Grandfather clocks

Cheap Grandfather Clock

12.13.12

When shopping for grandfather clocks, there really is a difference between discount grandfather clocks and grandfather clocks on sale vs cheap grandfather clocks.  A poorly made grandfather clock, even if it has the same look as the grandmother clock or the grandfather clocks made by the highest-end makers, such as Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks and Hermle Floor Clocks and Kieninger and Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, it does not mean they are built to last.  All too many of these floor clocks are modeled to look just like the real thing or genuine article, with the problem being that they are poorly made, have inferior movements that will not work well or last long, and the cases are not solid wood, but rather thin plywood if they are not plastic imitations of a particular model of a high quality grandfather clock and its look.

This Holiday Shopping Season is the first where there are widespread offerings of grandfather clocks in the $200-$500 price range.  While one should not judge the quality of anything based on its price alone, it is an excellent bet that if this is a new grandfather clock that is being sold at that price point that it will likely be a piece of junk, if not immediately then after a couple of years.  We get too many calls from customers who have purchased these clocks, and for many of them subsequently finding out that there is major assembly required, and in many other cases they just cannot get the clock to operate and guess what, there is no contact information or customer service to call to get help.  Even the retailers, including some of the national major retailers, will not offer any assistance, even if they could, or allow the customer to return the poor quality grandfather clock for a refund or even a store credit.  We hear so many times, but it looked so nice on the internet, or it looks just like the Howard Miller such and such Grandfather Clock or like one of the so and so Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.

Looking at the weight of the grandfather clock is one easy way to weed out the ones that are poorly made.  Sometimes a model weighing 10 pounds may look a lot like a grandfather clock by Howard Miller or Ridgeway that weighs, say, 150 pounds.  Also, who made the clock movement is key, and whether it is a mechanical movement or quartz driven movement.  Unfortunately, there are poor quality movements made very cheaply in both quartz grandfather clock and for mechanical grandfather clocks.  If a grandfather clock has a clock movement made by Hermle Clocks or Kieninger Clocks, then you know you are almost certainly getting a high quality movement.  Evaluation and smart shopping about the grandfather clock case is another element.

The grandfather clock chimes is another element.  Some mechanical movements will have a Westminster Chime, but it will sound nothing like the quality sound of a Westminster Chime, or the Whittington, St Michaels, Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes that are included in different mechanical grandfather clocks as well as quartz wall clocks by Howard Miller or Ridgeway Clocks.

The old idioms and adages “You Get What You Pay for”, and “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is the case” is true for grandfather clocks as well.  And unfortunately, it is not a high quality grandfather clock case.

Grandfather Clocks and related Idioms Adages and Proverbs

Hermle Grandfather Clock

12.08.12

Franz Hermle started the Hermle Clocks Company in the Black Forest region of Germany in the early 1900s.  Today, Hermle Clocks makes some of the finest and highest quality grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks available today anywhere in the world.

Time never stands still and is becoming increasingly precious. Ever since its founding in 1922, the company, started by Franz Hermle in Gosheim, has developed constantly.  With its three German cornerstones – Uhrenmanufaktur, Mechanische Uhrwerke, and Drehteile – Hermle serves diverse markets and customer groups worldwide.  Fully in keeping with its mission to ensure that with each product, it develops, manufactures and delivers the very highest in clock making quality.  Grandfather clocks have been one of their special offerings throughout, with Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandmother Clocks, and Grandfather Clocks made by other makers with Hermle’s mechanical grandfather clocks movements inside their cases, all being extremely sought offer and collectible.

Hermle clocks, including Hermle Grandfather Clocks, are made by hand to a large extent and enhanced with interesting technical as well as visual details, making them highly sought after.  Whether floor grandfather clock, wall clock, table clock, ship’s clock or a regulator, Hermle Clocks masterpieces  represent time in its finest form all over the world.  There are many Hermle clocks out there in the world that are considered antique grandfather clocks, antique mantel clocks, and antique wall clocks.  Hermle has been around long enough to have earned that distinction with its earlier clock models.

In 1922, the founder Mr. Franz Hermle founded the Franz Hermle Clock Company located in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg, a small town in southern Germany’s Black Forest region. Within 10 years the company became known as one of the most efficient manufacturers of clock movements in the clock industry.  Even though the first half of the 20th Century brought with it many difficulties to overcome, including the complete dismantling of the factory after the World War II, Franz Hermle and his sons’ dedication allowed them to prosper while other companies struggled.

