The history of the cuckoo clock can be traced to the mid 18th century, and though it isn’t meticulously documented, the general consensus among horology historians is that the first clock was built in the Black Forest region of Germany, just north of the border with Switzerland. The clocks popularity flourished in this region, and by the 18th century, cuckoo clock making had grown into an industry. As lore has it, clock makers spent their snowed-in winter months creating intricately detailed clocks, which were then sold by traders in the summer months across Europe.
Swiss Innovation: The Chalet Style
For generations prior to the 20th century, Swiss craftsmen were known for their exquisitely designed and endlessly charming Swiss chalet music boxes. Then, in the early 20th century, craftsmen in Switzerland married the idea of a Swiss chalet music box to a cuckoo clock. The marriage turned out to be a happy one, as people around the world fell in love with the Swiss take on the cuckoo clock, and its reference to the peaceful, idyllic Alpine lifestyle. Understandably, the Swiss chalet cuckoo clock has become the most popular kind in the world today.