Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Week

05.13.14

Grandfather Clocks are an integral part of USA history and the American way of life.  Therefore, by this proclamation, 1-800-4CLOCKS has declared that the week beginning May 12th every year shall now and forever be known as Grandfather Clocks Week.

While grandfather clocks, originally known as long case and tall case clocks and invented in the mid 1600s in England, they made their way over to the so-called New World, with earliest production taking place in a States like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York and Boston.  Probably the earliest made and most sought after antique grandfather clocks came from Pennsylvania.  Other later arrivals, by companies such as early Seth Thomas Clocks Grandfather Clocks and E Howard Regulators, among others, are still highly sought after to this day.

Farmers were among the earliest users of grandfather clocks, with one critical function being the rotating moon dial which showed – and still shows – when there will be a full moon, which is every 29 1/2 days.  Early American farmers found this useful both for planning when to plant crops, as well as when to pick and harvest their Earthly bounty.

Many are not aware that the term or phrase grandfather clock first began to take hold in the USA because of an American song that came out in 1876 by the composer Henry Clay Work titled “My Grandfather’s Clock”.  We have written about this song extensively on our 1-800-4CLOCKS.com website and in this blog, but suffice it to say here that the song was a huge hit, and these timekeepers formally known as Long Case and tall case clocks started to be called Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks. Other terms used include Floor Clocks and Hall Clocks.

Interestingly, the term Floor Clocks is used almost exclusively by Howard Miller Clocks for their Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks.  Howard Miller currently has the largest high-end market share, as well as much market cache, for its Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks. Yet you will see on Howard Miller’s own website it refers to Howard Miller Floor Clocks.

Other major makers of hi-end grandfather clocks include Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, 1-800-4CLOCKS’ own Museum Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Americana Clocks and others.  Interestingly, Hermle Clocks, a German Company, has started to make some of its finest grandfather clocks right here in the USA, in Virginia.  We hope to see more Made in USA grandfather clocks, as are most of both Howard Miller’s and Ridgeway Clocks.

Any special suggestions as to how to celebrate and commemorate Grandfather Clocks Week, beginning this Friday on May 2nd?  We of course will be having some special sales!  Always feel free to call us about any pricing flexibility we may have.  And most of all, we would like to hear the thoughts of all the clock enthusiasts out there, so please feel free to call, email or post a comment on our Grandfather Clocks Blog right here and now.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Warranty

04.01.14

HOWARD MILLER® GRANDFATHER CLOCKS WARRANTY

Howard Miller Clocks

Howard Miller Clocks

Floor Clock Warranty

This warranty is our promise and commitment that our grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and floor clocks have been manufactured using the finest materials, and have been thoroughly inspected prior to being shipped from our facilities.

Howard Miller and Ridgeway Floor Clocks are warranted to the original consumer or recipient to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship under normal use, conditions and service from the date of purchase for a period of 2 Years.

Fountain floor clocks are warranted to the original consumer or recipient to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship under normal use, conditions and service from the date of purchase for a period of 1 Year.

This warranty does not include: damage to product or components resulting from abuse, accident, alteration, or climatic/environmental conditions; damage resulting from normal wear and tear, misuse, or unauthorized repair; natural variations in wood grain or changes in surface finishes due to aging or exposure to light. The company’s obligation under this warranty shall be limited to repairing the product or component, or at its option, replacing it with a new product or component.

A copy of the sales receipt or other comparable proof of original purchase is required to obtain warranty service. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages or the limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Freight Damage

By accepting our product for shipment, the carrier acknowledges that the product is in First Class condition. By signing (or someone else signing on your behalf) to accept the shipment, you acknowledge that the product has been received in the same First Class condition as shipped. If the carton is crushed or otherwise damaged, instruct the driver to note the damage on the freight bill and file a claim immediately with the carrier. For your protection, we suggest that you inspect all merchandise at the time of delivery, before signing the Bill-of-Lading. When you or your representative signs without noting any damage, shortages or exceptions, you accept and own the merchandise, as delivered.

Concealed Freight Damage

Should damage be discovered after delivery, you (the consignee) are responsible for filing a written Concealed Damage Claim with the carrier, requesting the carrier to make an inspection and create a damage report. This must be done no later than 14 days after the delivery date. Filing this claim is your responsibility, however, we will help you with the process and act as your advocate in reaching a satisfactory resolution with the carrier.

