Grandfather clocks

Collective Design Fair debuts in New York, showcasing 20th- and 21st-century treasures

05.09.13

A new design fair showcasing 20th- and 21st-century treasures debuts in New York City

Tick Tock Tick Tock

05.08.13

How loud is the ticking sound of the grandfather clock?  Do you have any clocks that make less of a sound?  Do any of your grandfather clocks tick louder?  What about your new and antique wall clocks?  Will the ticking be so loud that I or my spouse or my family or my guests will not be able to sleep?  What about the sound of the chimes?  Can they be shut off?  What about an automatic nighttime shutoff feature I’ve heard that certain clocks have.  Does this mantel clock have that auto night shutoff?  What about your antique mantel clocks?

Do you have any alarm clocks that are really really loud?  Do you have any tabletop clocks or desktop or carriage clocks that don’t make any ticking sound?  I need a REALLY loud alarm clock to wake up.  How loud is your loudest?

From ticking to chiming to alarm clocks, the vibrancy or loudness of the tick tock or tic tok or toc sound is important to many clock shoppers, whether they are looking at Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or the Hermle Grandfather Clock Collection — or Ridgeway Clocks, Americana Clocks or Kieninger Clocks, the questions of chiming quality, volume and ability to change, tick tock tick tock volume and the ability to lower or sometimes raise, and the frequent question of whether there is such a thing as a silent wall clock, mantel clock or grandfather clock movement, or on occasion, is there a  way to make the tick tock louder, even much more loud.

LED Clocks, including are soon-to-be-introduced GiganticClocks, make no sound, and with some of them having numerals which are 3 inches and larger, as well as alarms and calendar functions for day of week and the date, these clocks are sure to meet an unmet need, both in more public areas where the large and glare-free numerals can be seen 24×7, and also by anyone with a vision issue or any stage of their lives where memory would be aided by having these other easy-to-read (compared to other clocks on the market) displays.  We also have one LCD Clock which not only has the same super-large numerals and other informational fields (e.g. calendar day of week and date of month, temperature and more), but is also an atomic clock, also known as a radio controlled clock, which is incredibly accurate, theoretically according the the USA Government Agency NIST and many scientific experts, accurate to one-Billionth of a second per year!  While not the case for our large easy-to-see black-on-white LED Atomic wall and mantel clock, which uses batteries, the LED Clocks require an electricity source, with an outlet either immediately behind it, or to be wired and plugged in to a standard electrical outlet, either covered by tubing or simply out in the open.

When one thinks of modern day quartz watches vs the still highly desired and significantly more expensive watch brands like Breitling, Omega, Rolex, Movado, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piaget, Vacheron Contantin and on and on, there is still no shortage of admirers for the “old-fashioned” craftsmanship where people are willing to pay thousands of dollars more, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars more, when a watch that will keep time as or more accurately can be had easily for under $100. Additionally people can now see the time on their computer, or iPhone 5 or Samsung 4 or other smartphone, and more and more may still be adding iWatches or SmartWatches that are or are rumored to soon be hitting the market, and no doubt increasing in capabilities and quality over time.  It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Dick Tracy cartoon character and his then futuristic watch which allowed him to communicate.

iWatch Would Trample Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Communicator in Today’s Market

Dick Tracy’s 2-way communicator wristwatch would probably not make it to market given the capabilities that appear to already be out there and coming very soon.  Maxwell Smart’s shoe-phone, on the other hand, may still have a chance at gaining some market share if it were to be introduced today.  Call it maybe.

Following what we will term the wristwatch paradigm, we see a long-term and continuing demand for mechanical grandmother clocks, grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, and regular and large wall clocks and gallery clocks.  Brands that continue to offer both dynamic contemporary clock designs as well as more traditional designs for these kinds of clocks true to the traditional ways of making timepieces will still find a market for people who are seeking to keep an element of the traditional as a part of their home and workplaces.

