Cuckoo Clocks


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Cuckoo Clock Buying Guide

How to Choose a Genuine Cuckoo Clock

Purchasing a cuckoo clock can be both an exciting and a rather daunting experience. You’re about to buy a timepiece that is guaranteed to bring you and your family joy and happiness for many generations to come. However you might have some concerns about whether the cuckoo clock you want to purchase is truly genuine. Questions such as how do you know for sure that what you’re buying is going to be the real deal?


With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to figure out exactly what your needs are and how to meet them. The first step would be to decide whether you are after a mechanical cuckoo clock or a battery operated cuckoo clock- two types of cuckoo clocks which can differ in a few ways. Let's take a closer look at the two types in more detail.


Understanding Differences in Mechanical Cuckoo Clocks


Black Forest mechanical cuckoo clocks are weight driven and come with two different movements:


  • 1 Day Movement - you wind the clock by pulling the chain and winding the weights once a day
  • 8 Day Movement - you wind the clock by pulling the chain and winding the weights once a week


Each clock will have either two or three weights; two weights for the cuckoo only and three weights for the cuckoo and music. One weight runs the clock movement and hands that show the time and the second weight drives the cuckoo calling mechanism. The cuckoo sound is produced using bellows that push air through two whistles creating the 'cook' and 'coo' sounds respectively. If you choose to also have music with your mechanical cuckoo clock, the third weight drives a traditional mechanical music box movement with a pinned cylinder that plucks notes on a 'comb' to produce a melody.


Mechanical cuckoo clocks can be silenced with a manual on/off lever, with some models also featuring an automatic night off function. This means that you can turn the cuckoo and music off completely, or in the case of the automatic night off function, it will switch itself off when it is dark.


When you purchase a mechanical cuckoo clock from us, you will be guaranteed a product that is authentic in origin, sourced directly from Germany, and crafted of the highest quality. These beautiful and unique hand carved clocks date back to the early 18th century and are still manufactured in the Black Forest region of Germany today. 


When you purchase a mechanical cuckoo clock with the Clock Shop, you will also receive a VdS certificate of authenticity, guaranteeing you a product crafted of uncompromising quality and tradition- standards that each manufacturer must meet in order to achieve this certificate. 

Click to read more about the Association of the Black Forest Clock (Verein – die Schwarzwalduhr: VdS) 


Quartz Battery Operated Cuckoo Clocks


If you are after something easier to manage and more hands off than a traditional mechanical cuckoo clock, why not consider one of our quartz battery operated cuckoo clocks. Unlike mechanical cuckoo clocks, these never need to be wound and often have ornamental or decorative weights and chains that don't hang as low as the weights and chains of mechanical clocks.


Quartz cuckoo clocks are available with or without music; the models that come with music play 12 different tunes that alternate each hour. All quartz cuckoo clocks also feature a light sensor for automatic night shut off to guarantee you a sound sleep when it is dark. 


Automata are self operating or controlled mechanisms designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of   operations: the cuckoo sound and the bird that appears when the door opens is one example of an automaton. Cuckoo clocks frequently have other automata (moving parts and figurines) which move when the cuckoo calls or the music plays. Some of the common automata that feature on our range of battery operated cuckoo clocks include woodchoppers, beer drinkers, kissing couples, animals and water wheels. This automata is featured on both mechanical and quartz cuckoo clocks.


Cuckoo clocks are an art form that combines accurate timekeeping with beautiful carvings, creating an art piece deserving of display in your desired space.


Comparing Features of Genuine Cuckoo Clocks

Cuckoo clocks are true works of art that add a touch of intrigue to any home. Their precise timekeeping mechanisms announce the time musically either on the hour or half hour. To avoid some common mistakes people make when choosing a genuine cuckoo clock, check out some of these additional features below to help you further understand each type of clock:


  • The majority of cuckoo clocks are made from Linden wood from the Black Forest region of Germany and are crafted in various styles, for example, Traditional and Chalet. Traditional cuckoo clocks are hand carved, whereas the chalet version always features a typical Black Forest house.
  • 1 day mechanical clocks with music play music on the hour and half hour and require daily winding, whilst 8 day mechanical clocks with music only play music on the hour and only need winding once a week.
  • Light sleepers will appreciate the automatic night shutoff switch which allows you to silence the clock overnight or during the day, depending upon your preference. Mechanical clocks require you to move a lever up or down to activate the silence function, whilst some quartz battery clocks contain a light sensor that automatically mutes the sounds once the room darkens.


Consider all factors before making your selection, including how often your clock needs to be wound, when you want to be notified of the time, and if you need quiet at night for a restful slumber.


Tips Regarding Authentic Cuckoo Clocks


Serving as an art piece that also functions as a timekeeper, consider purchasing a cuckoo clock online from the Clock Shop as an investment that can be passed down to future generations.


  • Choosing a piece with many moving figures adds to the unique qualities of the timepiece. Moving figures on the clock will add more interest and will have your children or grandchildren fascinated with the array of dancers, animals, men cutting lumber and cheerful folks lifting a stein.
  • The music choices that accompany our cuckoo clocks are often German folk songs, so make sure you will be comfortable hearing the same melodies throughout the day. If not, you can opt for a cuckoo sound only, bringing an element of nature directly into your chosen space. 

Time to Choose Your First Authentic Cuckoo Clock!


When you are ready to make a selection, simply follow our steps below:


  1. Choose your preferred style - Do you adore the chalet style cuckoo clocks, or can you not take your eyes off that amazing carved cuckoo clock?
  2. Choose between battery operated or mechanical, and if you choose mechanical, decide whether you would prefer a 1 day or 8 day mechanism.
  3. Finally, make sure you choose a style that you love, because in choosing a timepiece that you are truly attracted to, this will create character in your home. You can be assured of a cuckoo clock of the highest quality when you shop from Clock Shop, which will ultimately stand the test of time, lasting for many years to come.


One final tip! To prevent damage in case repairs are needed or if you’re moving house it is always worth taking photos as you unpack the clock to ensure you can replicate the packing. We also recommend keeping the original box if possible.


Still Unsure?

Watch our video for a clearer explain of the differences in cuckoo clocks




Why Buy from Clock Shop?

Our small family run business has been standing in the same location since 1993, providing Australia with an option for consistent quality timepieces. We pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service, striving to create both memorable and unique experiences for customers both in store and online. We import all of our cuckoo clocks from The Black Forest, and the products that we carry all have the hallmarks of quality and precision engineering, ensuring longevity that customers have come to expect. Every year, some of our team travel directly to Germany to meet with our chosen manufacturers and trusted suppliers, discussing new models and products with master carvers. We hand select our products individually to guarantee you the highest quality and standard. We are an authorized VdS (Verein – die Schwarzwalduhr) Black Forest Clock Association service and repair shop with an onsite clockmaker to handle any repairs. 


Please don’t hesitate to phone us for more information on any of our products or to discuss specific details in person. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you with your selection and provide you with all the information you need to choose the correct product for you.



Fast Delivery and Happiness Guaranteed

Shopping online with the Clock Shop guarantees a purchase that is easy, fast and secure. No matter where you live in Australia, buy with confidence knowing that your order will be carefully packed and dispatched in a timely manner - Your happiness is our guarantee!