The landscape of the grandfather clock marketplace is forever changing. New high-end players and some of the existing high-end manufacturers like Americana Grandfather Clocks as a new player and Hermle Clocks new series of Made In America Hermle Grandfather Clocks are examples that the upper end of the grandfather clock marketplace can and will continue to thrive and offer high-end well constructed solid wood grandfather clocks with the best made grandfather clock mechanical movements available today.
One area that seems to have declined over the last decade, and been perhaps a toll of the Great Recession, is high-end grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans supporting those kits. The company we looked o as the leader in this market, Kuempel Chime Clocks of Minnetonka, Minnesota, went out of business perhaps 5 years ago, and they not only sold great grandfather clock kits and grandfather clock plans, but also high-end wall clock kits and mantel clocks kits and plans. Kuempel used only mechanical German movements made by Kieninger in all of their clock kits, including grandfather clock, wall clocks and mantel clocks. We used to gladly steer prospective grandfather clock customers and shoppers, looking for a project to build a high quality grandfather clock, in their direction.
Another company, Mason and Sullivan, comes to mind that used to make, many years ago, we estimate 20 and before, great grandfather clock plans and wall clock plans and mantel clock plans. Their clock plans typically were for reproductions of historic and special clocks by known makers, including the clockmakers John Goddard and Simon Willard and Aaron Willard, as examples. While they also sold some kits with plans, usually with Hermle German mechanical clock movements, they also had many plans which were used by real craftsmen of their times. Some of these can still be found today on eBay.
When grandfather clock shopping, looking for discounts on high-end grandfather clocks, and grandfather clocks on sale and shopping in general, an informed and educated customer is the best type of customer and the one who will get the best deal on grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and be most satisfied with their grandfather clock purchase, not only for years, but for the generations that follow.
Understanding the best grandfather clock brands, which not only include the new Americana Clocks grandfather brand, but also those of Howard Miller Clocks. Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Grandfather and Floor Clocks, including Hermle’s new Made in America line, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, just to name most of the preeminent brands available today. But a smart clocks shopper also needs to understand the differences between mechanical grandfather clocks, e.g. chain driven vs cable driven granfather and grandmother clocks, as well as the many features both within and between product lines and brands. Especially nowadays, one needs to beware of cheap imitation imports which may not last for long at all or may also require much assembly work on the grandfather clock. We continue to get many calls from frustrated grandfather clock shoppers who purchased a floor clock, even from the major department stores or so-called big-box stores, only to find they have nowhere to turn when their grandfather clock no longer works, or never worked to begin with. The grandfather clock shoppers realize too late they have been had, after thinking they had gotten a great grandfather clock bargain.
As the retailer Mr. Syms used to say, An Educated Consumer in Our Best Customer.
Grandfather Clock and Mantel Clocks made from grandfather clocks plans and mantel clock plans from Mason and Sullivan in a Press Photo from 1978