Saturday, December 17, 2005

Click Here for Instructions

It is the time of year when gifts are unpacked and unwrapped in a frenzy. We are very proud that our clocks are opened with such gleeful satisfaction and don't mind a bit when instructions are lost in the mix.

Instructions are very important for these fine clocks though. It is very important that no guesswork should be involved when setting up one of our timepieces.

Therefore we offer the following examples of instructions and articles of care. Please take the time to download and print out the literature that corresponds to your clock. If what you need is not listed here feel free to contact us at

New Haven Steeple Clock from Sternreiter
(models MM 808 381 08 and QM 028 381 08)

New Haven Steeple Clock from Sternreiter - care of mechanical chimes
(model #MM 808 381 08)

Brahms, Ellington, Schuman, and Lincoln Mechanical Tambours from Sternreiter
(models MM 808 116, MM 808 118, MM 808 119, and MM 808 146)

Emily, Handel, and Bauhaus Mechanical Wall Clocks from Sternreiter
(models SW 808 630 07, SW 808 793, and SW 818 160)

Cuckoo Clocks

Care of cuckoo clock chains

Hohenzollern, "All Are Mine," and Freiburg from Rombach und Haas
(models 7640, 7641, and 7642)

Rottenburg with glass bells from Rombach und Haas
(model #7304 G)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Care of cuckoo clock chains

Every so often we want to hang a cuckoo clock (or any clock that is powered by weights) in a place where there might not be room for the weights to fall. This is an old problem. In fact, visitors can see where, in Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, Jefferson cut holes in the floor to allow his clock to run longer. The weights fell through the floor into the room below and added a longer running time for the clock.

New clock owners frequently ask if they have to allow the weights to fall freely to the floor for the full 5-6 ft. distance. "Will it harm the clock if I hang it over a table or sideboard?"

The answer is no, you will not harm the clock, but obstructing the fall of the weights will stop it from running the full 1 or 8 days. It simply means that you will have to wind the clock more frequently.

If the owner of the clock does wish to hang it over something he or she may want to secure the chains somehow so that they don't interfere. The best way to do this is to simply hang the ring end of the chain onto the hook end.

In this picture you can see the difference between the two ends. Here the weight is hung on the end of the chain with the hook. As the clock runs the weight will gradually drop while the ring end gradually rises to the clock.

In the following picture you can see how to hang the chain with the ring onto the extra bit of hook. This will prevent the chain with the ring from touching the floor and it prevents the chain from getting in the way of whatever is below the clock. Naturally you could also use up more of the extra chain by hanging it further up - on one of the links of the chain - rather than on the ring.

Again, obstructing the fall of the weights will cause the clock to need more frequent windings. Cutting the chains will void the clock's warranty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Stock Update 1200, 8200

Unfortunately we have run out of our special 1200 and 8200 models. More are on their way but we won't be able to deliver before the holidays.

Consider the following alternatives:
1200T - lovely two-tone finish with deeper carving and wooden hands and bird
1202 - slightly larger with finer finish and carving, also with wooden hands, bird and shut-off lever
8200P - hand-painted accents with Edelweiss flowers
8240 - Finer finish with deeper carving and wooden hands and bird, shut-off lever

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stock Update

If you are a retailer it is important that you have our best sellers in stock. Make sure you order them now so that you are sure to be able to supply your customers. We are running low on the 1200 and 8200 models and although more are on the way, they won't be here by the end of this year.

In addition, just for clarification, the following is a list of discontinued or changed cuckoo clocks:

1100 Discontinued
1101 Discontinued (click here for an alternative)
1202B Discontinued
1236 Discontinued
1253 Discontinued
1254 Discontinued
1279 Discontinued
1312 Discontinued
1336 Discontinued
1353 Discontinued
1382 Discontinued
1386 Replaced by a NEW DESIGN
1392 Discontinued
8202 Discontinued
8212 Discontinued
8213 Discontinued
8227 Discontinued
8231 Discontinued
8232 Discontinued
8345 Discontinued
8355 Discontinued
8382 Discontinued
8392 Replaced by a NEW DESIGN

Most of these models have been replaced by NEW better-looking clocks like the 111th Anniversary Collection from Romba and more. Make sure you have our Orange cuckoo catalog as well as the 4-page 4-color new models brochure.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


For those of you who are interested in mechanical automata like our whistling birds, birds in the box, whistlers (as well as the more simple automata on our cuckoo clocks for example) I would highly recommend a book by Tom Standage entitled The Turk. In it he runs through a dizzying history of one of the most famous automata and its association with people like Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, Beethoven, Edgar Allen Poe, and Charles Babbage.

"Automata are the forgotten ancestors of almost all modern technology. From computers to compact-disc players, railway engines to robots, the origins of today's machines can be traced back to the elaborate mechanical toys that flourished in the 18th century. As the first complex machines produced by man, automata represented a proving ground for technology that would later be harnessed in the industrial revolution. But their original uses were rather less utilitarian. Automata were the playthings of royalty, both as a form of entertainment in palaces and courts across Europe and as gifts sent from one ruling family to another. As well as being a source of amusement, automata provided a showcase for each nation's scientific prowess, since they embodied what was, a the time, the absolute cutting edge of new technology. As a result, automata had a far greater social and cultural importance than their outward appearance as mere toys might suggest."

-From The Turk, by Tom Standage, New York: Berkley Books 2002

"The passion for automatic exhibition which characterized the eighteenth century gave rise to the most ingenious mechanical devices, and introduced among the higher order of artists habits of nice and neat execution in the formation of the most delicate pieces of machinery. Those wheels and pinions, which almost eluded our senses by their minuteness, reappeared in the stupendous mechanism of our spinning-machines and our steam-engines. Those mechanical wonders which in one century enriched only the conjurer who used them, contributed in another to augment the wealth of the nation; and those automatic toys which once amused the vulgar, are now employed in extending the power and promoting the civilization of our species."

-From Letters on Natural Magic, by David Brewster, London: John Murray 1832