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Before You Buy A Cuckoo Clock

Why are Cuckoo Clocks so expensive?

Cuckoo clocks are still hand made today, and it takes a lot of skill and men power to make these mechanically driven wonders of engineering. Cuckoo Clocks often feature intricate carving work made by German master carvers, which make a Cuckoo Clock a piece of art rather then a time piece. Unfortunately the declining value of the Dollar is partially responsible for high prices as well.

Why should I get my clock from www.CuckooClock.com.my?

All our Cuckoo Clocks are from from Black Forest, and we are closely accociated with manufacturers. We buy the clocks directly from the factory and import them ourselves, then we stock some of the Cuckoo Clocks in our warehouse, and able to ship faster, react faster if something is wrong with your clock. So, It can be beneficial for you to buy your Cuckoo Clock from us, if there is ever a warranty issue or repair necessary, no need to ship the clock to Germany.

No need to pay custom tax and stuck with paperwork as well! We offer a year warranty for all our Cuckoo Clocks!

We deal with Cuckoo Clocks for years, and know our product very well. There are not many problems we can't solve. Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks usually last a long time. In the unlikely event that you need a part for your clock after warranty expires, we will provide our customers exclusively with these parts at wholesale cost.

I want the real thing. How do I recognize an original Black Forest Cuckoo Clock?

All original Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks carry a certificate of authenticity by the Black Forest clock association. In order to receive this certificate, a Cuckoo Clock has to operate mechanically, has to be handmade in the Black Forest, and all major parts have to be from the Black Forest.

Where are cuckoo clocks made?

Authentic certified clocks are made in the Black Forest region of Germany also known as the Schwarzwald.

What are the major types of cuckoo clocks?

There are two primary types of cuckoo clocks, the Carved and the Chalet Style. Carved Style Cuckoo Clocks usually have traditional carving attached to the case, often themes inspired by nature like animals and leaves. Chalet Style Cuckoo Clocks look like alpine houses, and often feature moving figurines and animals.

How difficult is it to initially setup a Cuckoo Clock?

It is quite simple, please refer to the manual section to see the setup instructions. The most important thing to remember is, to hand it on a strong nail (driven in a stud) or screw (picture hangers don’t work).

How often do the clocks need to be wound?

For an 8-day clock (signified by big weights) you will wind it once per week.  If you have a 1-day clock (smaller weights) you need to wind it once per day. Winding the clocks is very simple and only takes a few seconds. It does not matter at what time of day this is performed. The important thing to remember is to wind the weights before they have dropped so far that they cannot drop any further or hit the floor. If you wait until they stop or are on the floor the clock will stop keeping time.

Is it difficult to rewind a Cuckoo Clock?

It is actually very simple and takes only a couple seconds. Simply pull smoothly on the little ring on one side of the chain, until the pine cones are all the way up. (I personally support the weights for 8-day clocks with one hand, while I wind it with the other).

What other differences are there between a 1-day and 8-day cuckoo clock?

There are few other differences.  An 8-day clock is wound once a week and a 1-day clock is wound once a day.  If your 8-day clock plays music, it will typically have a position for automatic night shut off – something a 1-day clock will almost never have.  There are rules for cuckoo clocks, but because they are hand carved, there is an exception to every rule.

What movement type is right for me?

If you are putting your Cuckoo Clock in a place, where you won’t be every day, you might want to go with a 8-day clock, so you don’t have to reset the clock every time you aren’t able to wind it. Usually 8-day clocks are more expensive than 1-day clocks, because of the bigger movement, and they tend to be more intricately crafted as well. So if you don’t mind winding your Cuckoo Clock once a day, a 1-day movement is a good choice, otherwise a 8-day movement is the way to go.

Why do some cuckoos have 2 weights and some have 3?

Authentic Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks are mechanical clocks (no batteries required). If a cuckoo clock has 3 weights it will play music. If a cuckoo has two weights, it will not play music.  An extra weight is required to operate the music box. Each weight separate weight has its own purpose – one runs the clock, one runs the cuckoo, and the third will run the music (sometimes features moving figurines as well).

