Cuckoo Clock and Black forest clock - maintenance, service and repair

We only offer mechanical clocks by members of the VDS (Black Forest Clock Association). Only renowned manufacturers of cuckoo clocks are members of this Association. The VDS certificate for cuckoo clocks gives customers the guarantee that they have bought a genuine Black Forest clock. In the near future there will probably be cuckoo clocks from Eastern Europe on the market in addition to the present plastic products from the Far East. Then consumers have a clear indication of Original Black Forest clocks.

Only mechanical clocks which have been completely produced in the Black Forest including all their essential parts are credited with the VDS certificate. Quartz cuckoo clocks do not receive a certificate. Customers of cuckoo clocks made by VDS members have another big advantage. The Association has a network of worldwide service stations which guarantees quick and high quality service.


Before you receive a Black Forest clock it has been tested intensively. Very rarely you will have a problem with an Original Black Forest cuckoo clock. Since all manufacturers pay greatest attention to product quality there are almost no warranty claims. All cuckoo clocks come with a 24 month warranty for mechanical parts. If you have a warranty claim please contact us first.

Care & Maintenance

Cuckoo clocks do not need very much regular care. The modern movements are sophisticated, easy to maintain and durable.

Usually a cuckoo clock runs for many years without any problems. However the manufacturers recommend to get the clock maintained (cleaned and oiled) every 3-5 years by a clockmaker. Your local clockmaker can do this for you. Although the movements are built to last at least for 30 years regular maintenance will increase the live of the clock.


Should you experience a problem with your cuckoo clocks after the warranty of 24 months has expired then there are different ways to get help.

  • You can get help from your local clockmaker. If you need new parts for your cuckoo clock then a local clockmaker can probably not help you. In this case you can contact us, the manufacturer or this website which is specialized in clock parts (www.timesavers.com).
  • You can contact a VDS service partner.
  • You can contact the manufacturer or ask us to get in contact with the manufacturer for you.

Mounting, set-up and shipping of a cuckoo clock

Every cuckoo clock comes with a user manual and a set-up manual. Please read those instructions before you unpack the cuckoo clock. If possible keep the original box the clock came with because it is ideal for shipping the cuckoo clock.

The most important advice is this: After the little bag under the clock containing the chains has been opened, the clock must not be turned upside-down since this could cause the chains to slip from their wheels.

Find the best place in your home for the cuckoo clock. Depending on the size and type of movement a cuckoo clock can easily weigh 10 kg (22 lbs). This makes it necessary that you have a solid support that is strong enough to hold the black forest clock. Please also consider that the weights must hang freely which usually requires a minimum height of 1.5 - 2.0 m (5-6 1/2 feet). Otherwise you will need to pull up (wind up) the weights more often because the movement would not be able to rewind completely.

If you need to ship a cuckoo clock, pull the chains so the hooks are under the case. Insert a piece of string, wire or a twist wrap through all the chains "close as possible to the case bottom." Bundle up the chains in a piece of aluminium foil and tie up tightly with a rubber band, tape or string. This prevents the chains from coming off the wheels, and creating a snarled mess of chains inside the clock. Put a strip of paper in the spiral gong on the inside of the back access panel. Pack the clock in an oversized box with crushed newspaper (best is the original box), do not use Styrofoam peanuts, and then wrap and label the pendulum, and place in box. Do not send the weights. If there are any numbers on the weights, ( 275 or 320, etc.), write them on a piece of paper, along with your name, address, phone number, your Email address, a short description of any problems, and enclose it in box.

Help FAQ

  • After unpacking the clock the cuckoo (and the music with musical clocks) does not work.

    Please follow the SETUP INSTRUCTIONS carefully, when unpacking your cuckoo clock. If the clock should not work in the end, please check the following points:
    1. Have the clamps been removed from the bellows inside the clock as described in the instructions?
    2. Has the cuckoo's door been "unlocked"? You have to turn a little wire to the side that secured the door while shipping.
    3. Please check the position of the night shut-off. The most common reason why cuckoo and music do not work is that they have been turned off. With some cuckoo clocks the night shut-off is a switch at the left side of the clock, with other types it is a wire under the clock. CHECK both positions of the night shut off and make sure that the switch is not "somewhere between" the ON and OFF position.
  • A chain is off the wheel.

    If one of the weights always drops to the floor at once, the chain has fallen off the wheel. Fixing this is not so easy, it will require patience.

    To fix this pull the other chains fully up, remove all weights. Take a piece of wire and secure the other chains under the clock's case "as close as possible" to the bottom of the case. This is VERY IMPORTANT, otherwise the other chains will fall of their wheels as well during the next step.

    Take the clock from the wall, open it on the back. Now turn the clock upside-down and try to balance the chain back on the wheel.
  • The clock runs too slow / too fast.

    The pendulum is responsible for making the black forest clock keep time. If your clock runs too fast, you can move the pendulum-disc down a little on the pendulum to correct this. If the clock is running to slow you have to move the pendulum-disc up. This should also be described in your clock's setup instructions.

    Please keep in mind that moving the pendulum leaf or disc 1/8 Inch (3 mm) on the pendulum stick is equal to a 3 minute change in a 24 hour period.

  • The clock Stops

    Please make sure that the Black Forest clock is adjusted properly on the wall. The clock must be placed in a correct vertical position so that the pendulum can swing freely.

    You must "listen" to the clock and be sure that the clock has an even "Tick-Tock" sound. Do not adjust the clock with your eyes, do it with your ears. This is adjusted by moving the clock to the right or left, until you hear the "tick-tock" sound which is even.
  • The clock does not cuckoo on the full and on the half-hour, but at other times.

    It is not the cuckoo that goes wrong, but the minute-hand is in the wrong position.

    To adjust the hand you should, loosen the hand nut, and reposition the minute-hand to the proper hour, and retighten the hand nut.
  • The cuckoo calls the wrong time (for example 5 times at 7 o'clock, 6 times at 8 o'clock).

    It is not the cuckoo that goes wrong, but the hour-hand is in the wrong position.

    To set the hour hand, you can pull the hand at the attachment point on the hand shaft, pulling towards the minute hand until it is loose, reposition the hand to the proper hour, and push the hand towards the dial until it is tight.

    If your cuckoo clock uses wooden hands you may need a little glue (cyanoacrylat "super glue" ) to attach the hand again, but please be very careful with the glue.
  • After the cuckoo has called, the door stays open

    If you open the cuckoo clock on the back you will see a thin wire that starts at the bellows and goes up to the cuckoo. This wire should move the cuckoo up and down a little while it calls. It is not connected with the cuckoo but usually ends under the cuckoo's tail.

    During shipping it may happen that this wire is turned above the cuckoo. If it is above, it may block the cuckoo and the door.

    To fix this you can simply turn the wire around the cuckoo - carefully - so it is under the cuckoo's tail again. This should be quite easy if you open the cuckoo's door (the cuckoo will move forward when the door is opened).

Videos for setting up and troubleshooting your clock



First Steps: Unwrapping and hanging up your clock


Troubleshooting: The cuckoo is not calling


Troubleshooting: The music does not work


Troubleshooting: The clock does not work

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