From Grandfather Clock

Grandfather Clocks from Sweden named Mora

If you are an experienced and worldly clock collector of antique grandfather clocks, you have no doubt seen the almost ubiquitous  Swedish (and sometimes French) Mora style clocks that were so prevalent and desired from 1825-1925 and beyond.  Some of the Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks and Hermle Grandfather Clocks have borrowed, or certainly resemble, some of the basic features of Mora Clocks.

The website So Much Better With Age recently featured Mora clocks and made the following observations:

The Swedish Mora Clock is a design classic that has a timeless appeal and works in almost every setting.  At Swedish Interior Design, we have over 60 antique Swedish Mora clocks for sale and I thought today I’d share some thoughts on what to look for when you choose a Mora.

Everyone loves them for their unique shape and elegant femininity.  The movie ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is often people’s first entry in the timeless world of the Mora Clock.  They are now exceedingly rare and there are a few things to think about if you want to find the right one.

Remember every original Mora clock is a unique piece, handmade by a craftsman or cooperative so the hood size, clock face, belly shape etc. are always subtly or dramatically different on the clocks you will see.

Atlanta Magazine also ran a piece about Mora clocks more recently and why they are so desirable. In our own experience, while they are certainly distinctive, with many of the being one-of-a-kind finely crafted case with an excellent movement, it is relatively rare that we get any special requests for a Mora Clock. One on display may be snapped up in due course, but requests for searchers (and we get many) are few and far between. While they are great and stylish clocks, we think it is fair to say they are neither known nor necessarily appreciated the way they might be worldwide.  We have found some of our favorites in Lobbies of Hotels and in Restaurants of New York City.

As Atlanta Magazine pointed out in its January issue just published, there are 5 things to know about Swedish (Mora) Clocks below. We find this to be both an insightful and credible analysis:

With their distinctive hourglass shape and pastel palette, Swedish clocks exude a feminine charm. A. Tyner Antiques, located in the Galleries of Peachtree Hills, has become one of the nation’s foremost dealers in these elegant timepieces. “They’re just so happy to look at,” says owner Angie Tyner, who’s been known to ship a hundred at a time back from Scandinavia.

Swedish longcase clocks were most popular from the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries, says Tyner. Some early versions had only one hand, which indicated the hour. Most antiques cost $3,000 to $6,000.

Generally, movements were produced in small factories and cabinets were made by local carpenters. A clock’s style and decoration frequently indicate its place of origin. Simpler clocks from the town of Mora are perhaps best known. Tyner’s favorites are extra curvy clocks from the Fryksdahl region.

Cases were usually painted, often many times over, in the usual Swedish palette of grays, creams, and pale blues. Clocks from the central part of the country were occasionally decorated with painted flowers.

Today’s owners sometimes choose to replace the original works with a battery-powered quartz movement so the clocks don’t require winding. Though Swedish clocks chime on the hour, their tones are generally not as elaborate as those of English grandfather clocks.

Most clocks were custom orders made by local artisans, so there is little consistency in design. “Every time I buy, I see something unique,” says Tyner.

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Tags: A. Tyner Antiques, Beauty and the Beast, clocks, Galleries of Peachtree Hills, home decor, Swedish clocks

Grandfather Clocks from Sweden known as Mora Grandfather Clocks
Grandfather Clocks from Sweden known as Mora Grandfather Clocks

Smart Watches to Doom High-End Wristwatch and Clock Markets?

According to a recent article in Newser Magazine – shown here – there is the longer-term potential for smartwatches to siphon off enough sales to the high-end luxury watch market, including Rolex watches, to really doom the market over the longer-term.

While long-term it could conceivably have such an effect, we think that the concerns are overblown. It’s been true for some decades now that inexpensively priced quartz watches and clocks could keep more accurate time that even the highest-end mechanical wristwatches and clocks – including such watch brands as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantine and Jaeger LeCoultre, just to name a few, and mechanical clocks – including such makers as Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks.

