Before You Buy A Cuckoo Clock

Where should I get my clock from?

The cuckoo clock should always originate from the Black Forest, but it can be beneficial to buy from a cuckoo expert located in your home country. If there is ever a warranty issue or repair necessary, shipping the clock to Germany may not be ideal.

Where are cuckoo clocks made?

Authentic certified clocks are made in the Black Forest region of Germany also known as the Schwarzwald.

What are the major types of cuckoo clocks?

There are two primary types of cuckoo clocks, traditional cuckoo clocks and chalet cuckoo clocks.

How often do the clocks need to be wound?

For an 8-day clock (signified by big weights) you will wind it once per week.  If you have a 1-day clock (smaller weights) you need to wind it once per day. Winding the clocks is very simple and only take a few seconds. I t does not matter at what time of day this is performed. The important thing to remember is to wind the weights before they have dropped so far that they cannot drop any further or hit the floor. If you wait until they stop or are on the floor the clock will stop keeping time.

What other differences are there between a 1-day and 8-day cuckoo clock?

There are few other differences.  An 8-day clock is wound once a week and a 1-day clock is wound once a day.  If your 8-day clock plays music, it will typically have a position for automatic night shut off – something a 1-day clocks will almost never have.  There are rules for cuckoo clocks, but because they are hand carved, there is an exception to every rule.

Why do some cuckoos have 2 weights and some have  3?

If a cuckoo clock has 3 weights it will play music. If a cuckoo has two weights, it will not play music.  An extra weight is required to operate the music box. Each weight separate weight has its own purpose – one runs the clock, one runs the cuckoo, and the third will run the music.

Do all cuckoo calls sound alike?

No – The cuckoo noise is created when a pair of bellows are pumped as the cuckoo bird pops out.  If those bellows are bigger or smaller they will produce a varying cuckoo sound.  Bigger bellows will make deeper call and smaller bellows a higher call.  Different clocks also have different actions. Sometimes the cuckoo is very fast, sometimes slower.  Hand carved means infinite variety.

Can I get a cuckoo if I have cats or children?

Absolutely! It is recommend that you hang the cuckoo clock a little higher than you normally would. You can also hook the base of the chains to the top of the corresponding weight, reducing the length of the chain.  For cats, an 8 day clock has very heavy weights that would be difficult to bat around.  Kids, on the other hand will always want to investigate, especially something as interesting as a cuckoo. It’s a great opportunity to teach responsibility and good cuckoo clock stewardship – but loop the chains just in case.

Where can I get my clock repaired?

A standard local clock shop can usually repair cuckoo clocks, but not every clock shop will.  It is recommended to call before you bring it in and ask if they will service it.  If you know the manufacturer of your clock, you can call and ask if they have any licensed repair centers in the U.S.  If the clock has been treated roughly, it may need a new internal mechanism.  If this is the case, the repair may cost more than the clock is worth – always be sure to get an estimate first!

How much is my cuckoo worth?

If the clock is very old or a rare style, it can be worth quite a bit. This would need to be determined by a reputable antique dealer, preferably one who specializes in clocks.  Something to consider though – unless it is a rare style, newer clocks are generally worth more than older ones.  The reason, is that although the clock is still hand carved with the old world methods, the interior improves as clock technology improves.  A new clock will often have a more precise mechanism than an old cuckoo clock. For most people, the greatest value is handing the clock down and keeping it in the family for generations.