How to choose a carriage clock

Deciding which carriage clock to buy can be a daunting task when you consider the many different models available, but this guide will help make the process an easy one.

The first decision to make is as to if it should be a Mechanical or Quartz clock followed by what type of material and the style of the case.


Mechanical clocks run for around eight days on a single wind, they all have a beautiful ticking sound.  These are traditional key-wound, spring powered clocks, they use a design that has changed little for nearly 200 years, and come in solid brass engineered cases.

These intricate mechanical clocks are made to the highest standards and we stock all three of the.  They are accurate to 1-2 of minutes a week, they have a tiny adjust lever, which can be moved a millimeter or so to fine tune the accuracy, often this can adjusted to acheive to less than a minute per week. All of the clocks are calibrated before they leave us and ful instructions are inclided for any fine tuning you wish to do after it arrives.

This level of accuracy is part of the design of the clock, and for me, part of the beauty of owning a traditional clock. It is only in the late 21st century we expect accuracy to the second.

Quartz Carriage Clocks

Developed in the 1950s, Quartz regulated clocks were in general manufacture by the 1970s, and represented a huge leap forward in time-piece technology. The clock is powered by a small battery and regulated by a quartz crystal that oscillates at a fixed frequency.

A quartz carriage clock is a popular alternative to mechanical clock, as they have the same look and feel, but you never have to wind them. Our quartz clocks are of the highest quality and are built into solid brass cases, many sharing the same case used on the eight-day mechanical versions.

Case Finish

Each case is made from engineered heavy gauge brass, hand assembled and highly polished.  We have generally three different finishes for you to choose from, depending upon your own preferences and taste.

Brass – the highly polished mirror finish is coated with a light lacquer to prevent tarnishing

Gold – Our David Paterson clocks are all plated in a heavy layer of 24 Carat Gold over the solid brass case

Chrome – For our customers who prefer the a silver look to their carriage clock, we have many models which are plated with chrome.  Applied to the brass case the chrome is hand polished to a true mirror finish.

No matter which you choose, you will be impressed at the care and level of craftsmanship which goes into the making the case.  All of the clocks are easy to clean; they only require a light dusting with a soft cloth.

Carriage Clocks Case Design

The easiest way to choose your case design is to browse our collection,  if you are registered on our site then you can press the ‘add to wish list’ button, allowing you to compare clocks you are interested in by viewing your ‘wish list’.

The three most distinctive traditional designs are:

Ovale: This is an oval case, beveled glasses and a curved handle

Anglaise: Originally designed by French makers for the English carriage clock market, it has strong straight lines and a bold, heavy handle.

Obis: This is a similar design to the ‘Anglaise’ but has a gently curved corners and a lighter elegant handle.

Many of the case designs are traditional ones designed in the 19th centaury originally for the French or English market.  The cases fall into three general sizes, the ‘Grande’ models being the largest at around 17cm tall. The ‘Standard’ clock cases are approximately 12-13cm tall (handle down) and the ‘Petite’ carriage clock from Woodford is 8cm tall (handle down).

Choosing by Manufacturer

We stock carriage clocks by the UK’s three main manufacturers. These are Woodford, David Peterson and Henley, all of which produce excellent clocks.

Woodford are a very long-standing company (est 1860) and have a very wide range of mechanical and quartz models. They are originally from the Birmingham’s jewellery quarter and are now located in London. They also specialize in pocket watches & barometers.

David Peterson Clocks have been making carriage clocks since the 1970s, and are still based based in Reading, Berkshire. All the clocks are supplied in a double door presentation case. This is a great addition if you are going to give the clock as a gift, or to store the clock in while transporting it.  Each clock is supplied with an engraving plate, which is prefect for presentation; just email us should you wish to have it engraved before we deliver the clock to you.

Henley Clocks have produced clocks since 1976 in Oxfordshire, Hanley now produce only three models of clock, each lovingly made in brass. They are supplied in a double door presentation case and have a two year warrently.