AD’s favorite stories from around the web
What we’re reading this week: AD’s favorite stories from around the web
On the eve of MoMA’s most expansive Le Corbusier exhibit ever, Lee F. Mindel visits one of the architect’s lesser-known masterpieces—his family residence in Switzerland
How loud is the ticking sound of the grandfather clock? Do you have any clocks that make less of a sound? Do any of your grandfather clocks tick louder? What about your new and antique wall clocks? Will the ticking be so loud that I or my spouse or my family or my guests will not be able to sleep? What about the sound of the chimes? Can they be shut off? What about an automatic nighttime shutoff feature I’ve heard that certain clocks have. Does this mantel clock have that auto night shutoff? What about your antique mantel clocks?
Do you have any alarm clocks that are really really loud? Do you have any tabletop clocks or desktop or carriage clocks that don’t make any ticking sound? I need a REALLY loud alarm clock to wake up. How loud is your loudest?
From ticking to chiming to alarm clocks, the vibrancy or loudness of the tick tock or tic tok or toc sound is important to many clock shoppers, whether they are looking at Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or the Hermle Grandfather Clock Collection — or Ridgeway Clocks, Americana Clocks or Kieninger Clocks, the questions of chiming quality, volume and ability to change, tick tock tick tock volume and the ability to lower or sometimes raise, and the frequent question of whether there is such a thing as a silent wall clock, mantel clock or grandfather clock movement, or on occasion, is there a way to make the tick tock louder, even much more loud.
LED Clocks, including are soon-to-be-introduced GiganticClocks, make no sound, and with some of them having numerals which are 3 inches and larger, as well as alarms and calendar functions for day of week and the date, these clocks are sure to meet an unmet need, both in more public areas where the large and glare-free numerals can be seen 24×7, and also by anyone with a vision issue or any stage of their lives where memory would be aided by having these other easy-to-read (compared to other clocks on the market) displays. We also have one LCD Clock which not only has the same super-large numerals and other informational fields (e.g. calendar day of week and date of month, temperature and more), but is also an atomic clock, also known as a radio controlled clock, which is incredibly accurate, theoretically according the the USA Government Agency NIST and many scientific experts, accurate to one-Billionth of a second per year! While not the case for our large easy-to-see black-on-white LED Atomic wall and mantel clock, which uses batteries, the LED Clocks require an electricity source, with an outlet either immediately behind it, or to be wired and plugged in to a standard electrical outlet, either covered by tubing or simply out in the open.
When one thinks of modern day quartz watches vs the still highly desired and significantly more expensive watch brands like Breitling, Omega, Rolex, Movado, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piaget, Vacheron Contantin and on and on, there is still no shortage of admirers for the “old-fashioned” craftsmanship where people are willing to pay thousands of dollars more, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars more, when a watch that will keep time as or more accurately can be had easily for under $100. Additionally people can now see the time on their computer, or iPhone 5 or Samsung 4 or other smartphone, and more and more may still be adding iWatches or SmartWatches that are or are rumored to soon be hitting the market, and no doubt increasing in capabilities and quality over time. It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Dick Tracy cartoon character and his then futuristic watch which allowed him to communicate.
Dick Tracy’s 2-way communicator wristwatch would probably not make it to market given the capabilities that appear to already be out there and coming very soon. Maxwell Smart’s shoe-phone, on the other hand, may still have a chance at gaining some market share if it were to be introduced today. Call it maybe.
Following what we will term the wristwatch paradigm, we see a long-term and continuing demand for mechanical grandmother clocks, grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, and regular and large wall clocks and gallery clocks. Brands that continue to offer both dynamic contemporary clock designs as well as more traditional designs for these kinds of clocks true to the traditional ways of making timepieces will still find a market for people who are seeking to keep an element of the traditional as a part of their home and workplaces.
Do the grandfather clocks make the celebrity, or does the Celebrity make the grandfather clock? We would like to know. We are aware that many celebrities are owners of both antique grandfather clocks and new grandfather clocks, and grandmother clocks are quite popular as well. One way we know this is that we have sold and installed grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks to many people who are household names, so to speak. Generally, these famous business people, actors, government officials, university president, major network chiefs, religious leaders, heads of state, and heads of state giving gifts to other heads of state and visiting dignitaries, among others, will work through an intermediary. Yet in most all instances we know who the so-called end users for these great timepieces are. Usually because they tell us, they visit our shop, or they call for follow-up of certain kinds.
Aside from antique mantle clocks, antique wall clocks, and antiques grandfather clocks, the large majority of the emphasis is on the major high-end clock brands like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks. Seth clocks are also a good seller, as are Movado Clocks, especially for high-end corporate gifts.
We do not sell and tell, so you will never see anything about an individual customer unless the customer wants us to publicize the sale for some reason. We currently have one client, who is an absolute mogul, known the world over, and he asked us to work with his interior decorator, and plans to have this home, once decorated, shot for Architectural Digest. I think it’s a fair bet to say that if he wants it, he will get it. So stay tuned, and we may be able to publicize that one.