THE COMPANY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF BREACH OF THIS WARRANTY OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY. IMPLIED WARRANTIES ON THIS PRODUCT SHALL BE IN EFFECT ONLY FOR THE DURATION OF THE EXPRESS WARRANTY SET FORTH ABOVE AND THEREAFTER, THERE SHALL BE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, (INCLUDING MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE), ON THIS PRODUCT.
860 East Main Avenue, Zeeland, MI 49464 PH 616.772.9131 • FAX 616.772.1670 www dot howard miller dot com

courtesy of HOWARD MILLER CLOCKS

Putting an 8 Day Deadbeat Grandfather Clock Movement into “Beat”

02.10.14

These instructions were written specifically for Hermle Grandfather Clocks, but should in general work with other high-end brands of mechanical grandfather clocks including Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.  When in doubt, consulting an expert grandfather clock technician in always a wise option, and we would highly recommend it.  Furthermore, we can only warrant these Grandfather Clock Instructions for what you have paid for reading them.

Pull down on upper leader and move to the left approximately 1 ½” and release. You will feel tension but this is normal.  It would not be unusual if one needed help in understanding what a leader means as it relates to a grandfather clock movement, and its associated pendulum.  On the back of the grandfather clock movement, one will see a horizontal post that has a suspension spring attached to it.  If that spring is broken, the grandfather clock will not run. You may want to purchase the grandfather clock parts yourself, which we would only recommend if you are something of a clock expert, or you may want to call in an expert grandfather clock technician local to you.

Your grandfather clock also has a pendulum leader (generally about 5-8 inches long).  The pendulum leader hooks on to the suspension spring and the grandfather clock’s pendulum hangs on to its bottom.  There is also a lever that comes out from the top of the grandfather clock movement, is angled down, and it either goes through, or around the pendulum leader.  This is what pushes the pendulum.  If this particular lever either binds with or is not in contact with the pendulum leader, the grandfather clock will not run.

Pull down once again and pull the leader back to the right approximately 1”, and then release it.  Gently pull down a shift from left to right, stopping each time to see if you have an even beat. Once you have an even beat you then will be able to place your pendulum back on your clock, and as long as it is in beat – with an even left to right sound – it should work fine.

Once you are able to begin getting your pendulum to “tick-tock” one will need to listen to see if it is an even sound.  If not it is not in beat, with a rhythmic and synchronous “tick-tock”, first gently stop the pendulum.  One will then need to gently pull down on the pendulum and pull to left a small amount and then start the grandfather clock’s pendulum, gently pushing it from left to right, and listen again for the smooth grandfather clocks beat.

We always welcome comments to improve any instructions.  If one is not clear about how to adjust your grandfather clock, it is always best to bring in a grandfather clocks expert to make any adjustments or repairs.

Grandfather Clock Repair

Grandfather Clocks Repair

Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks

01.24.14

The Walter Durfee Tubular Chimes grandfather clocks were the pioneers in bringing Grandfather Clock with Tubular Chimes Clocks to the USA.  Below is an early advertisement which not only talks about these amazing Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, referring to them as Tubular Chime Hall Clocks, but it also shows the Authorized Dealers and Agents for the patented system they have in place.  You can see the text for the Walter Durfee ad, which we estimate was from circa 1900, and the actual ad itself, also below.  Note the ad referred to these grandfather clocks as Hall Clocks.  Also, generally speaking, grandmother clocks cases would be too small to house tubular chime clock mechanisms.  Most mechanical clock tubular chimes with 5 tubes play the Westminster Chime only and with 9 tubes play triple chimes, usually including St Michaels Chime and the Whittington Chimes.

Interestingly, today tubular chime grandfather clocks are still offered, but relatively few people in the general public, and even many grandfather clock enthusiasts, know little or nothing about them.  Howard Miller Clocks offers as its most expensive grandfather clock the J.H. Miller II Tubular Chime Grandfather Clock model 611-031 or 611031, in a Limited Edition, and shown just below:

Howard Miller J. H. Miller II Grandfather Clock
List: $27,293.00
SALE: $19,105.10

The above clock is also offered without tubular chimes and still in the same amazing Limited Edition Case,  model 611-030 or 611030, and is known as the JH Miller Grandfather Clock.  Both of these clocks are more expensive than Howard Miller Presidential Edition Grandfather Clocks, which are considered by many to be the top of the line.

