Best cuckoo clock

Decor

Cuckoo clocks are traditionally forged from linden wood, which comes from the linden tree local to the Black Forest region of Germany.

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Which cuckoo clocks are best?

Cuckoo clocks are some of the most intricate and beautifully designed clocks there are. Built with hours of care and patience, they are typically hand-carved over months before being constructed to tell stories and delight all who come into contact with them.

First seen in the Bavarian area of Germany in the 1600s, the cuckoo clock was originally constructed from wooden gears and stones. Artisans would work all winter on their clocks before peddlers would take them to be sold worldwide. With such an extensive history, it is no surprise that cuckoo clocks are still sought after today.

What to know before buying a cuckoo clock

Cuckoo clock construction

How cuckoo clocks are constructed depends on the specific artisans and manufacturers who have developed and perfected their processes throughout the years. Many manufacturers have created elaborate scenes with full casts of characters, telling full stories of cities, villages and individuals. 

The manufacturing process is complex, starting with the craftsman selecting the wood to be used. First, the outer frame is designed and constructed before the clock is assembled by mounting the movement within its case. The last bits of the clock to be added are the sound-making devices that bring the clock to life. 

Mechanical vs. quartz movements

Traditional clocks utilize mechanical clock movements, meaning that they must be regularly wound to keep the clock ticking. There are generally two types of movements—one-day or eight-day—requiring winding once a day or once a week, respectively. Quartz-movement clocks remove the need for clocks to be wound and are powered by batteries

Different cuckoo calls

The cuckoo call of the clock is as iconic as the clock itself. Both mechanical and quartz movement clocks will have these calls, and the call is also unique to the manufacturer, in the same way the clock’s styles are. These calls are attached to the bird for which these clocks are named. 

What to look for in a quality cuckoo clock

Style

There are two main styles of cuckoo clocks: chalet clocks and carved clocks.

  • Chalet clocks will feature a carved house, often with figures dancing and engaging in everyday activities.
  • Carved cuckoo clocks will generally show scenes of nature or natural landscapes. Some standard animals on these clocks include birds and deer, as well as trees carved with intricate designs. 

Night shut-off features

Cuckoo clocks are designed to sound off every hour or half-hour, depending on the clock. However, this may not be desired at night. With most cuckoo clocks, there are two ways of turning off the sound during the night: The first is by manually shutting the clock off, turning a lever that quiets the clock every night. The other is by utilizing an automatic shut-off, which allows the clock to turn off independently. However, not all clocks come with this feature. 

Other musical elements

Aside from the signature cuckoo bird sound, cuckoo clocks can have several other musical sounds and elements that bring the world of the clock to life. Some examples of this include traditional German folk songs. Many mechanical-movement clocks may offer two melodies. 

How much you can expect to spend on a cuckoo clock

Cuckoo clocks are a testament to craftsmanship and design. As a result, finding quality cuckoo clocks that cost less than $100 is rare. Most inexpensive clocks may be in this price range, but their construction and quality will not be on par with authentic German cuckoo clocks. Most cuckoo clocks will cost between $100 and $500, depending on their style and mechanics. Many of these clocks may offer only a one-day movement, while others might provide eight-day movements. The most expensive cuckoo clocks can cost well over $500. These are intricately designed and expertly crafted, with details that take hundreds of hours to make. 

Cuckoo clock FAQ

How do you know if a cuckoo clock is authentic?

A. Authentic German cuckoo clocks will come with a seal of authenticity from Vertrauen durch Sicherheit, widely known in Germany as VdS—a company that operates as an independent certification agency. This certification indicates that the clocks are made by one of the world’s best manufacturers of cuckoo clocks. 

What is the best way to fix a cuckoo clock?

A. In most cases, it would be best to take your broken cuckoo clock to a professional clock repair shop. However, if you intend on fixing it yourself, make sure to handle all small clock pieces with care. 

What is the best cuckoo clock to buy?

Best of the best cuckoo clock

Hönes Cuckoo Clock Owls HO 179/4nu

Hönes Cuckoo Clock Owls HO 179/4nu

What you need to know: This Hönes cuckoo clock is built by one of Germany’s top authentic cuckoo-clock brands, and offers a stunning design. 

What you’ll love: The Hönes clock features durable and robust construction, and it comes with a manual night shut-off lever. 

What you should consider: Some users have reported minimal damage to the clock from shipping. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Best bang for your buck cuckoo clock

Kintrot Cuckoo Clock Handcrafted Traditional Black Forest Wood Clock

Kintrot Cuckoo Clock Handcrafted Traditional Black Forest Wood Clock

What you need to know: This delightful cuckoo clock by Kintrot features a cuckoo bird popping out from its nest to entertain people of all ages.

What you’ll love: Its gorgeous design is made from solid wood and is powered by three type-c batteries, making turning it off as easy as a push of a button. 

What you should consider: Batteries are not included with this clock. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Honorable mentions

Kendal Vivid Large Deer Handcrafted Wood Cuckoo Clock

Kendal Vivid Large Deer Handcrafted Wood Cuckoo Clock

What you need to know: This handcrafted deer clock by Kendal features a prominent deer tableau framed in beautiful dark wood. 

What you’ll love: A cuckoo bird will come out and perform every half hour while the proscenium rotates. It also has an automatic night shut-off sensor. 

What you should consider: This clock requires batteries to operate. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Quartz Cuckoo Clock Black Forest House with Moving Wood Chopper and Mill Wheel

Quartz Cuckoo Clock Black Forest House with Moving Wood Chopper and Mill Wheel

What you need to know: This expertly crafted quartz cuckoo clock features a house tableau with several figurines that dance during the clock’s song. 

What you’ll love: The clock plays 12 tunes, and the cuckoo calls every hour until the automatic night mode silences it.    

What you should consider: Some users have reported that the clock arrived damaged or broken. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

HerrZeit by Adolf Herr Quartz Cuckoo Clock

HerrZeit by Adolf Herr Quartz Cuckoo Clock

What you need to know: This beautiful blue cuckoo clock by HerrZeit offers a half-timbered house tableau. 

What you’ll love: It has a light sensor that automatically turns off the cuckoo sound and music at night, and it comes with a certificate of authenticity. 

What you should consider: The batteries are not included with this clock. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

 

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Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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