Grandfather clocks

Histories Lost as Timepieces Are Stripped for Gold

09.04.12

With gold prices soaring, many pocket watch cases are now destined for the smelter's furnace.

Floor Clocks All Discounted

09.02.12

As the Long Labor Day Holiday weekend begins to wind down, and as floor clock and grandmother clock and grandfather clock shoppers look for the best deal, great floor clocks discounts, and grandfather clocks on sale, we hope all floor clock customers will come take a look at what we have to offer at 1-800-4CLOCKS and 1-800-4CLOCKS.com.

Just this morning, we got a call from a lady in Michigan who had been given a cheap grandfather clock by her grandson as a present, and it had been of such poor quality that a cable had literally simply fell off of and out of the clock.  The floor clock had been purchased at a well known store we had heard of.  Sadly, when she mentioned the name of the clock model, we knew she was a victim of a worthless imported clock brand that names their models after well-known models of well-known and respected clock makers, and them somehow succeeds in selling these pieces of junk to major retailers all across the country.  The customers, because they cannot get the clocks to work, then “Google” or “Bing” the name of the clock, and because we well a completely different type of clock by another maker, but of the same model name, they reach out to us for help.  This nice lady said as soon as she saw the 3 page instruction sheets she knew she was in trouble.  Not only did it not show any clockmaker or company name, but it also gave zero contact information.  The retailer who sold the floor clock to her relative refused to be of any help, at least partly because this grandfather clock gift had sat unopened in her home passed the period when they allow returns according to their stated return policy.

Had this floor clock not been a gift from a close relative, she indicated she literally was so frustrated with her grandfather clock gift she literally would have taken it out back, axed it so that it could more easily fit in a mailable container, and sent it to the CEO of the well-known retailer where this gift was purchased for her.  But she could not, easily anyway, have explained its absence in her home to the relative who gave it to her.  We informed her we could locate a a clock expert in her area, but we both already knew that spending even another $100 on this piece of grandfather clock junk would be throwing good money after bad.

So the point here is that the lowest price or the seemingly best grandfather clock or floor clocks discount may be no discount at all, if it falls apart before it works, or even if it stops working after a year or so.  Another twist on this grandmother and grandfather clock shopping theme is many find out after the clocks they ordered arrive, while they may look in the pictures or on the web like the models of higher priced clocks, they may not only require significant clock assembly, when no grandfather clock plan was called for or advertised, but also the material may be quite cheap, and most certainly they are not getting an heirloom quality grandfather clock or heirloom floor clock they can pass down to generations to come.

What is the lesson learned here.  The key one is even one going for the greatest grandfather clock discount and floor clocks savings and sales, makes sure you are purchasing a quality clock.  One of the best ways to do that is to purchase higher-end brands known for quality floor clocks, and then deal with a reputable floor clock dealer known not only for great service but also being reputable.  We would not surprisingly suggest 1-800-4CLOCKS as the single source for all your floor clocks and grandmother clocks and grandfather clock selection and savings needs.  Sticing with well-respected brands such as Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks and Floor Clocks, as well as Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, is the best way to proceed.  Furthermore, know what you are buying.  Understand the difference between models both within certain makers and between floor clock makers as well.  Only pay for the grandfather clocks chimes you really want, and the floor clock options, with automatic nighttime shutoff and illuminated dials as just two examples.  additionally, do you want a rotating moon phase grandfather clock dial.  What about the pros and cons between brands.  Solid woos cases.  German mechanical movements playing the Westminster Chimes or Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional Whittington and St Michaels Chimes.  What about a quartz chiming grandfather clock vs an 8 day keywound chiming mechanical movement.  Also, is atomic time or radio controlled time important to you.  These are all factors to consider in your grandfather and grandmother and floor clock decision making and shopping.  We want you to be happy with your Floors Clocks purchases not only now but with the very same grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks for generations to come.

