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Tuesday 25 July 2017
News updated at 10:39 AM IST

Say hello to the cuckoo

Aug 30, 2013 : 21:21 IST
On song: Nothing can beat the hand-made traditional cuckoo clocks in craftsmanship or quality that Germans are famous for. (Photo by author)
Gone are the days when grandfather clocks and other wall clocks adorned our homes, standing testimony to a rich past. But cuckoo clocks have managed to retain that charm and, Michelle Cherian finds, add to the look of a home.

Cuckoo clocks are one of the most iconic and traditional memories one can buy on a trip to Germany and bring home to brighten your home with. A cuckoo clock is a speciality of the Black Forest region of Germany but if you ask around you will be able to pick up one quite easily across Germany. They are beautiful to own and every time the cuckoo calls out the time you will remember your holiday!

Today, besides the carved traditional cuckoo clocks you will find many beautiful Chalet cuckoo clocks, wonderful Alpine House clocks, impressive Black Forest House cuckoo clocks and traditionally carved cuckoo clocks — all hand carved in the Black Forest. There is also an expensive variety called the handmade shield or wall clock. These clocks are hand painted and very unusual.

We personally fell in love with the carved traditional clock which comes in a variety of wood tones. The very first clock we owned was of a dark chestnut tone and had a deer’s head on the top of it. The one we own now is much larger, walnut coloured and has a pair of owls on the mast head. The weights are heavier and big, but the clock needs winding only once in two days.

The mechanical cuckoo clocks come with one-day movement which means you have to pull up their weights every day. You can also buy the comfortable eight-day movement which comes with the VDS Certificate of Authenticity. The VDS is the Association of the Black Forest Clock Industry that issues certificates only to Original German Black Forest clocks that have a mechanical movement and have been produced in the Black Forest in Southern Germany.

A number of busy people prefer buying the quartz cuckoo clocks which are also produced by the clock manufacturers but do not receive the VDS certificate because they do not have the traditional mechanical clockwork. An original Black Forest cuckoo clock is always the right choice.

“A cuckoo clock stands for centuries-long clock making tradition, German quality and original German craftsmanship,” said Hugo Schmidt, while showing us his collection on sale in a beautiful shop in Berlin.

Today with the Internet, a person in India can order a cuckoo clock via online-shopping. But there are a few mistakes that can happen we were told.

Black Forest cuckoo clocks are certainly not only bought within Germany. The symbol of German culture can be sent to every country in the world. A customer who walks into a shop has no difficulties in buying a product even if there are linguistic obstacles. So eventually it doesn’t matter if he wants to buy a coo coo clock, cucko clock or a coco clock in a shop.

Online-shops require their customers to use written words. The cuckoo clock is a perfect example of a rather difficult way to shop online especially when search engines are asked for coo coo clocks or cookoo clocks. Take your time to check and choose with care.

Most people do not have an exact URL. So do a little surfing before you order and don’t worry about quality. The Germans are very proud of their quality so any cuckoo clock from Germany will be long lasting, great to look at, easy to maintain and a treasure you can pass down for generations. A wonderful asset for any modern home, anywhere in the world.

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