Franz Hermle passed away in 1953 and left a modern and prosperous operation to his sons Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich Hermle.  With tremendous willpower and energy, they continued to build the company into the worldwide leader in manufacturing mechanical movements and clocks.  Along with Kieninger Clocks, they are one of the last 2 remaining clock companies who make high end high quality grandfather clock movements in any large quantities.
In 1977, Hermle decided to establish another manufacturing facility, Hermle Black Forest Clock Company to serve the North American market out of Amherst, Virginia, USA. Hermle Headquarters in southern Germany is now in its third generation, and still family owned and operated. Hermle employs over 200 people in 3 locations in both Germany and USA. In October 2010, Hermle Gosheim was rebranded as Hermle Uhrenmanufacktur GmbH, and as of January 2011, Hermle Black Forest Clocks re-branded and renamed itself as Hermle North America.
Hermle Clocks has just recently started making solid wood grandfather clocks with the cases all being Made in America.  Known as it Made in America Grandfather Clocks line, the clocks in this great selection are just beginning to come to market.  We think these grandfather clocks in particular, which still have the Hermle German mechanical movements inside, are worth a special look by people shopping for high-end grandfather clocks.
Looking for grandfather clocks on sale or discounts on grandmother clocks, mantle clocks or wall clocks made by Hermle.  It never hurts to call us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-4CLOCKS, ext. 1) to see what special unadvertised sales or grandfather clock discounts we might be offering.  You might just find your favorite grandfather clocks on sale.

Here is a sampling of some of our favorite Hermle Clocks:

Our Favorite Hermle Grandfather Clocks

Hermle Wall Clocks Hermle Wall Clocks

Hermle Mantel Clocks Hermle Mantel Clocks

Original Founding Hermle Clocks Location in Old Gosheim Germany

Weight Driven Grandfather Clocks

11.12.12

When shopping for heirloom quality grandfather clock discounts, educated grandfather clocks customers know to look for weight driven grandfather clocks and floor clocks.  Historically, weight driven clocks, including freestanding floor clocks like grandfather clocks, are the most precise timekeepers.  The weights may require adjustments up or don’t to maximize accuracy, but in the past these timepieces were the best way to tell accurate time.  If there is a grandfather clock with 3 weights, almost always it its the center weight which is driving the timekeeping ability of the grandfather clock.  One of the other weights would be driving the chime portion of the grandfather clocks mechanical movement, and the third weight would be driving the hourly strike or gong grandfather clock mechanism.

Weight driven grandfather clocks can be either cable driven or chain driven.  A cable driven grandfather clock, which is wound in the clock’s face or dial, usually with 3 holes, winding the clock in each hole brings up each of the weights, doing one at a time.  Generally a grandfather clock with this type of movement will last the longer, meaning longer than a chain-driven grandfather clock, which is wound by pulling down on the 3 chains one at a time, again with each weight performing the same function.  Chain-driven grandfather clocks are favored by many, they are usually much less expensive, but they have fewer frills and add-on features, and the mechanical grandfather clock movement will not last as long as that of a cable driven grandfather clock.

Both types of grandfather clocks movements, made by high-end German makers such as Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks, will typically last 8 days, so if one winds the clock weekly, it will keep running continuously.  If you forget, it will not harm the clock to wing it up and start it up again, although we always recommend following the guidelines in your grandfather clock instruction manual.  Some of the featured included in many cable-driven movements but not chain-driven movement include things like triple chimes, automatic nighttime shut-off options, rotating vs. faux moondial, and usually larger and taller and more ornate grandfather clock cases.

Another consideration when looking for discount grandfather clocks on sale is that a cable-driven clock, will, in our experience and if not damaged by external forces, and with proper grandfather clock maintenance, should last 50-100+ years.  A chain driven grandfather clock, however, because so much strain is put on the movement being wound by pulling on chains, should though still reasonably last 25-50+ years with proper care and maintenance.  Clock movements can generally be replaced at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new clock, although one should always consider the investment value of keeping the clock all original if possible.

Who makes these chain-driven weight driven and cable driven weight driven grandfather clocks?  Well, some of the highest end makers include Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.

Interestingly, weight driven wall clocks and less common weight driven mantel clocks generally have all of the same benefits, with the same pros and cons to each kind of movement.