Howard Miller Clocks most expensive wall clock is very modern or contemporary, with an open case and tubular chimes, and named the Howard Miller Focal Point Wall Clock model 622-779 or 622779, and shown below:

Howard Miller Focal Point Wall Clock
List: $11,575.00
SALE: $8,102.50

Hermle Clocks offers some Grandfather Clocks that are also Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, and include these models:

Hermle Triple Tubular Chime Worcester Grandfather Clock
List: $8,097.00
SALE: $5,263.05

Hermle Triple Chime Essex Grandfather Clock
List: $18,379.00
SALE: $11,946.35

Hermle Foreman Cherry Tubular Grandfather Clock
List: $11,397.00
SALE: $7,408.05

Hermle Foreman Walnut Tubular Grandfather Clock
List: $11,397.00
SALE: $7,408.0

Hermle Anstead Walnut Tubular Grandfather Clock  Also available in Cherry and Oak wood models
List: $10,947.00
SALE: $7,115.55

Kieninger Grandfather Clocks also offers some high-end both contemporary and traditional tubular chime grandfather clocks.  An example of one contemporary Kieninger Clocks Tubular Chime Clock is shown, with model 0126-02-01, and pictured just below:

Kieninger Edwards Grandfather Clock   also comes is a brass-bronze contemporary clock case.
List: $24,130.00
SALE: $16,891.00

Some of these tubular chime grandfather clock models are the exact grandfather clocks that were offered by Sligh Grandfather Clocks and Bulova Grandfather Clocks.  Also, lead times can vary and new tubular chime grandfather clock models can be added and are sometimes discontinued.  It is always a good idea to call us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257, ext. 1) if you are thinking about purchasing one of any of these great tubular chime grandfather clocks.  At this moment, we do not have either and Walter Durfee antique tubular chime grandfather clocks or any Herschede Tubular Chime grandfather clocks. That can always change.

 

HALL CLOCKS.   This is the Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks Ad also showing authorized agents.  Picture of actual ad is farther down below with text just below:

Do you want something that will last? The most beautiful Wedding Present that can be given is something that will speak for the donor fifty to one hundred years.

Can you spend the amount and get more satisfaction for your money than by purchasing a beautiful Tubular Chiming Clock? The Tubular Chimes are like the chimes of a Cathedral from a distance. Changes of the weather do not affect them, as the tone is produced by the bell and does not depend on a sounding board.

These Tubular Chiming Clocks are fully protected by Letters Patent, and persons purchasing should see that every bell is stamped with our name.

They are sold only by our authorized Agents, and any infringement of our rights is subject to heavy royalty on either buyer or seller.

Clocks imported with Tubular Bells come under this infringement, as we control all U.S. Rights.

The List of Agents given below speaks for the superior quality of these clocks. Each Agent has Photographs of all our designs, which they will forward by mail on application.

AGENTS:

Theodore B. Starr, New-York,   Woods & Hosley, Springfield.

Spaulding & Co. Chicago.  Tilden, Thurber & Co. Providence.

Bailey, Banks & Biddle, Philadelphia.  Henry A. Turner & Go. Boston.

Jas. E. Caldwell & Co. “   Bradstreet, Thurber & Co. Minneapolis.

J. C. Grogan, Pittsburgh  Frank Herschede, Cincinnati.

Wright, Kay & Co. Detroit.     Jaccard Watch & Jewelry Co. Kansas City.

The Cowell & Hubbard Co. Cleveland.  Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Co. St. Louis.

WALTER H. DURFEE & CO. Providence, Rhode Island

Durfee Tubular Grandfather Clock

Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clock

 



 

 

 

 

Wall Clocks and Mantel Clocks FAQs

12.10.13

To be helpful for grandfather clock and wall clock and mantel clock users and shoppers all across the globe. we are posting here some of the more Frequently Asked Questions for Mantle Clocks and Wall Clocks.  These lists were compiled by the technical support team at Howard Miller Clocks, and may apply to many other high-end wall clock and mantel clock brands as well.