Grandfather Clock Made in USA

05.05.13

Grandfather Clock shoppers, like clocks shoppers in general, are increasingly focused on where grandfather clock cases, grandfather clock movements and other parts are made, as in Country of Origin.  Like many industries, Made in America has taken on an increasingly important question not only in assessing the quality of the item, but also in keeping jobs in the USA.  Additionally, in recent years, many stores including some of the biggest retailers in the Country, have increasingly been importing cheaply made things, we call them, that resemble high-quality grandfather clocks but in fact are anything but that.  Thin wood, fake wood, assembly, poor quality clock movements not only for timekeeping but even more so for chiming, are luring in more and more ultimately dissatisfied customers who find that after they have put together these non-working cheaply made monstrosities, they don’t look or work as advertised, and may not work at all.  Even worse, there is frequently no telephone contact number or even maker listed on the box.

Given the flood of imports and the move to buy American, grandfather clocks shoppers need to be smarter and better informed than ever when deciding on a new grandfather clock, grandmother clock, mantel clock or wall clock.  Cuckoo clocks too!  Having said that, the high-end grandfather clock market has had and has many players, each with their own history and approach, and those approaches to making and manufacturing grandfather clock cases and grandfather clock movements have evolved over time.

Probably the safest way to begin your grandfather clock buying experience is to limit your choices to certain high-end brands, in which we would include the Howard Miller Clock company, Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Clocks, America Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Floor and Grandfather Clocks.  There are other makers, but we believe these companies are both the best and offer the best grandfather clock values to customers worldwide.  Even with that, there can be and are many differences within the grandfather clock models offered by each individual clock maker.

Most all high-end grandfather clock movements, whether tubular chime grandfather clocks, or grandfather clocks playing the Westminster Chimes, Schubert Ave Maria Chime, Beethoven Ode to Joy, or the more classic Whittington and St Michaels Chimes, or bim-bam chime, all of the high-end grandfather clock movements of any real quality and made in any large quantity are made in Germany by Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks.  At this point in time, we would not recommend purchasing any grandfather clock or grandmother clock unless it was made by one of these two makers (there would be some exceptions for a very few ultra-high-end grandfather clocks with movements made in extremely small quantities).

So now we move to the grandfather clock case.  Hermle Clocks, a German maker, has recently started making some of its best grandfather clock models right here in Virginia, USA.  Hermle still makes other grandfather clock cases in Germany, and some yet still other Hermle models, while also very high quality, have their grandfather clock cases sourced from the Far East.  Unless you talk with a Dealer like 1-800-4CLOCKS, you will be clueless as to which is which.  It is also important to talk to a knowledgeable person at any clock store, because some people working there at any one time may know little or nothing about the differences between brands, much less within brands.

For Grandfather Clocks, most all of Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks have cases made in Michigan, USA, and use a German movement, typically by Kieninger Clocks.  Most all Kieninger Grandfather Clocks are made to order in Germany and the cases and movement are from Germany, as with many Herlme Grandfather Clocks.  Americana Grandfather Clocks are such an interesting story and have such a creative approach behind them, and we feel offer great value and some amazing models of grandfather clocks, that we are happy to discuss any particular Americana Grandfather Clock over the phone at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257), option 1.

Of course the only measure of  the quality and workmanship of a grandfather clock can and should not be the country or countries of origin.  But is is one important part, and can help explain why certain grandfather clock makers have gone to different modes of production in their continuous effort to provide the most desirable grandfather clock models possible to the public at large.

Grandfather Clock Made in USA

Pendulum Clocks

05.04.13

Most all mechanical new and antique clocks, including a basic cable-driven or chain-driven grandfather clock, have a movement that is driven importantly by a pendulum swinging back and forth.  The very definition of a grandfather clock is one in a freestanding case that is both weight-driven and has a pendulum moving in beat from side-to-side.

Nowadays, many clocks offered by even the highest end manufacturers like Howard Miller Clocks and Hermle Clocks and the Ridgeway Clock Company also offer quartz-driven clocks, including grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks, mantle clocks and even cuckoo clocks that have a clock pendulum that is quartz or battery driven and yet the pendulum on the clock still simulates the movement of a mechanical clock, frequently with the help of a magnet based mechanism.

There are certain mechanical clocks, particularly antique carriage clocks and some antique mantel clocks and antique wall clocks that have what is known as a platform escapement, and these great movements do not require or use a pendulum to help the clock run.  In the case of carriage clocks, this is a space saving device.  These clocks tend to be also of excellent quality, with the only drawback being that it can be harder to fix or replace a platform escapement movement, especially if the balance staff is broken.  These mechanical clocks are similar to pocket watches in that regards.  And not surprisingly, for both antique clocks and antique pocket watches, replacement parts can be hard to find and require a special skill on the part of the timepiece repair-person.

