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Guide to Purchasing a Cuckoo Clock

Where do I start? There are so many to choose from.......... Which clock will suit me best?

How much money should I spend?

Quality comes at a price. Black Forest Hill has cuckoo clocks starting from $200 upwards. The price is determined by the size, the movement, the quality and quantity of the carvings, if equipped with music, moveable figures, brand name etc. Sure, you can find cheaper cuckoo clocks, but are they originals and how long will they last? Can you access the warranty if required? "You'll get what you pay for" is more true today than ever.

Cuckoo clocks are handcrafted by many skilled individuals in Germany. You cannot expect to get true craftsmenship for a cheap price. Black Forest Hill lives up to its twenty one year old reputation by selling only quality clocks, and we back that up with a full two year warranty.

Some other questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I want to wind the weights every day or every 8 days?
  • Should I settle for a quartz clock without any winding?
  • Do I want the clock with music and dancing figurines?
  • Do I want a clock with other animations?
  • Are the dial and hands made of wood or plastic?
  • Is the cuckoo made of wood or plastic?
  • Is the cuckoo hand carved?
  • Does the clock have night shut-off?
  • Is the night shut-off manual or automatic?
  • Do I want carving or extra deep carving?
  • Do I want a more traditional clock or a chalet style?
  • What size clock would suit me?
  • Can I easily get warranty repairs if the need arises?

How does a Cuckoo Clock work?

The traditional cuckoo clock is mechanical and works when the weights underneath in conjuction with the swinging pendulum cause the movement to operate. You will notice the pine cone shaped weights in all of the photographs. All cuckoo clocks have a minimum of two weights, Some clocks have three. The weights drop over either a one-day or eight-day period and provide the clock's functions. The first weight, along with the pendulum, provides the clock timekeeping function, the second weight controls the cuckoo and movements, and the third weight on some clocks controls the music.
The weights hang under the clock by chains and slowly drop as the clock operates. When the weights get close to the floor, you must grab a hold of the other end of the chain and pull the weights back up to the clock.

When does it go 'Cuckoo' and when does the music play?

On all clocks the little cuckoo appears each half hour. If the clock it equipped with music – it plays on the hour, if it is an eight day clock and on each half-hour if it is a one day clock.

The pendulum swings all of the time unless it is manually stopped or if there is a breeze, in which case the clock will just stop. If you want to restart it simply just tap it and the clock will work again. Do not forget to adjust the time on the time dial. You may need to relocate the clock if it is likely to be stopped by continual winds or in the path of an airconditioner.

The cuckoo always pops its head out from behind his closed door and sounds the cuckoo. The amount of 'cuckoos' corresponds to the hour of day. Once at 1:00 and twelve times at noon or midnight. The cuckoo also sounds once on the half hour. The remaining movements and music normally happen on the hour for eight-day clocks or on the hour and half-hour for one-day clocks. If the clock has dancers, they will spin with the music; waterwheels usually rotate, bell ringers ring bells, bands move as they play, etc. Many music clocks have little dancers under the cuckoo door which are spinning when the music plays.

Can the cuckoo and music be switched off at night?

Most clocks have a lever on the side or underneath, located near the weights, which allow you do disable the sounds and movements at anytime. This is known as a Night Shut-off. Ask before purchasing as not every model is equipped with this device. Some clocks may also be fitted with a automatic night-off setting.

Are cuckoo clocks difficult to setup?

Cuckoo clocks are easy to mount and setup provided you understand and follow all the instructions. You receive instructions with your purchase, as well as photographs and details viewable from this website. If you still have problems we may be contacted via email or telephone.

Please feel free to email support@black-forest-hill.com.au with any further questions you may have.


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Black Forest Hill, Cabarlah, Queensland AUSTRALIA
Ph 617 46966288 or 617 46966455
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