Painted Musical Cuckoo Clock by River City

Musical Cuckoo ClockModel No. M8-08PQ

List Price: $270.00

Is there any more entertaining way to mark the hour than with an old-fashioned cuckoo clock? American clockmaker River City combines the charm of the cuckoo with the fun of a modern electric melody wall clock.

This cuckoo is a lot more playful than the traditional version and would be an ideal gift for a young person. The brightly painted design features flowers and a swinging heart shaped pendulum. The chalet scene features a mountain dweller sounding his alpine horn in the company of his St. Bernard. Two authentic-looking brass pine cone weights hang below.

As expected a cuckoo bird appears to mark each hour with it’s refrain. Then a musical performance begins, featuring one of twelve (mostly appropriate) compositions:

Happy Wanderer; Edelweiss; Fur Elise; Lorelei; Swan Lake
Home sweet Home; Sound of Silence; Clementine
Themes from Dr. Zhivago, The Deer Hunter, The Sting and The Godfather

Modern technology mean you never have to wind this version of the timeless German clock, which keeps accurate quartz time. A volume and mute feature makes it a well-behaved companion in you bedroom as well. Unlike a traditional cuckoo, it’s also fairly compact, which means you can put it anywhere.

It runs on three C batteries and comes with a limited two-year warranty.

Gustav Becker Dessau Melody Wall Clock

Gustav Becker Dessau Melody ClockModel: GVB1004

List Price: 139.00

I like the simple classic feel of the design of this musical clock, designed by the venerable German clockmaker, Gustav Becker. The elegant clock face features curling art deco numerals and a spade-shaped hour hand. Sweeping quartz movement replaces the usual jerking movement of the second hand. The three dimensional design features medieval towers and models of musical instruments framed with art deco lines and a cherry wood finished frame.

On each hour, the towers light up and the instruments rotate to one of six contemporary tunes:

  • Memory
  • Stardust
  • My Heart Will Go On
  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Long and Winding Road

I would have thought that some classic sounds would have been appropriate, but the selections are all of the pop variety. The volume control is a nice touch, so you don’t have to worry about the tunes becoming a distraction. It also automatically goes mute when you turn the lights off.

This is a fairly large clock, measuring nearly 19 inches high, so it would work best in a sitting room or hallway, rather than an office or bedroom. It takes 3 D-cells.

The Kassel Musical Pendulum Clock by Gustav Becker

Kassel Musical Pendulum ClockModel No. GVB1001 / 6209

List Price: $89.00

This is a pendulum clock unlike any other. Instead of the traditional case, this clock features a shining brass exterior with streamlined details. The gleaming gold-finish pendulum rotates within a mirrored case.

I like the clock face on this timekeeper, which resides in a recessed area. It features a warm multi-tone metallic finish. An inner-circle displays markers between the hours, making the clock more functional by allowing you to know the time more precisely. The hours are marked by glittering stones for extra visual interest. The quartz clock also features smooth sweep hand movement.

Rather than a chime, this pendulum clock features an electronic playlist of traditional melodies, classical refrains and lullabies, by artists like Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Memory; Fur Elise; Serenata; Minuet; Traumerei
Die Lorelei; Toy Symphony; Swan Lake; Home on the Range
Long, Long Ago; The Farmer in the Dell; Old Black Joe
Happy Farmer; Home Sweet Home; Cradle Song; Hush, little baby

The hourly melodies automatically mute at night. They shut-off mechanism is timer based, rather than using a light sensor, so you can keep the clock in a lighted hallway.

The clock body is a fairly compact 19 inches high and runs on 4 AA batteries (extra). It’s made by the 150 year old German company Gustav Becker, known for their reliable timepeices.

The Seiko Pendulum Clock With Wood Case

Seiko Pendulum Wood CaseModel: QXH045BLH

List Price: $295.00

If your looking for a classic clock design, it would be hard to go wrong with this very modern quartz wall clock with a traditional English design.

Its warm wooden frame with swinging brass pendulum and charming cream-colored clock face will match any traditional decor. It’s like having a grandfather clock that doesn’t take over your whole room with its bulk.

But at the same time, the simple, almost minimal design works great with any contemporary look. The case is clean and without any unnecessary ornamentation and the simple, businesslike clock face design is a perfect match.

The reassuringly familiar Westminster chimes mark every quarter hour, and the hours are counted out like Big Ben. But while this may look like an heirloom, it’s insides are perfectly modern and allow you to adjust the volume to match the size of your living space. The chimes also shut off automatically at night.

This clock is fairly substantial, being over 25 inches high and 12 inches wide. So you should have a fairly large room to hang it in. It runs on a single C battery, which is included.

Seiko Melodies in Motion Animated Musical Wall Clock

Seiko Animated Musical ClockModel No. QXM228BRH

List Price $325.00

This popular wall clock combines elegance and playfulness, making it a perfect for the whole family.

The face depicts a fairyland scene with castles and horn players marking the hours. Metallic accents are combined with colorful crystals. The frame is a rich brown wood burl pattern, accented with brass.

On the hour, the face separates and a revolving led light show begins, accompanied by one of six classic tunes:

  • Amazing Grace, by John Newton
  • The Jupiter Suite by Gustav Holst
  • Pictures at an Exhibition, Promenade by Modest Mussorgsky
  • Dance of the Reed Pipes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Waltz of the Flowers, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Salut d’Amour, by Edward Elgar

Additional features include a demo button (if you can’t wait) and a light sensor which shuts off the performance at night, making it bedroom-friendly.

This is one of several melody wall clocks designed by Seiko. I like the compact, yet elaborate design offered by this model, which measures about 16.5 square inches. The designers were also selective in choosing a handful of tunes with universal appeal, which are rendered in high fidelity sound.

Needless to say, this timepiece needs a fair amount of power, supplied by four D and one AA batteries, which are included.


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