There are basically two types of movements for cuckoo clocks. The eight-day movement needs to be wound only once a week. You can recognize a clock with eight-day movement by the larger pine cones (weights). A cuckoo clock with one-day movement runs for about 30 hours before you have to wind it again.
Remember to hang the clock high enough (about 6-1/2 feet high), otherwise you have to wind it more frequently.
If you are putting your cuckoo clock in a place where you won’t be every day, you might want to go with an eight-day clock, so you don’t have to reset the clock every time you aren’t able to wind it. Usually eight-day clocks are more expensive than one-day clocks, because of the bigger movement, and they tend to be more intricately crafted as well. So if you don’t mind winding your cuckoo clock once a day, a one-day movement is a good choice, otherwise an eight-day movement is the way to go.
It is actually very simple and takes only a couple seconds. Simply pull smoothly on the little ring on one side of the chain until the pine cones are all the way up. I personally support the weights for eight-day clocks with one hand, while I wind with the other.
There a basically two main styles: the carved and the chalet style. Carved style cuckoo clocks usually have traditional carvings attached to the case, often themes inspired by nature such as animals and leaves. Chalet style cuckoo clocks look like alpine houses, and often feature moving figurines and animals.
Authentic Black Forest cuckoo clocks are mechanical clocks (no batteries required). One pine cone drives the time, the second drives the cuckoo bird and cuckoo sound, and if there is a third weight, it will drive the musical movement. So a cuckoo clock with three weights plays music, and sometimes features moving figurines as well.
It is quite simple. Please refer to our Care & Repair page to see setup instructions. The most important thing to remember is to hang it on a strong nail (driven into a stud) or a screw. Picture hangers don’t work.
Cuckoo clocks are still handmade today, and it takes a lot of skill and manpower to make these mechanically-driven wonders of engineering. Cuckoo clocks often feature intricate carving work made by German master carvers, which make a cuckoo clock a piece of art rather than a time piece. Unfortunately, the declining value of the U.S. Dollar is partially responsible for high prices, as well.
The movements in these cuckoo clocks are engineered to last at least 30 years. If you maintain them right, you will be able to pass them down to your kids or grandkids.
These days 90% of all mechanical musical cuckoo clocks play Edelweis from Sound of Music and Happy Wanderer, a German folk song. These songs are played by a swiss made musical movement. Quartz/battery operated 12 different German Folk songs. They are recordings and utilize a modern speaker within the clock.
Occasionally dust the clock, and carefully clean it on the outside with a damp cloth. Occasionally open the lid in the back and remove dust and other build up. Get the movement oiled every 3-5 years.
All original Black Forest cuckoo clocks carry a certificate of authenticity by the Black Forest Clock Association. In order to receive this certificate, a cuckoo clock has to operate mechanically, has to be handmade in the Black Forest, and all major parts have to be from the Black Forest.