Floor Clocks No Junk Purchases Allowed

Floor Clocks – No Junk Purchases Allowed

Floor Clocks Howard Miller

08.31.12

We are proud to be introducing for the first time on 1-800-4CLOCKS.com some Howard Miller Floor Clocks previously not added to the grandfather clocks or grandmother clocks sections of our website, whether viewing by maker such as Ridgeway Clocks or Howard Miller Clocks or by type of clock, including keyound chiming grandfather clocks or single chiming Westminster Chime Grandfather Clocks or triple chime grandfather or floor clocks, which might also include chimes such as Schubert’s Ave Maria Chime or Beeethoven’s Ode to Joy chime.

Some of these clocks have been available for some time, but we try to always offer the best balance of selection or choice, including grandfather clock value,and grandfather clock or floor clock discounts including grandmother clocks on sale.  We are now proud to expand our line to include such Howard Miller Floor Clocks, also known as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Howard Miller Grandmother clocks, including the following:

Howard Miller Raymond Grandfather Clock 611-182 model 611182

Howard Miller Raymond Floor Clock 611-182 611182 model

Howard Miller Cleo Floor Clock Howard Miller Cleo Floor Grandfather Clock model 611-172 611172 Grandfather Clocks

Howard Miller Cleo Floor Clock model 611-172 611172

These two Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or Floor Clocks will add an excellent dimension to the existing selections of Floors Clocks already available also from other makers including Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and Ridgeway Floor clocks.

We encourage customer to ask questions so that they know the pros and cons not only between different makers of clocks but also within the product range offered by each floor clock maker, such as cable driven floor clocks vs cable driven floor clocks.

The Howard Miller Cleo Grandfather Clock is particularly interesting because it comes in a Chestnut finish, which is much more unusual than the more typical cherry floor clock and oak grandfather clock finishes seen on many other floor clocks on sale.

We encourage our customers to look at and understand all the makers of clocks, understand the movements inside each floor clock, know what chimes are on each grandfather clock, understand the different chime possibilities, and understand not only the differences between each movement maker, but also the movement chimes and other features that may be available on a floor clock, such as a rotating moonphase, a subsidiary seconds dial, automatic nighttime shut-off, chime-silence option, mechanical vs quartz floor clock movements, and even illuminated dials and lights inside the floor clock case.

Also, it is always a good idea to understand the differences between antique floor clocks vs vintage floor clocks and new grandfather clocks.

Discount Grandfather Clocks Shopping

08.28.12

The landscape of the grandfather clock marketplace is forever changing. New high-end players and some of the existing high-end manufacturers like Americana Grandfather Clocks as a new player and Hermle Clocks new series of Made In America Hermle Grandfather Clocks are examples that the upper end of the grandfather clock marketplace can and will continue to thrive and offer high-end well constructed solid wood grandfather clocks with the best made grandfather clock mechanical movements available today.

One area that seems to have declined over the last decade, and been perhaps a toll of the Great Recession, is high-end grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans supporting those kits.  The company we looked o as the leader in this market, Kuempel Chime Clocks of Minnetonka, Minnesota, went out of business perhaps 5 years ago, and they not only sold great grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans, but also high-end wall clock kits and mantel clocks kits and plans.  Kuempel used only mechanical German movements made by Kieninger in all of their clock kits, including grandfather clock, wall clocks and mantel clocks.  We used to gladly steer prospective grandfather clock customers and shoppers, looking for a project to build a high quality grandfather clock, in their direction.

Another company, Mason and Sullivan, comes to mind that used to make, many years ago, we estimate 20 and before, great grandfather clock plans and wall clock plans and mantel clock plans.  Their clock plans typically were for reproductions of historic and special clocks by known makers, including the clockmakers John Goddard and Simon Willard and Aaron Willard, as examples.  While they also sold some kits with plans, usually with Hermle German mechanical clock movements, they also had many plans which were used by real craftsmen of their times.  Some of these can still be found today on eBay.

When grandfather clock shopping, looking for discounts on high-end grandfather clocks, and grandfather clocks on sale and shopping in general, an informed and educated customer is the best type of customer and the one who will get the best deal on grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and be most satisfied with their grandfather clock purchase, not only for years, but for the generations that follow.

