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In France, considering going to Switz. for a Coo Coo clock.

In France, considering going to Switz. for a Coo Coo clock.

Dec 12th, 2000, 06:32 AM
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In France, considering going to Switz. for a Coo Coo clock.

I will be in France for two weeks. Most of my stay will be in Paris then I will travel around to other parts of France. I was considering taking a side trip to Switzerland mainly to buy a Coo Coo clock and also would spend the day there. My question is: is it possible to buy a coo coo clock near the French border and are they much better and less expensive than those found in the U.S.?
F.Y.I. - We will be there the frist two weeks of January.
Dec 12th, 2000, 08:09 AM
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Well, the Black Forest of Germany, the home of these clocks, is just across the Eastern border of France. If you look on a map and find Strasbourg and then south to Colmar you will see that the Black Forest is there. Visit the town of Friberg for clocks or any of the towns there. We bought one there a few years ago, and don't recall if it was any cheaper but at least we can tell people that we got in Germany.
Dec 12th, 2000, 08:41 AM
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Well, we had a similiar adventure and never ended up with a coo coo clock. There was a little shop in Chamonix, France that had them. I am sorry I didn't get one there. We were going to Stasburg, and I thought maybe we would get to Germany. What I found out was that coo coo clocks are only available in certain places. We went to Offenburg Germany. I visited a clock shop, and they told me you can not buy a clock in Offenburg. So, we started to drive to the Black Forest area, but it got late, the husband got cranky, and we turned back to go back to our hotel near Colmar. So, the moral is if you find what you want, and the price is reasonable, get it. I saw a similar clock in US to the one I liked in Chamonix. It was about $75 in France and it was $300 in US. Don't count on finding a clock in Switzerland. Maybe you can research location of clock shops on the Internet first, write to them, and make arrangements if they have something you want.
Dec 12th, 2000, 08:45 AM
wes fowler
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If you'll be in Alsace or the Vosges do consider going into Germany to Furtwangen about 45kms east of Freiburg.
Furtwangen is where the German watchmaker's school was formed in the mid 19th century and the site of the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum which houses over a thousand timepieces. Furtwangen is the home of Black Forest cuckoo clocks, which you'll find for sale all over town. You'll also find some dating to the 17th century in the museum.
Dec 12th, 2000, 08:47 AM
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Though I had no doubt what you were refering to, if you're going to do a search or written inquiry you might have better luck spelling it "cuckoo" clock...just FYI
Dec 12th, 2000, 10:05 AM
Bill I
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Don't know if this is still true, but a few years back, we bought a cuckoo clock, from a town in the Black Forest by the way, & had it shipped home. The shipping was no problem, & the clock worked fine, but we had thought we had paid all the fees when we bought the thing, but once it was delivered to our home, we could not take possesion of it until we had paid a customs fee. If I remeber correctly, it was about another $10 - $20. So just be aware that if you have it shipped, you still may have to pay a fee to take possesion of it.
Dec 12th, 2000, 10:39 AM
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I posted earlier about buying one in Germany. We also had it shipped home by the store. It arrived in fine shape and did not take too long. As I recall we also had to pay around $10 customs on it. I would suggest the shipping service offered by the shops as it avoids having to lug it around (I would pay by credit card just to have a fall back in case it didn't show up).
Dec 12th, 2000, 11:47 AM
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I'm lucky to have an heirloom cuckoo from Bavaria, dated 1901 (although the clockmaker who is currently cleaning it for me said that could also be a date when it was serviced.) It is very large, and the three weights that power it each weigh 3.5 lbs. I'd expect shipping something like that home would be fairly costly. New ones in shops in Maryland run about $600 (for those half its size) to $1200 for the big ones. Understand that you probably will not want to keep a cuckoo clock running all the time. Mine chimes and clucks every 15 minutes, then cuckoos out the time on the hour. It's the sort of charming diversion to "play" for babies and small children, but I truly think I'd go cuckoo myself if I had to depend on it as the main timepiece in my home. Maybe you should think about a lovely music box, which you could actually pack and carry home with you!
Dec 12th, 2000, 12:05 PM
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Cute story. Visiting my future in-laws for the first time. Pretending for the sake of the dad, I am given a fold out in the living room. In the room above my head is his prized cuckoo clock. I did not know how shut it off short of ripping the damn bird right out of the clock. Thought that might not give a favourable first impression. I get 8 15 minute sessions of sleep that night. My house is not big enough for me and a cuckoo.
Dec 28th, 2000, 11:28 AM
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Can you buy a Cuckoo in Strasbourg? Can you take public tram or transportation 45 km to Germany to buy the clock? Are clock shops open on Sunday.
Dec 28th, 2000, 11:38 AM
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The shops in Freiberg, Germany are open on Sunday. We bought our clock on a Sunday.
No public transport that I know of, best to have a car. Might find one in Strasbourg have to look around in the shops.
Dec 28th, 2000, 11:47 AM
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If you are going to buy a cuckoo clock in Germany or Europe, do your homework. Here are a few tips to look for:

1. Look at the sides of the clock. They should also be finished and not plain as the ones in the US are. Your good one should have shingles or some type of finishing and look good from the side view.

2. Ask for real wooden weights that are carved. The cheap US clocks come with molded weights. The carved ones are not that much more money and worth it. A good clock shop will offer both, if you ask.

3. Forget about the shiny gold chains. Thay all tarnish, but look good when you first buy the clock. Get chains that are already dark or antiqued. They will always look nice.

4. Ask to see a comparison of the inside of the clocks. The cheap ones sold in US have plastic parts. Ask for a good works. The shop can show you both types and you decide.

5. Ask how long the clock will run without pulling the weights. We have one that runs for a week and a small one that needs a chain pull daily. Again, you decide.

6. Look at the figures on your clock and the numbers and hands. Some in the US are plastic. The good clocks are carved wooden numbers, carved hands and carved figures.

7. Ask if you can turn the cuckoo off or the music off without stopping the clock. Good ones will have this feature. Cheap ones will not. If you have visitors not used to the sound you will have to kill the entire clock and not simply turn off the sound while clock still keeps time.

8. Shiny gold pendalum will also tarnish. Select a dull finish for long lasting beauty.

Bottom line: All of the above does not really cost that much more to get. If you simply want a cuckoo clock and not a good one, go to KMart and they will have one. If you want something that is truly German and will be a nice clock to have, look for the above. We had a great clock maker in Triburg lead us through some of this and the clock was not that expensive. He was simply proud of his work.
Dec 28th, 2000, 01:10 PM
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I have recently come back from Geneva and we went across the border into France (Mount Saleve) Geneva is about 10 minutes bus drive away (bus stopp next to the border crossing) we bought a coo coo clock for about 150 Swiss Francs (about) 100 dollars ( i think). I had always wanted a coo coo clock and now - most of the time it is switched off ! that noisy bird esp at night-time!!

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