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ドイツ鳩時計工房・からくり鳩時計専門店
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森の時計は日本初のドイツ鳩時計協会(VdS)加盟店



ドイツ鳩時計の歴史

ドイツ鳩時計の歴史


最初の鳩時計は黒い森地方にある小さな村に住む時計技術者フランツ A. ケトラー氏よって発案されたと言われています。

ケトラー氏はその類まれなる発想と才能で、カッコーの鳴き声を蛇腹式のふいごを用いることにより再現し、人々が理想とする鳴き声に近づけることに成功しました。

彼のアイデアを基に、その後数年の内に黒い森地方の時計工芸は急速に拡大し、初めはたった一人の技術者から産まれた鳩時計という発明品は、1808年頃には688人の時計技術士と582人の時計行商人が集まる産業として発展していきました。

ドイツの鳩時計は現代に至るまであらゆる時代の才能ある技術者によって時計機能の向上が進められ、黒い森地方特有の雪に囲まれた長い冬の期間を利用し、様々な木に手彫り彫刻を施して現代に続く鳩時計を完成させました。

冬の間に作られた時計は夏になると行商達がヨーロッパ中に旅立ち、様々な国で販売されました。鳩時計はヨーロッパに 知れ渡り、世界中の人々の心を打ったと言われております。

現代においてもその伝統のクラフトマンシップは代々受け継がれ、鳩時計産業は続いており、技術が格段に進み、さらに正確な時計を生産する技術を身に付けました。

200年を経過した現在でも手彫り装飾は昔ながらの方式を守られております。普遍的なデザインは現在の時計の基礎となり今でもその原型を残しております。鳩時計は過去と現在と未来を結ぶシンボルとも言えるかもしれません。


Ref: Association of VdS Germany


The first Black Forest Cuckoo Clock was designed and made by Franz A. Ketterer in the small village of Schonwald near Triberg, Germany, in the depths of the Black Forest. Ketterer managed to reproduce the cuckoo's call by the clever use of bellows producing two different sounds.

Over the following years, the clock industry developed rapidly in the Black Forest. With their inventive genius, cleverness and dexterity, the inhabitants of the region employed the long winter months in making cuckoo clocks with richly hand carved decorations from various woods. In 1808 there were already 688 clockmakers and 582 clock peddlars in the districts of Triberg and Neustadt.

During the long winter months, the farms were snowed-in and the people had a lot of time to create finely handcrafted cuckoo clocks of many styles with rich and varied carvings.

The clocks that were made in winter were sold by the clock peddlars in the summer months during long journeys throughout Europe. The clocks were secured on a frame and carried on the back. They were works of art, sought after luxuries that conquered the hearts of people all over the world.

This ancient craft continued to develop, becoming soon a flourishing industry. The poorly lit "cabinets" on attic floors where watchmakers worked in the past have become light and well-equipped workshops where clock movements and cases are manufactured by up-to-date methods. But the woodcarvings are still handmade by skilled masters as they were 200 years ago. Old clocks, original drawings of the first clocks etc. are still used and modified as patterns for new models, but the cuckoo clock in its basic form is 200 years old and has survived until now. The cuckoo clock symbolizes the past, present and the future.


The beginning

The actual date, when the first clocks were built in the Black Forest an not be clearly determined and is still in the dark. The date of 1640 is often found on follow ups, although it is by no means historically guaranteed. The first production period was approximately between 1670 and 1720, which is without any great significance since around 1700 the high region of the Black Forest had to endure war conflicts between Austria and France.

The actual start was after 1720. Soon after that the clock trade was widely spread in the high region of the Black Forest.

The region of the clock makers in the 18th century stretched from St. Georgen in the north to Neustadt in the south. Though the main region of the early clock production was the area around Furtwangen.

It is gladly assumed that the inherent aptitudes of the "forest artists" in connection with a distinct specialized knowledge in woodwork, indispensable for life in the mountains, has automatically led to the growing clock production. However, the decisive and advising involvement of the early monastery clergy in the Black Forest and their physical and mathematical capabilities should also be considered.

First progresses

At the beginning, the Black Forest clocks had a similarity with the then known simple iron watch- or tower-clocks. The clockwork consisted of two types of material – wood and iron wire. Wheel waves made of wood were running on wooden carrier plates. and the running period was 12 hours at most. As drive served a rock on a string with a small counter balance. The wooden parts were eventually replaced with metal ones. There was one exception however, the cases with wooden carrier plates remained. They are still characteristic for the newly built fabrication clock of the 20th century.


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