Types of Wall Clocks
Later in 1656, the pendulum clock was invented by Christiaan Huygens. Because a pendulum mechanism requires stability to operate correctly, these new clocks made excellent wall clocks. Until the 1930s, pendulum-driven wall clocks were the most common type sold. Quartz clocks were invented in 1927, becoming popular and replacing many pendulum-driven wall units from the 1930s to 1940s. Quartz clocks are the most common type of wall clock sold today; the simple round pieces that average about $8-$10 are the #1 type of wall timepiece sold. Of course there are many other types of wall clocks today; throughout history there have been a variety also.
One of the most famous types of wall clocks in history are cuckoo clocks. These timepieces were first marketed in the Black Forest area in Germany during the decade between 1740-1750. Both the French and Swiss adopted this design of clock and began crafting and selling them. Many cuckoo clocks hung on the wall and were powered by a pendulum and chains with weights. People still buy new and antique cuckoo clocks today; these models have remained a popular novelty for centuries.
Pendulum wall clocks with varying designs were also popular at this time. Many pendulum-driven wall clocks had a small skeleton key that was used to wind them frequently. When the clock ran out of power, the pendulum would stop. Most wall clocks were crafted of a solid wood, a face and a glass case. The clock would be in a geometrical shape, with the pendulum hanging below the clock’s face. There was a small door that would open up to the pendulum’s compartment, giving easy access for restarting it and winding the device.
Another popular style of wall clock from the 1800s to early 1900s was
s. This material is now a valuable thing among antique collectors, highly increasing a clock’s value. Designs made with the Ormulu substance usually included a small clock face surrounded by elaborate Ormulu sculpted into intricate designs.
The popularity of pendulum clocks saw a steady decline as quartz-powered wall clocks took over in the early 1930s. In 1932, the first electric wall clock was released by Westclox, an American watch and clock-making company. During this time period, the electric wall clock was a popular commodity. Once quartz clocks took over, the creativity in designing different styles of clocks and casings emerged, with creativity piquing in the 1950s.
Wall clocks today are available in a wide variety of products. Clocks that are shaped like sports objects and feature a favorite team’s logo are popular among fans; clocks with religious verses are popular in churches or with those who share the same faith. Some clocks are designed to match a specific style of decoration. Someone who chose to decorate a space with modern art, warped shapes and bright colors may choose a clock with an odd shape and attractive color to match their decor. Not all wall clocks are moderately-sized; some are designed to consume a large amount of wall space. Wall clocks with no numerals or numbers, but simply spokes with hour and minute hands are a popular style of large wall clock today. Wall clocks used in libraries, schools, businesses and offices are usually a large round white and black clock with large numbers; each minute is marked and hour, minute and second hands are included.
Clocks crafted by American clock maker Simon Willard are the most highly-sought timepieces among antique clock collectors. Another coveted manufacturer of antique wall clocks is Seth Thomas, also an American timepiece craftsman. American clock designer George Nelson crafted many abstract clock designs, but not the clocks themselves; he was an artistic architect well-known for his attractive but practical designs. From the 1950s through the 1980s, his artistic clocks were popular, continuing to hold their values today of well over $200 each for a well-kept piece.
Among modern wall clocks, average sales records indicate that novelty styles and practical simple wall clocks are the types that sell the most, with practical simple clocks taking the lead. Seiko, Ingraham, Timex and Westclox are popular manufacturers of simple, practical and affordable designs sold for less than $25. These companies also sell novelty and themed clocks for reasonable prices, usually less than $100. One famous high-end clock manufacturer is River City, famous for their rare imports. Known for their radio-controlled and cuckoo replica wall clocks, this American company sells quality wall clocks, but the prices are usually between $250 and $500 for each piece. The Howard Miller Clock Company of Michigan is also known for its luxury high-quality wall clocks, which normally sell for over $300 each.
In recent years, another type of wall clock has gained popularity – atomic clocks. Due to their impeccable radio-controlled precision and scientific method of self-timekeeping, atomic clocks are popular gifts and novelties. Currently the atomic clock is the most accurate and precise timekeeping device known to man. Since these clocks are still somewhat expensive, they are not something to be found in every household, but they continue to gain popularity.
Wall clocks are still common today in nearly every place: classrooms, businesses, train stations, airports, homes, businesses, offices and medical facilities all use these time-telling devices. Whether decorative, practical or both, wall clocks are found nearly everywhere today, and in many different styles and varieties.