Cuckoo Clock movements (clockworks) are one of the most important quality features of Original Black Forest Clocks.

Cuckoo clocks come with three different types of movements (clockworks).

  • 1-day movement
  • 8-day movement
  • Quartz-movement

The 1-day and 8-day movements are mechanical movements and the quartz movement is driven by batteries.

Mechanical movements (1-day and 8-day)

The Original Black Forest cuckoo clocks have mechanical movements, just like they had been made centuries ago. Cuckoo clocks with mechanical movements need winding up. The 1-day movements need to be wound up every day and the 8-day movements about once a week. The cuckoo clocks are wound up by pulling the chains down. That’s why a cuckoo clock has to hang about 1.8 meters (6 feet) high because otherwise the weights can’t  extend completely and as a consequence the movement would not be wound up entirely. If the cuckoo clock hangs too low it is not a critical problem but the running time of the movements is reduced and winding up has to be done more often.

All mechanical movements have been made in Germany. Most manufacturers buy their movements from an engineering company called SBS FEINTECHNIK which is situated in the town of Schonach (Black forest). Some manufacturers like Hubert Herr still make the movements in their own workshops. Usually mechanical cuckoo clock movements run for decades. The black Forest clockmakers recommend getting the cuckoo clock movements maintained by a clockmaker every 3-5 years.

Cuckoo Clocks with mechanical movements are by far the most popular Black Forest Clocks because the express the century long tradition of clock making in the Black Forest in the best possible way.

Quartz clockwork / movement

Quartz cuckoo clocks run on batteries. They are not what the Black Forest Clockmakers consider “Original Black Forest Clocks” because they do not have a mechanical movement (clockwork). Quartz cuckoo clocks do not receive the VDS Certificate by the Black forest Clock Association (although made in the Black Forest) because only clocks with mechanical movements receive the VDS certificate. But cuckoo clocks with quartz movements also run for a long time without any problems. Apart from the movement the quartz cuckoo clocks are made with the same quality as the 1-day and 8-day cuckoo clocks.


The quartz cuckoo clocks are the least expensive. Mechanical movements are more expensive in general. The 8-day movement is the most expensive. Most large cuckoo clocks have an 8-day movement.

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