When deciding whether to purchase any kind of clock, whether a mantle clock, a grandfather clock, or a wall clock, the question of whether to get a time only clock, or ones with chimes, always looks large.
One option is to get a time only mantel clock, with no chimes or gongs. Another option is to get a mantel clock with a single chime, with the westminster clock being the most popular clock chime.
Many mantle clocks have triple chimes, with the most tradition clocks chimes being a combination of the Westminster, Whittington, and St. Michael Chimes. Two other clocks chimes which have been introduced on clock movements to varying degrees in more recent years include the Beethoven Ode to Joy Clock Chime, and Schubert’s Ave Maria clock chimes. This chime choice is most frequently available on quartz driven mantel clocks and wall clocks, but is also included on a handful of mechanical clocks as well. One of this writer’s personal favorites is the Howard Miller Clayton Grandfather Clock, which includes the Ave Maria and Ode to Joy Chimes in its mechanical movement.
Another point to consider is whether one wants a clock with an automatic nighttime shutoff option feature. This is only available on quartz or battery driven mantle clocks and grandmother clocks and wall clocks. Mechanical grandfather clocks, as well as mechanical mantel clocks and wall clocks will almost always have a chime-silence option, which needs to be set manually. Another difference between mechanical clocks and quartz clocks is that the quartz clocks will frequently is that the quartz clocks will frequently have a volume control, whereas mechanical clocks do not.
Having said all of the above, one also needs to take into account the sound quality of the clocks being considered, whether a mantel clock, grandfather clock, or wall clock. All of the mechanical clocks we sell have a far superior sound quality compared to quartz clocks. The reason that mechanical mantel clocks and grandfather clocks have superior sound quality is that one is actually hearing the hammers strike the chime rods, whereas quartz clocks have a sound chip, which means actually that one is listening to a recording.
If you want great sound quality that is built to last, go for one of the Howard Miller or Hermle mechanical mantle clocks. If you want a lower price, the convenience of not having to wind the clock, and volume control and auto night shutoff, than a quartz clock, whether by Howard Miller or Hermle or Ridgeway Clocks, is an excellent alternative. Just recognize the trade-offs.