Buyers of high-end clocks and watches are drawn to them as pieces of art, with mechanisms and craftsmanship that defy time and are truly wondrous artworks to behold and be appreciated. For many wristwatch and clock owners and collectors, the more complications and the more sophisticated the skills are in making these masterpieces, the more appreciated these timepieces are by their owners, who frequently pass these works of art from one generation to the next.

This explains why so many individuals and families choose to have antique or new mechanical clocks, especially grandfather clocks, by brands such as Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather and Mantel Clocks, and Hermle Grandfather and Wall and Mantle Clocks. The same is true for the Patek Philippe owner, as but one example of holding a timepiece to transfer from one generation to the next.

Model 22823-740352
Hermle Tellurium model 22823-740352 close-up view

Clock Emojis Are Becoming Popular

What your emojis say about you?  Wall clock emojis are rising in popularity, according to a new paper published Tuesday in the journal Trends on Cognitive Sciences, a team of psychologists argue that as our daily interactions become more digital, scientists will benefit from studying them further. In particular, due to the growing use of emojis helping us get the same satisfaction from digital interactions as if we were communicating in person.

Grandfather Clocks emojis have also been in use for a while and may be rising in popularity as well. We have yet to see branded emojis for Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or Hermle Clocks or Ridgeway grandfather clocks, but they may be coming soon. We would be very interested in hearing from any developer who can make great emojis in the style of mantel clocks or Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.

Express yourself with wall clocks emojis. The world is waiting.

Grandfather Clocks, Wall Clocks, Mantle Clocks
Clocks Among More Popular Emojis per CNN and Other Studies

Waltham Clocks and Watches

The Waltham Clock Company and Waltham Pocket Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Company, is one of America’s oldest and finest makers of precision timepieces.  Although best known overall the the many tens of millions of Waltham Pocket Watches that they produced, the company was also quite skilled in making some of the finest grandfather clocks of their era, including Tiffany Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, many wall clocks, including banjo clocks, and mantel clocks and desk clocks, and many clocks used in early automobiles, most of which were the oversize pocket watches in special casings with large mainsprings which would for run for 8 days on a single wind.

One can hold a Waltham Clock or Waltham Wristwatch or Waltham pocket watch, like those of Elgin from a similar time and comparable quality, and can get the clock or watch running, and they were made with such superb quality and workmanship that they frequently both look and still act and perform as though they were made yesterday.  It is no accident that Waltham referred to its scientifically built clocks and pocket watches and wristwatches.  Many watches which were in cases guaranteed for five years or ten years or 25 years not only still have the mechanisms in perfect working order, but also have the original finish which in many instances has exceed its claim guarantee by twenty times over.  It is about the closest we come today to time travel into the past with a time machine.

Some of the finest grandfather clocks made circa 1900 were made by Waltham Clocks, an almost stealth part of Waltham Watches, with Tiffany & Company of New York being one of the major retailer beneficiaries.  Still, Waltham did not advertise their name on Tiffany-branded clocks, which was also true of many timepieces retailed by Tiffany including Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. Tiffany and Company at that time did not actually make any of their clocks or pocket watches or wristwatches, and instead special-ordered them in small quantities from high-end horological suppliers such as those name above.  Indeed, one of several tubular chime grandfather clocks we have bought and sold over the years had the face, dial, movement, and tubular chimes made by Waltham, with the dial engraved Tiffany & Company, and the only giveaway to someone who is not a seasoned collector is that all of of the tubes are stamped with the Waltham name.

Which brings to mind one point we have wondered about thousands of times over the years, and especially true when looking at some of the most finely made verge fusee pocket watches made in Switzerland, England, France and Germany, and elsewhere, particularly in Western Europe, in the 1700 and 1800s.  Many of these pocket watches, including some of the highest caliber and quality, were never signed anywhere on the pocket watch case or movements.  Frequently one will find pocket watch cases with all of the era appropriate hallmarks, only to find the precision work of art, which in many instances is not an understatement that it had years worth of work involved in making, and yet still not in many instances signed the the maker, or in reality artist.  We have seen this on some of the highest quality minute repeater pocket watches and of almost every size and type.  The same is sometimes true of clock-makers, which in many instances can be equally mind-boggling.

At 1-800-4CLOCKS, we always strive to get discussions going about the best in new and antique clocks and watches.  Relevant feedback is always appreciated.