Another interesting facet of pendulum clocks is whether the pendulum is visible to anyone viewing the clock at a time other than winding.  Many new and antique grandfather clocks quite purposefully have a glass door in the front so that the pendulum as well as the weights of the clocks can be readily seen.  Not uncommon, especially with antique clocks, is to have a solid door where the viewer or owner will not see the pendulum or weights driving the clock mechanism.  Many of the older antique grandfather clock pendulums and weights are actually in our view quite ugly, and there is a good reason not to make them visible.

Interestingly, not only on new grandfather clocks and new grandmother clocks, but also on mantel clocks and especially on wall clocks, being able to view the pendulum and weights are very much part of the design, whether the clocks are mechanical or quartz-driven.  Worthy of note if looking at a new quartz grandfather clock, is that while the pendulum’s movement may simulate that of a mechanical grandfather clock, the weights will almost always be for decorative purposes only and will not move either up or down.

One interesting side-note about pendulum grandfather clocks is that one innovation which has taken on some momentum, and which we are strongly urging grandfather clock makers to make more available, minimally as an optional additional feature, is having a crystal center of the pendulum bob.  This is one innovation we at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com plan to make much more widespread either with or without the grandfather clock makers.  A grandfather clock pendulum of this type adds a very special sparkle to the home in which it lives. with that sparkle adding to the grandfather clock as the heartbeat of the home.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks

Pendulum Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller Clocks

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks

Hermle Grandfather Clocks

05.02.13

Hermle Clocks is one of the finest makers of Floor Clocks, with the Hermle Grandfather Clocks Collection.  Hermle is a German company that has been making clocks of all types for well over 100 years, and selling them around the Globe.  Hermle Clocks, along with Kieninger Clocks, another German-based clockmaker, is one of the two remaining high-end grandfather clock movement manufacturers that make grandfather clock movements in any real quantities.

Hermle Grandfather Clocks have truly evolved in recent years, and offer the discerning grandfather clock shopper a real option beyond other high-end well-known names such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, not to mention the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock and Americana Grandfather Clock collections.

One of the exciting pieces of news is that Hermle is now currently making some of its highest quality grandfather clocks right in the USA, albeit with the great German Hermle mechanical grandfather clock movements.  Hermle has acquired some of the designs and clock making equipment and expertise of Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Museum Grandfather Clocks, and Sligh Grandfather Clocks before then.  This is not to say that Hermle does not still make many of its clocks in Germany or other parts of Europe, or that certain other clock models may have cases which, while still certainly solid wood and very high quality, may have been sourced in different parts of Asia.

Hermle had pioneered the Hermle Grandfather Clock Autowind Movement, which the company used to offer as an option with many of its clocks.  These autowind grandfather clock movements could still be wound manually, were cable driven, and would last for 8 days on a single winding.  Yet grandfather clock owners and buyers were given the option of plugging these grandfather clocks in, and after a certain number of days, the grandfather clock movement would rewind itself, bringing the 3 weights back to their highest position in the grandfather clock case.  Sadly, Hermle discontinued making the grandfather clock autowind movements or offering it as an option beginning 2-3 years ago.  So after we sold our last Hermle Autowind Grandfather Clocks, they were no longer available to the public or made by Hermle, or any other grandfather clock manufacturer for that matter.  Perhaps ironically, grandfather clocks tradition and traditional grandfather clock styles triumphed over the new electro-winding technology that Hermle Clocks offered.

Which is not to say that Hermle Grandfather Clock offerings have cut corners in any other areas.  The quality of their cases, while varying by price and style, and still on par with the best makers of grandfather clocks.  The grandfather clock options, such as automatic nighttime shut-off, tubular chime grandfather clocks, triple chime grandfather clocks, chime-silence options, rotating moonphase dials, choices of both cable driven grandfather clocks and chain-driven grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks are all still offered.  Hermle Grandfather Clock Curios as well are worth a special look.

Also still offered are both traditional grandfather clock styles and more contemporary grandfather clocks.  Hermle definitely makes heirloom quality grandfather clocks that, like those made by Hermle in the Black Forest before them, should with proper care and maintenance certainly last for many generations to come and one day be a treasured antique grandfather clock.

