We like to think of our 2 blogs www.ClocksBlog.com and this blog www.GrandfatherClocksBlog.com as the ultimate guide to comparing grandfather clock brands and THE Grandfather Clock Buying Guide, helping consumers to understand the different grandfather clock styles, including traditional vs contemporary grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks, knowing at least some of the differences between the best grandfather clock brands, understanding the features that may or may not be in a grandfather clock, including the grandfather clock chimes, knowing who are the best makers of mechanical grandfather clock movements, understanding the different types of grandfather clocks movements – whether it be quartz chain-driven, cable-driven or tubular chimes, and understanding the more recent and older and ever-changing history of grandfather clock manufacturers and grandfather clock makers.
This is a very tall grandfather clock order, yet we believe we have here a veritable treasure trove of information that would be useful for anyone in the market for a grandfather clock. Whether you are thinking about purchasing an antique grandfather clock, a vintage grandfather or grandmother clock, or whether you are trying to understand the marketplace in general and whether to buy a new grandfather clock, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS are there for you both with these blogs, with many grandfather clock resources available on our website at 1-800-4CLCOKS.com, and we are always only a toll free phone call away at 1-800-4CLOCKS, and are delighted to talk with anyone who is serious about being in the market for a grandfather clock or grandmother clock, not to mention mantle clocks, cuckoo clocks, wall clocks, atomic clocks, and so much more.
We spend a lot of time to delving into the history of grandfather clocks themselves, the evolution of the major grandfather clock brands and how that has changed over time, and continues to be ever-changing. We attempt to demystify the many features offered on many grandfather clocks, including illuminated dials, automatic nighttime shut-off, working vs faux moonphase dials and so much more. The grandfather clock chimes are another key element that any thoughtful grandfather clock buyer will want to understand completely, and we address not only the different mechanical grandfather clock movement makers, as well as triple chime grandfather clocks vs single generally Westminster Chimes Grandfather Clocks, and when and where one might expect to see some of the less common grandfather clocks songs or chimes such as Beethoven’s Ave Maria or Schubert’s Ode to Joy.
Understanding the differences within and between grandfather clock brands, such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks compared to the Hermle Grandfather Clock collection, or Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Clocks and Americana Grandfather Clocks. All have pros and cons, and many have big differences even within their own grandfather clock line.
We even include some of the most popular posts about grandfather, grandmother, wall, mantle, cuckoo, atomic and other clocks on our main website, which we term the Best of, like Greatest grandfather clock Hits of music, for posts that our customers and readers have found especially useful. We have one post on our grandfather clock blog which is titled Moving Grandfather Clocks, and that page is the single most visited page on our website. We warrant the advice for what you as a customer pay for it, which is nothing, yet we have never had a negative comment or even any suggestions for changing this grandfather clock blog greatest hit of all time.
Any grandfather clock or other timepiece subjects you would like us to cover? Just make a Comment to this post, or send us an email, or feel free to call us toll-free. If you want to become a grandfather clock blog contributor, that is something to which we are also always open.
So, say you want to start a blog about the Grandfather Clock world, and these grandfather clocks are also known by such names as Floor Clocks, Hall Clocks, Free-Standing Clocks, Longcase Clocks, Tall Case Clocks and I’m sure we are leaving some names out here as well. Now should this great new blog be called Grandfather Clock Blog, or should it be called Grandmother Clock Blog, Floor Clocks Blog, or maybe even Grandfather Clocks Blog.
Well, some years ago at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we faced this very exact dilemma. We opted to go with Grandfather Clocks Blog, and found on the internet at this very website. However, at around the same time, we cleverly, if we say so ourselves, reserved the domain GrandfatherClockBlog.com, in case we decided to use it instead, or additionally in some way. So we are delighted to report the news that as of today GrandfatherClockBlog dot com can now also be found by visiting www.grandfatherclockblog.com. You can even look at our Best of Grandfather Clocks Blof highlights, as well as Best of Clocks Blog, and Latest 1-800-4CLOCKS Blog Highlights, all from the bottom of the 1-800-4CLOCKS home page and every page on the website.
