As a clock collector I have quite a few clocks in my home. Most are running daily. There are 34 clocks ticking away in my home as I write this blog article.
I have accepted them as normal sounds in my home
Some collectors have a dedicated clock room in their home but mine are scattered throughout the house. I try to arrange each one so that it fits more or less into the decor of the room. It is a big house and thankfully we have quite a few rooms in which I can display my clocks. I have all manner and styles of clocks including mantel, wall clocks, shelf clocks, carriage clocks, desk clocks, anniversary clocks but just one floor clock. My particular preference is wall clocks; I have 13 of them.
So how do I put up with the cacophony of clock noises in the house? One, I thoroughly enjoy the sound of a mechanical clock and two, I have accepted them as normal sounds in my house.
However, there are rules in our house.
- No striking or chiming clocks in or near the master bedroom.
- No clocks in the bathrooms.
- Clocks are stopped in those areas where guests are sleeping unless they do not object.
Are there clocks in the bedroom? Of course, three to be exact. Two are 400 day clocks like the one in the next photo and the third is a banjo clock.
The Ingraham Nordic banjo clock has a front-wind lever escapement and I would challenge anyone to hear this clock across a room. Is is no louder than an old alarm clock. The 400 day clocks are, of course, virtually silent.
We have a Mauthe box clock in our family room that makes such a wonderful sound that I actually pause the TV to listen to it
This is my advice to those of you who love mechanical clocks but are bothered by the “noise”:
- Some clocks are loud tickers and some are not. As a general rule American clocks tend to be much louder tickers than German or French clocks. Loud clocks should be placed in noisy areas
- Avoid clocks that have a striking or a chiming train. If you are not fond of the sound of an hourly or quarter hour strike clock, simply search for a time-only clock.
- Most chiming clocks (Westminster chimes are the most common) have a shut-off feature located on the dial face.
- For time and strike clocks simply wind the time side only. However, purists would say that this is not good for the clock.
- Carriage clocks, clocks with lever escapements (like the Nordic above) and 400 day clocks are exceptionally quiet and do not normally strike or chime (however, some carriage clocks do strike).
- Locate your clocks in an area where you will not be bothered by them, a dedicated room, for instance.
- Stop your clock or never wind it. Perhaps you can appreciate your clock as a piece of art or furniture rather than as a timepiece.
- For the nostalgic, run your clocks only at certain special times of the year.
I rarely hear my clocks. Yes, I am aware of the ticking if I stop and listen. By and large I am not at all bothered by the sounds of my clocks. In fact, we have a Mauthe box clock in our family room that makes such a wonderful bim-bam sound that I actually pause the TV to listen to it.