Hermle Grandfather Clocks are absolutely worth looking at seriously whether looking for grandfather clocks on sale, grandfather clock discounts, or just looking for the best grandfather clocks available today.

Hermle Grandfather Clocks

Hermle Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clocks Guide

04.12.13

At 1-800-4CLOCKS, we very much like to think of entire blog as a grandfather clocks guide.  We has put in a tremendous amount of effort at highlighting and improving the purchase process of grandfather clocks by addressing such subjects as:

Heirloom Quality Grandfather Clock Brands – such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Floor Clocks and Hermle Grandfather Clocks.

Mechanical Grandfather Clock Movements – understanding the differences between and within mechanical grandfather clocks is critical to knowing what you are buying, even if you thing you are getting the greatest grandfather clocks discount or the best grandfather clock on sale, a smart shopper should always know the pros and cons of what they are purchasing.  We take the time with our customers, either in one of our stores or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-4CLOCKS (ext. 1), so they understand the many variables.  These include grandfather clock movement makers — the 2 best of which (making movements in any real quantity) are Kieninger Clocks and Hermle Clocks, both German companies that have been in the clock business for at least 100 years.  Cable vs chain-driven grandfather clocks are but one of many elements to consider in the purchase of a grandfather clock.  Grandfather Clock Chimes are also crticial, including knowing what one’s choices are, and how they might sound, whether consider one or more of the Westminster Chimes, Ode To Joy, Ave Maria, Whittington, St Michaels or Bim Bam grandfather clock chimes.

Grandfather Clock Cases – are you looking for a traditional or contemporary grandfather clock.  Do you know the different styles of traditional grandfather clocks, including grandfather clock cases with a swan’s neck pediment or split pediment, a bonnet top, a rectangular top, or something else.  With contemporary grandfather clocks, one will have even more choices, including type of grandfather clock case material, shape, style patterns, ans so much more.  Is a solid wood grandfather clock case important to you?  Is it important to you as a grandfather clock shopper to have a grandfather clock case made in the USA or somewhere else?  Should it be?  How do grandfather clock cases vary within and between brands?

Grandfather Clock Quality – nowadays especially in North America, some of the best known and largest, as well as medium to small size, retailers are selling what could or should only be described as grandfather clock imitations, because while they may look good, they are essentially junk that most all buyers will be very sorry they ever made to begin with.  Typically they are modeled after some of the best-selling models of the best makers in the business, such as Howard Miller Clocks and Hermle Clocks, but just about the only similarity is in the initial visual impression, or even more accurately the picture online and on the outside of the box.  The cases are typically junk.  The movements are also horrible.  They will not last long, if at all.  the sound quality bears no resemblance to anything we would ever sell.  Sometimes assembly may even be required without any prior notice.  It is quite sad how many telephone calls we get from people who have purchased these clocks at, say, __________ (insert one of largest most famous retailer names here) , and their grandfather clock is not working, and can we help them.  In turns out there were frequently no instructions, no clue as to the maker, and the Retailer will not accept a return because the item is already out of the box.  Sadly, they will not even make good firewood.

Grandfather Clock Features – High-end grandfather clocks may come with one or many features, including as examples illuminated grandfather clock dials, rotating or faux moonphase dials, auto night shutoff, chime-silence options, volume control, single chime vs triple chimes, battery operated grandfather clocks, visible movements in grandfather clock cases, subsidiary seconds dials, and we hope soon an atomic grandfather clock or grandmother clock.  The features list only continues …

New vs Antique Grandfather Clocks — this is a very basic decisi0n which some grandfather clock shoppers may think about more than others.  We cover this subject in great depth here and at ClocksBlog.com as well as on our own 1-800-4CLOCKS.  If one wants the most features, no hassles, minimal maintenance, and the fanciest looking clocks, one will generally do much better than buying an antique grandfather clock.  Equivalent antique grandfather clocks would be significantly more expensive, if one can find them, and unless someone wants a true collectible, which many antique clocks shoppers do, one will pay a lot more and take many moire financial and other risks in purchasing an antique grandfather clock.  We sell both new and antique clocks, and this is an oversimplifications, but basically accurate.

