Today’s cuckoo clocks

The cuckoo clock, from the days it was first introduced in the Black Forest area, always had two main aspects attached to it. The first was the mechanism associated with the call of the cuckoo and the model of the little bird emerging from the clock face. The second aspect was that of the carving on the clock and the external presentation. The cuckoo clock was considered more a work of art than anything else. These aspects have been retained in the manufacture of the clock over the centuries, and the tradition of cuckoo clock making continues to this day.

More countries have since taken to cuckoo clock making and it is available in many different styles. Amongst the more common designs today is the clock with the Deer Head Top and the chalet on a flat surface. The designs continue to be very elaborate, albeit with lesser three dimensional woodwork. Over the years a slightly more sophisticated mechanism, using springs, has been used for the cuckoo call and movement. Also, to add to the call of the cuckoo, a mechanism was included to sound a “gong” simultaneously. The latter was achieved by a simple wire striking a gong at the designated time.

Today’s cuckoo clocks give the same call of a cuckoo, albeit using a different mechanism. While the older cuckoo clocks had mechanical means of making the call of the cuckoo, nowadays the striking sounds are made electronically. These are the battery operated Quartz cuckoo clocks which give the user a lot more control in terms of volume of the sound, or even automatically turning off the cuckoo call when the lights in the room are switched off. For the more quintessential, however, they are not as authentic or rustic, as the original mechanical cuckoo clocks of the Black Forest era.

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