Understanding the best grandfather clock brands, which not only include the new Americana Clocks grandfather brand, but also those of Howard Miller Clocks. Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Grandfather and Floor Clocks, including Hermle’s new Made in America line, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, just to name most of the preeminent brands available today.  But a smart clocks shopper also needs to understand the differences between mechanical grandfather clocks, e.g. chain driven vs cable driven granfather and grandmother clocks, as well as the many features both within and between product lines and brands.  Especially nowadays, one needs to beware of cheap imitation imports which may not last for long at all or may also require much assembly work on the grandfather clock.  We continue to get many calls from frustrated grandfather clock shoppers who purchased a floor clock, even from the major department stores or so-called big-box stores, only to find they have nowhere to turn when their grandfather clock no longer works, or never worked to begin with.  The grandfather clock shoppers realize too late they have been had, after thinking they had gotten a great grandfather clock bargain.

As the retailer Mr. Syms used to say, An Educated Consumer in Our Best Customer.

Grandfather Clock and Mantel Clocks made from grandfather clocks plans and mantel clock plans from Mason and Sullivan in a Press Photo from 1978

News Grandfather Clocks

08.22.12

Perhaps this should not come as a surprise for grandfather clock enthusiasts, but we at 1-800-4clocks.com have found that a great way to get real and interesting news relating to pretty much all aspects of grandfather clocks, as well as some on wall clocks and mantle clocks, is to simply type into the Google or Yahoo or Bing search engines the phrase news grandfather clocks.

We have found some exciting are interesting timepiece and horological pieces just by looking at this clocks search term on a regular basis.  One also finds what might be considered some of the more fluffy grandfather clock pieces, such as videos by grandfather clock shops and retailers showing rows of clocks, or a YouTube video link to how to wind a grandfather clock or that kind of more very basic feature clock story.

In today’s news search, we saw that what would historically been considered a miniscule amount of mercury in a grandfather clock, just 2-3 ounces, spilled from the pendulum of an antique grandfather clock in the Charlestown Navy Yard near Boston, and it was treated as a HazMat incident by the local Fire Department and other authorities.  When the author of this post was a child, that amount of mercury was considered non-hazardous and was an amazingly fun element to play with (note we are not suggesting you try this at home or anywhere, as scientific knowledge has changed over time).

Some of the best antique grandfather clocks, as well as antique mantel clocks and even antique regulators and wall clocks have mercury pendulums, usually with glass vials containing the mercury, and sometimes also sealed in metal inside the pendulum.  The amazing property of mercury is that it expands and contracts depending upon changes in temperature, and in such a way that it allows for the most accurate timekeeping of pretty much all mechanical grandfather clocks and mantel and wall regulator clocks, with the possible exception of fusee bracket clocks and fusee driven grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and the occasional fusee wall clocks one is lucky enough to come across.  Yet both antique clocks with mercury pendulums, and antique fusee movement driven clocks are among the most expensive and most collectible of the clocks out there, partly because of their fine movements and relative scarcity in addition to their amazing mechanical timekeeping abilities.

So if you are really into either clock news in general, or grandfather clock or floor clock news in particular, a search engine query along the lines described above is a great way to stay current.

Any clocks news stores you come across that seem particularly noteworthy, please let us know either in the comments section or by emailing us, and there is a good chance we will feature them if we feel our regular readers will be interested.

News Grandfather Clocks search on Google

Smart Grandfather Clocks Next

08.16.12

We could not decide whether to put this post in our Grandfather Clock Blog, or in our Clocks Blog focusing more on Wall Clocks, Mantel Clocks, And Atomic Clocks of all types.   Both of these clocks blogs also focus on wristwatches and pocket watches, including digital timepieces.  So in the end we opted to show off some exciting new technology in the Grandfather Clocks Blog.

This new wrist communication and timepiece device is designed by a company called MetaWatch, and they are referring to this timepiece just below as a smart-watch.  It is supposed to eventually, if not initially, allow access to email, to give current weather and forecasts, to send and receive text messages, and to interact with various other computing features and smarthome control devices, including changing the channels on a television, if we remember correctly.