There are so many more subjects which would need to be covered in a complete Grandfather Clock Guide, but if you look at the other posts here on this blog and on our website, you will likely find the answer to your question. We are also likely to continue this Grandfather Clock Guide in this form over time.

Grandfather Clock Guide

 

Grandmothersclocks.com

03.03.13

Call it a grandfather clock or a grandmother clock, yet in many instances they may be the identical free-standing floor clock with an enclosed floor clock movement and weight-driven and have a swinging pendulum..  At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we typically differentiate between a grandmother clock and a grandfather clock based simply on a height above approximately 80 to 82 inches, which we generally (but not always) term a grandfather clock, and those longcase clocks which are below 80 to 82 inches in height which we generally (and again not always) term grandmother clocks. That is the simple difference between grandfather clocks and grandmothers clocks.  It is important to note we would also take other factors into account, and that many clock experts would not agree with this definition.  But it is this kind of debate on the difference between grandmothersclocks and grandfather clocks that make the clock industry and horology a dynamic and ever-evolving field where experts can reasonably agree, or agree to disagree, or neither, about not only grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks definitions, but also many other aspects including dozens of topics surrounding new and antique grandfather clocks, antique grandmother clocks, antique wall clocks, and antique mantel clocks.  In fact, on mantle clocks, there could reasonably be a spirited debate around whether these should be called mantle clocks or mantle clocks.  An overly simplified distinction would be whether one is in Europe or North America, where Europeans generally favor mantle clocks and Americans generally favor mantel clock, whether new or antique mantle clocks.

Established high-end clock-makers like Howard Miller Clocks have cleverly avoided the debate by referring to all the biggest clocks they sell as Floor Clocks, so the question never even comes up, or at least is answered, by looking at Howard Miller marketing materials.  Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandmother clocks also avoid that same dubious distinction with Ridgeway Clocks also referring to their clocks as Ridgeway Floor Clocks.  Hermle Clocks only sold grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks by advertising them all as Floor Clocks.  Very recently, within the last year or so, Hermle Clocks has started to term their floor clocks all grandfather clocks, leaving it to their clock customers and Authorized Hermle Clock Dealers to make any distinction they so choose.  Kieninger Clocks has also followed a similar method as Howard Miller, with all of their largest clocks being named Kieninger Floor Clocks unless their Authorized Dealers, like us at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, choose to advertise and point to certain models in-store as Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandmother Clocks.  Given the ownership between Howard Miller Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, and Ridgeway Clocks is all jointly owned, it is not terribly surprising that Howard Miller Grandfather Clock might be described similarly by Ridgeway Clocks and Kieninger Clock as Ridgeway Floor Clocks, Howard Miller Floor Clocks and Kieninger Floor Clocks.

Grandmother Clocks will typically have mechanical clock movements similar or identical to grandfather clocks.  Grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks will also typically have the same clock chimes, with Westminster Chimes being the most popular, and triple chime grandfather clocks which most frequently also include the Whittington Chime and St Michaels Chime.  Sometimes the triple chime floor clocks might instead include Beethovens Ave Maria or Schuberts Ode to Joy, as the 2nd or 3rd chime options.  These are invariably almost always on cable-driven grandfather clocks and cable-driven grandmother clocks.  Chain-driven grandfather clocks and chain-driven grandmother clocks will generally have a single chime, almost always Westminster Chimes, and will also generally have fewer of what might be considered “bells and whistle” features and grandfather clock extras or options like automatic nighttime shutoff, illuminated grandfather clock dials, rotating moonphase dials, and lit cabinets.

Now are there some unique grandmother clock designs which would lead us to classify certain floor clocks over 80 to 82 inches in height  to actually be grandmother clocks, and the answer is absolutely yes.  They would include the grandmother clock design as the basic framing clock categorization element.  Having said that, there are also certain floor clocks below 80 to 82 inches in design they we would think might be better termed grandfather clocks.  This is especially true for antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.  Are the floor clocks or tall case clocks which we think could or should reasonably be considered to be called either or both of grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks?  The answer is an unequivocal yes, and for parallel logic reasons already highlighted above.

At 1-800-4CLOCKS, we were also proud to have introduced (and trademarked) several years ago grandson clocks™ .  As many readers of this clock blog will undoubtedly know, granddaughter clocks have been around for centuries and have become part of the clocks and horological lexicon.  Most simply put, they are much shorter than grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks.  We expect and hope that grandson clocks will one day be as widely known and the clock definition and term as widespread in use.

