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Cuckoo clocks are one of the most popular items to come from the German Black Forest. With them comes the responsibility of ensuring that they are cleaned and working properly. Proper care of your Black Forest cuckoo clock will ensure that you enjoy it for many years. We have put together several facts of interest about our Black Forest cuckoo clocks and other versions of Black Forest clocks. This section will give you the information and knowledge that you need about the functionality of cuckoo clocks and about the many differences between the various models. Black Forest cuckoo clocks are all hand carved but their beauty is not their only interesting feature. They have many other interesting technical functions that combine their beautiful German handcraftsmanship with traditional German engineering.

Here at the Cuckoo Palace, we offer you one of the largest selections of cuckoo clocks on the internet. If there is a larger selection out there we have not seen it. We hope that you will use this guide to help you select the clock that will bring your family joy for many years.


The Cuckoo Palace offers original German clocks made by six of the most renowned manufacturers in the world. Their creations of beautiful and authentic Black Forest cuckoo clocks is unsurpassed. These six companies include Rombach & Haas (also known as Romba), Hubert Herr, Anton Schneider, Hönes (known also as Hoenes and Hones), Hekas (or Helmut Kammerer) and Trenkle Uhren. All these manufacturers are members of the Black Forest Clock Association and all their clocks have the certification of the VDS.

The manufacturers receive certification for their traditional methods of creating clocks, as well as for the quality of the pieces that they create. The certificate informs customers that the clocks are genuine German Black Forest creations, that it is operated by a mechanical clock movement and that it has been produced in the Black Forest, including the mechanisms that run the clock itself. In order to be awarded a certificate from the Black Forest Clock Association or VDS, all these requirements must be met. Quartz cuckoo clocks are not included in the VDS certification simply because they fail to meet the requirements of an authentic and traditionally crafted German Black Forest creation.

Clock movements

One thing that makes original Black Forest cuckoo clocks distinct is the mechanical clock movement. These movements must be wound for the clock to continue working. There are basically two different types of clock movements. One is the 1-Day movement and the other is an 8-Day movement. Both types are high quality mechanical clock movements. The difference in the two is that the 1-Day movement clocks must be wound every 24 hours and the 8-Day movement clocks must only be wound once each week. The cuckoo clocks are driven by weights or Fir Cones which hand down from the clock.

The movements for Black Forest cuckoo clocks are made in Germany. Some manufacturers actually create and assemble the movements in their workshops while others add the finished movement mechanisms into their clocks. Hubert Herr is one manufacturer that creates and assembles all the movements completely within the company. All cuckoo clock movements in genuine Black Forest cuckoo clocks are made with the highest quality and are reliable and durable.

Another type of movement found in clocks is the quartz movement. A quartz cuckoo clock runs on battery power. These are not typically found in Original Black Forest clocks although many manufacturers have added quartz clocks to offer a larger variety in their products. Normally copies of cuckoo clocks will contain quartz movement. There are several inexpensive Asian copies of cuckoo clocks with this type of movement, although they could never be compared to the quality and craftsmanship of an original Black Forest clock. All the quartz cuckoo clocks that we offer have a high quality that are comparable to the original mechanical clocks from the Black Forest.

Style and Design

As well as movement types, there are also two main styles of cuckoo clocks and all manufacturers offer both styles.

First is the Chalet style cuckoo clocks. This design varies from a typical Black Forest Germany House to an Alpine and Timbered or Tudor Styled House. There are many details and very interesting movements that characterize the Chalet Cuckoo Clock. The Chalet Cuckoo Clock normally depicts a scene of everyday life. Many have handmade and hand laid shingles on the roofs and feature details such as dancers, beer drinkers and wood choppers as well as beautifully carved animals and turning water wheels.

Both styles of Black Forest cuckoo clocks are highly popular and equally loved around the world and both lend a look of elegance and awe inspiring beauty to every home that has one.

Cuckoo Call

Each mechanical cuckoo clock from the Black Forest holds the famous cuckoo call that make them all so unique. The sound of the cuckoo's call is not generated electronically. It is produced completely by the clock's movement. On a technical scale, the sound is created by two air chambers or bellows. Air is filled into the chambers and squeezed out through a type of whistle. The first bellow produces the first syllable of the sound or the "cu" and the second bellow creates the second syllable or the "cukoo".

Many of the original Black Forest cuckoo clocks feature hand carved cuckoo birds. Some models also feature cuckoos that have moving wings when they call.

The cuckoo sound is also included in the quartz movement clocks, although the sound in these models is produced electronically or is tape recorded.

Music and Melodies

Many cuckoo clocks play music as well as featuring the cuckoo sound. Many collectors around the world find the music to be an essential part of their decision to purchase a cuckoo clock. The clocks normally play two different melodies. Many play the German Folk songs "Der fröhliche Wanderer" and "Edelweiss". Chalet styles that feature beer drinkers normally play the songs "In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus" and "Trink, Brüderlein Trink". The musical movement in these styles of cuckoo clocks is very important. Although all musical movements are of the highest quality, the number of tones will vary between 18 and 36. Normally the higher the amount of tones, the better the sound quality will be.

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