Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Repair


Grandfather Clocks owners sooner or later, with or without regularly scheduled grandfather clock maintenance including oiling and cleaning, will need to address the inevitable grandfather clock repair challenge or question.  We sell many brands of floor clocks, including Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks and the Kieninger Floor Clock collection.  Even these best of the best grandfather clock makers will find their customers in need of clock time adjustments, grandfather clock movement refurbishing of pivots and pallets, the occasional manual adjustment that may need to be made inside the grandfather clock case or movement or pendulum or pendulum bob or even to a damaged or worn finish or wood of the outside of a grandfather clock case.

In today’s more modern world, good grandfather clock repair help can be difficult to find.  Interestingly, after a rapid decline in the number of people able and qualified to repair timepieces including pocket watches, wristwatches and mechanical grandfather clocks, there seems to have been something of a renaissance in the number and quality of available repair people.  Some schools of horology, the study of timepieces, have revamped and added new classes and certifications, and the demand appears clearly present both for the apprentices in training as well as the eager customers on the other end.

Owners of mechanical mantel clocks and wall clocks and grandfather and grandmother clocks, whether made by Howard Miller Clocks or Hermle Clocks or Ridgeway or Kieninger or Americana Clocks will and should want only qualified clocks technicians to be working on their movements.  If a grandfather clock was made by a major established floor clock company, such as Howard Miller or Hermle or Ridgeway, there is an excellent chance that the preferred method for fixing the mechanical clock might be to simply exchange the old movement for an equivalent new one.  The repair can be less expensive.  One factor, though, that can catch people by surprise, is that grandfather clock makers have gradually effectively lowered the fixed volume level on grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks in recent years.  This has been done to meet changing consumer preferences and with more household items, especially electronics,vying potentially for attention at the very same times.  We get occasionally very puzzled calls from long-time clock owners and enthusiasts who do not understand why their new grandfather clock is softer in volume than their old one, lower in volume than the Howard Miller grandmother clock in the home of their Aunt Shirley.

Another piece of advice we give, and yes we do repair clocks ourselves so this might sound purely in our self-interest, but the reality is that repairs can take a long long time, frequently much longer than originally anticipated.  And yet we live in an I want it tomorrow culture, or a what could be so complicated approach on the part of customers.  It’s all about setting and managing and understanding reasonable expectations and drivers.  Frequently new parts may not arrive on time.  Sometimes they have to be hand made, which can be very expensive.  Most all repairs require multiple levels of quality control testing.  Sometimes the problem is difficult to isolate.  Sometimes a spare part may not be readily available and yet can be obtained with diligent follow-up on the part of the grandfather clock repair person, yet at the same time frustrating to the actual owner of the clock.  Reasonable expectations and communication are key.  I frequently tell customers do not ask us to fix it if you will be unhappy if it might take 2-3 months, because that may be necessary and realistic.  It’s a delicate balancing act!

Finding a grandfather clocks repair specialist reasonably local to you can be a challenge.  There are a variety of sources, including the Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau (of which we are proud members), membership organization like the National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors, the American Clock and Watch Institute (of which we are also proud members), and a good online database at Howard Miller Clocks website which is searchable by both zip code and state.  Keep in mind whether you are repairing a new or antique grandfather clock or wall clock or mantel clock, and what the specialty of any candidate grandfather clock repair person might be, as they may require different knowledge bases and skills.

Still looking for grandfather clock repair advice.  Always feel free to give us a call at

Kieninger model NS Movement –

Precision Kieninger clock cable movement with 8 rubies and 6 bronze bushings, Graham steel pallet lever escapement, automatic beat adjustment, maintaining power & seconds indication.

Grandfather Clock Riddle


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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer.

Special thanks to

The reason for time, explained


This one is almost a magical quote, that any grandfather clock or timepiece enthusiast would appreciate.  Music to my ears.

It is, simply, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”Albert Einstein.

While you might not need a grandfather clock or wall clock or wristwatch or mantel clock, or even an atomic clock, if everything did in fact happen all at once, it would certainly make for some interesting moments.  Sounds like the basis for a potential great new movie!   Martin Scorseze’s Hugo, with its clocks theme, proved to be both a blockbuster and Academy Award winner.