Generally, if looking for the highest quality clocks, whether wall or mantle or grandfather clocks, assuming the maker is one of the good ones, it is difficult to go wrong with a weight-driven clock.  Weight driven wristwatches and watches, not so much!

Howard Miller Layton Grandfather Clock
List: $3,375.00
SALE: $2,362.50

 

Weight Driven Howard Miller Layton Grandfather Clock model 611-118  611118

Grandfather Clocks Resource

10.21.12

It is decision time.  You have decided you want to purchase a Floor Clock or Grandfather Clock.  You have seen grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks in the homes of some of your friends.  You maybe even grew up with a grandfather clock in your home, or that of a close relative whom you visited often.  You may have a vague recollection of some of the brand names of some clocks.  Was it Howard Miller Clocks or Herman Miller Clocks.  Both somehow sound correct, and interestingly, they are, as Howard Miller was the son of Herman Miller who started his career at Herman Miller and quickly started focusing on making Herman Miller Grandfather Clocks, Wall Clocks, Mantel Clocks and more.  Then Howard Miller set up his own company just across the Street from Herman Miller Inc, and to this day, the companies remain located across the street from one another in Zeeland, Michigan, though the founders of both companies have long since passed away.

You may also have heard of some other popular brands, such as Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.  What you need is the best Grandfather Clocks Resource available.  At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we strive to make this very blog, grandfatherclocks dot com, an amazing resource where you can research virtually anything about both antique grandfather clocks as well as new Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Floor Clocks, Kieninger Floor Clocks and Hermle Grandfather Clocks.  One can not only learn about the different high-end modern day grandfather clocks makers, but also those in the recent past, such as Bulova Grandfather Clocks and Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks and antique floor clocks and vintage grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks.

Using our categories on this website, one can research and find explanations or grandfather clocks styles, such as a split pediment traditional grandfather clock, or a bonnet top grandfather clock or one of the many contemporary grandfather clocks types we both profile and sell.  We address how to get grandfather clock discounts, and make sure you are getting your grandfather clock on sale.  Perhaps most important, one wants to make sure both that they know they are getting a high quality grandfather clock built to last and of heirloom quality.  There are too many out there that looks alone suggest are too good to be true at their price points, and to a great degree the if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, applies to grandfather clock shopping and discount grandfather clocks as well.

The quality of the grandfather clocks movements is another critical element, and we address that fully, including the best makers, which are German, the grandfather clock chimes with Westminster and Whittington and St Michaels chimes being the best known, but also Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Schubert’s Ave Maria, which have become popular on a small number of mechanical grandfather clocks.

Special features are reviewed as well, including automatic night-time shut-off of your grandfather clock, illuminated dials, lit cabinets, rotating moonphase dials, subsidiary seconds dials, tubular chimes on grandfather clocks, bim bam chimes and much more.

The quality and workmanship of the grandfather clock case, much like those that were built by hand of solid wood many generations ago, is another critical factor to consider.

Understanding the type of grandfather clock movement, whether it is cable driven or chain driven or quartz driven or a tubular chime mechanical movement – all of these take either prior knowledge or some researching or explanation to understand the relative pros and cons of each.

Antique grandfather clock shoppers face a special challenge, both in understanding what they are getting, making sure they are not overpaying, making certain the clock will not become something like a car lemon, making sure all of the main grandfather clock parts are original, and not put together in a grandfather clock chop shop equivalent, and finally, being sure they can have someone available who knows how to fix their kind of grandfather clock, and understanding what the grandfather clock repair and clock maintenance costs are likely to be both in general and compared to a brand new grandfather clock.

We also suggest specific organizations and websites, such as the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) at nawcc dot org, and their library, as a great resource for researching the history, but not the value, of your antique clock.  This is but one of many clock resources we have shared.

The ultimate grandfather clock resource, we like to think, especially for understanding new clock purchases, is us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257).  While we can’t help you research your existing vintage or antique grandfather clock, we are delighted to explain pros and cons of all of the choices facing a serious grandfather clock shopper.

NAWCC  Logo

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC dot org) is one unusually great resource for grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock and pocket watches research, especially vintage and antique

 

Grandfather Clocks Made in USA

10.19.12

Made in America is making a comeback, and American manufacturing has certainly been a hot topic not only as General Motors has reborn into a competitive juggernaut, but also more broadly speaking as more and more lower wage jobs seem to be replacing more skilled higher paying manufacturing jobs.  Made in the USA has certainly been a focus of the presidential election debate, and no doubt will and should grow in importance in the coming decades.  Grandfather Clocks Made in USA, in addition to American-made wall clocks and mantel clocks, are likely to be an increasing percent of the high-end grandfather clocks marketplace.

