Updated: June 8, 2015
Cuckoo Clock Reviews:My wife is Korean and for some reason everyone in their family has a cuckoo clock. After we got married I put off the idea of buying one for as long as possible. Then we had our daughter and the idea came up again. I've never wanted a clock that has a little bird come out and irritate everyone with a "cuckoo". I lost the battle and our search was on for an authentic cuckoo clock. Our local clock store had only the original German handcrafted models which were well over $500 and seemed like a waste of money. They are well made, but $500 for a cuckoo clock? Online there are dozens of clock websites that carry the cheaper ones and that is what we settled on. Unfortunately after just 1 month the mechanism to have the bird come out stopped working so we were back to square one. We had a clock but no cuckoo. We decided to check with her family on where to get one.
Choosing a Cuckoo Clock - My brother in-law said they have very simple cuckoo clocks at stores in Chinatown (San Francisco). We live in Oregon, so I wasn't about to drive down there for a $60 clock. He was nice enough to buy it and ship it up to us. The clock has worked quite nicely (eventhough it was cheap) for 7 years now. There is a switch on the side where you can turn off the "cuckoo" part and that is what I do. Every once in a while I turn it on so that our 6 year old son can watch the "cuckoo bird" come out and do it's thing. I still find it annoying, but at least I can control the frequency of cuckoos. If you choose to go with a more expensive cuckoo clock, then you'll want to consider manufacturers like Rombach & Haas, Anton Schneider and Hubert Herr. The authentic Black Forest cuckoo clocks come with a certificate of authenticity which the replicas won't. You will find 3 main styles - traditional, chalet, and novelty. Many people actually collect cuckoo clocks and that is why the novelty ones sell so well. I prefer the hand carved ones with nature scenes, but you will pay a premium for those. Another feature is the clock movement itself. Most cuckoo clocks offer 1 day and 8 day movements. The 1 day movement clocks will require more work on your part as they need to be wound daily. The 8 day movement clocks only call on the hour so they don't need to be wound daily (once a week). Wood vs Plastic - The cheap clocks are made with synthetic woods or plastics that have been painted. If you are buying for kids or just to have a novelty clock in the house, the cheaper versions should be just fine. I have found that the switch on the side of our clock (the one that denotes how often the cuckoo comes out) doesn't always function properly. Unfortunately we found this out the hard way by being woken up in the middle of the night with a cuckoo bird. Since that has happened, we just leave the clock in the "off" position most of the time. It still keeps the time, but no cuckoo bird appears. River City Clocks carry a good mid-range cuckoo clock - priced at $150 to $200. We found quite a few of their top rated models on Amazon.com. Other reputable stores online are Cuckoo-palace.com and Cuckooclockworld.com. .