize pictures can all really recreate the grandfather clock gallery shopping experience.  A tradeoff is that many fewer of us bricks and mortar-type stores are surviving, especially as new and competing technologies are vying for some of the same shopping dollars that were previous spent on grandfather clocks and wall clocks.  Not only can one see the current time on most any personal computer or MacBook, but also on iPhones and other mobile devices including the Samsung Galaxy.

Having said that, there is nothing that competes with the old world charm of a grandfather clock or wall clock or mantle clocks, whether a new or antique clock.  A grandfather clock is truly the heartbeat of the home.

Grandfather Clock Blog

02.11.13

So, say you want to start a blog about the Grandfather Clock world, and these grandfather clocks are also known by such names as Floor Clocks, Hall Clocks, Free-Standing Clocks, Longcase Clocks, Tall Case Clocks and I’m sure we are leaving some names out here as well.  Now should this great new blog be called Grandfather Clock Blog, or should it be called Grandmother Clock Blog, Floor Clocks Blog, or maybe even Grandfather Clocks Blog.

Well, some years ago at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we faced this very exact dilemma.  We opted to go with Grandfather Clocks Blog, and found on the internet at this very website.  However, at around the same time, we cleverly, if we say so ourselves, reserved the domain GrandfatherClockBlog.com, in case we decided to use it instead, or additionally in some way.  So we are delighted to report the news that as of today GrandfatherClockBlog dot com can now also be found by visiting www.grandfatherclockblog.com.  You can even look at our Best of Grandfather Clocks Blof highlights, as well as Best of Clocks Blog, and Latest 1-800-4CLOCKS Blog Highlights, all from the bottom of the 1-800-4CLOCKS home page and every page on the website.

At Grandfather Clocks Blog, and Grandfather Clock Blog, we will continue to aim to bring to you the best information about all aspect of grandfather clocks ownership and the grandfather clock purchase preceding it.  We not only focus on antique grandfather clocks, but also on vintage grandfather clocks, like Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks, Trend and Pearl Grandfather Clocks, and even Bulova Grandfather Clocks which ceased production a few years ago.

We also look at brands of the best grandfather clocks, and compare the styles, movements, features, and other pros and cons within and between grandfather clock makers and in their own grandfather clock lines.  Featured most prominently are Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and of course Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.

We also sell and service antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.

We look at traditional vs contemporary grandfather clocks, we look at mechanical grandfather clock movements and compare chain-driven mechanical movements, cable-driven mechanical movements, quartz or battery driven mechanical movements, and even tubular chime grandfather clock movements.  Not only do we look at the grandfather clock cases and their construction and parts and styles, but we also look at mechanical grandfather clock movements, including triple chime movements, which may include either Westminster Chimes, Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional triple-chime combination of Westminster, Whittington and St. Michaels chimes.

Styles of grandfather clock cases, including split-pediment, also frequently known as swans neck pediment, compared to bonnet top grandfather clocks, and of course the rectangular top, not to mention the many contemporary grandfather clock model options.

We also look at features offered on various clock models, and can advise you, based on your own criteria and desires, on value of the money spent for different grandfather clock options, including automatic night-time shutoff, illuminated dials, illuminated cabinets, chime-silence option, cable vs. chain-driven, faux vs rotating moonphase dial, single chime grandfather clocks, usually having the Westminster Chime, vs. triple-chime models, and many other aspects.

A knowledgeable customer is something we are always willing to help a customer become, if they want or need that help.

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.

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

 

 

 

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.

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 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?

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:

Buy Grandfather Clocks

03.24.12

It is amazing to look on YouTube or Google or search around the web more generally and to see how many people are buying grandfather clocks or grandfather clock chiming sounds of the virtual variety.  There are a gazillion of widget and other file type sound downloads that not only are customizable, but also replicate the sound, for example, of the most popular grandfather clock chime of all, the Big Ben Tower Clock Westminster Chimes.

People, at least some of them, always like to mix the more traditional with the latest and greatest, whether it is in technology or something else.  Hence flash clocks and flash grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks have made a comeback in popularity, in addition to real life, in the world of cyberspace.  There are even desktop applications where one can have the sound of mechanical movement Westminster Chimes recorded from Big Ben Clock Tower itself, or your PC or Mac or iPad can be programmed to wake you up to that any many other chiming clock choices.

Now most connoisseurs of grandfather clocks or timepieces in general will always want the real thing and find there is no substitute for a genuine Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, or one made by Hermle Clocks, or a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock, one of our Museum Clocks™ Grandfather Clocks, or a Kieninger Grandfather Clock.While many of us might like to spend time in the world of Dungeons and Dragons, all of us would ultimately rather live in the Castle equipped with a genuine contemporary grandfather clock or one of the more traditional types of grandfather clocks.

While the economy appears to continue to be strengthening, smart shoppers are always looking to purchase grandfather clocks on sale or get as much off as they can on a discount grandfather clock.  While we always try to address that need, we believe as much in top notch service, including free in-home setup by an authorized technician instead of a moving company, and we are always willing to take the time to educate any prospective grandfather clocks shopper on the difference within and between brands and makers, as well as different types of movements such as cable-driven vs chain-driven, and whether a grandfather clock kit should be considered, along with the pros and cons.  New vs. antique grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks, grandfather clock plans, Kieninger vs. Hermle movements, and clock kits and grandfather clock plans, much less cheaply made imports which may be dead on arrival, are all aspects of the purchase of grandfather clocks that we consider.

Most all grandfather clock shoppers want an heirloom quality grandfather clock or grandmother clock.  We aim to see these consumers get their moneys worth and are satisfied with their purchase not only for years but also for generations to follow.

Here are some of the grandfather clocks that have been very popular as of late:

Howard Miller Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks

Howard Miller Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks

Museum Clocks Grandfather Clock CollectionMuseum Clocks Grandfather Clock Collection

Museum Clocks™

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