Rombach and Haas Modern Art Cuckoo Clocks – Merging Traditional and Modern


BLOG-#2-Modern-Art-rombach-and-haas-filigree-black-34-2Before Rombach and Haas took up the challenge of making a modern art cuckoo clock, there was the one created by architect Pascal Tarabay. That was the first, almost a decade ago.

Since then, many versions have been produced by designers all over the world. This development was especially good for the clock lovers and interior decorators looking for a cuckoo to fit the sleekness of the modern motif.  And there’s plenty from which to choose. Many have geometric shapes, such as rhombuses, squares, cubes, pyramids, ovals, etc. Their surfaces are often flat and smooth with a minimalistic approach; a handful are featured with filigree or collage. Some are mono- colored while others are multicolored with abstract or figurative paintings, even text and phrases. As for the cases, they come in a variety of materials ranging from laser cut metal, glass, plastic, wood and even fabric covering. (The above photo is one of Rombach and Haas’s modern art cuckoo clocks with a mechanical movement).

No doubt, there’s a lot of variety and difference in designs, but almost every one of them, regardless of brand, shares one thing in common: they have a battery-powered quartz movement, not a mechanical weight driven one. Why? One obvious reason is that crafting a quartz powered cuckoo clock demands far less clock making skill than crafting a mechanical weight driven model with its complex and intricate workings of gears and bellows.

BLOG#2-Modern-Cuckoo-rhbb1111So, rather than attempt to build a mechanical version, the makers of modern art cuckoos have left that formidable task in the hands of Germany’s Black Forest clock masters. Here’s where Rombach and Haas comes in. Shortly after Pascal launched his designer cuckoo, Ingolf and Conny Haas had taken up the challenge and crafted their own modern versions, but with the traditional mechanical movement. The well qualified, fourth generation Rombach and Haas company has been making cuckoo clocks since 1894. Their modern art cuckoos are the only designer versions that pay homage to the centuries old tradition of mechanical clock making of the Black Forest.

Rombach-Haas-2--Cuckoo-Modern-SL15-2But why buy a weight driven mechanical modern art cuckoo instead of a less expensive, more convenient battery operated model that needs no winding? For one thing, some clock owners truly enjoy interacting with their cuckoo clock; they want the satisfaction of winding it and feeling the chains click away as they pull them down to lift up the weights. Some clock owners also prefer the rich mechanical cuckoo call produced by real bellows and pipes, instead of the prerecorded digital sound of the quartz powered models.

 There is still more to think about. If you’re looking for a clock you can pass on to your children or grandchildren, think “mechanical”. They’re a better long-term value and are more likely to become collector’s items and family heirlooms than quartz clocks. There’s a good reason. Centuries of development, clock making history and human labor all add to a clock’s value and appeal. Inside each mechanical cuckoo, heritage and tradition are alive and well–they’re embodied in the workings of the clock’s gears, escapement and all of its intricate mechanics and craftsmanship.

Modernity added to tradition? Now that’s a great merger.

Check our selection of Rombach and Haas Modern Art Cuckoo Clocks.


Photo # 1 – Rombach and Haas Filigree Design 8-day wind cuckoo clock

Photo # 2 – Rombach and Haas Bamboo 1-day wind cuckoo clock

Photo # 3 – Rombach and Haas Simpleline 1-day wind cuckoo clock

Decorating With Clocks


 A  vase, a painting, a statue…

when we think of home decorating, these usually come to mind. But I wonder how often we consider a wall, mantel or floor clock instead? BLOG#2-hermle-Porcelain-22686000130-These may not leap out at first because we’re so used to clocks as functional things and we can overlook their aesthetic appeal. But thinking of a clock as a piece of art and as an expression of our personality, our approach to decorating will surely be different. A well chosen timepiece becomes part of the ensemble of the furnishings of a room. Traditionally, clocks have been used for centuries to beautify a home and imbue it with atmosphere and character. With so many shapes, textures, sizes and designs, their versatility works very well in any style of decor whether it’s traditional, contemporary, country, whimsical, vintage or ultra-modern.