Somehow it seems to this writer that Leonardo Dicaprio should play a/the leading.  It could be a very short timeline, or perhaps it would be a long one.  And probably no possibility of a sequel, but perhaps a prequel if that time has not yet passed.

Mantel Clocks

Mantel Clocks

Mystery Grandfather Clock, on a Sandbar


Perhaps you have read over the last day or two about a Baby Grand Piano that was mysteriously found floating but grounded on a sandbar in Key Biscayne Bay in Florida.

Now would not it have been as cool or more so if a grandfather clock or grandmother clock were found sitting on that same sandbar, or perhaps, and I am getting inspired here, having multiple grandfather clocks each on its own tiny raft, and providing the time and chimes and gongs to passing boats and passerby’s. Maybe sometime soon, and remember you read it here first. I can see a cluster of grandfather clocks such as a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, one of the Ridgeway grandfather clock collection choices, an autowind Hermle Floor Clock, and, after all, at least 1 time and tide clock, an atomic wall clock suitably mounted, and 1 nautical ships bell clock.

Interesting thing about taking credit for a creative idea, whether a piano in the middle of a Bay, or almost anything. Interestingly, a baby grand piano is very much the same type of item a person who buys a grandfather clock might also own, or considering owning. Same holds true for a person buying grandfather clocks being a similar demographic to piano shoppers (some stores, of which this writer knows of none currently in existence, carried on their floor both grandfather clocks and pianos in their showrooms). Once the piano caper, as I will call it, started to get a lot of national publicity, see piano not a grandfather clock by clicking here , others started claiming credit for it as their idea.  It was not.  Finally, a 16 year old boy, who at least now if not before is calling himself an artist, said he placed it out there as a statement of his creativity.  He hopes it will help him get into a college of his choice.

While it most probably will work, a grandfather clock on a sandbar would have made him an absolute shoe-in at any institution of higher learning.

Grandfather Clocks in Every Pot


While this may sound absurd simply on the face of it, please read on (and then feel free to still think this idea is absurd). Everybody knows the USA economy, not to mention the global economy is in the doldrums, putting it kindly.

Now, and please think out of the box, do you know how peaceful and relaxing having a grandfather clock in your home actually is. We have always hypothesized, and truly believe (and no, FDA, or FTC) we are not making medical claims for grandfather clocks not suggesting that it can treat or cure any disease (thanks to our lawyer for that insertion!).

So, let’s assuming that having a grandfather clock in your home may not only increase your life expectancy, but will also increase the productivity, health, happiness, and even reduce the cost of needed medical help for some in the years to come. There is simply something so naturally soothing about the sound of a grandfather clock. More often than not, it brings families together, is a tradition for many, and would be a great new tradition for some.

Given that we believe the vast majority of the grandfather clocks we sell are of superior heirloom quality, these benefits can be passed down from generation to generation.

If only the platform a grandfather clock in every home had been a cornerstone of the health care overhaul, we might today have a united House and Senate. Then again, perhaps not.

From a jobs creation standpoint, ramping up to produce a grandfather clock for every home, or perhaps a mantle clock, or even mantel clocks, in homes that may not have room for a grandfather clock.

Think of the both the job creation possibilities, and the current understandable anxiety by consumers being reduced by this move.

President Obama, we know you like grandfather clocks, having one in the Oval office and one in your other working White House office, so you must know from where we are coming. Mr. President, just to save you the both the time and fear of a grandfather clocks stimulus and potential rejection on our part, we are prepared if not to take on the new role as Chief Economic Adviser, to minimally be the Chief Adviser for Job Creation, and one which we insist would need to be a cabinet level appointment.

My grandfather clocks and I will be waiting by my phone for your call. Just please do not wait too long to cal. Senator Bonheur we believe is angling for a competing grandfather clocks Bill which will mandate the color of the grandfather clocks to be his spray tan color (let us know where you get it done, as they certainly do a good job) of, according to President Obama, a fellow person of color, but that his color is not one found in nature.

So, get to work, and bring down unemployment, and be sure the grandfather clocks distribution is not handled by FEMA (only a suggestion).

