The first cuckoo clock was crafted in the 17th century, when modern Germany was still a loose collection of principalities. A nobleman living in the Black Forest region perfected the clock’s reliable inner workings. Soon after, the Swiss, who are famous to this day for their clock-making prowess, modeled the cuckoo clock’s exterior after the architecture of the region. That’s why even today the clocks are built in the likeness of a German or Swiss chalet.
Although cuckoo clocks are now available in many distinct styles and designs, the classic German and Swiss influences continue to manifest themselves. The two largest such clocks in North America are located in Wilmot, Ohio and Frankenmuth, Michigan, respectively. Some clocks are more ornate and intricately designed than others; they vary from finely crafted, elaborate woodwork to a straight-forward, two-dimensional front.