How to choose a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock

What Style?

There are three main styles:

  1. The chalet style
    The chalet style is very popular since it features moving figurines like beer drinkers or woodchoppers.

  2. The traditional style, also known as classic,
    which is known for its deep animal carvings and dark stain.

  3. The station house style
    The station house has a classic look due to its ornamentation.


What Clock Movement?

There are two different movements:

  1. The mechanical brass movement
  2. The battery-powered quartz movement

If you are looking for an authentic Black Forest Cuckoo Clock, you should definitely go with a mechanical movement. The brass movement is available in 1-Day and 8-Day clocks. The former needs to be wound daily, the latter needs winding only once a week. All mechanical movements are manufactured by SBS in Schonach, Black Forest and are well-known under the brand name REGULA.

PROs of mechanical clocks:

✔ Made the traditional way, a true piece of German art.
✔ All music and sounds are made by music boxes and bellows.
✔ A family heirloom that you will pass down generations.

PROs of quartz clocks:

✔ Convenience of a normal wall clock.
✔ More variety of melodies and sounds.
✔ A timekeeper in the beautiful design of a traditional cuckoo clock.


Music and Dancers?

Mechanical cuckoo clocks with three weights play music and have dancers. Clocks without dancers require only two weights. 1-Day clocks play two songs an hour, one song to the full and one song to the half hour. 8-Day clocks play also two songs, but they alternate on the hour. The music box is the only part which is not made in the Black Forest. It is made by high-end brands in Switzerland like REUGE or JOBIN.

Battery-operated clocks often play 12 different melodies, one every hour.


Night Shut-Off

All our cuckoo clocks are equipped with a night shut-off, which prevents the cuckoo call and any music from playing. The shut-off is usually located on the bottom or on the left side of the cuckoo clock case. For more details about this feature, see the Cuckoo Clock Setup section.


Size and Space

Another consideration is the space available you have to hang the clock. Both the size of the clock itself and space required underneath varies a lot.

While chalet clocks come in different sizes, the more features they have the larger the clock case gets. Traditional clocks can be large because of carved animals or antlers on top.

Finally, battery-operated clocks have only decorative weights and chains that don't move. Clocks with mechanical movements, however, require 5-6 feet of room underneath. Also think about pets or small children who could be tempted to pull on the chains.