Grandfather clocks

Housewarming Gifts and Home Warming Presents

03.07.10

Increasingly we are seeing a trend towards people, usually very close relatives, buying really high quality grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks as housewarming gifts or homewarming gifts either for their loved ones, such as children getting married, a special anniversary, parents relocating, or simply as gifts to themselves when moving to anew home or a second home.

The gift of a grandfather clock can be highly personalized and a wonderfully creative gift idea.  Grandfather clocks have become almost traditional gifts both for couples themselves as well as present for loved ones on special wedding anniversaries or milestone birthdays when looking for the perfect birthday present or perfect wedding anniversary present.

We see the gifting of grandfather clocks becoming a new housewarming tradition, and many of our customers are also calling it a homewarming gift – a term to which we have taken a liking.

Personalized plaques commemorating special dates and occasions are just one way to make a grandfather clock or a grandmother clock be meaningful housewarming gifts to people.  Frequently, picking out a traditional grandfather clock design or contemporary grandfather clock that may be reminiscent of a clock that one of the gift recipients grew up with can be an important element in choosing a specific clock.  Many people will choice either a chain driven mechanical clock or a cable driven mechanical clock because it was the type they grew up with and made them feel most comfortable.

We find that the most popular makers of grandfather clocks for housewarming gifts are Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock collection.  Howard Miller clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and Hermle clocks, in addition to Bulova Clocks and others we sell are also very popular as less expensive but still very much appreciated housewarming gifts.  Grandfather clocks, wall clocks, mantel clocks, atomic clocks, grandmother clocks, and mantle clocks all make wonderful housewarming gifts, homewarming gifts, and special wedding anniversary presents and special birthday presents.

Clocks make great gifts for almost all occasions!

Grandfather Clocks Howard Miller

02.28.10

Which is the best maker of grandfather clocks?  This is a question we are asked almost daily.  It is a difficult question to answer, both because there is so much cross-ownership in the world of grandfatherclocks, and because there are so many criteria to take into account when comparing both within single grandfather clock brands as well as between the various grandfather clocks brands.

One “fact” seems simple, and least in the opinion of the writer of this blog post.  Based on overall perception and awareness by consumers and organizational buyers of grandfather clocks, Howard Miller grandfather clocks have the most overall awareness, and are perceived by most — the large majority, is our sense — as being the highest end grandfather clocks maker.

We should point out that the mechanical grandfather clocks we sell all currently have high-end German movements, made either by Hermle (whose grandfather clocks movements were used by Howard Miller Clocks exclusively before they purchased Kieninger about seven years ago) or Kieninger (which also makes its own branded Kieninger Grandfather Clocks).  To complicate matters of comparison further, Ridgeway Clocks (which is owned by Howard Miller Clocks) also currently use Kieninger Clocks movements in their Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.  And just when you thought you had a grasp on the high-end grandfather clocks market, one should be aware that Bulova Grandfather Clocks have been using high-end Hermle Clocks movements, and not surprisingly, Hermle Grandfather Clocks use Hermle grandfather clock movements.  Also, Bulova Clocks, in recent years, has been making grandfather clocks using the Sligh grandfather clocks designs with Hermle grandfather clocks movements, as Sligh Furniture used to do before they exited the grandfather clocks marketplace.

All of these grandfather clocks makers use solid wood cases, at least for their wooden vs.wrought iron or stone waterfall grandfather clocks.

If you know think you understand the high-end grandfather clocks market, just wait 2-3 months.  It will no doubt continue to be a somewhat wild grandfather clocks ride.

German Grandfather Clocks

01.21.10

Many of our best customers, and other consumers simply shopping with general inquiries, ask about what German Grandfather Clocks for sale we have.  In fact, all of the mechanical grandfather clocks we have for sale, those that are cable driven and keywound, and those that are chain driven, current have movements which are made in Germany.  The two remaining high-end movement manufacturers that still make quality movements in any quantity are both German companies, which are Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks.

Hermle clocks currently supplies movements for Bulova Grandfather Clocks and, of course, Hermle Grandfather Clocks.  Kieninger Clocks currently supplies mechanical movement grandfather clock movements for mechanical Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, mechanical Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and of course mechanical Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.  Kieninger Clocks is owned by Howard Miller Clocks.  Until about seven years ago, most all Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks had mechanical Hermle Grandfather Clock movements installed.

