Black Forest Clocks
began to be crafted in the 17th century in Germany. The first Black Forest clocks that were made were very simple in design. They were crafted for everyday use in common homes, but as the clocks grew in popularity their designs began to change and the faces became more intricate.
Styles of Black Forest Clocks
The clocks that made this brand famous were their cuckoo clocks, figurine clocks, flute clocks, and grandfather clocks. Each of these styles has intricate details and carvings that make them works of art.
These clocks were originally crafted in Triberg and then later in St. Peter. In 1850 a school for clockmakers was established by Duchy of Baden in hopes that clock production would become more efficient and reliable. Mass production started to happen during the nineteenth century and the German clockmakers led the world in production.
After the American Civil War, the making of timepieces became more competitive and companies that could mass produce cheaper clocks caused the German artisans to lose sales.
Adaption to Changing Times
When the clockmakers first started building Black Forest Clocks the items were handcrafted from high-quality wooden materials. Even the cogwheels that turned the inner works of these items were carved from wood. The changes in the world and the invention of plastic clock cases in the seventies caused a decline in sales and production of these high-quality timepieces.
The manufacturers had to make changes and adapt in order to keep the Black Forest Clocks competitive with the newly industrialized countries who were using the cheaper materials to mass produce timepieces. As time progressed and further advancements in clocks were made, like quartz clockworks, and LCD watches, the Black Forest clockmakers had to restructure how they made their clocks.
This restructuring hurt the clockmakers and caused a reduction in the number of qualified clockmakers. In 1973 Black Forest clockmakers numbered close to twenty-eight thousand and in three short years that number had been dwindled down to only twenty-one thousand artisans.
The one thing that has kept the Black Forest Clocks on the market and in the homes of people is the quality craftsmanship that goes into the construction of these items. These clocks are built by professionals who have learned their craft at the knees of their ancestors and been educated in the proper construction of clocks. They have been making working timepieces for more than three hundred years, and people have learned that they can rely on these clocks to last their lifetime and beyond. When you buy one of these magnificent clocks you are investing in an item that can be passed down through the generations of your family.
Many examples of these clocks are on display in the German Clock Museum. Collectors of antique clocks search for items made by these craftsmen. There is even a German Clock Route that helps to connect museums and clock enthusiasts with the relevant pieces.
Authentic Black Forest Clocks
A clock is said to be an authentic Black Forest piece only if every piece of the clock, from the case to every working mechanism, originated in the area of the Black Forest in Germany. Many sellers will offer a letter of authenticity on the pieces they sell.