Interestingly, the Company leading the way right now is Hermle grandfather clocks, which now offers a great selection of Made In America Grandfather Clocks, in addition to other offering.  Hermle Clocks is actually a German Company, which in a way makes the move to grandfather clocks production in the USA that much more intriguing and hopeful.  Having said them the only two remaining mechanical grandfather clock high-end movement makers are both German, and include Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks movements.  So the case may be Made in the USA, but the high-end movement movements in the clock are still likely to b e German made, unless some big happens in the mechanical grandfather clocks movement market.

Our 1-800-4CLOCKS website also features some of Hermle clocks Made in USA, Virginia to be more exact, and we will be adding more Hermle Made in USA Grandfather Clocks in the coming couple of weeks.  Keep an eye out!

It should be noted that most all of the cases for mechanical grandfather clocks made by Howard Miller Clocks are Made in Michigan, USA, and this is true for Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks as well.  Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks both have German Kieninger mechanical movements, and Kieninger, although a German company, was acquired by Howard Miller Clocks about 10 years ago. Before this acquisition, Howard Miller used Hermle mechanical grandfather clock movements almost exclusively in their mechanical clocks.  For whatever its worth, our view is that the Kieninger grandfather clock movements in Howard Miller grandfather clocks and Ridgeway grandfather clocks are extremely similar in quality and functionality as the Hermle Grandfather Clock movements.

Made in USA Hermle Grandfather Clocks line

Hermle Grandfather Clocks Made in USA Line worth a special look!

Grandfather Clocks Made in Germany

10.14.12

Customer-focused grandfather clocks stores like ours always try to keep our finger on the pulse of our customers’ wants and needs.  Interestingly, more and more grandfather clocks shoppers are focused on where the floor clock movements in particular are made for the grandfather clocks they are considering. While most every shopper wants a good grandfather clock discount and are always looking for grandfather clock sales, many have realized that the flood of cheaply made imports that are in cases and resemble grandfather clocks, are frequently cheap grandfather clocks that will not work for long, require further construction, have poor sound quality putting it mildly, and most certainly are not built to last and are not like the heirloom quality grandfather clocks that we sell.

Currently, and over the last few years, literally all of the new mechanical grandfather clocks we sell have grandfather clock movements that are made in Germany.  The major brands like Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger and Americana Clocks all have mechanical grandfather clocks with the clock movement itself made in Germany.  The two remaining high-end mechanical grandfather clock movement makers who make grandfather clock movements in any large quantities are the Hermle Clock Company and Kieninger Clocks.  Both makers make clock movements of excellent quality.

Antique grandfather clocks, historically, have included these same fine German Clock movement makers, but also others in Germany, England, Switzerland, the USA and many other countries.  The grandfather clock movement makers industry has consolidated and shrunk over time, like many other industries where the antiques version of the product still being used today is similar to those antiques used historically.  This is true for antique grandmother clocks as well.

The grandfather clock cases is another matter.  Many excellent grandfather clock cases can and are made in many different parts of the world.  The quality of the antique grandfather clock case or new grandfather clocks cases really depends on the quality of wood and then the quality of workmanship and material that goes into the making of the case.  Grandfather clock shoppers need to be careful that they are purchasing a floor clock in a quality clock case built to last, and not one built to simply resemble others on the market that are built to last but other than the similar look do not have any of the positive attributes in a quality grandfather clock case.  The continuing popularity of the term Black Forest Clocks, originating from the Black Forest of Germany, is a testimonial not only to the historical quality of German Clocks, and especially their clocks cases.  Seth Thomas Clocks were probably the biggest maker of American Grandfather Clocks cases, and wall clocks and mantel clocks as well, over the last century.

Interesting, Made in America or Made in the USA is making a comeback in the grandfather clocks market.  Probably the best example is Hermle Clocks, with its new Made in America grandfather clock line (the grandfather clock movements are still German-made), and features many high-quality grandfather clocks.  Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks have cases that for years and years have been made in Michigan, USA, and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks were made in Virginia until they were consolidated into Howard Miller Clocks Michigan facility 5 or so years ago.

Hermle Triple Chime Manchester Grandfather Clock
List: $6,147.00
SALE: $3,996.00

Hermle Grandfather Clock from Made in USA, with Floor Clock case made of solid American Maple Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandfather Clocks Repair

10.11.12

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 1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

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.

Americana Grandfather Clocks Intro

10.06.12

1-800-4CLOCKS.com is proud and excited to be introducing into our Authorized Grandfather Clock Dealer and grandfather clocks product the entire current selection of Americana Grandfather Clocks and Americana Grandmother Clocks.  A quick look at these Americana Floor Clocks will give you an appreciation for the incredible style and quality, not to mention amazing grandfather clock designs and additional grandfather clocks shoppers will now have in addition to the more established brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Hermle Clocks, and others.

In fact, the Americana Grandfather Clock company was founded by the individual who headed Ridgeway Clocks when it was a Division of Howard Miller Clocks for some years.  These clocks attempt to delight and wow the customer and floor clock shopper with gorgeous high quality for the most part triple chime grandfather clocks that are made of 100% of the type of wood that is described including Oak, Mahogany, Cherry and Rosewood.  The Americana Grandfather Clocks also feature both some wonderful examples of contemporary grandfather clocks and Traditional grandfather clocks.  Grandmother clocks too!

All of these models come with both an automatic nighttime shut-off and a working rotating moonphase dial – for those clocks that feature a moonphase dial.  All have German mechanical cable-driven movements.  Some have a dual lighting system which illuminates the case and in some models the dial as well.  Some even have the look and feel of genuine antique grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks or floor clocks.

There is also an amazing and helpful to prospective grandfather clock shoppers array of heights in the clocks, so that many can be considered grandmother clocks as well as grandfather clocks, the only real difference being the height.

All of the Americana Clocks have the wildly popular Westminster Chime, and some also have the Whittington Chime and the St Michaels chime as well.  The styles also include a white grandfather clock and a black grandfather clock, with the white grandfather clock being an especially tough one to find in a good quality grandfather clock brand.

It is absolutely worth expanding your horizons in your search for a grandfather clock.  Not only do we want to be the ones who Add Time to Your Life ™, but we also want you to have the grandfather clock with the greatest design and workmanship possible.

Here are some examples from the Americana Grandfather Clock Collection:

Americana Capitol Grandfather Clock
List: $6,150.00
SALE: $4,612.50

Americana Atlanta Grandfather Clock
List: $6,478.00
SALE: $4,858.50

Americana Indio Grandfather Clock
List: $4,182.00
SALE: $3,136.50

Americana Savanna Grandfather Clock
List: $4,510.00
SALE: $3,382.50

 

Grandfather Clocks Parts

09.19.12

While our vast selection of high-end heirloom quality grandfather clocks are comprised of many parts, we do not sell parts for individual grandfather clocks.  There are many grandfather clock repair and authorized service centers for floor clocks, but we will suggest other places if a customer is looking for parts for a grandfather clock or grandmother clock.

We will and do, however, service and repair grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks, both new and antique clocks.  Each clock type and clock is an individual, and depending upon the clock’s circumstance, we would recommend a different course of treatment, which might or might not include us.  And yes we do on occasion make grandfather clock house calls just like the old fashioned family doctor.  Fir some mantel clocks and wall clocks repairs, depending upon the issue, the customer, the distance, the budget and other variables, we will sometimes make home visits as the grandfather clock doctor, or for the more junior wall clocks and mantel clock generation.

We even will help select customers, assuming the geography works out for us all, move a grandfather clock,  Failing that, we are generally happy to advise individuals on how to move a grandfather clock, both on the dos and the do nots or dont’s.

Back on grandfather clocks parts, if you call us at our toll free tore number 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257) the voice menu will actually give you prerecorded messages if you are looking for clock parts, including winding keys.  We get no benefit from referring customers to these grandfather clocks parts and other clock parts suppliers and retailers, and it is a more efficient way of us being able to help our customers in one of the few ways we choose not to do ourselves.

Let’s take some of the most frequently asked for clock parts, both for grandfather clocks, as well as key-wound mantle and wall clocks.  Hands down the winner is a winding crank key for a grandfather clock, usually for Howard Miller Clocks or Ridgeway Clocks, with a grandfather clock or grandmother clock door key being the next runner up.  As we deal in antique pocket watches, wristwatches, and antiques in general, we also get request for pocket watch winding keys, as well as mechanical wall clocks and mantel clock winding keys.

Most collectors of antique clocks, including high-end grandfather clocks and mantel clocks and wall clocks, and yes pocket watches too, do not realize that there are basically a dozen sizes of clock keys, one of which will fit almost all American or European grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks, and mantle or mantel clocks made.  The same is true, with a smaller size set of 12 keys, for antique American and European pocket watches, including famous makers like Elgin pocket watches and the Waltham and Hamilton Watch companies, not to mention the many incredible Swiss, French, and British makers, among others.

So the good news is if you need the most popular or sought after grandfather clocks part, it should be very easy to locate at a grandfather clock or Floor Clocks supplier near you, or one whom 1-800-4CLOCKS can and does recommend.

Grandfather Clocks Parts needed - call 1-800-4CLOCKS.com and listen

Grandfather Clock Keeps Ticking

09.09.12

Now pretty much everyone has heard the expression the clock keeps ticking away, or tick tick tick, or even tick toc tic tock, but how often have you had the same applied to grandfather clocks ticking away with time.

Now the focus of this floor clock post may not be entirely what you expected.  What we want to focus on here is the volume not only of the ticking of the grandfather clocks, but also the volume of grandfather clock chimes.  Our focus here is on high quality 8 Day German mechanical grandfather clocks movements that our used today by companies such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Kieninger Clocks and the Hermle Clock company, with the two main high-end movement manufacturers being Hermle Clock and Kienininger Clocks.  Both of these German clock makers and grandfather clock movement makers have been making movements for well over 100 years.  In more recent years, features have been added to grandfather clocks like automatic nighttime shutoff, illuminated grandfather clock dials, multiple chimes including not only the best known Westminster Chime grandfather clock, with Whittington Clock Chimes and St Michaels Clocks Chimes, but also adding Beethovens Ode to Joy chime or Schuberts Ave Maria chime.  Some people still long for the mechanical two-note bim-bam chime, found more on antique clocks and vintage clocks, but still seen on many models.

So what has happened to the grandfather clock volume over all these years.  There is the volume of the sound of the grandfather clock or floor clock ticking, there is the volume of the gong of the hour, and there is the volume of the grandfather clock chimes.  All floor clocks have one direction in which they have moved over the years, which is that the grandfather clock chime, ticking and gong volumes have been built-in so that it has effectively been turned down more and more over the years.

If one listens to an antique grandfather clock and compares it to a present day Howard Miller grandfather clock, or even a vintage 20 year old Ridgeway Grandfather Clock, one will find that the gong volume has gone down progressively over the years.  For grandfather clocks that chime, whether the Westminster Chime or even a Bim-Bam chime, in general one will also find that the grandfather clock volume has gone down over the years.

Recognizing that people used to use the clocks more as a way to keep track of time, it makes sense that grandfather clocks were built to be heard throughout a home.  Nowadays, now are there not only many other ways to tell time, e.g. on television, iPods, game systems, smartphones including the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy III, and PCs themselves, but there are also many more items in the home competing for the full attention of household members.  What might happen if a grandfather clock started gonging SO LOUDLY during the Super Bowl being watched by a rowdy group congregating around a giant flat screen tv … well, we might not want to see what might happen.  While most all grandfather clocks will have a chime-silence option, it might be overlooked, or might even be an issue for some for everyday conversation, listening to music, or watching their favorite television shows.

The actual volume of the tic tock has also gone down, which most clock consumers today would probably find to be a plus.  The grandfather clock chime mechanical movements of today have also been modified to lower volumes, for much the same clock reasons as noted above.

One question we are asked often is whether it is possible to adjust the volume of a mechanical grandfather clock strike or chime.  The short answer is no, not really, for most all models.  Small adjustments to raise the volume can be made, but that might risk damaging the movement or the loss of the correct chime notes.  Lowering the grandfather clock volume has some possibilities, yet that is a question we rarely get in today’s grandfather clock marketplace.

Quartz grandfather clocks, also known as battery operated grandfather clocks, will likely have a volume control, but one has to be especially careful that they are buying a good quality floor clock with a clock movement that is built to last.  There are more and more cheap imports of this type.

Lastly, there should not be much of a difference between the volume of a chain-driven grandfather clock vs a cable driven grandfather clock.

As with everything in life, there are exceptions, such as tubular chime grandfather clock movements, but that is a subject we will address separately.

Beethoven Ode to Joy Grandfather Clock Chime - Bio website

http://www.lvbeethoven.com/Bio/BiographyLudwig.html

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