BLOG-Hermle-Debden-Mantel-22864_070340Where do you begin when decorating with clocks…

and are there any general rules to follow? I asked Darsi Floersh, an award winning senior interior designer with O’Hara Interior Designs. She said “There is no fixed formula in the approach. But what I have found to work best in choosing a timepiece is to keep in mind these four aspects in relation to the elements of the room: color, shape, style and proportion. My experience in using clocks for various motifs is that they’re highly versatile and complimentary, and with so many to choose from, in the end the only real way to find what works is to try it. Use your eye and trust your artistic instincts. You might be very surprised. And if you get down to the final finishing touches in a room and you’re stumped about what to put there, a clock can often be the answer. Sometimes it’s those unplanned final finishing touches that become the most important element of the overall design.”

So take a look around your home. As you’re doing that…

think about color, shape, style and proportion. Then just choose a timepiece that you feel represents you, one that will enhance your decor…and sit back and enjoy the interest and beauty it adds to your room. Sometimes decorating with a clock can be as simple as hanging it in place of a painting, but there are many other ways to decorate with clocks as you’ll see below.

Clock Galleries

We’ve all seen photo and art galleries. But then there is a different kind of gallery, the clock gallery, where a grouping of clocks are arranged on a wall in a variety of ways. A-Blog-Clock-deco-grouping-PintClock galleries have become a trend in interior decorating and there are so many creative display possibilities. Here are a few ideas:

Design Feature Gallery you a wall or hallway that needs a new tempo? Create a gallery of clocks by arranging various sizes and shapes in an interesting pattern.  If you already have an art or photo gallery in your home, add a clock or two for variety and interest. In the photo on the right, a varied assortment of styles of large wall clocks creates a dramatic display that enhances the rustic exposed brick.

Time Zone Gallery

Here is a fun idea that keeps memories warm. If you have favorite vacation spots abroad, hang several wall clocks to display the different time zones. It’ll keep you connected to those places whenever you see the clock.

Bliss Image Gallery

A-time-zonegallery-houseofpenoched...etcLong-distance: If you have people you care about living far away you can set the clocks to their time zones and think about them whenever you check the hour. One loving mother who has three sons living abroad has hung three clocks all in a row showing the time in India, London and Chicago.

Children’s Birth Times: Want to celebrate important moments? Set the clock hands to display the exact time of the births of each of your children or grandchildren. Depending on the type of clock you have, battery operated or mechanical, stopping the time is easily done by removing the battery or by not winding the clock. You can also hang photographs above the clocks to create a clock-photo combination display.

Focal Point of a Room

A-#2Blog-focal-point-placesinthehome-Did you know that a clock doesn’t always have to “blend in” to the theme of a room? There are a variety of creative ways to give your clock “center stage”. Here are a few suggestions:

Location: some locations within a room are more obvious than others. Pick a prominent spot that frequently catches your eye and place your clock there. One way to do that is by putting it directly across from the entryway so that it’s the very first thing you see when you enter the room.

Size: Chic over-sized wall clocks like our 30″, 36″ and 49″ sizes are real attention-getters. Sometimes a large clock is all that’s needed to create a stunning effect on a room.

Color and Tone: Want to draw attention and stir up fun in rooms? Bright colored clocks are a great way to do that. Especially if you have mostly neutral colors. And in a room full of solids, a busy patterned clock can add texture and pop. A-deco-Hermle -orangesColor can also be used to tie a room together. For example, a maroon clock can bring out the maroon color in the pattern of an easy chair or sofa. And placing a dark colored clock on a white or light colored wall is an eye-catching option; or if your wall has a dark tone, place a light colored clock. Painters do it all the time. One dark spot of color put in an area of light can bring the needed emphasis and contrast to the painting. Play around with the color, shape or pattern of your clocks and see what a pleasing arrangement you can make.

Mixing It Up: The rules of keeping the decor of a room within a consistent time have become flexible. So you can use a traditional period clock as a focal point in a contemporary period room.BLOG-#2Rock-Powered 7640-rh7640webbig_289x433


BLOG#2-Hermle-Lester 70503000701 70503_000701Shy? Reluctant to take the plunge and put a bold or unusual clock in the middle of your living room? Then try it in a family room, den or home office.

