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We've covered the most important cuckoo clock questions in the Cuckoo Clock Buying Guide,but over the years we have encountered a LOT of questions while talking to customers in our German Gift Store as well as through this website. Below is a list of questions people have also asked about cuckoo clocks before they chose their own.
~ Already have a clock that is making you cuckoo? Visit the Cuckoo Clock Help and Trouble Shooting section for instructions and videos ~
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Cuckoo clocks originate from the Black Forest region of Germany or the Schwarzwald.
The VdS is the Verein die Schwarzwalduhr or Black Forest Clock Association of which Fehrenbach Black Forest Clocks is a proud member. The certificate of authenticity shows that the cuckoo clock is of Black Forest origin only and meets the association's strict guidelines of quality.
The price of a cuckoo clock varies greatly based on function, size and detail, but most are in the $300 - $3000 range.
It is tempting to make an impulse buy while enjoying your trip, but the seller will often not choose a premium shipping method and could be difficult to deal with if anything goes wrong. We eliminate all of those problems and have a USA location to help you at every step - even years later!
Linden wood is used for the main carving or face. Figures are often made of Maple. A stronger plywood is used for the box that contains the mechanism and inner workings.
Yes! The main carving and most parts are all hand carved and the clock is hand painted or stained in the Black Forest of Germany.
The only element that is not produced in Germany is the music box, which is made in Switzerland.
No assembly is required. There are packing materials that need to be removed which are listed in the instructions.
For the most part - no, other than dusting. At some point you may need to get the clock oiled and it will be obvious if the chains do not move smoothly. However, the clock does not need regularly scheduled tuning and oiling.
A cuckoo clock that needs to have the weights pulled up within a 24 hour period from the last time it was wound - or every day. These clocks have lighter weights.
A cuckoo clock that needs to be wound within 8 days from the last time it was wound - or about once per week. These clocks have heavier weights.
You pull the chain down and the corresponding weight moves up to the base of the clock. On an 8-day cuckoo clock it is recommended to provide support beneath the weight to prevent wear.
Each weight serves a different function of the clock. One is for the time and one is for the cuckoo and movements. If there is a third weight, it is for the music.
The dimensions are taken from the highest point of the roof carvings to the lowest point of the base carvings. The dimensions do not include the weights, chains or pendulum.
Typically you would hang a cuckoo clock 6-8 feet from the floor to allow room for the weights to drop.
Cuckoo clocks can be hung directly onto drywall or plaster using an anchor. The safest solution though is to hang it on a screw or nail that is in a wall stud, especially with an 8-day cuckoo clock.
The weights are made of solid cast iron. Wooden weights have a wood exterior with a cast iron core as they would not be heavy enough otherwise.
No, the clock will sustain no damage. It will simply stop keeping time and need to be reset.
If you are unable to wind the clock during its winding cycle, simply stop the pendulum from ticking. You can reset the time when you return.
No, mechanical clocks are run totally by the action of the weights dropping. They need to be wound once a day or once a week depending on the mechanism.What makes the cuckoo sound?
A pair of bellows set to different pitches creates the cuckoo sound.
The cuckoo sound can have higher or lower pitches depending on the size of the bellows and other acoustics of the clock. The speed can vary as well. This variance is a normal part of the manufacturing process. On a musical cuckoo clock, the number of tones of the music box (usually 22 or 36) can make the melody sound different. The acoustics of the clock can impact this as well.
Musical clocks will always play 2 songs. 1-day clocks play one song on the half hour and the other on the full hour. 8-day clocks play music only on the hour, alternating between the two songs each hour. The half hour is only a cuckoo call.
For most cuckoo clocks, the songs are “Edelweiss" and "Happy Wanderer”. Other clocks - such as Biergarten styles, will play drinking songs instead such as “In Munich There Is A Hofbrauhaus” and “Drink, Brother, Drink”.
Automatic night shut off means that the cuckoo clock can be set to become silent (no cuckoo or music) based on a pre-set range of hours. The clock will continue to keep time.
No, this cannot be personalized. The clock will shut-off by itself based on a pre-set range of hours.
Manual night shut off means that the clock can be silenced using the night shut-off lever. The clock will continue to keep time.
A slide pendulum has a wooden stem. If the clock is running fast or slow, the pendulum weight is adjusted by sliding it either up or down the stem. A screw pendulum has a brass stem with a screw at the base. If the clock is running fast or slow, the pendulum weight is adjusted by turning the screw in the appropriate direction.
It is a cuckoo clock where all of the carvings are done to tradition, but where the mechanism and music are electronic.
There is no pulling of the chains or winding the clock. Quartz cuckoo clocks usually play 12 songs and the cuckoo sound is a recording of a cuckoo bird in the wild with an echo. The bird is usually made of plastic, comes out further and has a wing flapping motion.
No. Per the Black Forest Clock Association: "The clock must also be working purely mechanically and all its essential parts have to be produced in the Black Forest".
The carvings are authentically carved in the Black Forest, but the electronic mechanism is not.
No - only periodically changing the batteries is needed.
The weights are generally plastic, although some battery cuckoo clocks can have decorative metal or wooden weights instead.
No - the moving pendulums for battery cuckoo clocks are decorative.
The case and carving is always wood and made to the same standards as a mechanical clock. The figurines can be either wood or resin. If the figurines move, they are generally wood. Stationary figurines are usually cast from resin. The cuckoo birds are almost always plastic and move, although they can be wood carved in some instances. Please check the specifications on the clock's product page.
There is no requirement on the hanging height because the weights will never drop.
Battery cuckoo clocks are usually very light because the weights are decorative and thus there are no special requirements for hanging.
Automatic night shut-off means that the clock will either turn itself off at night with a light sensor or it will silence itself in low light situations. This could also refer to a clock that will silence itself from the hours of 9 pm to 6 am. Some battery powered clocks can possess both styles of automatic night-shut off. There is also a manual night shut-off switch as well.
The standard is: Battery powered clocks with music require 3 C sized batteries. Battery powered clocks with no music require 2 C sized batteries. Mini battery clocks with sound require 2 AA sized batteries. Mini battery clocks with no sound require 1 AA sized battery.
You should use new, high quality batteries to power your clock properly. Never use rechargeable batteries as this can damage the mechanism!
A quartz battery cuckoo clock that plays music will play 12 different songs.They will only play music or cuckoo on the hour, with no sound on the half hour.
No. The pendulum for a battery clock is powered by a magnet and produces no tick.