Modern Cuckoo Clock Styles – Designed in Time
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Modern Cuckoo Clock Styles

Posted by Megan Mahoney on

Cuckoo clocks have stood the test of time and sometimes we wonder if there is any need for them to change. While the traditional cuckoo clocks will always remain a staple in the clockmaking industry, many fifth, sixth and seventh generation clockmakers are willing to give innovation a try.

Today, Rombach and Haas is a leader in the design of the modern cuckoo clock. They still offer a wide selection of traditional Black Forest cuckoo clocks, with many of them holding a Black Forest seal of authenticity. They will continue to produce not only carved and chalet cuckoo clocks but also their award-winning railroad and shield cuckoo clocks from the earliest days of cuckoo clock making.

Nonetheless, they are pioneers in the field of modern cuckoo clocks.

1.) The BauhausBauhaus Cuckoo Clock

One of their most popular new inventions is the Bauhaus cuckoo clock. Bauhaus literally means “construction house”. There was even a German art school that combined crafts and fine arts founded with the name.

The new Bauhaus cuckoo clock is therefore aptly named as it does combine the fine art of home decor style and the craft of clockmaking.

Rombach and Haas' Bauhaus cuckoo clocks that are brightly colored and very popular among home decor enthusiasts.

They are typically an alternating stripe pattern of red, blue or green with a cream color. The cuckoo bird usually appears in a corner, rather than the center of the top of the clock. The clock dial itself is also offset and may not even include any roman numerals.

Despite these drastic changes, the cuckoo clock does still maintain weights and a pendulum, though they are rarely the cast iron pine cone weights you would typically see in a traditional Black Forest cuckoo clock.

While the design of the clocks may be drastically different, the same Black Forest master craftsmanship has remained unchanged. Many of these clocks are still hand carved and hand painted and maintain the same cuckoo bird that a traditional cuckoo clock would carry.

2.) Simple Line StyleSimple Line Cuckoo Clock

Another modern cuckoo style that Rombach and Haas created is the Simple Line style. They often take the shape of a birdhouse, though they still maintain the cuckoo bird.

These are also usually brightly colored, making them a favorite for home decor enthusiasts. Some common colors include bright yellow, white and blue. Simple Line cuckoo clocks often only have clock hands and omit the traditional Roman numerals (or any numbers for that matter).

These cuckoos do have weights, though unlike the Bauhaus cuckoo clock, the simple line cuckoo clock often has cast iron pine cone weights.



3.) Free Bird Free Bird Cuckoo Clock

Remember the classic Black Forest cuckoo theme of bird and leaf? Well, now Rombach and Haas has taken that theme and reinvented it. Instead of having a bird perched on top of the leaves, now it just sits on top of the clock case.

This is called a “free bird” style cuckoo clock. It places the cuckoo clock on top of the clock case rather than inside it. I suppose that cuckoo birds prefer to be free of their clock cages too.

The clock case itself is typically simply a box of wood and is sometimes painted a bright color. The free bird cuckoo clock still maintains the traditional cast iron pine cone weights and even the pendulum.


4.) Pyramid ShapePyramid Cuckoo Clock

Another modern cuckoo clock that has proven to be a fabulous success is the pyramid cuckoo clock. This is the first cuckoo clock that has left the typical box case and shield design. It is, as its name suggests, a pyramid shape.

The exterior typically features a forest scene, though it is usually a wood carving. The cuckoo bird is housed at the top of the pyramid and emerges on the hour, just like any traditional cuckoo clock.


5.) Elegance From WoodModern Cuckoo Clock Design

The final popular style of cuckoo clock we will examine reverts to the shield cuckoo clock design. It is a flat surface that features forest leaf and vine carvings. These scenes are usually charming images of the Black Forest and its villagers, combining tradition with innovation. Unlike the shield clock, the cuckoo bird is placed below the clock dial. The carving on these clocks is a modern art lovers dream! They truly are a piece of art!


There are many other styles of modern cuckoo clocks emerging, but these are just a few of the more popular ones. Some have gone back to a more shield style that focuses on the original paintings of shield clocks, while others have gone back to the original idea of the case that the roadhouse cuckoo clock introduced. All still contain Black Forest themes, but combine tradition with modern innovation. 

Modern decor has also been raving about them. The blog Home Designing has several that are certainly a refreshing blend of modern and tradition. I encourage you to check them out.

Do you have a modern cuckoo clock? Share it with us below!

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