If you have the wish to buy one of those fancy cuckoo clocks you have seen hanging grandly on a wall, here are the things you should consider when investing in one.
The manufacturing process of an original, Black Forest Cuckoo Clock requires a lot of talent and skill. The woodcarving is the core of each clock. It is made of linden wood because it is not too hard and not too soft, using many different kinds of chisels.
First, the layout is drawn on a prepared wooden board, then the shape of the carving is sawn out using a scroll saw. Finally the carving process beings. The wood is attached to a wooden panel with nails, and the carver works out the coarse structures in order to finish it by using smaller chisels. It takes three years to become a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock woodcarver apprentice.
There are typically three different styles of cuckoo clocks. The chalet, traditional (aka classic) and the station house style. The chalet style is typically the most popular of all three since it has a lot of action such as a moving beer drinker or woodchoppers. The traditional style and station house are the most historic styles. Both have a very, long history in the cuckoo clock world. The traditional style is famous for it's deep animal carvings and dark stain, whereas the station house style captivates the eye through its' classy look.
Two different movements are available with cuckoo clocks, the mechanical movement and the quartz movement (battery powered). Both movements keep good time and are very reliable. If you want an authentic Black Forest Cuckoo Clock, you should definitely go with the brass movement. It is available as either a 1-Day or 8-Day movement. This means you have to wind the clock daily or once a week. All mechanical movements are manufactured by SBS in Schonach, Black Forest, Germany and are well-known under the brand name Regula.
All Cuckoo clocks with three weights play music. The 1-Day will play two songs an hour, one song at the full and one at the half. The 8-Day will play two songs, but they alternate hour to hour. The musicbox is the only part of the clock which is not made in the Black Forest. Well-known brands that manufacture high, quality musicboxes are Reuge or Jobin
Better Cuckoo Clocks come equipped with a night shut-off. It is usually located on the bottom of the side of the clock case.
Care and Maintenance
Cuckoo clocks do not need much regular care. The movements are easy to maintain and durable. The clean the clock, use a soft, dry paint brush. Have the movement checked and oiled every 3-4 years by a reputable clock maker. Do not hang your clock above a fireplace as the dry, warm air may damage the clock.