Howard Miller Floor Clocks


Floor Clocks are more or less synonymous with grandfather clocks.  Howard Miller Clocks, for many years, as have other major clockmakers, preferred the term floor clocks to grandfather clocks.  If one looks at the catalogs of major makers like Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Howard Miller, and others, Floor Clocks are the preferred term for free-standing clocks.

The basic definition of a grandfather clock or a floor clock or longcase, or tall-case clocks, are standalone weight-driven clocks, which also have a pendulum, frequently with a round brass pendulum bob.  Some grandfather clocks may not have weights if they are spring driven.  Also, the doors to the grandfather clock covering where the pendulum and weights are housed, may have a glass door or a solid opaque wood door.

Grandfather Clocks with one weight are almost always time only.  A grandfather clock or floor clock with two weights are generally time and strike.  A very small percentage of these made in the early 1900s, and in more recent years, may have chimes as well.  In general, most all Floor Clocks or Grandfather Clocks with three weights also have chimes, such as the Westminster Chime, Whittington Chime, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy or Schubert’s Ave Maria Chime.

Depending upon the clock and the chime, it may strike quarterly or hourly.  Mechanical Westminster Chimes almost always chime quarterly, with progressively more of the chime played on each quarter hour, and the full chime played on the hour, and then striking for the number of times to tell the hour it is, such as 8 times for 8 o’clock.

A grandmother clock, which we usually define as one being approximately 8- inches in height or shorter, is also a Flor clock.  Even smaller are Granddaughter Clocks, generally 60 inches or shorter, and last year actually introduced a new kind of clock called a Grandson Clock™.  It is important to note that clock experts will not agree on the precise criteria for defining a grandfather clock or grandmother clock etc. in one category vs. another.  With ten experts, expect 15 opinions, at least!

The history of Floor Clocks and Grandfather clocks are essentially identical, being introduced in approximately 1650 in Britain and Western Europe.  The early grandfather clocks in the 1700s and 1800s frequently came in 2 distinct categories, among the many other variations between them, regarding the length of time that the grandfather clock will run on one winding.  Today, as well as throughout grandfather clocks history, 8 Day mechanical movements were the norm for high-end clocks, whether chain-driven or cable-driven floor clocks.  It used to be that many now antique grandfather clocks had 30 hour movements.  These were generally purchased by wealthy individuals for the live in help, so they could have their own grandfather clocks, but were not quite as good, for obvious reasons.  Today, when evaluating an antique grandfather clock, an informed buyer would want to know whether the mechanical floor clock movement was a 30 hour movement or an 8 day movement.

Digital atomic grandfather clocks or floor clocks?  We sure hope we are able to offer one or many styles to customers some time very soon.

Hope this history and the definition of grandfather clocks and the definition of floor clocks was and will continue to be a useful resource.

Grandfather Clocks Plans


Over the years, many individuals have enthusiastically built grandfather clocks from grandfather clocks plans.  Sometime these plans for grandfather clocks came as a part of grandfather clock kits, including mechanical movements and weights and a pendulum and clock key, and at other times people have actually built the cases themselves from scratch using the grandfather clock plans only, and clock movements and other horological clock essentials from individual suppliers of clock parts.

Companies like Mason and Sullivan, which no longer exist, published many clock plans, and individual grandfather clocks and wall clocks (especially banjo clocks) and mantle clock enthusiasts built many mantel clocks and wall clocks and grandfather clocks from their plans.  The plans which came with parts almost always included mechanical german grandfather clocks or wall clocks or mantle clocks movements made by Hermle, which were also generally stamped Mason & Sullivan on the back of each individual movement.  They also made plans for grandmother clocks.

Some companies, like Kuempel Chime Clocks, sold both individual clocks made to order.  They also sold very popular grandfather clock kits with german grandfather clocks that had Kieninger grandfather clock movements.  In additional, they had kits and plans for mantel clocks and wall clocks too, again of German origin.  Unfortunately, this great company we believe went out of business not too long ago, within, we believe, the last couple of years.

We have as a goal to track down grandfather clocks plans and banjo clocks plans in particular.  Wall clocks plans too.  We know there were several Simon Willard and Aaron Willard banjo clock plans that are floating around out there.