As Western Civilization is beginning to enter its annual Holiday Season, with the associated crass commercialism and materialism, not to ignore, though, the ever-time and always worthy hopes for Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men and women. Did not mean for this to sound like a Hallmark Greeting Card.
Casual Shoppers and those more seriously looking at grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks are facing an ever growing variety of choices.
More and more “cheap stuff” – not inexpensive, but cheaply or poorly made, are flooding the market with brand names one has never heard before but are named so that they somehow do have a ring of familiarity, and associated legitimacy, for prospective timepiece buyers. The grandfather clocks discount and sale category have been especially targeted with a flood of poorly made grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks, with many parts made of plastic and generally with battery operated quartz movements not attributed to any maker and not likely to last very long either. Oh, and don’t forget the instruction book. We get countless calls from individual aspiring horologists who just purchased one of the poorly made clocks (we won’t name the Stores, but several big-name chain store names keep coming up) and want the instruction booklet that was somehow not inside or with their clock. If we had it to send, we might actually do so as a courtesy, but in this case we are highly doubtful that these instruction books ever even existed in the first place.
Okay, so if a smart shopper stays away from the no-name cheap stuff, what else should they look at? Good name brands do make a world of difference both in knowing you are getting a quality clock and also knowing that someone will still be there to service the clock, or replace it if absolutely necessary. Some of the trusted names we carry and have had overall excellent experience with are Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Bulova Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Movado Clocks and more. While the movement and casing quality may vary within brand, they are generally reasonably highly consistent, and high-quality, across similar product segments within each line, e.g. traditional mechanical wood-cased grandfather clocks.
Sticking with grandfather clocks, there are 4 basic types of grandfather clocks when considering the movement types. First, and least expensive, are quartz or battery-operated movements. These have the advantage of being much lower cost, have volume control, no need to wind, auto night shut-off, and are usually found in smaller clocks. The disadvantages include the fact that the chimes are recorded and on a sound chip, and can vary pretty dramatically in sound quality, but really never as good as a mechanical clock where one hears the chime rods actually being hit by hammers. Second, are chain driven mechanical clocks, which usually have 8 day movements, and are wound by pulling down on each of the 3 chains to bring up each of the 3 weights (some clocks models have 2 weights and some only one). Many people are drawn to these clocks because they are the type they grew up with. The chime sound quality is good. The only real downsides are that the movements are not likely to last as long as a cable-driven grandfather clock movement (discussed next), and these clocks tend to have fewer “bells and whistles”, e.g. working moonphase dial, and automatic nighttime shutoff. Since the movements are physically smaller, they tend to be in smaller cases with less depth as well – so they can sometimes be the perfect fit for that special space .
Third are mechanical cable-driven grandfather clocks. These are the clocks that are wound in the dial-face with a winding crank key. For practical purposes (keep in mind there is a 4th clock movement type still coming), this is best, or at least tied for the best, type of clock movement. They can last several generations, have the ability to have multiple chimes, and these clock models have varying degrees of the “extras” or bells and whistles, including illuminated dials and amazing carved wood cases.
Fourth is the little-known tubular chime grandfather clock, where long hollow pipes, made of different metals, act as the chime rods. These clocks have a much deeper and louder gong sound. Very few people even know what they are. They are expensive to maintain, if for no other reason that few people know how to work on them.
This is a very general clocks shopping guide which can be used as a handy reference when looking for grandfather clock discounts and grandfather clocks on sale. If you go for one of the name-brand clocks, one can be fairly certain that they are getting their money’s worth.
More to come on this horological subject.
Whether you are planning for your home grandfather clock, wall clocks, mantel clocks, or even atomic clocks, you may or may not be aware of the changes afoot this year as to when we return to Daylight Savings Time. After President George W Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it was planned that 2007 would be the year that Daylight Savings Time would be effective with clocks moving back one hour the first Sunday in November (vs. week earlier in prior years), which is November 4. Daylight savings time in the Spring now moves forward an hour on the second Sunday in March. The 2 am local time change remains the same.
The stated goals of the energy policy is to increase energy savings and increase workplace productivity. Some more cynical analysts have theorized that this change is simply a rouse by the powerful Candy Lobbying Industry to sell more Halloween Candy (we are remaining neutral on that point ).
Not every USA State is adopting the new law, though 48 are, Only Arizona and Hawaii are leaving their clocks alone.
There is no doubt that some confusion took place last weekend, when people’s habits and/or systems were still operating under the old time rules. Even this week software companies are sending out patches to help make the transition this weekend be a smooth one.
One great Safety Tip – every time the clocks are changed back and forth for Daylight Savings Time is an excellent opportunity to ALSO change the batteries in your Home and Office Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector. Better safe than sorry! This life-saving tip has been brought to you by 1-800-4CLOCKS.