There are essentially 4 kinds of chiming grandfather clocks, three of which are mechanical grandfather clocks based, and one of which is quartz or battery based. By far the 2 most common high-end heirloom quality mechanical chiming grandfather clock types are cable driven grandfather clocks and chain driven mechanical clocks. Chain driven mechanical grandfather clocks generally will have the Westminster Chime as the sole chime, a chime-silence option, a faux or fake, meaning non-moving moondial or moonophase dial, and an 8 day movement which can be wound weekly by pulling down on each of the 3 chains which brings up each of the 3 weights. Some of the best makers of grandfather clocks, including Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Floor Clocks and Hermle Grandfather Clocks, plus Kieninger Clocks, all feature chain-driven clocks in their offerings.
Having said that, generally considered one step up in terms of not only durability, but also chime and feature options, are cable-driven grandfather clocks. These clocks also have 8 day movements. While almost all of them will have the famous Big Ben Westminster Chimes, they will also have some combination of Whittington Chimes, Ode to Joy, Ave Maria, St Michaels and BimBam chimes. The movements, with proper care and in our experience should last 50-100+ years with proper care and maintenance. Cable-driven grandfather clocks tend to be put in heavier and more durable and ornate solid wood cases, and are also frequently taller clocks, partly because the cable-driven movement is larger than the chain-driven movement. Options available to retail grandfather clock shoppers looking for grandfather clocks on sale and discount grandfather clocks tend to multiply with cable driven grandfather clocks. Want automatic-nightime shut-off on your grandfather clock? You will need to buy a cable-driven grandfather clock. What about a working rotating moonphase dial? Again, most all of your choices will be on cable-driven mechanical chiming floor clocks. Want a grandfather clock with an illuminated dial or a light in the cabinet of the grandfather clock. Again, you will be looking at cable=driven grandfather clocks. This is true for Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Howard Miller Grandfather and Howard Miller Grandmother Clocks, as well as Hermle Floor Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.
The 3rd category of chiming mechanical grandfather clock is the most expensive, by far, least understood by the general public, with the fewest models made. They are generally sold in limited quantities importantly, aside from the expense factor, because grandfather clock shoppers looking for grandfather clocks on sale are not even aware of the existence of this type of grandfather clocks, and there are even relatively few people who can service and repair them throughout the country. These are tubular chime grandfather clocks. The grandfather clock movement’s mechanism will generally trike either 5 or 9 hammers of 5 or 8 tubular chime pipes of varying lengths (each with a different note), with the Westminster Chime requiring 5 tubes and 5 hammers and the Whittington and St Michael’s grandfather clock chimes requiring 9 hammers and 9 tubes of different lengths, each playing different required notes. Tubular chimes tend to resonate more deeply, with a much lower pitch and a longer lasting musical note length frequency. The makers of these clocks are also Howard Miller Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks. Also worth a special look are the Americana Grandfather Clock brand which we plan to be adding to our retail operations and website within the next week or so.
The 4th type of grandfather clock and grandmother clock or floor clock movement, which is the quartz or battery operated grandfather clock movement. Here there can be many features, but the smart grandfather clocks shopper wants to be especially sure they are not buying a piece of junk. More and more cheap imports are flooding the markets for quartz grandfat5gher clocks. this is also true to a certain degree for the mechanical grandfather clocks. We would recommend only buying from a reputable authorized dealer for a known maker, and most definitely NOT because the model name sounds familiar and NOT because the clock looks so much like one made by a respected high-end maker. We get too many calls from “suckers” who have just purchased clocks that “look like” clocks on our website, or have similar model names, but when they get home and open the packaging, their is no operational booklet, no number to call for help OR there is major assembly required which will lead to who knows what. People then sometimes end up throwing good money after bad.
We are here to help those looking for heirloom quality grandfather clocks discounts and grandmother clocks on sale. Just call us with your questions. No hard sell. We simply want to Add Time to your Life™ with a clock you and your loved ones will cherish for generations to come.