So What is a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock Anyway? – Designed in Time
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So What is a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock Anyway?

Posted by Megan Mahoney on

So what is a Black Forest cuckoo clock anyway?


A valid question that deserves an answer! All clock enthusiasts make a fuss over a true Black Forest cuckoo clock and there are some good reasons why.

To give a quick background on the Black Forest, it is a mountainous region in southwestern Germany. It is also known for its cuckoo clocks as this is where the cuckoo clock experienced the majority of its growth and evolution. The highly capable clockmakers here perfected it and made it an international success.

First, all the major parts of a Black Forest clock has to be made from Linden wood, produced from the Black Forest. In addition, all Black Forest clocks must operate purely mechanically. This disqualifies quartz clocks from the Black Forest category and is a reason why they are often times cheaper than truly authentic Black Forest clocks.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of a Black Forest clock is that they are all handmade by some of the most skilled and sought after clockmakers in the world today.  The rich tradition and history behind these outstanding clockmakers is nothing short of a legend. (Read about that here!) True quality hand craftsmanship is becoming a rarity in this ever changing world of technology and it is now a privilege to own an object that underwent many hours of modification by a single set of hands and eyes. These clocks are not mass produced and are therefore much more valuable.

Many cuckoo clocks exist today, though Black Forest clocks are undoubtedly the highest quality. Replicas of Black Forest clocks do not have the same carved perfection and often times do not have mechanical movement creating the cuckoo call. In a Black Forest clock, the cuckoo call is produced purely by mechanics, just as it was centuries ago. Air is pushed through two chambers, or bellows, and then through a whistle that generates the cuckoo clock. It is an ingenious design that is rarely seen in any clock other than a Black Forest clock. Often times, copies of Black Forest clocks will only have a recorded cuckoo call that will call on the hour.

The two rectangular boxes on each side of the clock are the bellows that produce the cuckoo clock.

I hope this provided you with a better insight on why Black Forest clocks are the most coveted kind of cuckoo clock. As always, if we didn't answer your question precisely, just ask us!


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