We also want to offer more by way of grandfather clock kits, and are looking for companies which we feel are of high enough quality that we can partner with them, representing their line of grandfather clock kit parts.  After Kuempel Clocks demise, we have yet to find a suitable candidate.

If anyone has any grandfather clock plans or plans for wall clock, banjo clock plans or mantel clocks, please let us know.  We would be delighted to post the grandfather clocks plans and others on our website for everyone to enjoy.  We want your input.

We hope to hear from many of you!

GrandfatherClocksionista Fashionistas Watch Out


Almost everyone has heard of Fashionistas, and has their own different interpretation of the meaning.  Well, watch out, because a new breed on consumers are emerging who  may do to Grandfather Clocks what Fashionistas have done to the world of fashion.  Anyone care to guess how the grandfather clock of the future might be affected?

A GrandfatherClocks-ionista is a person devoted to grandfather clocks, particularly those that are rare and unique, or very high-end. It is a term used to define a person, whether a serious collector or passionate timepiece shopper, with a penchant for grandfather clocks shopping and a natural flair for combining both traditional and contemporary clocks styles.  In today’s society, being a GrandfatherClocks-ionista is by no means a negative term.

GrandfatherClocksionistas simply look at Grandfather Clocks as Art, and the sense of style they develop along the way is the true masterpiece.  They are very knowledgeable and realistic when it comes to timepiece and horological trends, and mixing home decor and interior decorating and design fashions in with their current tastes in clocks.

GrandfatherClocksionista is the lexical combination of the words GrandfatherClocks, and Sandinista, a Nicaraguan authoritarian political party.  Despite recent trends to make this term more acceptable, it should be noted that while its etymology connotes negative political consequences when used in North America, when combined with another term like the horological Grandfather Clocks, it would take on an air of levity and poking fun at the serious grandfather clocks collector.  People might think of this term as more like the Grandfather Clocks Police when it comes to looking at and commenting upon grandfather clock design and trends in timepieces.

Ultimate, the GrandfatherClocks-ionista is one who believes in the power of Grandfather Clocks and the exalted nature of wall clocks, mantel clocks, atomic clocks, and watches too.  They may know, or at least think they know, all of the major Grandfather Clocks brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, and Hermle Floor Clocks.  And also a lot about antique grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks too.

We will advise as we see this trend increasing or tapering off.  Let us know what you see and hear any time about clocks as it relates to this trend and timepieces.

The fashion police.
Fashionista is the lexical combination (see ‘portmanteau’) of the words Fashion, which is the socially decided (see ‘groupthink’) garb to be worn by those wishing to be accepted in high society, and Sandinista, a Nicaraguan authoritarian political party.

Grandfather Clocks Costume for Halloween Just in Time


OK, this customer visiting with us asked us a perfectly natural question, and it BLEW US AWAY (and yes, we do live reasonably well-rounded and interesting lives).

This grandfather clocks customer asked us, without a hint of any hesitation, if we might be able to secure for him a grandfather clock costume for his child’s upcoming Halloween party.  Now, have we been missing a HUGE marketing opportunity that never even occurred to us, or is this perhaps the only customer on Earth – although we do accept orders from outer space, but with shipping at cost – who might even be in the market for a grandfather clock costume?

Candidly, we have never seen a grandfather clocks costume to be used on Halloween or any other occasion.  Yet we certainly think it is a quite cool idea.  We wonder if any clocks enthusiasts out there have either seen a costume with someone dressed as a grandfather clock or grandmother clock.

If current sources exist, we would love to hear to about them and perhaps feature them on our main website.  If they are not yet in existence, we would still be quite interested if someone could design-make such a costume in time for Halloween this year. We would be delighted to feature this costume alongside our  grandfather clocks.  Whether the “creator” wants to  specifically have a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, or a Hermle Grandfather Clock, or one from the Ridgeway grandfather clock collection, we would let you decide (after exploring the trademark issues).  We would LOVE to feature a grandfather clocks costume for Halloween in time for this season on our main clocks website,

Hope to hear from some-many of you soon. And please be safe on Halloween!

Grandfather Clocks and Ignorance and Stupidity


Most readers of this Blog will have heard of the book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”.

