After decades in the clocks business, with specialties in grandfather clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks and mantel clocks, we came to realize that many of our customers looking for high-end clocks, frequently including antique clocks collectors, were interested in the types of locks that have special features including Limited Edition Clocks, tubular chime grandfather clocks, nested bell clocks (generally found only on the highest end clocks 100 to 300 years ago, automata clocks including telluriums and astrolabiums (we hope to also carry orreries soon), triple dial calendar moonphase clocks, and Astro Regulators (sometimes also referred to as Astronomical Regulators).
Frequently, even if these clocks could ever be found with the same features in clocks from 100 or more years ago, the cost of those antique clocks would be astronomical compared to the still fairly hefty prices that these new clocks command today. In most all cases, there are additional features on the new vs. antique versions, with an automatic nightime shutoff option probably being the clearest example.
Of the high-end makers that 1-800-4CLOCKS sells, the 2 companies that specialize in making these high-end artwork collector clocks include Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks. 1-800-4CLOCKS.com has a section on its website entitled Automata & Specialty Clocks, and includes clocks under that umbrella term in several categories, including Astrolabium & Tellurium Clocks, Nested Bell Clocks, Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, Triple Calendar Moonphase Clocks, Astronomical Regulator Clocks and Limited Edition Clocks (you know it will be rare, by definition).
Many of the clocks and watches and we have sold ending up in museums and horological exhibits around the world. We understand that many of our customers are seeking family heirlooms to be cherished today and for generations to come. These Automata and specialty clocks fill a need for serious collectors who want and appreciate the mechanics of these fine timepieces which are in some ways reproductions of antique treasures of yesteryear. If your father or mother collected high-end clocks, these may be like one of those they most cherished. Otherwise it is more likely that clocks of these types were owned by the luckiest of ancestral collectors in the last 100 years or even centuries ago.