We also at 1-800-4CLOCKS make an effort to make shopping for relatively short grandmother clocks or relatively taller grandfather clocks to be relatively easy by having created separate categories for grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks.  While on the one hand this initially confuses some of our clock shopping customers in that they see the same clock under 2 categories, customers quickly recognize that this is much easier than calling the same clock by different names.  See for yourself by visiting the following 2 links below each picture:

 

Grandfather Clock Online Store

02.25.13

Bricks and mortar grandfather clock stores vs online grandfather clock shops is becoming more and more of a necessary and realistic choice for many shopper not only of grandfather clocks, but also of wall cocks and mantle clocks by the highest end clock makers such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clock Company, Hermle Clock, Kieninger Clocks, Americana Clocks and, more.

Not only are actual clock shops a dwindling yet hopefully not dying breed – we at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com were forced to close our NYC Grand Central Station Clock store location not for economic reasons but simply because of changing times and needs for existing spaces, and the lack of affordable comparable retail space available, especially with more and more competition from companies similar to ours like us who also have a web-based presence in addition to one or multiple home store locations.

A challenge has been to try attempt to bring as much of the home store shopping experience to the internet, while at the same time maintaining our retail store presence for our more local geographic market.  When a customer is considering one of several high-end Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock or one of Hermle Floor Clocks, there is a natural inclination to want to see and hear and touch the actual grandfather clock model one is considering purchasing.  At the same time, ironically, we find that a good percentage of grandfather clock shoppers, even those who are searching for grandfather clocks on sale and discount grandfather clocks are frequently the same people who are most in need of a genuine education of the different types on grandfather clocks, the major clock brands, the ones to stay away from at all costs, the differences within individual grandfather clock makers separate from traditional grandfather clocks vs contemporary grandfather clocks, and also the various features, the types of grandfather clock movements, including single chime Westminster Chimes, and Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks, which mostly include the Whittington and St Michael Chimes, but sometimes also Beethovens Ode to Joy and Schuberts Ave Maria.  There are also grandfather clock, mantle clock and wall clock movement differences including tubular chime grandfather clock movement vs cable driven movements and chain driven movements, and even quartz or battery operated movements which nowadays are used in all clock types.

So what is a grandfather clock shopper to do?  Fortunately, in some ways, with careful vetting, researching and locating the grandfather clock or mantel clock or wall clock of your dreams nay be made much easier with trusted internet sites and credible knowledgeable individuals who will be there to answer honestly both the simple and the more complex questions about any clock purchase, whether it be Howard Miller, Hermle, Kieninger, Ridgeway or another, and whether a grandfather clock, grandmother clock, mantel clock, gallery wall clock, atomic clock. novelty clock, and especially antique clocks and antique grandfather clocks, one of our specialties.

To us, as they used to say in grade school and clock school, there truly is no such thing as a stupid clock question, and it is in our DNA and everyone who works with us to attempt to be as informative and patient as possible with any and every prospective customer, whether they end up buying from us or not.  Our policy for years has been to ever work on a clock sales commission basis, and we find some flabbergasted customers when we occasionally tell them for whatever the reason that we think they are better off buying the clock we are discussing at another dealer or even from another individual person.  Of course we need to make money to stay in the clock business, yet we are also driven both by a love of clocks, and seeing that same clock love in the eyes of our customers and helping them with the clock or clocks that will most help make their space or that of a loved one more special to them.

So grandfather clocks online or bricks and mortar clock shopping, or some of both, we strive to give clock customers all the tools they need to make the best decision for them, their families and other gift recipients.  One of our favorite telephone calls to get, even if a sale or non-sale takes 2-3 months to play out, is that I think I want a grandfather clock but I do not really know anything about them.  What can you tell me?  We think even Aristotle would have enjoyed those clock discussions as much as we do.  Perhaps one of the children of the writer of this post, who both have as one of their life’s goals to build a working and reusable time machine, will enable us to test this clock theory and hypothesis.

Howard Miller J. H. Miller II Grandfather Clock

Model 611-031 611031 Limited Edition Tubular Chime Howard Miller Clock by Howard Miller 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.

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