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World largest cuckoo clock in Schonach
World largest cuckoo clock in Schonach

The first clocks in the Black Forest


Unfortunately, the beginnings of watchmaking in the Black Forest are not known. However, the first wooden watches could have been made as early as the second half of the seventeenth century. Because of the Wars of Succession in Spain, watchmaking emerged as a somewhat larger and of course also as a separate trade but not until 1730. The watch school in Furtwangen but began to collect old clocks as early as 1852. Of course, today's German Clock Museum emerged from this historical clock collection. In 1860 an old wooden wheel clock could even be purchased. This is the oldest Black Forest clock to date.

The domestic watch production

Nobody is too small to be a master after all - this is a saying for the home-made watch production in the beautiful Black Forest. Until the end of the 19th century, the Black Forest wooden clocks were made in small workshops that were also part of the residential buildings. Around 1840 there were around a thousand watchmaker's houses in the central Black Forest. Around six hundred thousand wooden clocks were made every year. This is a very important part of the production for the whole world. This Black Forest wooden clock was of course the cheapest clock on the market.

Off to the watch country

In the 19th century, the very inexpensive wooden clocks from the beautiful Black Forest dominated the European market. Of course, these watches also found their way to other continents. The watch dealers from the Black Forest were responsible for the success of these watches. These dealers referred to foreign countries as the watch country. Trading companies or, of course, wholesalers from the beautiful Black Forest took care of shipping these watches abroad.

The cuckoo clock from the Black Forest

As early as the middle of the eighteenth century, wooden clocks with the call of a cuckoo appeared. In the second half of the nineteenth century the developed Cuckoo clock the worldwide trademark of the Black Forest.

The watch production

After 1850, the first factories to manufacture these Black Forest clocks were built in the Black Forest. Thus the factories also had the entire production processes under control. Thus the quality of these watches was always constant. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Junghans company built new mass-produced products based on the model from the United States of America. This alarm clock became a very affordable clock on the market. Before the beginning of World War I, the beautiful Black Forest covered sixty percent of the world's exports of large watches.

The industrial change

Now the cuckoo is suddenly dead. In 1970, plastic and of course microelectronics revolutionized watch production in the Black Forest. Quartz watches were more accurate than mechanical watches. These watches were also very cheap. Unfortunately, many traditional traders had to give up. In 1990 the cheap variant from the Far Eastern countries became overwhelming. Because of the cheap competition from the Far Eastern countries, watch production has unfortunately disappeared apart from a few remains in the Black Forest.

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