For Keywound Mantel Clocks and Keywound Wall Clocks:

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to “Keywound” “Wall/Mantel Clocks”

 

What if my mechanical clock will not chime or strike?
  1. Check that the strike on/off lever in not in the “strike off” position or halfway between positions.
  2. Check that the movement is not in the “night off” position.
  3. Be sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area. You should be able to carefully pull each hammer back away from the rod approximately one inch.
  4. Check the hammer adjustment to be sure that the hammers are properly aligned with the gong rods.
  5. For weight driven clocks, make certain that the weights are in their proper location. The proper position of the weights as you are facing your clock is labeled on the bottom of each weight.
  6. If your clock is a cable driven clock and was previously run, it is possible that the cables were not wound up with the weights left on the pulley. When this happens, the cables overlap on the drum. Check the cables on the drums to see if they are overlapped. If so, contact the dealer or retailer where you purchased the clock. Correcting this problem is not covered under warranty.
What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.
What if I hear a squeaking sound while winding my movement?
The squeak is likely from the wood knob on the winding crank.  This is not uncommon and does not indicate anything is wrong with the movement or crank.  The movements themselves will not squeak when they are wound.

If you turn the crank by hand without using the knob, and you still hearing squeaking, then it is the pulley that is squeaking.  You can place one drop of oil (any type of common oil)  on both sides of the pulley wheel where the shaft goes through.

Why is it necessary to have my clock movement cleaned?

Movement oil collects dust and other contaminants from the air. These contaminants can be abrasive and the oil can harden. For this reason, it is necessary to have the movement cleaned and oiled. The frequency of cleaning and oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include the humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years and thorough cleaning every 5 to 10 years.

What are the symptoms that the clock movement should be oiled and/or cleaned?

Signs that a movement could require oiling or cleaning can include slowing or erratic operation of the time keeping, chiming melody, and/or hour strike. Continued use may cause excessive wear and require more extensive service to the movement.

What if I want to clean and oil my own clock movement?

Howard Miller does not recommend that you service the clock movement yourself. Contact an authorized Howard Miller Service Center. However, if you feel inclined, there are a variety of internet sites that offer detailed instructions and kits necessary to perform your own cleaning and oiling. Search “clock oil kit”, for example, on the internet.

What clock oil is recommended by Howard Miller?
Howard Miller recommends using the same high quality synthetic clock oil 859 used by the original German movement manufacturer, Kieninger. Most clock oil kits available on the web contain less expensive oils (Nano oil and others). Contrary to claims made by Nano oil and other suppliers and manufacturers of oil, our testing has proven the advantages of synthetic clock oil 859. For convenience, Howard Miller offers a synthetic 859 pen oiler for sale on the Howard Miller web site on the tab entitled, “Need a Part. Purchase Parts & Accessories Online.”
What if my clock chimes a few minutes before or after the hour?
If the clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, the minute hand should be removed and adjusted.  For complete details, please refer to page 10 of the Floor Clock Instruction Manual or page 3 in the Wall and Mantel Clock Instruction Manual.  Copies of these manuals can be down loaded from our web site for your convenience.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-99j6QSCoI&feature=plcp

How do I reset the time for daylight savings?
When setting the clock back one hour, rotate the minute hand counterclockwise one-hour. When setting the clock ahead one hour, rotate the minute hand clockwise one-hour. When moving the hands forward, it is important to allow the clock to chime every quarter hour (1/4, ½, ¾, 1) before advancing the hands to the next quarter hour position. . DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_EGbI3SMsA&feature=plcp

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my mechanical clock does not strike the correct hour?
If the clock is new, allow it to operate for several hours before making any adjustments. If the strike is off, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and rotate it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not harm the movement. Then adjust the hands to the correct time by rotating the minute hand counter-clockwise – as explained in the instructions. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING. After a few hours, the movement’s self-adjusting feature will synchronize the hands with the correct chime and strike.

Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaqpWTwIes&feature=plcp

What if my mechanical clock is in the “night off” position and it is silent during the day instead of the night?
Rotate the minute hand counterclockwise twelve hours. DO NOT MOVE THE HANDS WHILE THE CLOCK IS CHIMING OR STRIKING.
What if my clock chimes have the incorrect tone?
The chime tone may be affected by the hammer resting on the chime rod (coil) or striking the rod (coil) off center. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for the hammers to get out of adjustment.
Chime hammer arms are made of brass and can be bent safely. This is accomplished by bending the hammer arms slightly in the middle so that the hammers rest approximately 1/8 inch from the chime rod. DO NOT bend the chime rod. Strike volume cannot be adjusted.Please click the link below to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmh1ao32JBo&feature=plcp

Can I increase or decrease the chime volume in my mechanical clock?
No. Volume is not adjustable.
What if a chime rod is broken?
Contact a local service center or Howard Miller for a replacement rod.
What if my mechanical clock operated fine for several years but now is slow or stopping?
It is likely that your clock movement needs maintenance. Contact an authorized  Service Center.  A list of Service Centers is located on this web site.  Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if the hands are bent?
The clock hands are easily bent. Carefully bend them back to the correct position.
How do I wind my clock?
Floor Clocks with Cables and Pulleys – Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the holes located in the dial face. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Floor Clocks with Chains – Pull straight down on the chains. DO NOT lift up on the weights as this could cause the weight to come unhooked from the chain. Pull down on the loose end of the chain until the weight is approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All weights need to be wound to the up position.

Wall and Mantel Clocks – Insert the winding key into the holes located in the dial face. Depending upon the model of your clock, there can be 1, 2, or 3 winding keyholes. Turn the key clockwise until the spring becomes tight and will not turn further. For clocks with hanging weights, raise the weights using the crank. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Wind your clock once a week. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All springs must be fully wound.

What is meant by “triple chime”?
Triple chime refers to clocks that play a choice of three different melodies. The most common triple chime melodies are Westminster, St. Michaels, and Whittington.
Why is it necessary to have my clock movement oiled?
 

In mechanical devices with moving components, oil acts as a lubricant to help prevent friction and wear. Over time, the oil must be replenished. The frequency of oiling depends upon several factors, some of which include humidity and temperature controls and cleanliness of the environment. Based on these factors, oiling should be performed every 2 to 5 years.

Who should I contact to have my clock cleaned and oiled?
Contact an authorized Service Center.  A service center locator is available at this internet site. Cleaning and oiling are not covered under warranty.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

For Quartz or Battery Operated Wall Clocks and Mantle Clocks

Where is the closest Authorized Service Center in my area?
A list of Service Centers in your area is available on this web site.
What if my clock is out of warranty and needs service?
Contact an Authorized Service Center. A list of Service Centers is available under CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
What if my quartz dual chime movement will not operate properly?
Before going further, follow the two instructions below.

  1. First, ensure that you are using brand new alkaline batteries.
  2. Batteries made by various manufacturers may present some difficulty in working properly in the movement. A poor electrical connection can cause inferior performance. Ensure that the positive battery contacts are positioned over the nub on the end of the battery.

The problem area is typically the negative end of the battery. Ensure that the negative battery contacts are positioned completely on the metal contact area of the battery. As necessary, bend the battery contacts out to ensure that they are not making contact with the battery casing. If necessary to ensure a proper contact on the negative end of the battery, take a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of aluminum foil and fold it over tightly to the size of ¼ inch by ¼ inch and place it between the battery contact and the battery.

Other issues and remedies.

Pendulum will not swing: To provide proper pendulum operation, it is also necessary to ensure that the clock is level. Also check that the pendulum is properly located on the pendulum hanger and that the speaker wires are not interfering with the pendulum operation.

Chime volume is off or lower during the day and louder at other times: The nighttime volume reduction or shut-off is not properly set. Reset the nighttime shut-off.

Chime volume is always low: Attempt to increase volume using the volume control knob. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

Chime is off – will not chime: Ensure that the chime is not in the “OFF” position. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries.

The clock chimes several minutes before the hour when the hands are moved manually: This is normal. The clock will chime on the hour under normal operation.

