The history of grandfather clocks brands is an ever changing one. Going back to the 1700s and 1800s is Western Europe, parts of Eastern Europe, and the New World, the makers of clocks were extremely decentralized. This was true for pocket watches as well. So much so that when signing a grandfather clock or a pocket watch, or a wall clock or mantel clock for that matter, the maker, when they signed their work, put their name, and then their town location. That tells you a lot right their about how locally focused individual clocks markers were, even though the works if select makers were prized the world over.
In the late 1800s, clock makers started to be centralized, and built manufacturing facilities capable of producing high quality clocks in much larger quantities. Many of the major makers of their day went out of business, or were later brought back to life because of the value of their name, for different reasons. Clock makers that fall into this category include Junghans, Gustav Becker, Winterhalder and Hoffmeir, E.J. Dent, New Haven Clock Company, Ansonia Clocks, E Howard Clocks, and the list goes on and on.
Today, when focusing on grandfather clocks specifically, and keeping in mind that we are looking at only what we consider to be the high-end makers and those who make clocks in any quantities, there are relatively few players on the higher-end. Howard Miller grandfather clocks continue to dominate the high-end market. Hermle grandfather clocks, which have been around for well over a hundred years, is another leading high end maker of floor clocks, a term used synonymously for grandfather clocks. Ridgeway grandfather clocks, which have also been making grandfather clocks for over 100 years, is another great brand. It is worth noting that Ridgeway Clocks was purchased by Howard Miller Clocks about 8 years ago, and while Ridgeway grandfather clocks still bear their brand name with pride, they are in reality not only a division of Howard Miller Clocks, but also essentially identical to Howard Miller grandfather clocks with comparable movements and features, and are effectively other models built by the same company, using the same German made movements, with the cases made in the same locations.
All the major high-end clockmakers currently use German made movements, and are frequently thought of as German grandfather clocks, even when the makers are American companies. Kieninger grandfather clcoks can be considered German through and through. Yet it is worth noting that Kieninger Clocks was purchased by Howard Miller Clocks about 7 or 8 years ago. Howard Miller Clocks and Ridgeway clocks that have mechanical movements inside have those that are made by Kieninger. Bulova Clocks took over the Sligh grandfather clocks brand designs several years ago. Bulova clocks uses German Hermle made movements in its grandfather clocks.
There are other companies worthy of note whose brands we do not currently carry, but are of high quality, including Hentschel Clocks and Comiti of London.
Stay tuned for further grandfather clocks brand developments over time.
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