Shelf It

A-#2deco-raisingmightyarrows.netMantel ClockOne good pointer to follow when placing a clock on a shelf is make sure that your clock is a different size  than other objects on the shelf.  That size variation will create more visual interest and flow.

Clocks and books make a great combination on a shelf, bookcase and of course a fireplace mantle. They can be used as bookends to hold a vertical row of books. Two or three clocks can also be positioned asymmetrically on top of horizontally stacked books. You can get pretty creative by selecting the size and color of the clock based on the size and color of the books. Antique clocks also look so good when mixed in with vintage books. And sometimes a table top clock or desk clock placed in just the right spot can be that perfect and needed finishing touch.


Large Wall Clocks

A-Blog-deco-big-fireplace-wall Do you have a high ceiling and a tall blank wall? A large wall clock not only fills the empty void but as I mentioned before it creates a center of attention. Oversize wall clocks can also be used for mantle displays when you have a sizable empty space above your fireplace. So instead of hanging the clock on the wall, just let it rest right on the top of the mantle. Make sure to securely stabilize the clock so that it doesn’t roll away. You can also hang it very low just above the mantle so that it appears to be resting on the top of the mantle.

Planning to place a wall clock on a large wall with no other wall hangings? Make sure you have a clock that is large enough so that it doesn’t look lost in the space, and be sure to hang the clock at the appropriate height (usually a little above eye level). Placing your clock too high or too low will spoil the effect in the same way that a painting loses it’s impact if it’s placed too high on a wall.

Stately Grandeur & More – Grandfather Clocks 

A-blog-deco-grand-archesWhen we think of a grandfather clock most of us picture it standing in a traditional location like a living room or an entryway or foyer. A-Blog-Deco-Grandf-near-stairBut there’s something about the design and presence of this magnificent timepiece that gives it so many decorating possibilities. It can add a touch of elegance in unlikely places such as a corner between two windows or a short span of wall space close to an open entryway. A grandfather clock A-blog-deco-grand-stair-landingcan stretch or shrink our visual perception of room by making ceilings appear higher or a large room more intimate and cozy. It’s been put to use as a room divider and as an unexpected oasis to greet us on the landing of a stairway.



Warming Up – Offices & Reception Areas

A tastefully decorated office or reception area can make that first impression a positive one. And for some professionals such as consultants  who meet  clients on a on-on-one basis, a fine timepiece on a shelf or desk adds an inviting cordiality and relaxed charm to the atmosphere.

Take Time Out For Patios and Gardens

A-blog-garden-clock-gardenornamentsdirect.comOutdoor wall clocks can lend elegance and a luxurious feel to just about any outdoor setting. Some multifunction models measure temperature and humidity as well.A-blog-deco-outdoor-garden-clock Pedestal clocks in a larger garden area can also be an unexpected addition. Brandie Morris of Electric Time Company recently told me about a pedestal clock, (better known as a “street clock”) that they have just designed for a homeowner. He plans to present the clock as a gift to his wife commemorating their wedding anniversary and the purchase of their home, both falling on the same date. The crown of the clock is inscribed with “Home Sweet Home” and the dial with the mutual date. How original!

Kinetic Sculpture

Kinetic art is as an art form that involves motion. Because that’s such a broad definition, it encompasses many different styles of art and endless possibilities. Are clocks included? Certainly! Any analog clock with a moving pendulum is a true kinetic sculpture; the most kinetic one of all being the cuckoo clock BLOG-#2Schneider-cuckoowith its ever busy cuckoo bird making its rounds in and out the door. And if the cuckoo clock features animated figurines that dance, eat, drink, chop wood and so on, then it’s that much more of a kinetic spectacle. Isn’t it good to know there’s no rule in decorating that says objects need to be perfectly still?

