Since the 17th century, the Black Forest—including its flora, fauna and wood chalets— has become synonymous with cuckoo clocks.
True Black Forest clocks are hand-carved dark-stained pine, Linden or fir cabins with leafy accents and birds as chimes. More elaborate variations include colorfully painted scenes with hammering craftsmen, folk-costumed maidens, or Lederhosen-clad revelers—oftentimes chasing across the clock face.
Typically the clock keeps time by way of a weighted mechanism—usually pine cones on chains or a swinging pendulum—and announces the time with the call of a cuckoo bird as it pops out of hiding.
Artisan clock makers still create these timeless timepieces, but the modern cuckoo clock has been edited to its most compelling element—a whimsical bird on its perch that originally signaled the arrival of Spring.