Grandfather Clock Overview

Most people have heard or seen a grandfather clock and while everyone knows how magnificent this piece is, not much else is known. Therefore, we wanted to address this beautiful piece of craftsmanship that has created a sense of peace and comfort in the home. The grandfather clock is a freestanding, weight-driven clock that includes a pendulum on the inside of the tower. Although the style options today are broader than years ago, most grandfather clocks measure between six and eight feet tall.

Clock Case

The case of this clock is usually carved with intricate ornamentation on the hood or bonnet, which envelope the dial or clock face. The look is simply stunning and the sound the icing on the cake. Also known as longcase clocks, the grandfather clock was started as a means of describing the strength and size. In addition, you will find grandmother clocks, which are generally the same size or slightly smaller than the grandfather version, and even granddaughter clocks, which stand less than five feet.


As far as movement of the grandfather clock, you typically find two options. First, there is the eight-day movement and second, a 30-hour movement. This means that for the eight-day option, winding is done once a week whereas the second option must be wound daily. When looking at price, typically the 30-hour clock is the one less expensive. Another difference is that the eight-day clock is usually driven by two weights. In this case, one weight drives the pendulum while the second weight is for striking of the chime or bell.


To wind the eight-day grandfather clock, two keyholes are located on both sides of the dial. On the other hand, the 30-hour version of the grandfather clock consists of just one weight that works to drive the pendulum and the chimes. You will also find that a large number of 30-hour clocks are designed with fake keyholes, giving the impression of being a much more expensive and refined clock. Many years ago, status was determined by what a person had so families unable to afford the real expensive grandfather clock would choose a design for the 30-hour clock, thus creating an illusion.


Although you will find a number of good manufacturers of the grandfather clock, some outshine the competition for skill, workmanship, quality, and customer support. For instance, you cannot go wrong purchasing a clock from James Stewart and Sons, Ridgeway Clocks, and the Howard Miller Clock Company. All of these companies offer excellence in every grandfather clock made and sold.