Cuckoo Clocks for Young and Old

Cuckoo Clocks for Young and Old 1814

With the holiday season upon us, consider starting a new tradition. Gift your child with a clock that can last a lifetime, and that can become an heirloom for future generations.
  • Angelo Oliverio Jr.
Precious Objects. Singing Bird Music Boxes by MMM Griesbaum

Precious Objects. Singing Bird Music Boxes by MMM Griesbaum 409

Bird music boxes have a long and noble history dating back to the early 18th century when they were precious objects both in terms of craftsmanship and art. Many technical innovations were applied to the singing bird and music box technology by Swiss and French clock makers until the art of the music boxes was mastered by the German Clock Makers of the Black Forest region in the early 20th century. They popularized the music boxes and made them somewhat more affordable. The company that dominated the market was one headed by Karl Griesbaum of Triberg. From about 1905 up until 1980 the Griesbaum family manufactured singing bird boxes. Around 1980 that original company went bankrupt and was purchased by a German collector and mechanical music enthusiast, Siegfried Wendel, setting up MMM (Mechanische Musikwerke Manufaktur) GmbH in 1990. For about twenty years, the Griesbaum designs, assets, tools, research and know how were carefully housed in a benevolent museum in Germany.  A few years ago the owner of these assets decided to pick up where the Griesbaum left off and revived the business. they resumed the making of singing bird boxes in the tradition of Griesbaum.

True to Griesbaum tradition, MMM produces three basic version of the music boxes: Gold Etched, Gold Plated and Silver Cases.  The mechanism however is the same and so is the quality of sound. 

Each of these birds is carefully manufactured and assembled according to exacting standards.  Each comes with a 1 year manufacturers warranty. The mechanism is as loud and strong as in the best years of Griesbaum. The melody is intricate, complete with vibrato, melismatic lines, and precise articulation. Tiny bellows push air through an automated slide whistle which produces the complex little tune. While whistling, the bird moves its head from side to side. These pieces are truly fascinating. Housed inside the body is a tiny mechanical mechanism with bellows and a multi-pitch whistle that plays a tune on demand. The mechanism is made by hand in Germany and is completely mechanical without any use of speakers or electronics. These are mechanical musical instruments. 

  • Anna Asatryan
Understanding Tourbillion Movement. Time keeps on ticking—but do you know why?

Understanding Tourbillion Movement. Time keeps on ticking—but do you know why? 1139

How long has that antique grandfather clock been sitting in your dining room? Have you ever wondered what makes it, quite literally, tick? How exactly did timepieces manage to keep accurate time without things like batteries (and cellular data) to keep them running? Ready to know the answer? It’s all about the way the clock moves.

Tourbillion Movement

On June 26, 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet, a French-Swiss watchmaker, patented a mechanism called a tourbillion (French for whirlwind) to add to the other mechanics of a watch or clock escapement. He had originally developed the mechanism in 1795. The tourbillion mounts the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage. This effectively counters the influence of gravity and prevents the timepiece from getting stuck in any one position by allowing the entire balance wheel/escapement assembly to continuously rotate at a slow rate (approximately one revolution per minute). The result: positional errors get averaged out and you end up with a much more accurate timepiece.

Shift from function to art

The tourbillion was originally invented to make timepieces much more effective, but today the tourbillion has become ‘timely’ in a different way. Now its presence on a clock suggests not only a nod to the original inventor and the watchmaking trade, but the old technology is also being featured as an art form, adorning some of today’s expensive modern timepieces. Just take a look at the clocks at Carnegie Hall. The newest addition was unveiled in 2012, but its gold back and white backlit face, featuring a giant tourbillion just below the 6 o’clock mark, provides a good example of how the old technology is now being remastered to turn its timekeeping mechanisms (and the clockmaking process) into a work of art.

Looking to feature a tourbillion in your own home?

While many watchmakers (for instance, Kieninger) still use the technology, only a very few of the highest end modern clockmakers still use the tourbillion. That doesn’t mean you are out of luck, though. Timely and Timeless carries a whole collection of clocks that use and feature the tourbillion mechanism. Bring the latest and greatest style of clock art (a form that is as functional as it is fashionable) into your home with the Kieninger Tourbillon Bells Mantel Clock, which also features a nested bell and triple chimes (you won’t know whether to watch the whirlwind or the nine-diamond cut bells first)! You can also check out the Kieninger Tetrika Design-Cube, which features triple chimes and a stark, chrome contrast to its satin red—or whatever color you choose—finish. Panoramika Clocks come in exclusive dark and light wooden finishes, and the Kupola is iconic. If you are looking for the absolute cutest clock ever, then you want the Akkurano Clock. It is miniature in size but huge in style and statement—particularly because of the key feature (it is actually the most adorable thing ever). 

Not quite convinced? Then check this out:

You have to see this video of Timely and Timeless’ curio clock. It has a pneumatic top that goes up and down. You’ll immediately want to put this timepiece in the middle of the room like a Christmas tree, so you can enjoy it from all angles!

Check out more from Timely and Timeless’ collection of tourbillion clocks so you can bring the latest and greatest art form into your home in the most timely way imaginable.

  • paulina Hubli
A Brief Story of Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and Their Past, Present and Future.

A Brief Story of Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and Their Past, Present and Future. 64

It is unlikely that we would some day find out the exact origins of the cuckoo clock. We do know however, that the first cuckoo clocks were made as early as 1640, as the oldest known Black Forest cuckoo clock dates to that time. It is believed that they were first created in a small and remote village called Schonwald, deep in the Black forest. The Cuckoo Song from the forest meant good luck. The first cuckoo clock was thought to be made by a clock master  who wanted to mark the time with a cuckoo chime. Therefore he set out to create a wooden clock, which would allow a cuckoo bird to pop out every hour announcing the hour by how many times it would cuckoo. It didn’t take a long time for the Cuckoo clock’s popularity to grow, spreading out further into other parts of Germany including major cities. 

It is believed that two German tradesman got lost in the Black Forest but fortunately happened upon a remote village where they were welcomed as guests. While staying in the village for a few days to rest before a long journey back through the forest, they saw a cuckoo clock,  which at first glance mesmerized them as they become bewitched by the vast design of the wooden clock. When the tradesmen left the village, they took the clock with them. Soon enough the Black Forest Cuckoo clocks become immensely famous and enriched the tradesmen who first discovered them. 

During the winter months in the Black forest, people had time to create intricate detailed clocks of many different cravings. Villagers even competed amongst themselves in who would create the most astonishingly carved clock. Old clocks, and original drawings of the first clocks are still used as patterns for new models, but the cuckoo clock remains in its basic form. 

Cuckoo clocks are amazing ornaments in the house whether there from the past, present or future, and continue to cheer up their owners and guests of the house with the lucky call. 

  • paulina Hubli