Cuckoo Clocks made in Germany are renowned all over the world for great quality. Generally a cuckoo clock is a pendulum regulated clock. The initial clock stroked the hours with a sound similar to that of cuckoo clock. Furthermore, the clock had a mechanical cuckoo that emerged with each note. Since the middle of the 18th century, almost every kind of a cuckoo clock had a mechanism to produce the cuckoo call. Until today this mechanism has remained and without any variation.
Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks
Traditionally the manufacturing of the clock was in the Black Forest region of Germany. The cuckoo’s design is now conventional. Most of the clocks design is related to the traditional design which allows easier hanging on the wall. In the traditional design, the manufacturers decorated the wooden case with carved animals or leaves. They also used bird’s which appeared through a small trap door. The bird to move as the clock stroke the hour or half hour. Generally, they achieved this by means of an arm whose purpose was to lift the back of the carving.
A quality clock will always have the features handcarved. Some of the finest features of Black Forest cuckoo clocks are miniature birds, trains and people. The are handpainted by artist that can give them a real live effect. Clocks made by the Hubert Herr company in Germany are renowned and famous around the world.
Cuckoo Clock Movements
Typically, there are two types of these clocks. The first clock is the one day, 30 hour clock and the second is the eight day clockworks. Some of these clocks have some musical devices and will always play some tunes on the Swiss musical box each time they strike an hour and half an hour.
In the eight day clock, these tunes will only sound after the clock strike at the full hour. The half hour tunes will only happen in the one day clocks. The musical cuckoo clocks will also feature some animations which keep moving as the musical box is playing the tune.
Cuckoo Clock Music and Sounds
Most of the Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks are weight driven although a few of them are spring driven. The manufacturers design the weights to drive them from cast iron. The weights are pine cone shaped. The cuckoo sound is created by the use of two tiny pipes (gedakt) and they also attach some bellows to their tops. The clocks movement is what activates the bellows which sends puffs of air into these pipes every time the time keeper strikes.
Today, quartz battery powered cuckoo clocks are also available. Contrary to the earlier clocks which had the birds emerging from the enclosure and kept moving up and down, the quartz clocks have birds, which flap the wings and even open the beak while singing. During a call, the double doors open and the cuckoo emerge. This only happens during the full hour.
The clocks have no gong string wire. They have an electromagnet that pulses on and off to controls the movement. The electromagnet attracts a weight, which plays the part of a fulcrum. These movements cause the bird to move up and down. In addition, the clocks have no traditional bellows producing the call. They have a digital recording of a cuckoo calling and also producing its echo in the wild. In the background of the cuckoo call there are sounds of other birds and waterfalls.