So if you read the above carefully, you will note that all the mechanical grandfather clocks offered by Bulova, Hermle, Ridgeway, Howard Miller and Kieninger have German mechanical grandfather clock movements installed.  Where the grandfather clocks cases are made is a whole another subject entirely.

So to summarize:

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks with mechanical movements currently have German made movements made by Kieninger Clocks, a German clock company.

Hermle Grandfather Clocks with mechanical movements have German made Hermle grandfather clock movements, made by Hermle Clocks, of course (and another German company).

Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks with mechanical cable driven and chain driven movements, which is all of Ridgeway’s mechanical clocks, have German made Kieninger Grandfather Clock movements installed.

Kieninger grandfather clocks with mechanical cable driven and chain driven grandfather clocks have grandfather clocks made by the German company, surprise, Kieninger Clocks.

Bulova Grandfather Clocks have mechanical movements, both chain driven and cable driven, which are made by Hermle Clocks, a German clock company.

So when shopping for clocks on sale, a better question than “Where can I buy one of those high quality German grandfather clocks?” might be “Are there any grandfather clocks that you sell that might not be considered German grandfather clocks?”

When you’re shopping for discount grandfather clocks on sale, perhaps you will have to call us to find out.

Grandfather Clocks Ringing in 2010

12.27.09

As we near the end of the first decade of this millennium, it is as good a time as any to look back over the last decade in horology, and an especially good time to look forward to 2010 with the coming of the New Year.  The last decade has seen the rise of some great new grandfather clocks features, and the introduction of many new styles of clocks, especially among Contemporary Grandfather Clocks.

Aside from grandfather clocks features such as auto night shut-off and illuminated dials, there has also been the introduction of what we at 1-800-4CLOCKS would consider to be the equivalent quality of disposable grandfather clocks by no-name makers that have just started to flood the market in the last couple of years.  What is more notable, is that several of the most respected discount retailers have started to carry these, pardon the expression, pieces of junk.  We became more and more aware of them when individuals are calling and wanting to know how to get them running, only to be told we never even heard of that grandfather clocks “brand”, frequently named so that it sounds like an established brand.  Frequently, plastic and plywood and batteries are the key ingredients in these generally very inexpensive, and surely cheap, grandfather clock imitations, in our view.  Some even have the customer doing grandfather clocks assembly when they did not realize that was even part of the plan.

Replicas and reproductions of great clocks are nothing new, and by themselves are not indicative of inferior grandfather clocks quality.  Brand like Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle grandfather clocks, Bulova’s grandfather clock collection, along with Ridgeway and Kieninger still offer super-high quality at a good value.  Solid wood cabinetry and mechanical grandfather clock movements made in Germany.   Surely heirloom quality timepieces, which make special wedding and spectacular anniversary gifts, not to mention special birthday gifts and great presents for almost any occasion.

We hope that customers will realize the difference between quality and disposable grandfather clocks.  2009, and no doubt coming at the same time as The Great Recession, seemed to us to be the peak of the plastic plywood battery driven grandfather clocks which most likely won’t make it to see the year 2015 — as far away as that may seem — much less be around for future generations as heirloom quality gifts.

Happy Holidays and quality affordable grandfather clocks to all, and to all a goodnight!

Grandfather Clocks Parts Movements Keys Service

12.07.09

We would suggest the following 3 resources:

  1. 1. Look on this page on our website to see if you can find an answer to your question(s): just click on -> http://www.1-800-4clocks.com/page/CLOCKS/ClockFAQ
  2. 2. You can locate a Howard Miller Authorized Service Center local to you here -> http://cql.howardmiller.com/HM/ServiceCenterLocator.aspx. NOTE that all mechanical Howard Miller clocks had Hermle movements in them until about 5 years ago, and that most any if not all of these Service Centers should be able to work on any Hermle Clock.  This Service Center Network is a great resource, and we have had an excellent experiences working with Service Centers around the Country (and also Canada) using this Service Center Network.  Probably at least half of these Service Centers can work on antique clocks too, as well as other Brands of Clocks!!!!
  3. 3. You can order Hermle (and other) Parts (e.g. movements, weights, pendulum, keys, etc.) from the following 2 suppliers -> www.BlackForestImports.com and www.Merritts.com.  While we have no relationship to them whatsoever, we personally have had good results working with them ourselves.  Their contact information is available on each of the noted  websites.  We would most definitely recommend calling them rather than attempting to order from their websites (which would likely be a fruitless effort).

