How to set time for a cuckoo clock

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to set time for a cuckoo clock
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Cuckoo clocks are pendulum-driven clocks that use a chime or cuckoo call to announce the top of every hour. While the most common type of cuckoo clocks are the traditional, chalet-style carved wall clocks with the pop-out automaton birds, some modern clock manufacturers are producing cuckoo clocks in contemporary designs such as geometric shapes. Setting the time on your cuckoo clock is a simple task the can quickly be completed.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start your cuckoo clock before setting it to the correct time. Pull the pendulum all the way to the left and release it, allowing it to swing freely.

  2. 2

    Grab the minute hand on your cuckoo clock and move it in a counterclockwise direction until both the hour and minute hands reflect the correct time.

  3. 3

    Tighten the dial that holds the minute and hour hands to the face of the clock, if necessary, to prevent the hands from slipping.

Tips and warnings

  • If your cuckoo clock is running too fast or two slow, reposition the pendulum carving to correct the problem. Remove the pendulum and push the carving up to make the clock run faster; push the carving down to make the clock run slower. Repeat this process, as needed.
  • Never attempt to set the time on your cuckoo clock by moving the hour hand. If you move the hour hand to set the clock, the clock won't cuckoo the correct number of times.

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