Antique Waltham Clocks and Watches
Antique Waltham Clocks and Watches

Clock Tower Penthouse

As tower clock and grandfather clock collectors and enthusiasts, we just had to share a picture of this May 2014 supplement cover in the New York Times Home Section for this amazing looking clock tower penthouse:

Grandfather Clock Not Enough?
Grandfather Clock Not Enough?












Even not seeing the rest of the decor, or even knowing the location, it is hard to imagine a more striking view from the inside of one’s luxury home or apartment.  What is not clear from the photo is whether this is an antique clock with a mechanical mechanism beneath that we can not see, or whether it is operated purely by electricity.  On the question of whether this clock has the typical Westminster chimes of grandfather clocks and the Big Ben Tower Clock in London, we are guessing, since this clock is in a residential space, that it is like one of the elegant antique grandfather clock regulators with precision timing like those found in old-time jewelry stores of yesteryear.

We are intrigued enough by this property that we decided to do a bit more research.  The real estate brokerage firm representing the sale of this apartment is the highly regarded Corcoran Group of New York City.  We are assuming that they will not mind this unauthorized plug for this property here.  Turns out the owner is asking “only” 18 million dollars.

Here is a more complete description:

An Historic Gem; An Exceptional Home. The exquisite triplex penthouse atop Brooklyn’s iconic Clock Tower building in vibrant DUMBO will awe you with its architectural beauty, luxurious finishes, and spectacular views. Designed for flow and functionality, your custom kitchen by Canova is adorned with white lacquer cabinets, Pietra Cardosa sandstone and stainless steel countertops with integral sinks, and appliances by Gaggenau and Sub-Zero. Entertaining is a dream as you enjoy meals with guests in the huge living and dining areas that have endless layout possibilities with your backdrop of the 4 famous 14-foot glass clocks encircling the apartment, offering one-of-a-kind 360-degree views. Other highlights: soaring ceilings from 16 to 50 ft; solid rift quartered sawn 5-inch white oak plank floors; a custom glass-enclosed 3-story private elevator and architectural wraparound stairway; spa-like baths with radiant heated natural stone floors, glass wall tiles, fixtures and fittings by Dornbracht; Smart Home technology with Crestron system for heating, AC, lighting, AV and sun control. The master suite will delight you with views of lower Manhattan, and en-suite bath where you can gaze at the Manhattan Bridge to the Statue of Liberty from your soaking tub. Two additional bedrooms with private baths, a recreational space, sky roof cabana and open deck also showcase views from The Verrazano Bridge to the Empire State Building.

Additional features of this property include: Private Elevator.

Not too shabby.

NASCAR Ridgeway Martinsville Grandfather Clock R2505

Prized NASCAR Ridgeway Martinsville grandfather clock 2505.  According to the SB Nation dot com website, whomever wins a race at the legendary NASCAR Martinsville Speedway, a Grandfather clock is awaiting them in Victory Lane.  The Ridgeway Martinsville Grandfather Clock is a trophy that has become one of the most recognizable and sought after in NASCAR.  Dale Earnhardt Jr has high hopes and expectations for winning at Martinsville Raceway, just like his father did on 6 previous occasions.

But it was not meant to be.  While Dale Earnhardt Jr reclaimed his #1 spot in the NASCAR power rankings. he finished 3rd in last Sunday’s race.   So his quest for a Martinsville grandfather clock continues, as Earnhardt had neither the car nor the tires to contend with Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson for the win. But in a testament to the kind of season he has had so far, Earnhardt’s third-place effort Sunday was the fourth time he has finished third or better this year. That is impressive!

Our grandfather clock inquiry phone lines have been buzzing lately due to the NASCAR enthusiast and grandfather clock shoppers who are NASCAR fans and have been reading the press about Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, and the prized award of a Ridgeway Martinsville Grandfather Clock model R2505  for the winner of Sunday March 31 NASCAR Martinsville race.