Smart Time Clock Watch Grandfather Clocks

We would be very interested in hearing about consumer and business reaction to this type of device, as well as whether it could or might somehow be incorporated into a grandfather clock or perhaps a mantle clock.  One unusual use of clocks, which to date we have not sold, is to include cameras in clocks, which can be used either for virtual surveillance or recorded and replayed surveillance.  Some electronics resellers have purchased clocks from us for this use.

We are especially interested in any ideas which might somehow for with a home-based grandmother clock or grandfather clocks.  While to date most all of the digital clocks offered that we sell are Howard Miller Wall Clocks or Hermle Gallery Clocks or Ridgeway Wall Clocks, we have not given up on the concept of digital grandfather clocks and even digital street clocks.   We will soon be offering large LED table clocks and wall clocks, with large numbers and letters in different models, with some showing the day and date.  Some will also feature blue LED time lights in addition to wall clocks feather the more traditional red LED lights.  Atomic LED clocks are not far behind.

Big Ben Clock Tower as Elizabeth Tower

08.10.12

The story has been reported, coinciding roughly with the Olympics, that the Big Ben Clock Tower in London will soon be renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth.  We somehow doubt the Big Ben Clock name change will really sink in, as tradition and history play such a vital role in a country, and in this case, the world’s psyche.  The Big Ben Clock Tower in London’s House of Parliament is thought of by much of the globe as the world’s grandfather clock.

The clock history story and perspective and future dedication have a story that goes like this.

The iconic Clock Tower of Britain’s Parliament-home of the famous “Big Ben” will officially be renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

Shall we rename our upcoming Big Ben Grandfather Clocks collection the Elizabeth Grandfather Clock Collection.  We think we will wait and see what happens in terms of the adoption of the name in horological and the general lexicon over time, both in the UK and globally.

The 315 ft.-high structure, one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, will officially be titled “Elizabeth Tower.”  This is part of a recent effort by British lawmakers to celebrate the monarch’s 60 years on the throne.   A House of Commons Commission statement stated that official actions are being taken to ensure that the new tower name will be implemented in an appropriate manner in due course.  Construction of the tower was completed in 1858.  It houses a four-faced chiming clock and the famed 13-ton Big Ben bell.

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that the new name was a “fitting tribute to the Queen and the service she has given our country.”

It was generally agreed by those within British government that the honor was a fitting recognition of Queen Elizabeth’s lifetime of dedication and tireless service.

No date or time yet as to when this Big Ben Tower Clock name change may, or we should say rather will, take place.

London’s Big Ben Clock Tower to be known as Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth

Grandfather Clocks History First 250 Years

07.01.12

Since grandfather clocks were first being made and introduced in the mid 1600s, there were perhaps a good 200 plus years where makers of grandfather clocks were highly decentralized, originally from Merry Old England and other parts of what are now the united Kingdom, and gradually spreading to other parts of Western Europe, and then Eastern Europe, with Germany and its Black Forest, France, Austria being among the major centers of origin of what are known today as grandfather clocks.  As with makers of antique pocket watches over this time period, the makers of the movements were frequently different from the makers of the cases.  A look at the Swiss pocket watch history over time shows this same truth and experience, with one clear reason being that it takes a different skill set to make a fine movement than it does to craft a silver or gold pocket watch case or carved wooden grandfather clock case.

As the grandfather clock, as well as wall clocks and mantel clocks and even pocket watch markets matured in the 1800s, these trends continued, and even some 250 years later, such esteemed retailers as Tiffany & Company in the USA and Europe, as well as J E Caldwell in Philadelphia, and countless European-based retailers, would frequently contract for small lots of grandfather clocks, pocket watches, wall clocks and mantel clocks, and other timepieces, where at the end of the day the retailer would put their name on the dials, and sometimes the movements (other times they asked the movement makers not to sign the movements with their own names so it appeared the retailers were more fully integrated manufacturers).

In the earliest years of grandfather clocks, or longcase or tallcase clocks as they were then known, after they started to be made in larger numbers, it was only the most wealthy families that could afford them, which in itself is not too surprising.  The makers of the grandfather clocks knew their target market at that time, and recognized that the buyers of grandfather clocks also frequently had servants and other house-workers including maids and butlers.  So these same makers came up with models that were less expensive, and with movements that instead of lasting 8 days with each wind, which was the norm for the finest grandfather clocks, these clocks would last for 30 hours only between windings.  As the servants time was deemed by the buyers of clocks to be less valuable, this both allowed the wealthier individuals the status of having a grandfather clock that was a cut above those of their servants, and yet their helpers had the advantage, or perhaps burden depending upon how one looks at it, of keeping to actual timed schedules and routines.  A major leap forward in organization and management, which would be as useful for businesses at that time as for fully staffed homes.

When shopping for antique grandfather clocks or antique grandmother clocks, one must always be mindful, aside from whether the clocks parts are all original to each other, at whether a clock has the 30 hour vs 8 an day movement (sometimes one will also come across grandfather clocks with 30 day movements, usually known as regulators, but that is a category unto itself).  Generally speaking, a grandfather clock with an 8 day movement will be considered much more collectible and valuable than a comparable clock with a 30 hour movement.  To begin with, it would have cost a lot more at the time it was made not only to purchase it but to make it.  Additionally, all other things being equal (which they are most definitely not in some instances), the grandfather clock with the 8 day movement probably had more work and finer materials and craftsmanship put into both the movement and the case.  Additionally, a 30 hour grandfather clock movement would have had to have been wound almost 3 times as many times as an 8 day movement, so there is much more of a chance of either a worm or replaced movement in a 30 hour clock.  Having said that, we would never say to steer clear of 30 hour antique grandfather clocks for these reasons, especially if it is appealing and collectible in other ways or for other reasons.

Not too surprisingly, given that grandfather clocks were introduced and made before the industrial revolution, production and manufacturing of both clock movements and cases was highly decentralized, both within and across markets.  It also was more of a craft and an art form compared to many other forms of innovation, so there were many many thousands of makers across Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America.

Switzerland, while never quite the center for clocks that it was for pocket watches and became for wristwatches, by itself had tens of thousands of amazingly talented watchsmiths and clocksmiths, and they tended to be clustered by and within families, and over time collaboration between families of watchmakers.  As with clocks, watches movements tended to be made by one group, with the cases sourced to specification by the watchmakers.

When looking at the quality and workmanship of yesteryear, frequently the best place to see it is to look at antique pocket watches.  The author of this post has opened pocket watches that are 100 years old, 200 years old, and 300 years old, and unbelievably, they not only may start running immediately (perhaps required a cleaning or oiling, especially to be accurate timekeepers, but frequently not), but they look as if they could have been made yesterday, and in addition, that they may have another 100 or 200 or 300 years of life left in them.  Opening an antique pocket watch gives one the feeling, sometimes, of opening a time capsule.  This is also true if one looks at the more standardized timepieces made in America by say, the Waltham Watch Company or Elgin Watches.  If one wants an example of how American manufacturing can be so consistently incredible and built to last, one needs to look no farther than a sampling of the many  timepieces made by these American companies.

In an era where Made in America may be getting a second (or 1000th) look, a look back at these masterpieces of quality, workmanship and reliability would be great aspirational examples of the quality we Americans have been able to provide the world over, and built to last and at affordable prices and with continuing innovation.

John Harrison was one of the most influential horologists ever, whose work in England in the 1700s contributed not only greatly to grandfather clocks and pocket watches, but also to linking not only the telling of time for ships on the water, but also how it related and might link to not only navigation on the high seas but also planetary movements.  He also invented some incredibly cool clocks, including one known as The Grasshopper Clock.

Big Ben Grandfather Clocks

05.06.12

Many grandfather clock discount shoppers will come into one of our stores, or call us, and ask to see the Big Ben grandfather clock selection we carry.  Almost invariably, they mean grandfather clocks that play the famous Westminster Chimes, which are also played by the Big Ben Clock Tower in the Parliament Building in downtown London England.  Almost everyone will recognize the Westminster Chime played by Big Ben, because aside from it being the most popular chime by far on grandfather clocks, and besides hearing it in London, it is also the chime played by most Churches in the Western World.  You might want to see www.BigBenGrandfatherClocks.com for more details.