Grandfather Clocks Sales and What to Look For – Discounts?

10.21.09

As Western Civilization is beginning to enter its annual Holiday Season, with the associated crass commercialism and materialism, not to ignore, though, the ever-time and always worthy hopes for Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men and women.  Did not mean for this to sound like a Hallmark Greeting Card.

Casual Shoppers and those more seriously looking at grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks are facing an ever growing variety of choices.

More and more “cheap stuff” – not inexpensive, but cheaply or poorly made, are flooding the market with brand names one has never heard before but are named so that they somehow do have a ring of familiarity, and associated legitimacy, for prospective timepiece buyers.  The grandfather clocks discount and sale category have been especially targeted with a flood of poorly made grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks, with many parts made of plastic and generally with battery operated quartz movements not attributed to any maker and not likely to last very long either.  Oh, and don’t forget the instruction book.  We get countless calls from individual aspiring horologists who just purchased one of the poorly made clocks (we won’t name the Stores, but several big-name chain store names keep coming up) and want the instruction booklet that was somehow not inside or with their clock.  If we had it to send, we might actually do so as a courtesy, but in this case we are highly doubtful that these instruction books ever even existed in the first place.

Okay, so if a smart shopper stays away from the no-name cheap stuff, what else should they look at?  Good name brands do make a world of difference both in knowing you are getting a quality clock and also knowing that someone will still be there to service the clock, or replace it if absolutely necessary.   Some of the trusted names we carry and have had overall excellent experience with are Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Bulova Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Movado Clocks and more.  While the movement and casing quality may vary within brand, they are generally reasonably highly consistent, and high-quality, across similar product segments within each line, e.g. traditional mechanical wood-cased grandfather clocks.

Sticking with grandfather clocks, there are 4 basic types of grandfather clocks when considering the movement types.  First, and least expensive, are quartz or battery-operated movements.  These have the advantage of being much lower cost, have volume control, no need to wind,  auto night shut-off, and are usually found in smaller clocks.  The disadvantages include the fact that the chimes are recorded and on a sound chip, and can vary pretty dramatically in sound quality, but really never as good as a mechanical clock where one hears the chime rods actually being hit by hammers.  Second, are chain driven mechanical clocks, which usually have 8 day movements, and are wound by pulling down on each of the 3 chains to bring up each of the 3 weights (some clocks models have 2 weights and some only one).  Many people are drawn to these clocks because they are the type they grew up with.  The chime sound quality is good.  The only real downsides are that the movements are not likely to last as long as a cable-driven grandfather clock movement (discussed next), and these clocks tend to have fewer “bells and whistles”,  e.g. working moonphase dial, and automatic nighttime shutoff.  Since the movements are physically smaller, they tend to be in smaller cases with less depth as well – so they can sometimes be the perfect fit for that special space .

Third are mechanical cable-driven grandfather clocks.  These are the clocks that are wound in the dial-face with a winding crank key.  For practical purposes (keep in mind there is a 4th clock movement type still coming), this is best, or at least tied for the best, type of clock movement.  They can last several generations, have the ability to have multiple chimes, and these clock models have varying degrees of the “extras” or bells and whistles, including illuminated dials and amazing carved wood cases.

Fourth is the little-known tubular chime grandfather clock, where long hollow pipes, made of different metals, act as the chime rods.  These clocks have a much deeper and louder gong sound.  Very few people even know what they are.  They are expensive to maintain, if for no other reason that few people know how to work on them.

This is a very general clocks shopping guide which can be used as a handy reference when looking for grandfather clock discounts and grandfather clocks on sale.  If you go for one of the name-brand clocks, one can be fairly certain that they are getting their money’s worth.

More to come on this horological subject.

GrandfatherClocksionista Fashionistas Watch Out

10.13.09

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

10.10.09

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, www.1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

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

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock

10.03.09

A Howard Miller Grandfather clock is the most requested brand of grandfather clocks which we receive, over time, throughout the years, and all through our long timepiece history.  The Howard Miller Clocks brand, especially as it extends to grandfather clocks, is the most well known high-end clock brand, certainly in the USA.  The Howard Miller Clock makers have earned this reputation with the biggest assortment of grandfather clocks by far, always made with high quality solid wood cases — unless a different design — and with German-made Hermle mechanical grandfather clock movements in all clocks going back maybe 5-7 years, and with Kieninger German made movements in more recent years for their grandfather clocks.

While Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks are our best sellers in general among Floor clocks, we are proud to sell and be Authorized Dealers for other grandfather clock brands as well, including Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clocks Collection, Kieninger Premium made to order (and then shipped from Germany) grandfather clocks, and the entire Hermle grandfather clock collection.

All of these clocks, for their higher end grandfather clocks selections, feature German-made mechanical movements and solid wood cases. Grandfather clock discounts and everyday low prices and sales apply for all Howard Miller Clocks, including Howard Miller wall clocks, mantle clocks, atomic clocks and desk clocks too!  This is true for all the brands we carry and all types of clocks, including cuckoo clocks.  Grandmother clocks, by the way, are simply shorter versions of grandfather clocks.  It is that simple!

This is especially important to be cognizant of as more and more cheap imports are flooding the North American market, with clocks with many plastic parts and particle board.  Many of these cheap imports also require a major assembly effort, and we cannot emphasize enough how many calls we get from frustrated buyers of these cheap imitation imports looking for help from us even though they did not purchase it from us.  The old Latin phrase, caveat emptor, or Let The Buyer Beware, is as true in the grandfather clock industry as it is in the financial markets.

Another aspect of the Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Collection worthy of note is the different lines they have within the brand, including the Limited Edition Grandfather Clocks, the Howard Miller Presidential Series of Grandfather Clocks, the Ambassador Grandfather Clocks, and the Furniture Trend Design grandfather clocks by Howard Miller.  All of these collections are worthy of looking at for what each has to offer the customer in his or her own way regarding style, size, design and rarity.

We would always like to hear from our 1-800-4CLOCKS.com customers about their personal favorites in time for timekeeping at its finest.

Grandfather Clocks for Sale Mantle Wall Clocks too

09.21.09

Are sale prices and bigger discounts on grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks more important for retailers to offer now that the economy appears finally to be emerging from the recession. While many of the macroeconomic financial indicators are good, there are still an awful lot of people out there hurting in their pocketbooks.  And while August retail sales showed some significant gains, even excluding the auto cash for clunkers program, the pain out there among consumers is still palpable.

As President Obama noted just today, it is unlikely that any significant new job creation will take place until 2010, based on the history and patterns for recovery from previous recessions.  Sadly, employment is a lagging indicator of economic rebounds, a fact that never made much sense to me but always seems to have held true over the last periods of economic turmoil.

So back to grandfather clock discounts in the 4th quarter of 2009.  We are still noting that clock shoppers at all price points are more price sensitive than ever before.  We think that this new kind of smart consumer shopping is here to stay.

We always have grandfather clocks on sale, and many of our customers come to us telling us we have the lowest prices they have seen on the internet, or they have heard about the grandfather clock discounts we offer from their friends who have shopped with us over these many years.

Smart shopping is hear to stay. We are trying to adapt to this reality by continuing to offer highly competitive prices, but also by offering advice and overall customer service to our clocks customers that is second to none.  Just today one of our customers decided to purchase a Ridgeway grandfather clock from us despite the fact that it was being advertised by the discount chain Sam’s Club at a much deeper discount.  they knew that if there were a real problem, Sam’s Club would, in their opinion, likely be clueless as to how to handle the issue, at least compared to us.

Customer service, including educating consumers about their options, not even to mention offering many more choices, is a truly value add retail proposition.  We know that our grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, and wall clocks customers appreciate and recognize that, and want to go where the expertise and best selection is.  We are delighted that business dynamic still holds, and especially treasure our repeat customers. Also, in a landscape with ever-changing manufacturers, grandfather clocks by Howard Miller, as well as Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clock Collection, Hermle Grandfather Floor Clocks, and the Kieninger Grandfather Clocks all continue to have a special place in the high-end market.  We expect that to be true for the foreseeable future.

Wall clocks by Howard Miller Clocks, as well as mantel clocks by Howard Miller and Ridgeway Clocks, and Hermle Wall and Mantle Clocks, Bulova Clocks of all types, whether they are mechanical or quartz, continue to have customers drawn to them because of their superior quality.

We do not want our grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks  customers to have it any other way.

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