NASCAR and the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Company, which is nowadays a division of Howard Miller Clocks — and Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks are truly equivalent, with the grandfather clock cases being made in the same place in Michigan, and the same German mechanical movements made by Kieninger Clocks being used, aside from different styles, it is really only the name on the grandfather clock dial that makes the grandfather clock appear different in a meaningful way — have a long history of grandfather clocks and floor clocks being given as prizes to NASCAR Champions.

NASCAR, as many will know, stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The Martinsville Speedway is an International Speedway Corporation-owned NASCAR stock car racing track located in Henry County, in Ridgeway, Virginia, just to the south of Martinsville.  Many think Martinsville is NASCAR’s best track!

So, Dale, we know you want to win one of these Ridgeway Grandfather Clock’s Martinsville models by winning this race, and while we surely think you will, perhaps you or one or many of your fans will be tempted to get this great Ridgeway grandfather clock so you can use them as bookends of sorts, or better, as pillars between which to park your winning race car.

We are always thrilled to have NASCAR fans shop with us, as we are for all the major USA sports including NFL, MLB and the PGA among others.

Here’s the famous NASCAR Ridgeway Martinsville Grandfather Clock model, with a link to it on the 1-800-4CLOCKS website:

Ridgeway Martinsville NASCAR Grandfather Clock R2505
Ridgeway Martinsville NASCAR Grandfather Clock R2505

Ridgeway Martinsville Grandfather Clock
List: $3,657.50
SALE: $2,560.25

Howard Miller means Clocks Plus

The Howard Miller Clock Company, as it had been formally organized for many years, has evolved from its origins.  Some are aware that Howard Miller was the son of Herman Miller of Herman Miller Furniture fame, and Howard Miller started his career making clocks as part of a new Clock Division at Herman Miller.  Eventually, Howard Miller moved just across the street in Zeeland Michigan, and started his own company, Howard Miller Clocks, to focus on the clock market specifically, to which he was most dedicated and enthusiastic.

Almost 100 years later, both Herman Miller and Howard Miller live and thrive as companies still within the general framework of their founders. One fact worth noting is that Howard Miller Clocks still does much of its own manufacturing in the USA, allowing most of its grandfather clocks to sport the Made in USA logo.  Seems especially worthy of not given this post is being written during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Howard Miller Clocks is probably best known for its historical domination of the high-end grandfather clock market.  The cache with the Howard Miller clock name is undoubted, and many people gravitate to Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks because of the reputation and well-known and respected name, in addition to making the largest selection of high-end grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks in the market today.  This is true whether you are looking at mechanical chiming grandfather clocks with Westminster Chimes or Triple Chimes, or a grandfather clock or grandmother clocks with special features such as automatic nighttime shutoff, illuminated dials, rotating moon phase dials, or lit cabinets.  Tubular Chime grandfather clocks is one area where one of its competitors is gaining ground, with Hermle Clocks offering a nice selection of Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks.  Both Howard Miller Clocks and Hermle Clocks offer German Mechanical movements, with Howard Miller having Kieninger Grandfather Cl0ck movements and Hermle Grandfather Clocks having movements made by Hermle itself in its main German headquarters and manufacturing location.  Kieninger, though owned by Howard Miller Clocks, is also a German company, and by itself offers a magnificent collection of German-made grandfather clocks.  Interestingly, during this period in recent years, Hermle Clocks has also started to make some of its best high-quality Grandfather Clocks here in the USA, in its Amherst Virginia USA headquarters, warehouse and manufacturing location.

The Howard Miller Clocks story has evolved, and in quite interesting ways.  In addition to grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks, the company makes Television Consoles, Furniture and upholstery for the Home and institutional marketplace, Wine and Bar Furnishing. Clock Urns,  Mirrors, and Home Storage units, just to name the main ones.

Interestingly, and most likely on purpose, Howard Miller and Herman Miller today still do not overlap in any meaningful way in their offerings.

Howard Miller seems to be transforming itself into a Lifestyle Brand.  The new Howard Miller Logo with the words Enhancing Life at Home™, shows the transformation the grandfather clock wall clock, and mantel clock industry giant is successfully making.

Howard Miller Clocks is Evolving into a Lifestyle Brand
Howard Miller Clocks is Evolving into a Lifestyle Brand