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Antique Clocks/Thorens movement cuckoo clock


QUESTION: Clock cuckoos the number of the hour on the half hour and cuckoos a single time on the hour instead of the other way.  Music plays at both times.  How can I set the clock to have proper functioning?

ANSWER: There are two different cuckoo clock movements that have been made in the last 100 years or so. The oldest used a counting wheel which advances the chime 1/2 hour each time it is tripped. It has to be manually synchronized to the hands in order to chime correctly. This is most conveniently done by opening a door in the side of the clock which corresponds with the strike weight. In there you will find a lever which you push to initiate the music play/cuckoo action. Each time you push it it advances the sequence 1/2 hour. You will want to push it until the cuckoo is correct for the previous action.

The newer cuckoo and striking clocks use rack and snail movements. These automatically synchronizes the chime with the hands as long as the hands are installed correctly. If you have this kind of clock, you will have to remove the minute hand, turn it 180 degrees and reinstall it. The hour hand will probably have to be repositioned by carefully turning it on the tapered sleeve on which it is installed. You may have to pull it off slightly to get it to turn on the sleeve.

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QUESTION: Pls. advise on how I can distinguish the type of clock I have in order to proceed.  Thank you.

What you have there is called a Hunter's clock. Hunter's clocks varied somewhat as to if they showed the animals in their normal live position or dead. These varied quite a bit as far as showing rifles, rabbits, deer, etc. Yours being an 8 day has two large weights, one for the cuckoo function and one for the time function.

Thorens is actually a swiss company. They are famous for their music boxes, I do not know they manufactured in Germany but it is possible they did. They did build some movements for cuckoo clocks in Switzerland using parts of German origin. I have a record player turntable made by Thorens. It appears Thorens was quite resourceful in making items which met specific needs.

A little sidelight regarding cuckoo clocks. When I was in Germany with the US Army I remember on our first bivouac in the German forest hearing a cuckoo sound. I wondered who brought a cuckoo clock into the woods. Then I heard them all over the place, I was then told I was hearing actual cuckoo birds and they sound just like the clocks. Oddly enough there are American cuckoos but they do not make the same sound as German cuckoos.

You can go to and type in cuckoo clock history and a lot of information will come up. If you type Thorens cuckoo clocks you will get the history on Thorens.  

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Tom Williams


I can not think of any questions I cannot answer in regard to repairing antique clocks or radios. However, I am sure there are a few I have not heard and may not be able to answer. If I cannot, I will say so. I have been repairing them since I was a young child.


My experience includes repairing CooKoo clocks, Westminsters, BimBam, almost all antique clocks. I do a bit of repair on battery clocks where the value is sufficient to warrant working on them. I also repair antique (tube type) radios - all makes.

Indiana Historical Radio Society, Illinois Valley Antique Car Club, Military Vehicle Preservation Association

BEE from Cleveland State University

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Four patents.

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