At Grandfather Clocks Blog, and Grandfather Clock Blog, we will continue to aim to bring to you the best information about all aspect of grandfather clocks ownership and the grandfather clock purchase preceding it. We not only focus on antique grandfather clocks, but also on vintage grandfather clocks, like Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks, Trend and Pearl Grandfather Clocks, and even Bulova Grandfather Clocks which ceased production a few years ago.
We also look at brands of the best grandfather clocks, and compare the styles, movements, features, and other pros and cons within and between grandfather clock makers and in their own grandfather clock lines. Featured most prominently are Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and of course Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.
We also sell and service antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.
We look at traditional vs contemporary grandfather clocks, we look at mechanical grandfather clock movements and compare chain-driven mechanical movements, cable-driven mechanical movements, quartz or battery driven mechanical movements, and even tubular chime grandfather clock movements. Not only do we look at the grandfather clock cases and their construction and parts and styles, but we also look at mechanical grandfather clock movements, including triple chime movements, which may include either Westminster Chimes, Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional triple-chime combination of Westminster, Whittington and St. Michaels chimes.
Styles of grandfather clock cases, including split-pediment, also frequently known as swans neck pediment, compared to bonnet top grandfather clocks, and of course the rectangular top, not to mention the many contemporary grandfather clock model options.
We also look at features offered on various clock models, and can advise you, based on your own criteria and desires, on value of the money spent for different grandfather clock options, including automatic night-time shutoff, illuminated dials, illuminated cabinets, chime-silence option, cable vs. chain-driven, faux vs rotating moonphase dial, single chime grandfather clocks, usually having the Westminster Chime, vs. triple-chime models, and many other aspects.
A knowledgeable customer is something we are always willing to help a customer become, if they want or need that help.
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.
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
Hermle Grandfather Clock from Made in USA, with Floor Clock case made of solid American Maple Wood
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.
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
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.
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.
An absolutely amazing article recently in CNN’s Technology Section profiled the world’s smallest working car that is made of single molecules, and responds with movements, such as moving forward, based on the electrical impulses from a nano-grid just beneath it. When one stops to think about the implication for having an albeit prototype working vehicle in which lo living animal could ride, of course, at this collection of single molecule molecular size, it is simply mind boggling in terms of the far-reaching consequences this technological breakthrough may have on perhaps just about every aspect of our life. This is said without exaggeration, at least on the part of the author of this blogs post.
Wonderful testing of nano technology can be done with clocks, regardless of the size, but in the style of grandfather clocks, wall clocks, mantle clocks, atomic clocks or as they used to be known as radio-controlled clocks. Imagine clocks that can accurately tell time that have the shape of, say, a full-size howard miller grandfather clocks model, but is comprised of single molecules and powered by a nano-electric grid. Imagine the molecular pendulum swinging back and forth on the grandfather clock, and the 3 weights descending on cue. Whether grandfather clock chimes, such as the Westminster Chime, might be difficult in early stages, over time nothing would be impossible. It is simply an incredible concept.
And the tools that could be used to fix the nano-grandfather clocks would also be made of a small number of molecules. For a keywound chiming grandfather clock, one would need enough molecules of enough materials, assuming the design proportions of a clock are constant for smaller scale molecules and models, to enable, for example, a molecular winding key and a molecular chiming rod or bells or strike gong. One would probably want an amplifier for the chimes, or they likely would not be heard by any current living human ear.
While writing about the application of nanotechnology for grandfather clocks and mantel clocks and wall clocks and atomic clocks, and reproductions of the great clocks and timepiece masterpieces, it is obvious that this technology can usher in a new era of advances which are truly unthinkable today. The potential benefit to mankind would seem to be as great as the Industrial Revolution, the advent of the personal computer, or the widespread adoption of the internet. Hopefully we will all live to see the many benefits which it seems, inevitably, will be presented over time.
Perhaps not practical, but we still hope the next prototype will be of a nano grandfather clock, and they we may be consulted in its design and construction.
World’s smallest car fuels nanotech advance
By Matthew Knight, CNN
updated 11:49 AM EST, Mon November 21, 2011