Black Forest Cuckoo Clock
Welcome to our online cuckoo clock shop. Our clocks are made from the most renowned cuckoo clock makers of the Black Forest.
Each and every clocks are 100% black forest cuckoo clock and the mechanical clockwork all have their VDS Certificate of Originality.
We hope you'll enjoy our online shop. Browse our large variety of authentic black forest mechanical cuckoo clocks as well as Quartz... or as most people call them "battery coo coo clocks". A comprehensive and detailed information is available for all the clocks.
About the Store
Here in our Cuckoo clock store you find nothing but 100% original Black Forest clocks from the most renowned producers from this region. Our online shop makes it possible for you to buy these artisanal products conveniently and securely online. The process includes quality controls and secure packaging of all products, as well as qualified answers to any questions you may have, prompt and courteous customer service and a selection of several different convenient payment methods.
We offer a rich selection of the most different Black Forest clocks. You can find the world-famous cuckoo clocks on our website in all of their diverse forms. The large assortment of chalet-style clocks and cuckoo clocks with wooden carvings is completed with a collection of cuckoo clocks with modern designs.
Traditional mechanical clocks where the weights operate a gear train in the clock's interior are available with 1-day movements or 8-day movements, which only requires winding once a week. Many of our cuckoo clocks are additionally furnished with a high-quality musical mechanism from the company Reuge in switzerland.
All Black Forest cuckoo clocks with a mechanical movement include a certificate of authenticity from the VDS (Black Forest Clock Association).
Alternatively, you can also choose a clock with a quartz movement. They have the same high-quality, hand-made wooden cases, but are much simpler to operate since it only requires changing standard C size batteries about once a year.
We hope you enjoy browsing in our online shop while searching for your very own Black Forest clock.
History of the Cuckoo Clock
It seems that at the very beginning the first cuckoo clocks came from the black forest and that over time they arrived in France and of course in Switzerland.
The history of clock making in the black forest began around 1630. The inhabitants of the black forest have always worked and carved wood using local wood which was one of the only natural resources in this region. Woodworking was done mainly during winter time when the snow blocked the roads and confined the people in their houses.
Around 1630 a trader from the black forest, on his return from a trip from abroad, came back with a clock, which supposedly came from the country of Bohemia, (today the Czech Republic). The farmer, to whom he showed his clock, was so impressed by this precise mechanism which kept the time better than anything he knew before, decided to build a clock himself. This is where the tradition of making clocks in this country began. Until then inhabitant were only using sundials or hourglasses to get an idea of the time.
The first clocks were rudimentary, The mechanisms were made of wood, and instead of the pendulum, a piece of wood called "Waag" was placed above the dial and moved from front to back. The clockwork industry with wooden cogs was generally linked to the beverage industry, and also, in some cases, to the jewelry store. It was practiced almost exclusively in the Black Forest, in the Bôhmerwald west of the Bohemian plateau, but also in Switzerland.
Most of the inhabitants who made clocks were not wealthy farmers but rather the "Häuslers" (peasants without family and land). In the Black Forest tradition, only the eldest son inherited the farm. His brothers only got a plot. These "Häuslers" then had to work for other farmers to survive during the long winter months. Making clocks was a way for them to add a little income to their slim wages.
In 1690, a clock making industry developed in the region of the High Black Forest. For a very long time, watchmaking remained a domestic industry in this region. The inhabitants of the black forest continued to improve their techniques. Itinerant sellers of clocks while traveling in neighboring regions learned new techniques. In 1712 Friedrich Dilger, from the small village of Urach, left for France for a full year. He came back with new ideas and new tools that he used in manufacturing.
In St. Gall, in 1717 a conflict broke out between the manufacturers of iron clocks and the manufacturers of wooden clocks. This use was also in use in the Appenzell in Toggenburg and even in Neuchâtel, in Val de Ruz until around 1800. Developed slowly in the Black Forest from the second half of the 17th century, this branch of watchmaking was already prosperous in various places and the craftsmen of the country had brought it real improvements, replacing for certain essential organs wood by iron and by brass.
Over time, the inhabitants specialized in the different phases of clock making. There were the wood sculptors, the carpenters manufactured the compartments or cases, the painters decorate them (at that time, the clocks were flat and painted and looked a lot like today's clocks mounted on the walls) and finally manufacturers chains and notched wheels produced the mechanisms. Some clocks were made with moving figurines such as a couple of dancers. Very early they added to these clocks various musical mechanisms (chimes, tympanons, harpsichords, flute games, like the clockmakers of Augsburg and Nuremberg) and little by little also automata, starting with the cuckoo sound.
In 1738 Franz Ketterer from the Village of Schönwald was the first to make a "cuckoo clock" for his clocks. At that time, large artists' clocks were mounted with a rooster in the cities of Prague, Heilbronn, Bern and Strasbourg. Maybe that's where Franz Ketterer had the idea to recreate the sound of the rooster? But reproducing the rooster's sound in a small clock was very difficult. One day while he was walking in the woods with his family he heard a cuckoo bird up in the trees and that's when he had the idea of making this "coo coo" sound. It was reproduced for his cuckoo clock using two bellows with different pitch which by sending air through a pipe made "cuckoo" similar technology used in church organs.
So Ketterer's cuckoo clocks were the first to "coo coo" behind small doors that open at half-hours and hours.
Cuckoo clocks then gained momentum in the black forest. This region was quite poor. It is known that in 1808 in Triberg, one of the neighboring villages, 790 of the 9,013 inhabitants were involved in the manufacture of cuckoo clocks. In 1850, the Duke of Baden established a watchmaking school in Furtwangen, where students learned mathematics and drawing for the manufacture of cuckoo clock mechanisms and the decoration of cases.
In 1858, in connection with an exhibition at Willigen, a reporter described a watchmaking workshop as follows:
"You enter a thatched wooden house with a large balcony. The men are busy sawing wood, cutting out the cuckoo clock cages, delivering the wheels, winding the ropes on the cylinders, attaching the weights, paint numbers and arabesques on the dials, arrange the pipes and cogs of the musical clocks. Women also wield the file and the chisel. These good people almost never get off their mountains, they don't know the pleasures of the cities, and their only recreation consists in dancing Sunday to the sounds of the music of the cuckoo clock...
The clock trade is large and small. Small manufacturers sell their goods themselves. When they have a certain supply of clocks, they load them on their backs and roam the cities making them ring and sing coo coo."
The most famous clock in the Black Forest is "The Universal Time Clock" which was built in 1787. It is located in the German Watchmaking Museum in Furtwangen.
These days, millions of cuckoo clocks are sold around the world and the expertise of Swiss watchmakers is well established.