Not Seen But Felt

Clocks offer not just visible possibilities as decorative pieces, but something more. Get ready, because this is not the typical stuff you read in articles about decorating with clocks. So here goes. Clocks with their rhythmic ticking and swinging pendulums bring a certain universal character to a room in a way that is uniquely their own. Here’s why: rhythm is perhaps the most basic pattern in all of nature. And because the inner workings and outward movements and sounds of a clock are all based on rhythm, having a clock in a room can remind you of and connect you with that universal rhythm of nature.  How’s that for bringing some ambiance to a room?

There certainly are many more ways clocks can be used  than what’s discussed in this article.

Have you any ideas to add?  Please tell us about them!


Photo Credits:

Photo #1 –  Hermle Porcelain Mantel Clock with Flowers

Photo #2 – Hermle Mahogany Mantel Clock

Photo #3 – Four Clocks Over Fireplace

Photo #4- Clock Gallery On Brick Wall –

Photo #5 –Time Zone Gallery –

Photo # 6 – Dining Room –

Photo # 7 – Hermle Wall Clock with Oranges

Photo #8 – Hermle Wrought Iron Wall Clock

Photo #9 – Rombach and Haas Wall Clock with Rock Weight

Photo #10 – Mantel Clock Next To Books –

Photo #11 – Large Wall Clock Over Fireplace –

3 Photos – Grandfather Clocks – traditional

2 Photos – Garden Clocks –

Last Photo – Anton Schneider Cuckoo Clock


5 Good Reasons Why Clock Enthusiasts Are Enthusiastic


BLOG#2rh8367_289x433Ah, the difference between a digital clock and an analog clock. Where are the animated dancers, the finely crafted wood carvings, the deep sonorous gongs and the dumpling eaters? Think about it. They’re seen and heard on the analog clocks. I’d rather get the time from a beautiful grandfather clock or a charming cuckoo clock than from the digital icon on my computer screen or iPad. Wouldn’t you? Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a clock, but aren’t convinced yet that it’s a good idea.

Here are 5 reasons why clock enthusiasts are enthusiastic:

1. Tradition

Blog-tradition-polls_tradition_2258_517561_pollYes, analog clocks are passed down from generation to generation bringing with them their family history and the warmth of relationships. And, by the way, clock lovers, who have sometimes lost their family treasure, will purchase a clock today that is just like what their grandmother had. That reconnects them to their family heritage in a deep and personal way. And what if there isn’t a family heirloom to be passed down? You could start one today. It will be an heirloom in the making. Think of your children and their children who will remember you and enjoy the beauty of the clock you got started.

2. Decoration

BLOG-Hermle0803RoomSceneThis can be anything from filling that large wall with a chic over-sized clock or grouping a selection of smaller clocks to create a center of attention. Like a painting, a clock will beautify your decor. They’re works of art. You can bet they’ll add warmth, atmosphere and charm to your home. They’re versatile too, whether traditional or modern, large or small, for the table top or fireplace mantel, clocks bring movement and mirth to the air.

3. Relationship

BLOG#3relationship-300x225Here is where the fun is. Did you know how musical and moving a clock is? They’re almost like kinetic sculptures that you can interact with daily. They engage your senses and can fill your spirit. Listen to their sounds, feel the clicking in your fingers and hands as you wind them and admire the visual artistry of their craftsmanship. With their ticking, chiming, cuckoo-ing and swinging, they become a part of the hum of your home.

4. Expression

BLOG-#2-PaintBrushesWhat is your unique personality? Clocks let you express it with their variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sounds. There are fun clocks, bold clocks, stylish clocks, classic clocks, unusual clocks, chic and over-sized clocks–all with their own flavor and character.

 5. Conversation

BLOG-conversation#2-indexHaving friends or relatives over? The winsome characters, hand painting and woodwork, deep sonorous gongs and the intricate brass mechanisms seen through a clear casing, have been known to open many a conversation over a glass of sherry before the ring of the dinner bell, or with a cup of mint tea at dessert.

Convinced yet why clock enthusiasts are enthusiastic about clocks? If not, ask any clock lover and they’ll tell you–or even better, they’ll show you. And you just might catch the enthusiasm.

Photo Credits:

Cuckoo Clock:

Room Scene:

Paint brushes: