Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Made in Germany

10.14.12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandfather Clock Keeps Ticking

09.09.12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beethoven Ode to Joy Grandfather Clock Chime - Bio website

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

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

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.

Worlds Smallest Nanotech Grandfather Clock

12.05.11

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

A CGI of the electric-powered nano car created by Dutch researchers

Heirloom Grandfather Clocks

10.29.11

When considering the purchase of a grandfather clock, the single most important criterion for many is that it be an heirloom quality grandfather clock that can be passed along to their children and grandchildren and beyond.  This is not a far fetched goal.  As the author of this blog post sits here, he has a few feet away from him a chiming antique mantel clock that was made in England in the mid-1700s and looks as though it could have been made yesterday.  Even closer is a grandfather clock made by the Waltham Clock and Watch Company, most known for pocket watches but they also made some super high-end quality clocks, made over a hundred years ago and signed on its dial by Tiffany and Company.  This particular clock was special-ordered by none-other than the founder of Coca Cola as a wedding gift for his daughter.  She kept it for her whole life, including keeping it in the lobby of the downtown Atlanta hotel she lived in during the later part of her life.

Even today it is possible to buy grandfather clocks that with proper care and maintenance should last 100 years and possibly much longer.  While we could guarantee it, it would not be a meaningful guarantee for obvious reasons.  The sad reality is that many grandfather clocks sold today may not last more than a few years.  the good news is that all the makers and brands we carry are of the highest quality and construction, and depending upon the type, would fall into the category of the kind of clock that should truly be an heirloom quality grandfather clock that can be passed along through many many generations.

And this is not to say that you still should not seek grandfather clock discounts, and we frequently have many of these grandfather clocks on sale.  Visit one of our 1-800-4CLOCKS store locations and you may even get a better discount.

So who are the makers of these highest quality grandfather clocks?  One is a brand we introduced and will soon be featuring much more prominently on our website and known as Museum Clocks Grandfather Clocks.  Other brands include Howard Miller grandfather clocks, the Ridgeway grandfather clock collection, Hermle grandfather clocks, and Kieninger grandfather clocks. Grandfather clock makers that people still think of today but no longer, at least as we write this, produce grandfather clocks, include Seth Thomas grandfather clocks, Sligh grandfather clocks and Bulova grandfather clocks.  While these grandfather clock collections featured some clocks which were very high quality, for different reasons each of these makers exited the grandfather clocks market.  We would not be at all surprised if one or more of these brands is resurrected in the coming years once again producing grandfather clocks.

Want to know more about the different types of grandfather clock movements and grandfather clocks brands, please let us know.

Museum Grandfather Clocks™ Grandfather Clock

Grandfather Clocks Made in America

10.09.11

1-800-4CLOCKS.com has always carried only what it considers to be the highest quality grandfather clocks, the large majority of which have high-grade German mechanical movements.  While the cases, while also of the highest quality for their price points, are sometimes not solid wood cases with the same type of wood throughout of the finish in the grandfather clock description.

We know there is an increasing desire, if at can be delivered at good grandfather clocks value price points and discounts, for solid wood clocks, which may have the highest-end German mechanical movements, but also have the cases made in North America.

Before Christmas shopping season with all the attention to grandfather clocks on sale and grandfather clock discounts, we will be introducing two new lines of the highest quality grandfather clocks with solid wood cases of the type of wood described that will be as pleasing to the eye as they are to one’s wallet or purse.

Museum Grandfather Clocks™ will be one of these new lines.  While we have sold clocks under this brand before, these designs with be all new for our label, and will have more choices of the type of solid wood, such as solid cherry, oak or mahogany, in the same exact design.  We also will be able to ship these clocks with 3-4 weeks of a confirmed order being placed, which means on average an additional 1-2 weeks for free delivery and in-home set-up across the Continental USA.   We look forward to being able to share these clocks in general and on our website in the coming days and weeks.

The other main introduction along these lines is the Hermle Grandfather Clock Made in America series, which will also feature solid wood clocks with cases made in North America and Hermle Clock’s fine German movements.  Until we have more specifics on these grandfather clocks, which should be available very soon, that is all we will share for now.

Finally, we are excited about introducing and adding the Americana™ Grandfather Clock Collection to our line.  These grandfather clocks will add another super high quality selection to consider when deciding between the above makers and the more familiar-sounding Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, as well as Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.  While Bulova and Sligh Grandfather Clock models are no longer made by those respective companies, you will see that we will be offering many but not all of the more popular grandfather clock designs, with comparable quality and worksmanship, in other parts of our complete grandfather line.  That is something that a prospective customer may want to call us about at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257) to pursue or better understand the grandfather clock design possibilities that may be presently available.

All in all, look for some great new grandfather clock models to be introduced and added to our line in coming weeks and in time for the Christmas Holiday shopping season.

Example of quality of Museum Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clock with Atomic Timekeeping

11.17.10

We got a call from a customer today who was looking for a chiming grandfather clock that also had atomic time.  Do we have such a grandfather clock?  No.  Do we wish we did?  Absolutely.

Not one to be deterred, this same customer asked if we had a chiming wall clock with radio controlled or atomic time.  After pausing for a moment, I realized we not only do not carry such a wall clock, but we have never seen such a clock, or standalone clock movement which could be fitted with a case, ever with our vast experience and deep knowledge base.

An atomic grandfather clock with chimes, or an atomic chiming wall clock, both sound to us as something that could be a solid seller.  There would be the issue of keeping the chimes in exact sequence with the timing of the clock, but isn’t that what clockwork is all about anyway.

Seiko Clocks are you listening?  Howard Miller Clocks, what do you think?  LaCrosse Technology and Infinity Instruments, how would you feel about adding such items to your lineup.  Perhaps Seth Thomas Clocks can make these a gangbusters hit and help revive the clock industry to its previous glory days when it was the preeminent manufacturer in the USA.  Hermle Clocks, what do you think? Rhythm Clocks and Bulova clocks would also be logical manufacturers of such innovative products.

The next question is if only one could be developed, should one go for the grandfather clock or the wall clock with chiming and atomic time?  What are your thoughts?  We would be very interested in knowing your points of view.

Celebrity Grandfather Clocks

07.01.10

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.

Ideal Wedding Gift Ideas

05.27.10

Are you looking for the perfect wedding gift? Gift ideas for the bride or the groom, or especially for the couple?

We have seen an increasing trend over the years where clocks are used as integral gifts not only for the groom and bride, but also as presents for members of the wedding party, and sometimes even as a special wedding gift from the groom to the bride.  Wedding organizers, wedding planners, and those thinking about bridal registries take note.  Clocks are a wonderful item to add to a bridal registry.

Perhaps one of the most special gifts a parent or parent can give to their child and son-in-law or daughter-in-law to be, is one of the many great grandfather clocks we have offered over the timeline of our business.  Over time, a grandfather clock or a grandmother clock, or one of the special wall clocks as a gift, or mantle clocks as a present, has grown in popularity.

Even gifts to members of the wedding party, including presents to bridesmaids, and gifts to the Best Man and Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor, and present for all members of the wedding party, we have seen an explosion of this type of gifts.  Some of the most popular presents to wedding party members include Movado Clocks, Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and Seth Thomas clocks.

We frequently consult with the gift-giver(s), and discuss the pros and cons of different gift giving possibilities.

It is advice we love to give, and hope anyone thinking about a special clock or clocks as part of a wedding or marriage, will call us to discuss the possibilities.  We can always be reached at 1-800-4CLOCKS, or 1-800-425-6257.

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