A User Friendly Mantel Clocks Buyers Guide

This Mantel Clock Buyers Guide is intended to help you purchase the right mantel clock for your home. Choose the right style & type for your home. For those with little knowledge on the topic, the world of clock-making can seem a bit confusing. Portable Fireplace is here to help!

English: Mantel Clock by Benjamin Vulliamy tha...

English: Mantel Clock by Benjamin Vulliamy that is now in Derby Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A mantel clock effectively anchors an interior space. As the premier focal point of the home, the hearth serves and the entry-point for every home. It creates the first-impression and plays a monumental role in the overall perception of your homes décor.

You can find a mantel shelf to rest your mantel clock on by visiting this page.

What is a Mantel Clock?

First of all, just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, we must define just exactly what a mantel clock (or clock mantel) is. A mantel clock is a small clock that is designed to sit atop a fireplace surround or mantel shelf.

Mantel clocks have been around since the 1750’s, becoming synonymous with aristocratic French families at their peak. These clocks are highly decorative pieces that have been used to highlight subtleties within a home.

Tips on Buying Mantel Clocks

There’s a lot to look for when deciding which clock mantel is right for your home. Not only are there a variety of styles, there are many different types of mantel clocks that you should be aware of. Although they might be small, they do command a noteworthy price but for good reason.

Mantel clocks are artisan creations that take hours upon hours to create. They are master pieces that have a deeply-rooted history in home design.

8 inch Debden Mahogany Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock

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Types of Mantel Clocks

1, 2, 3 Wind Up Mantel Clocks

Wind up mantel clocks come in 3 variations; 1 keyhole, 2 keyhole, and 3 keyhole. One keyhole mantel clocks have limited functionality, offering simple time readings and no other chimes, bells, etc. 2 keyhole models tell time and will emit a sound to signify the start of every half hour. Three hole mantel clocks do all of the above and signal the beginning of every hour with a chime.

Wind up clocks are wound up using a key and function mechanically. One thing holds true; all mechanical parts will always necessitate replacement at some point in time. Your other option is a quartz mantel clock.

Battery Operated or Quartz Mantel Clocks

Battery operated clocks are most commonly found in reproduction models (modern mantel clocks). Don’t be confused, quartz clocks are simply another name for battery-operated models. They offer the benefit of a clean design, modern function, and zero-maintenance use.

Battery mantel clocks can be found with digital sounds that contrast the natural sound of wind up versions. Also, they have optional alarms and other modern features. Yet and still, you can find antique battery operated mantel clocks.

Materials: Wood, Stone, Metal, Porcelain, & Veneers

Mantel clocks are made from a range of high quality materials. It’s not common to find mantel clock made with a low-level of craftsmanship. For this reason, wood, metal, porcelain, and furniture grade veneers are used to leave a lasting impression.

Vintage wood clocks were often engraved, painted, and even outfitted with brass and other types of royal metals. This gave the clock an announced appearance that commands a level of excellence second to none. Depending on the aesthetic that you would like to achieve, you can choose from any of these materials. Wood and stone are typically more expensive but they can serve as the focal point of your home.

Stone mantel clocks are made of materials like slate and marble. Historically, some were even made from rare gems like gold and silver. This is a specialty area typically filled by clockmakers who focus on these types of clocks.

Mantel Clock Styles

Antique & Art Deco Mantel Clocks

Because mantel clocks first began in the 1700’s, they continue to hold a connection with the nostalgic past. The Art Deco period sprung in France in the early 1920’s and played a large role in the development of mantel clocks of the time. Even today, many clocks are made to replicate this all original style.

French Mantel Clocks

Mantel Clock French 1789 1

Mantel Clock French 1789 (Photo credit: mharrsch)

The mantel clock was made in France. French mantel clocks are surrounded by an aura of authenticity that is difficult to challenge. As the home of the mantel clock, these clocks hold a certain level of superiority due to the concentration of experienced clockmakers found in this region of the world.

German Mantel Clocks

Germany holds a special place in the world of clock making. This country is also known for producing the most meticulously engineered mantel clocks, especially wood mantel clocks. Rest assured, you will not be unsatisfied with a German mantel clock.

 

Modern & Contemporary Mantel Clocks

10 Chigwell Cube Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock

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Mid-century modern design began at the turn of the 50’s and has influenced all aspects of architecture and design, even mantel clocks. Modern renditions of this timeless idea are found with simplistic edges that create sharp lines.

Portable Fireplace.com carries a collection of antique, modern, and pendulum fireplace mantel clocks.

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About the Author
is an interior design consultant focusing on crisp modern interiors with a tinge of retro styling. She offers design and consulting services for residential and commercial spaces. Follow her for fool proof design tips for everyday homeowners.