Do all cuckoo calls sound alike?

No – The cuckoo noise is created when pair of bellows are pumped as the cuckoo bird pops out.  If those bellows are bigger or smaller they will produce a varying cuckoo sound.  Bigger bellows will make deeper call and smaller bellows a higher call.  Different clocks also have different actions. Sometimes the cuckoo is very fast, sometimes slower.  Hand carved means infinite variety.

Can I get a cuckoo if I have cats or children?

Absolutely! It is recommend that you hang the cuckoo clock a little higher than you normally would. You can also hook the base of the chains to the top of the corresponding weight, reducing the length of the chain.  For cats, an 8-day clock has very heavy weights that would be difficult to bat around.  Kids, on the other hand will always want to investigate, especially something as interesting as a cuckoo. It’s a great opportunity to teach responsibility and good cuckoo clock stewardship – but loop the chains just in case.

Where can I get my clock repaired?

Send your cuckoo clock back to our service center. If the clock has been treated roughly, it may need a new internal mechanism.  If this is the case, the repair may cost more than the clock is worth – we will get an estimate first, before we repair your clock!

How much is my cuckoo worth?

If the clock is very old or a rare style, it can be worth quite a bit. This would need to be determined by a reputable antique dealer, preferably one who specializes in clocks.  Something to consider though – unless it is a rare style, newer clocks are generally worth more than older ones.  The reason, is that although the clock is still hand carved with the old world methods, the interior improves as clock technology improves.  A new clock will often have a more precise mechanism than an old cuckoo clock. For most people, the greatest value is handing the clock down and keeping it in the family for generations.


Maintenance & Repairs

My cuckoo clock is not working properly – right out of the box.

Make sure all inner packing is removed including the clips for the bellows and that the cuckoo bird’s door is not latched shut from the outside. If you do not remove all the packing materials from the interior of the clock, it will not function correctly.

What maintenance does my cuckoo clock need?

For the most part, just occasional dusting. It is recommended that you use a paint brush for the exterior to avoid moving the clock from being flush and plumb. For clocks that have dancers, you can spray the interior gently with some canned air. Occationally open the lid in the back and remove dust and other build up. Get the movement oiled every 3 ~ 5 years.

My cuckoo clock is running too fast or too slow.

This is easily fixed. The pendulum weight will either slide up and down or vertically with a screw.  If the clock is running fast, move the pendulum weight down.  If the clock is running slow, move the pendulum weight up.  It is important to note that 1 millimeter of movement = 10 minutes.  For a slide pendulum, it is advisable to mark the back each time you move it.  The back of the pendulum is not visible during normal operation and it will save you time if you ever need to adjust the clock again. After adjusting the pendulum, you must let the clock run for a full 24 hours to see if the time is adjusted correctly. If at that point it is still fast or slow, repeat the process.

Do I need to oil the gears or chains?

You will likely never need to.  When a clock is oiled, only the gears are oiled, the oil then transfers to the chains. The special clock mineral oil molecularly binds itself to the metal and can last for decades. One important note about the oil – never hang your clock over or adjacent to a working fireplace.  The heat can burn or evaporate the oil from the gears over time, lessening its lifespan. In the end, you should never do anything to the inside of a cuckoo clock without consulting a professional.

The pendulum on my cuckoo clock keeps stopping.

There are several reasons why this might be the case.  The first two (and easiest to fix) are that the clock is either not flush or not plumb.  If the clock is not flush, the pendulum may hit the case, the weights or the chains as it swings.  This will cause it to stop.  If the clock is not plumb, the pendulum will not tick evenly which may also cause it stop. Similarly, having the clock significantly off flush or plumb will cause the chains to hang incorrectly which can affect the performance of the cuckoo and music.  If it is neither of these two scenarios, something is working incorrectly on the inside of the clock, possibly because the chains were pulled too hard or the hour hand was moved. In this instance, do not try to fix it yourself and consult a clock master.

