clock & barometer repairs
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cuckoo clocks

I no longer take in cuckoo clocks for repair; they are just too unreliable. But here's a little about them.

Traditionally, the best German wood carvers gathered around the Triberg district in the Black Forest region and lent their craft to the developing cuckoo clock industry there. The earliest hand-made cuckoo clocks date from as far back as 1750 and good original ones fetch very high prices despite the somewhat primitive hand built movements fitted to them. The movements incorporate an array of wires bent to shape with pliers to control the cuckoo, the bellows and all the other features. Not all are wall-hung and often the wood was very hard polished walnut.

Those cuckoo clocks bear little resemblance to modern cuckoo clocks, many of which are aimed at the tourist trade and often made from spruce pine and plywood, displaying brightly painted birds and trees. The bought-in movements inside are usually mass-produced ones, punched out on heavy presses. They are not amongst the most sophisticated to work on and I don't much enjoy it but they are a good deal better than the ones from China with battery-driven quartz movements..

The cheapest authentic cuckoo clocks only run for a day between winding and many have a Regula movement such as the Model 25 (see Image 1) or Model 35. Others by Huber Herr have Herr's own 60 movement (Image 2) or 75. Both Regula and Herr also make 8 day versions (Regula's 34 & 72, and Herr's 80) which are a little more expensive. They all tend to have rack striking. Earlier clocks had a countwheel strike (Image 3) and pre-1900 you will find some similar but with cast plates and countwheel (Image 4) instead of the 20C punched out parts.

Some clocks just need a chain refitted, a weight, a pendulum, a cuckoo, a dial, numerals, a hand or bellows (see Image 5). They have always been low down on my list of preferred clocks to repair and since reducing my hours, I've stopped taking them on comletely.

If you fancy trying to repair your own, you'll find 'Black Forest Clockmaker and the Cuckoo Clock' by Karl Kochmann (reproduced in small paperback by Clockworks Press) will help a little. It also gives some interesting history about cuckoo clocks.



  • The de facto one day Cuckoo clock movement - Regula Model 25
  • The alternative one day Cuckoo clock movement - Herr 60
  • An un-named Chinese one day Cuckoo clock movement
  • CuckooD
  • CuckooE