A clock, whether it is a grandfather clock, grandmother clock, wall clock or mantle clock, may have a moving pendulum in the clock case which does not necessarily tell a viewer whether the clock is mechanically or quartz driven.
Clocks in free-standing cases with moving pendulums have historically been the very definition of a grandfather clock or grandmother clock, especially when looking at an antique grandfather clock or antique grandmother clock.
A funny thing has happened to the www.pendulum-clock.com in the clock industry in recent years, which is the development of quartz or battery driven wall clocks and grandfather clocks and mantel clock where the pendulum may be moving back and forth and appear to be identical to an antique mechanical pendulum-driven clock, but in actuality, the pendulum is driven by its own separate mechanism, frequently including batteries, and simulates the movement of a mechanical mantel clock, wall clock or grandfather clock. These clocks, especially the grandfather clocks, will also have weights, and therefore appear to be weight driven mechanical clocks, but the weights are purely decorative, and do not move up when the clock is wound, because there is nothing to wind anyway and they are battery driven but the weights do also not move down over time as it is the quartz movement driven by batteries which are making the clock run, and the weights are there purely for decoration or show or simulation of a mechanical grandfather, mantle or wall clock.
Whenever a customer orders a quartz clock either in our Stores or over the phone and they order a quartz driven clock with a moving pendulum, we always try to make sure they know what they are getting. These clocks can be quite nice, and they are generally a lot less expensive, but as with anything else in life, there can be pros and cons to each type of so-called pendulum clocks movement.
We also need to make the distinction between high quality brands such as Howard Miller Clocks and Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks and Ridgeway Clocks and the many no-name or “misleading name” truly cheap and poorly made clocks that may look nice in the pictures or even when first open, but are crafted to simply fool customers into thinking they are getting a great deal or making some meaningful compromise, when all they are really getting is, putting it frankly, a piece of junk. These clocks will also have quartz driven movements, and the cases may appear similar at first glance, but that is about where the legitimate comparisons end. We get dozens of calls weekly from individuals who have purchased these cheaply made clocks, frequently with model names similar to the major brands, and also frequently carried by large national well-respected retailers, but these callers find there is no one to call when they run into the inevitable problems, and they may have done some assembly which means the retailer will not even consider any return. One area often overlooked is the quality of the chiming mechanism of the grandfather clock or grandmother or wall or mantel clock, which can vary widely. Generally speaking, mechanical grandfather movements made by the high-end grandfather clock makers, such as Howard Miller and Hermle Clock and Kieninger Clocks will have the best sounding chimes, including Westminster Chimes, Ave Maria, Ode to Joy, Whittington and St Michaels. Some of these ultra-cheap models might have the same chime, but comparing the quality of the chime is the difference between night and day.
Some advantages of well-made quartz-driven clocks, aside from the lower cost, include the fact that one does not have to wind the clock. Most models come with both volume control and automatic nighttime shutoff. These advantages can outweigh the disadvantages for some customers, who might also want to compare chain driven grandfather clocks, which tend to be much less expensive than cable driven grandfather clocks, but still have many of the same advantages or mechanical vs quartz.
At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we realize these choices can be a bit daunting to grandfather clock shoppers, as well as wall clocks shoppers and those looking for the best mantle clock or mantel clock from their perspective.
Feel free to give us a call or visit us any time. We are here to help and to make your clock shopping experience all that it can be.