What if a chain comes off?

If the chain has fallen off, you will need to have a clock master repair it.  Never attempt to re-thread a chain yourself as you risk permanent damage.

My cuckoo clock plays music at the wrong time.

If the cuckoo call or music plays at the wrong time, it most likely indicates that the hour hand was moved somehow. This sometimes can happen when setting the clock using the minute hand. As general rule, never move the hour hand. To resolve this issue, moving the hour hand will be necessary. The steps are as follows:

1. Move the minute hand to the hour and see how many times the cuckoo calls.  If you move the clock to 3, and he cuckoos 4 times, you will have to move the hour hand to 4.

2. With your fingers or a pair of needle nose pliers, very gently pull the hour hand towards you by grasping the base.  When it becomes loose, you will be able to move it to the desired position.

3. Once it is set correctly, gently press the hour hand back in towards the dial. Do not push it until it touches the dial, just until you feel resistance.

4. After you are finished, when you move the hands to the next hour (via the minute hand only) the cuckoo should call the matching number of times.  The music plays in response to the cuckoo, so as long as the cuckoo is correct, the music will be correct.

The clock does not cuckoo on the full and on the half-hour, but at other times

It is not the cuckoo that goes wrong, but the minute hand is in the wrong position.

To adjust the hand you should, loosen the hand nut, and reposition the minute hand to the proper hour, and retighten the hand nut. If the cuckoo calls the wrong hour (cuckoos 3 times at 4 o' clock) loosen the hour hand by carefully pulling it off the shaft, move the hand to the 3 o' clock position once it is loose and push it back onto the shaft. Never adjust the time by moving the hour hand, since this will cause this exact problem.

How do I resolve the cuckoo door staying open?

Usually this will be due to the clock not being flush and plumb. If that is not the issue, then it will require professional servicing.

My clock keeps stopping.

The clock will only stop if the pendulum stops swinging. If the pendulum is swinging the clock is running. See the sections on fixing the pendulum and winding the clock.

Why don’t I hear the cuckoo sound?

This can usually be resolved in one of two easy ways. There will be a small wire by the cuckoo bird door that can be moved to block the door and prevent it from opening during shipment. If you do not move the wire so that the door can’t open, your cuckoo will not emerge and thus not trigger the bellows. The other reason that the clock will not cuckoo could be that you have the night shut off valve set to the “Off” position. Typically the lever moved up is “Off”, and down is “On”. There should be a sticker by the lever that will tell you the settings.

The cuckoo call sounds funny.

If the cuckoo call does not sound as it once did and nothing else has changed, it is possible the paper on the bellows needs to be replaced. This is rare and usually only applicable to very old clocks.

How to prepare your clock for shipping back to us?

To send a clock to a server center, pull the chains so the hooks are under the case. Insert a piece of string, wire or a twist wrap through all the chains “close as possible to the case bottom.” Bundle up the chains in a piece of aluminum foil and tie up tightly with a rubber band, tape or string. This prevents the chains from coming off the wheels, and creating a snarled mess of chains inside the clock.

Put a strip of paper in the spiral gong on the inside of the back access panel. Pack the clock in an oversize box with crushed newspaper, (do not use Styrofoam peanuts), and then wrap and label the pendulum, and place in box. Do not send the weights. If there are any numbers on the weights, (275 or 320, etc), write them on a piece of paper, along with your name, address, phone number, your email address, a short description of any problems, and enclose in box.

How long will a cuckoo clock last?

With proper care, your clock can last for generations. The movements in these Cuckoo Clocks are engeneered to last at least 30 years. If you dust it semi-regularly and treat it with a reasonable amount of delicacy, your cuckoo clock will continue to operate long into the future, and you will be able to pass them down to your kids or grandkids. When you are ready for a new cuckoo clock, we offer a wide selection of quality, authentic cuckoo clocks at our online store.