My next getaway is a short break to Switzerland exploring Basel, Zurich and Bern, and, hopefully, fitting in a day trip to Vaduz in Liechtenstein. I’m already excited by the thought of the cool design shops I may stumble upon whilst I’m there. And I’ve taken a look online and noted down a few that I think will be worth a quick look. Great.
In the meantime, I wanted to bring you some advance design inspiration from Switzerland. And that inspiration comes in the form of contemporary cuckoo clocks. Ok, so, technically, cuckoo clocks were invented in the Black Forest in Germany. But they are now also super popular in Austria and Switzerland too, and as its Switzerland I’m visiting this time, then I think this post is entirely reasonable. I really love cuckoo clocks – the original designs are usually made in gorgeous pieces of wood and are intricately designed with care and attention like this one below.
It’s beautiful. But I am just not convinced that a clock like that is going to work in my home. So this got me thinking about whether any clever design folks out there had come up with a more modern take on the traditional cuckoo clock. And wouldn’t you know it, they have. Loads of them in fact. Here are my top picks for you if, like me, you’re considering bringing in some alpine inspiration into your home.
First up is this quirky, and almost cartoonish, pick from Swiss Cuckoo Clock manufacturer, Loetscher. I chose this one first as it nicely bridges the gap between traditional and more contemporary. Loetscher offer a range of clocks at a range of prices. I liked this one particularly because of the two adorable mountain goats that actually move around. This model costs around £200 which is not on the cheap side, though you do have the security that the clock is hand-made in Switzerland with care and attention and therefore should last a lifetime.
Next up, I came across this gorgeous contemporary take on the cuckoo clock in neon and concrete by Kelly Connor Designs on notonthehighstreet.com. Ok, so there is no cuckoo on this one, but then again it only costs £45 so isn’t going to break the budget. It’s handmade in concrete so each piece is individual with its own quirky imperfections. I’m a sucker for neon pink, so whilst the clock comes in a white version too, this is the one that caught my eye.
Or how about this very excellent modern cuckoo clock from 4living.co.uk? I absolutely love this. It’s available in either black or white and comes with four different cuckoos in different colours. It also plays authentic field recordings of bird songs (including the humble blackbird) – great for city dwellers – and has adjustable volume control. In addition, it has a light sensor to ensure that the bird song won’t wake you up every hour through the night! It’s £139 but delivers quite alot for the money in my view.
My final pick is probably my overall design favourite, but it comes with a hefty price tag (of course it does – why does this keep happening!?) of £265. Yikes. But it is So. Very. Pretty. It’s hand-made by Italian design firm Diamantini & Domeniconi and is called the ‘Cucu’. If the cuckoo itself is an optional extra for you (I’m afraid it’s all or nothing for me), there is a smaller, and far more affordable version without the bird at £100. I found these for sale on Amara.com with free standard UK delivery, which may soften the blow of the high cost a little….
So, there you go. My Swiss inspired selection of modern cuckoo clocks for you. If I do talk myself into buying one soon (highly likely, let’s face it), I’ll be sure to let you know.
What do you think of cuckoo clocks? Are you more of a traditional fan or do you prefer the contemporary pieces? Or do you even like them at all!? Let me know – although you’ll never change my mind – I think they’re super!
Happy travels and shopping,