We should probably mention that we are aware that there is a clock retailer out there which uses the very clock-friendly and seemingly instantly recognizable name of Big Ben Clocks, but we have no relationship to them whatsoever, nor do we imagine do they to the real Big Ben Clock Tower in London.

Most modern-day or contemporary grandfather clocks will either have a single chime which is the Westminster Chimes, and if the clock is a triple chime grandfather clock, meaning it effectively comes pre-loaded with a choice of three chimes that the owner can switch back and forth between – but never do while the chime is playing – and the other 2 grandfather clock chimes are likely to be the Whittington grandfather clock chime or the St Michaels floor clock chime.  A small number of high-quality grandfather clocks, which we will highlight below, offer as an alternative to the Westminster Chime the Franz Schubert Ave Maria and the Ludwig van Beethoven Ode to Joy chimes, so these 2 grandfather clocks, pictured below, would come the the choice of the Big Ben Westminster Chime, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Schubert’s Ave Maria chime, something rarely found on a mechanical clock.  Mechanical grandfather clocks have a much superior chime sound quality when they come from a German mechanical made grandfather clock movement, as do these two models.

Howard Miller Stewart Grandfather Clock

model 610-948 610948, plays Big Ben Westminster, Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes

Howard Miller Clayton Grandfather Clock

model 610-950 610950, also plays Big Ben Westminster, Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes

Buy Grandfather Clocks

03.24.12

It is amazing to look on YouTube or Google or search around the web more generally and to see how many people are buying grandfather clocks or grandfather clock chiming sounds of the virtual variety.  There are a gazillion of widget and other file type sound downloads that not only are customizable, but also replicate the sound, for example, of the most popular grandfather clock chime of all, the Big Ben Tower Clock Westminster Chimes.

People, at least some of them, always like to mix the more traditional with the latest and greatest, whether it is in technology or something else.  Hence flash clocks and flash grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks have made a comeback in popularity, in addition to real life, in the world of cyberspace.  There are even desktop applications where one can have the sound of mechanical movement Westminster Chimes recorded from Big Ben Clock Tower itself, or your PC or Mac or iPad can be programmed to wake you up to that any many other chiming clock choices.

Now most connoisseurs of grandfather clocks or timepieces in general will always want the real thing and find there is no substitute for a genuine Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, or one made by Hermle Clocks, or a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock, one of our Museum Clocks™ Grandfather Clocks, or a Kieninger Grandfather Clock.While many of us might like to spend time in the world of Dungeons and Dragons, all of us would ultimately rather live in the Castle equipped with a genuine contemporary grandfather clock or one of the more traditional types of grandfather clocks.

While the economy appears to continue to be strengthening, smart shoppers are always looking to purchase grandfather clocks on sale or get as much off as they can on a discount grandfather clock.  While we always try to address that need, we believe as much in top notch service, including free in-home setup by an authorized technician instead of a moving company, and we are always willing to take the time to educate any prospective grandfather clocks shopper on the difference within and between brands and makers, as well as different types of movements such as cable-driven vs chain-driven, and whether a grandfather clock kit should be considered, along with the pros and cons.  New vs. antique grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks, grandfather clock plans, Kieninger vs. Hermle movements, and clock kits and grandfather clock plans, much less cheaply made imports which may be dead on arrival, are all aspects of the purchase of grandfather clocks that we consider.

Most all grandfather clock shoppers want an heirloom quality grandfather clock or grandmother clock.  We aim to see these consumers get their moneys worth and are satisfied with their purchase not only for years but also for generations to follow.

Here are some of the grandfather clocks that have been very popular as of late:

Howard Miller Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks

Howard Miller Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks

Museum Clocks Grandfather Clock CollectionMuseum Clocks Grandfather Clock Collection

Museum Clocks™

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