German Handmade Cuckoo Clocks

Historical background

The first Cuckoo clocks are believed to originate in a small village deep inside the Black forest region of Germany. Their production dates back in the year 1640 when the first cuckoo clocks were crafted using wood carvings many of which ended painted black.

The original German handmade cuckoo clocks operated using mechanical clock movement designed to work in two ways, the 1-day movement and the 8-day movement. The 1-day movement clocks had to be wounded to motion after every 24 hour of running while the 8-day clocks at the end of every week to continue running.

Styles of Cuckoo clocks

There are two main styles of German handmade cuckoo clocks namely the traditional style and the chalet cuckoo clocks. The chalet styled cuckoo clocks are curved in the design of a house, added some ornamental shapes that hang from the frame of the clock and hanged on the wall. In the traditional style the wood curving is decorated with curving of flowers, leaves or animals, and mostly birds. The traditional ones also have some type of bird figure that appears through a small trap door and moves with the ticking of the clock.

How Cuckoo clocks are different from regular clocks

German handmade cuckoo clocks are clocks designed from hand crafted wood, mainly the Linden wood, and they consist of a pendulum that strikes at the hour and is accompanied by the sound of a Cuckoo call. The regular clocks are mainly quartz clocks manufactured designs designed from synthetic materials and lack the hand curving properties of the traditional cuckoo clocks.

Features of the Black Forest Cuckoo clock

This cuckoo clock is named after its region of origin, the Black Forest are of Germany. It is also named so due to the black painting on the German hand curved wood which is the color of its origins.

All Black Forest cuckoo clocks carry similar features the common ones which are:
The wood that curves them is mainly Linden wood.
The clocks produce musical tones mimicking those of cuckoos
The clock movement system is either a 1-day movement or an 8-day movement
1-day clocks weigh less than the 8-day clocks
They original clocks originate from Black forest in Germany
The sound making devices are attached to the top of the clock
They have pendulums that strike at the hour end.
They all incorporate moving element and figurines, especially cuckoo bird, that enhance their symbolism.
How cuckoo clocks are manufactured today

The today’s manufacture has evaded the traditional rule of making the cuckoo clocks simply because of the time it takes to make one German handmade cuckoo clock. Today the manufacturers buy curved woods and preassembled clock movements then they join them by using wood screw. Though the manufacturers don’t follow the traditional rules they still produce quality cuckoo clocks that resemble most of the traditional ones.


Cuckoo clocks are aesthetically designed ornamental clocks made with keen craftsmanship meant to give your surrounding a touch of art. Buying a cuckoo clock and hanging it in your house also provides the feel of nature in its natural beauty placed in a clock work. Take a cuckoo clock into your house and you will have brought the traditional world of art and craftsmanship in to your house.

News Reporter