Well, interestingly, one of the reasons we entered this business many years ago is that, aside from our joy from and pleasure with dealing with clocks customers and the public at large, we also found satisfying our relationships with people in the profession worldwide to be trustworthy, trouble-free and enjoyable. We work around the globe, and a very significant percentage of our business is outside of North America.

Of the many times we deal with grandfather clocks service centers around the globe, we have by and large been pleased with the quality and integrity in our dealings, and the fact that the starting point, whether it was with wall clocks, mantel clocks, or a grandfather clock, was one of trust and mutual respect.

We have found this to be as true for people who are customers as for those who service the various grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, and wall clock models.

Well, everyone we suppose has their weaknesses, not to mention their brighter and dimmer moments. And the current deep recessionary climate has obviously taken its toll across almost all sectors and many millions of individuals. Economic pressure affects different people to different degrees, not even to mention that different industries and companies and individuals are all affected to varying and various degrees.

Now for the $64,000 question, or the BIG question, for those who may be too young to recognize the name of that long-ago television game show whose title became part of the American lexicon. Does this poor economic climate make people meaner? More short-tempered? More cautious? Less thoughtful?

Interestingly, among our customer base, aside from seeing a dramatic increase in the number of those who want to know what their antique grandfather clocks, or weight driven wall clocks, or nested bell chiming mantel clocks are worth, customers are just as nice, and just as respectful. There is no doubt and no surprise grandfather clocks customers of all types are searching for the best deals available, and we would be shocked if that were not the case.

Now clock and watch repair people, of which we are also, seem to be another story. It has been noted by many and is more or less accepted as fact, that clock repair people, also known as clocksmiths, and watch repair people, also known as watchsmiths, are a dying breed — only in the sense they they (we) are dwindling in numbers and the demand for services is decreasing as well. While there has been some resurgence in the collecting of antique clocks, and eBay has helped fuel an increase in pocket watch collecting, the general trends are undeniable, particularly when including the younger generations. It will be quite interesting to see if the iPod and iPhone generation purchase the best watches by Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Vacheron, and Patek, not even to mention Casio or Timex, or whether their wrists will be sporting something else. Even this ignores the unrelenting rise of the quartz movement vs. the mechanical movement, which greatly effects the repairs that might or might not be necessary over the life of any given watch.

But have clocksmiths changed their ways, or are they still on pretty good behavior the way consumers purchasing or shopping for grandfather clocks, atomic clocks, mantel clocks and wall clocks seem to be? Well, we know we have not changed our ways. Most all of those we deal with day in and day out are as great in every way as usual. We notice some concern up-front about the timing of payment, but that is natural given the state of the current economy.

One rather shocking development has been, in our view, how people react to things they are not familiar with or and perhaps ignorant about, when addressing new ways of marketing grandfather clocks. We had proposed an absolute win-win situation for clocksmiths to raise their internet profile, knowing by and large that this group as a whole is not exactly on the leading edge in this arena. Our sense is the economic climate has given many of them more time on their hands to be fretful about things they know little about. We will not comment here on the amazingly irresponsible vitriol from those who perhaps knew least what they were talking about. One can only hope they know more when it comes to grandfather clocks and mantel clocks. Wall clocks and atomic clocks too.

We took some time comfort and read with amusement something that may well apply to the small minority of the most outspoken ignorant individuals regarding grandfather clocks marketing. Read on.

THIS IS PROVIDED WITH HUMILITY and a note of levity, and we feel only might apply to people whose ignorance, whether about grandfather clocks, or wall clocks, or marketing or the internet, lead them to say things and do things that are truly reprehensible by any standard measure of clocks decency.

About “stupid” people. No offense. While they constitute the last category of humanity deemed fair game for name-calling — nitwit, halfwit, dumbass, doofus, dullard, imbecile, simpleton, moron, cretin, boob, dope, nincompoop, dolt, etc. – their stupidity isn’t a moral failing or weakness of character. Their handicap is just an accident of birth. This is excerpted from an article in today’s Advertising Age on another subject entirely.

We love most all of our grandfather clocks colleagues. Every profession has its dregs. Clocks rule!

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