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.