What if I need a part?
  1. If your purchase is new, is missing a part, and was not in the original carton, contact the location where you purchased the item. This will be the quickest and easiest way to obtain parts that they likely have, but failed to provide.
  2. If your clock is new, is missing a part, and was in the original carton, carefully check the packing material. At Howard Miller we take great care to include all parts with every item. If your are confident that the item is missing, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and sales receipt available before you place the call.
  3. If your clock is not new or if a part is damaged and parts are required, contact Customer Service at (616)-772-7277 or go to the QUESTION section at the bottom of this site and detail the part that you need. Have your model number, serial number, and credit card available before you place the call.

© Howard Miller Clocks

Grandfather Clock Owners Manual

11.05.13

Behind the grandfather clock dial that shows time is the grandfather clock movement that keeps the hands telling time, as well as the grandfather clock chiming mechanism, and connected to that mechanism the weights and pendulum that drive the operation of the grandfather clock.  When doing anything new with a grandfather clock, whether moving the grandfather clock, setting and starting it up for the very first time, or troubleshooting for whatever clock reason, the Grandfather Clock Owner’s Manual or Grandfather Clock Instruction Guide can be the go to place for clock information about how to do things right., whether it is a grandfather clock setup, a repair, or even changing the time for Daylight Savings time.

Most all grandfather clocks from high-end makers like Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks and others come with a reasonably extensive manual with the basic How Tos for the new owner or the not so new owner revisiting this Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual and thinking of it as the first line of offense and defense to both manage the grandfather clock optimally while maintaining it correctly, to what do do if something is not right or something is quite wrong with the operation of the grandfather clock.

Interestingly, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, which are considered certainly amongst the highest-end grandfather clocks, call all of their grandfather clocks floor clocks, and the Owners Manual even says Guide to Howard Miller Floor Clock Operation.  This is likely because it does not distinguish between grandmother clocks and hall clocks and tallcase clocks and longcase clocks, and many people do use the term Floor Clock, though we believe it to be a relatively small minority of the public, much less grandfather clock shoppers and horologists alike.

If you want to set some of the special features of your grandfather clock, like automatic night shutoff, or switch from the Westminster Chime to the Ave Maria Chime or reset the rotating moonphase Dial, the grandfather clocks instruction guide or owner’s manual would be a good place to go.  Similarly, people who have received a grandfather clock that has already been used, either from an inheritance or estate, or a gift from a friend who is moving, or bought at a local yard sale or antique store, one of the first steps the new owner will take is to attempt to get the instruction manual for his or her clock.  This is definitely one of our most frequently asked questions.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks Manual Cover

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual

 

 

 

How Much Are Grandfather Clocks

10.28.13

Grandfather clock shoppers and seasoned grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks shoppers alike may be confused by the dizzying array of choices presented to them by Retailer and on the Internet alike.  Prices for new grandfather clocks can range from $200 to over $20,000 dollars.  Clearly, not only is there a broad array of choices within varying price points, but the differences between those price points and within the different ranges of prices.  Clearly, the vast majority of shoppers are looking to get the greatest grandfather clock discount they can, sometimes putting greater emphasis on service and trust from dealing with a grandfather clock shop where the owners will clearly know what they are saying and can actually help if and when and issues come up after the consumer or business receives its grandfather clock.  Grandfather clocks on sale can and reasonably should be one important consideration when making am important clock purchase, but other intangibles, such as knowledgeable salespeople and people who can truly give good answers to pointed questions about grandfather clocks, not to mention having a genuine warranty that is also worthwhile, but also knowing there will be a continuing clocks resources if and as needed.

In more recent years, there has been the challenge of very low quality grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks that are of inferior quality, yet in many cases were designed to look specifically like models of higher-end grandfather clocks, sometimes even “borrowing” the names of other models made by the best grandfather clock companies out there.  Sadly, some of the sellers of these what can literally be termed as pieces of junk and sold by some of the biggest and best known names in big box retailing.  Over the last year alone, we have received hundreds on inquiries looking for help from people who have purchased these grandfather clocks, and not only can they not return the clocks to these major retailers in most all cases (because the box has been opened and the items unpacked), but there is also frequently no contact information or telephone number of the maker or importer that will yield anything useful to these clock purchasers who have essentially thrown their money away.  They do a Google Search of the model name, and because the names have frequently be the names of the high-end makers, they see our contact information in the search engine results.  There is little we can do to help them, except suggesting they insist the retailer take back the junk in these cases.

So who are the best retailers, and which are the grandfather clock makers one should consider, even when not knowing how much one wants to spend.  One piece of good news is that all the well-respected and good-excellent quality makers have price points to match any budget for someone who is serious about investing in a good quality grandfather clock that might one day be considered an heirloom by family members.  Aside from the importance of the sound and quality of the grandfather clock chimes, the features such as chime-silence option and automatic nighttime shut-off, the bells and whistles such as a rotating moon-phase dial or an illuminated cabinet or lit grandfather clock dial, one should also consider an heirloom grandfather clock as an important piece of furniture that can be loved and admired and cherished for many generations.

Generally speaking, if one knows little about grandfather clocks, looking to the most well known brands with the best reputations for overall grandfather clock quality and workmanship would be a good way to start.  These would include brands like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and some few others.  There are also good brand names out there that no longer make grandfather clocks, but one may come across them, including 1-800-4CLOCKS’ Museum Grandfather Clocks, Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks and Bulova Grandfather Clocks.

The grandfather clock case will be one major component of the cost, based on the wood or sometimes metalwork involved and how much there is, its quality, and to what extent there are special elements like carvings or inlay.

The grandfather clock or grandmother clock movement is also critical, including whether it is cable-driven, chain-driven, tubular chime, spring-driven or quartz-driven.  This is a subject we have written about extensively in our clocks blogs, and we are also always available to discuss purchase options with serious grandfather clock shoppers, even if they are in their earlier stages of learning and shopping.  Which and how many grandfather clock chimes is another variable, and assuming they are on of the high-end mechanical movement makers, which nowadays includes mostly all Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks grandfather clock movements.  The chime is another element, with most of the basic clocks having one or more of Westminster Chimes, Whittington Chime, St Michaels Chime, Ode to Joy grandfather clock chime, bim bam chime, and the Ave Maria grandfather clocks chime.

Special features like rotating moon face dials, automatic nighttime shutoff, chime-silence option, illuminated dials, lit cabinets, and time capsules can all add to the desirability and price tag of any individual grandfather clock.

Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways, especially when purchasing a grandfather clock, is not to assume because 2 different clocks may look alike and each have the Westminster Chime, NEVER ASSUME they are comparable quality clocks in any way, whether they are brand new or vintage or even antique grandfather clocks.  If not careful and armed with some grandfather clock knowledge and knowing where to get the answers to other  questions, one might end up with a very expensive piece of junk.

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

How Much are Grandfather Clocks?

 

 

 

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

10.25.13

One of the most common inquiries we get at our stores selling grandfather clocks and other furniture and wall and mantel clocks, is what is the worth of my xyz grandfather clock.  Despite being one of the most common grandfather clock questions we get, it is a very difficult one to answer.  One of the defining factors is whether the clock is one of the many antique grandfather clocks out there, and if so, a grandfather clock by which maker, the condition, the look, the quality, whether everything is all original, and how and where one is planning to sell the grandfather clock.  Generally speaking, there should not be any major difference in the worth or appraisal of comparable grandmother clocks vs grandfather clocks.  They are both Floor Clocks.

For new grandfather clocks such as Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and the Ridgeway and Americana Grandfather Clock Collections, we generally always advise that a grandfather clock purchase, even of one these high-end grandfather clock and furniture brands, should generally not be thought of as a purchase for investment purposes, even if you are at the greatest grandfather clocks sale with a grandfather clock discount wherever you turn.  Yes, many if not most of these clocks can and should be reasonably thought of as heirloom quality grandfather clocks that should live through many generations, and perhaps fought over as cherished heirlooms within families.  Many of the calls we get of from people either liquidating an estate with one or more grandfather clocks or from a family member who wants to try to establish the grandfather clock worth for a trade of sorts within a family.  Additionally, while on this point, grandfather clock estate planning is something we have seen quite frequently, with parents wanting to make certain that each of their children are give grandfather clocks that they each can and will cherish, and so their own grandfather clock bequest with be either predefined or a non-issue.

