Traditionally carved chalet clocks are cuckoo style clocks that are hand carved and crafted by clockmakers. The majority of clockmakers that make traditionally carved chalet clocks are from Germany, and to be specific the majority of those craftsmen are from an area in Germany known as the Black Forest.
Common Themes of Traditional Carved Chalet Clocks
The chalet clocks, or cuckoo clocks, that are sought after for their intricate carvings almost all come from the Black Forest area. The clockmakers in that area have two themes of clocks that they most frequently make. The themes were both influenced by the region where the clocks were crafted.
1. The first theme is a nature-inspired theme. Wildlife like deer, birds, bears, and trees that would be found in the Black Forest area of Germany are replicated in intricate wooden carvings.
2. The second popular theme is also centered around nature but the pieces may include hunters with rifles or the game that the hunters would be after, and sometimes a stag head is carved to be the centerpiece of the timepiece.
To be listed as a chalet style clock the item will be shaped like a house. The carvings and details may be traditionally inspired by the nature of the region, and the moving parts of the clock are often people are animals of the area. For instance: a hunter following a stag, or even a handmaid coming out of the house.
Hand Made and Artisan Crafted
The original clocks that were made in the Black Forest region were al hand carved items. Even some of the working components inside the clocks were hand carved. Of course, it takes a lot of time, and skill, to hand carve one of these items. As time passed it became impractical for a clockmaker to hand carve these items and fewer and fewer people continued to pass the skill on to their children and grandchildren.
Today it is rare to find a truly handcrafted timepiece that fits into the style of the traditionally carved chalet clocks. The majority of the hand-carved items that you will find are produced in the Black Forest region of Germany, and to authenticate their work these artisans now offer a certificate of authenticity or a VDS certificate so buyers can be sure that they are getting a hand carved hand crafted item.
Chalet clocks usually come in one of two movements. You can get the eight-day style or the one day style.
Basically, the gears of the eight-day style will need to be wound once a week, and the gears of the one a day style will need to be wound each day, or once every thirty hours.
Dangling from the bottom of the traditionally carved chalet clocks is weight. The clocks designed to be wound up every day will have smaller weights and fewer weights than the timepieces designed to be wound once a week.
There is often more than one weight dangling from the bottom of the clock. One of the weights governs the time as it passes, and there should be a weight that governs the motion figure like the cuckoo. If the clock has music that accompanies the cuckoo then a third weight will control the musical movement.