Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks — What You Need to Know

The German Black Forest has a rich cuckoo clock heritage.

For nearly 300 years, Black Forest Germany has been renowned for producing quality, hand carved cuckoo clocks. When considering purchasing such a fine piece of artistry today, discover the importance of knowing just who the maker of your clock is.

Know your clock maker.

You will want to know with surety who actually produced the cuckoo clock you’re admiring, even when visiting the Black Forest region in person. Appearances are often deceiving. Just because you are buying from a quaint little German clock shop and are told their products are hand crafted at the nearby family workshop, that doesn’t make it so. If you see their workshop with craftsmen hard at work…well you most likely can take them at their word. Otherwise, buyers beware.

Whether shopping online or within the Black Forest itself, in most cases you won’t find the name of the clock maker anywhere on the clock, making its true source and identity utterly untraceable.

Are they hiding something?

There just aren’t many family owned clock making businesses left in the German Black Forest region today. Much of the appeal of owning a German Black Forest cuckoo clock is the nostalgia and tradition behind the craft. Picture a snowbound cabin in the middle of a mountain forest; within, see the woodcarver hard at his trade waiting for spring to arrive. This is the bygone scene of an authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock. While most all cuckoo clocks are German, still of those, many are made to appear as something they are not. They are not made by the snowbound woodsman as they once were.

If truly an authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock, why isn’t the name of the artisan anywhere to be found on the clock?

Identifying the manufacturer on the piece would ruin the shopkeeper’s illusion of being an independent craftsman, thereby decreasing value appeal to tourists visiting Germany. Most manufacturers agree to leave their identifiers off their products to help German shopkeepers maintain this illusion.

Understandably, what small clock dealer wouldn’t want to be associated with such a rich heritage as this? Perhaps they’ll just “borrow” the image from days gone by and apply it to themselves. They’ll offer you a certificate stating it is “Authentic Black Forest,” which it is, but you’ll still need to pose the question, “Who made it?”

What happens 5, maybe 10 years down the road when you don’t have a store receipt OR a certificate of authenticity any longer? It will be next to impossible to Identify the manufacturer years after your purchase. You may need to service your clock, but you have no way of knowing where it actually came from.

There is but only one exception to this.

So who can be trusted?

Schneider Cuckoo Clocks is a company that stands alone within the cuckoo clock industry; a clock maker of true Black Forest heritage. In 1848 Anton Schneider began building cuckoo clocks out of his farmhouse in Schonach, Germany and the family business he founded is now in its 6th generation.

In spite of the many innovations within manufacturing over the past 100 years, the old tradition of hand carving is still maintained at Schneider. A love for detail combined with ancient handicraft skills even today are the characteristics of the new generation Schneider cuckoo clock.

After 160 years, Schneider is the oldest German clock company and the only cuckoo clock maker that identifies their name with their product. You’ll find the Schneider name prominently displayed on the dial of every clock, with serial number stamped on the back. The serial number itself tells the story of your clock; i.e., when it was made, its features and the type of movement it has inside.

This is all part of the Schneider advantage. When you’ve lost all documentation of the sale, you can still always just recite your serial number to any Schneider service person around the world and they will know exactly what your clock needs. This is impossible with anyone else but Schneider.

When you consider the rich heritage of the cuckoo clock–if it’s a “Black Forest” clock that interests you–truly the only verifiable clock maker today is Schneider.

Whether visiting the Black Forest region of Germany, or just shopping online, be sure to shop for a verifiable Cuckoo Clock. Peace of mind comes in knowing you have an authentic article and that you can always find help no matter how long ago your clock was purchased.