Establishing the value of a vintage grandfather clock, whether one of the Howard Miller Clocks or a Hermle Clock or Ridgeway Clock, can be near impossible to do with any high degree of  either confidence or accuracy.  Yes, when it was made, of what wood(s), what grandfather clock chimes it has, the condition of the grandfather clock movement, any special features such as auto-nighttime shutoff all do matter, but aside from not knowing what the condition of the grandfather clock is on the inside, whether everything is all original, the condition and style of the case, there is the reality that the grandfather clock will be worth what somebody is willing to pay for it, and there are hundreds of variables that can effect that.  People frequently have a difficult time understand that reality.  There is also the question of what the age of the clock does to the value of a grandfather clock, and that is also a question with many layers to any coherent answer.  A true antique grandfather clock, like an antique car, can be worth a lot more than it might otherwise, but what happens before then is especially uncharted territory by definition.

Whether you are selling your grandfather clock at a yard sale, or on Craigslist or on eBay, or at a store in general, or perhaps one of the finest antique stores, there can be many price points, and aside from the sale venue, how long one is willing to wait and advertise and publicize their grandfather clock sale, and what credibility they might have, also matter importantly.  Another critical factor is the coat of shipping, and associated with that the risk of damage, which can be very expensive, especially for an individual.  Even moving the grandfather clock, unless one knows what they are doing, is fraught with the risk of damaging the grandfather clock during the move.

The simplest answer therefore, if one is buying a grandfather clock, is simply what it is worth to you for your home decor value, and what risk or level of confidence do you have that there are no hidden issues with the grandfather clock.  If you pay no more than it is worth as a piece of high-end furniture to be appreciated by interior decorators and visitors alike, there is no way you can go wrong with that grandfather clock or floor clock purchase.  That is the best advice.

What is my grandfather clock worth?

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

 

 

Mitchell Owens explores the beauty of painted floors, as seen in one of Manhattan’s grandest townhouses, currently on the market

10.07.13

With 125 East 70th Street, one of Manhattan’s grandest townhouses, going up for sale, Mitchell Owens explores the beauty of painted floors

Clocks Index

06.04.13

Consumers of all industrial and personal use items have heard of and to some degree follow the Consumer Confidence Index.  People on Wall Street and Economists all look at the Index of Leading Economic Indicators.  Manufacturers and economists alike look at the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, as among other things as a  bellwether for signs of potential inflation on the horizon.  Well here and now we would like to introduce the Clock Index.

Clocks by their nature are organizational creatures, whether they are the heartbeat of the home as a grandfather clock that all can hear and tell the time of day.  Wall clocks throughout the nation, and the World, tell people in homes what time of the day it is, and in offices can be even more integral to the workings of an organization with everything from the start of day, to meetings, to lunchtime, to coffee breaks, to quitting time can all be measured and watched by looking at a wall clock near you.  We have had many customers purchase atomic wall clocks for precisely the reason that they do not want employees discussing or arguing about whether it really is 5 o’clock or whatever the quitting time is, or not.  They see atomic clocks as productivity enhancers.

So should our Clock Index be more than the types of clocks we offer, such as grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, wall clocks, atomic clocks and much more, and should they are highlight the makers, such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Wall Clocks, Hermle Grandfather and Mantel Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks, or should the Clock Index take a completely different wither micro or macro view of the work of clocks.  Should it perhaps include the history if clocks, including the history of grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks and more, or should it highlight the current clock makers like Howard Miller Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks and more, or should it include some well-known but no longer extant manufacturers of clocks such as Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Clocks including the famous Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Wall Clocks and Seth Thomas Mantel and Nautical Clocks, among many others.

If one goes father back in clock history, simply 25 years and earlier, there an be thousand of clock makers and tens of thousand of clock and watchmakers around the globe going all the way back to the late 1600s to the present.  The horological history is rich and well documented in many places, and the Clock Index could be the focal point for bringing much of it together.

There are also membership associations such as the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) and the American Watch and Clock Institute (AWCI) which are by themselves repositories of vast amounts not only of timepiece expertise and teaching, but also of clock and watch history from the golden days to the present.

Any thoughts individuals may have about the clock history, the current clock and timepiece market more broadly, and how a clock index might fit into all of that and be of most use to grandfather clock, wall clock and mantle clock shoppers, as well as to those studying clock history, would be most welcome to give us their time and thoughtful input.

Grandfather Clock Index

 

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