Verein die Schwarzwalduhr – the Black Forest Clock Association

The Black Forest Clock Association: Verein – die Schwarzwalduhr (VdS)

Foundet in 1987 as a support organisation the VdS brought together manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and collectors of the original Black Forest cuckoo clock. The VdS was not only founded to provide a platform for communication between everybody “cuckoo clock” but also guarantee a geographical protection of the product and the collective brand “Black Forest Cuckoo Clock” which is a registered trademark.

The VdS-Certificate stands for authenticity, quality and origin of an original Black Forest cuckoo clock. All Black Forest cuckoo clocks with a mechanical clockwork and manufactured in the Black Forest are sold with this certificate.

Most of our cuckoo clocks are sold overseas – in fact several tenthousands of clocks every year and our customers far away can rely on the VdS-certificate that their cuckoo clock is a real one!

In 2023 VdS has 52 members, consisting of 13 manufacturers, 6 suppliers and 33 dealers and collectors of real Black Forest cuckoo clocks.

Das VdS-Zertifikat

By creating the VdS-certificate a wish has come true for many of the manufacturers, suppliers and dealers who wanted a proof for their customers for the authentic Black Forest cuckoo clocks.

Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks that are sold with this certificate have to fulfill a very high standard such as the clocks being solely manufactured in the Black Forest. But the origin alone is not enough for a proof of origin – there is a clear definition that parts and the movement have to be built in the Black Forest. There is no way for a quartz or solar driven clock to get the certificate.

Former VdS-president Ingolf Haas said: “our customers want a real mechanical cuckoo clock and that is what is so special about our clocks”. Clockmakers from the Hochschwarzwald area can also get the rights for the certificate for their clocks. By the way – the certificate was designed by artist Benno Gasche from Schonach. To show internationality the certificate is bilingual in German and Englisch languages.

The criteria for quality and origin

Excerpt from the VdS-statutes:

  • The product “Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks” is manufactured in the Black Forest area
  • clock housings, carvings, decoration, windows and general artwork are made of wood
  • The clock has a mechanical movement. Also all other parts of the clock that are in immediate relation to the typical functions of a cuckoo clock like the cuckoo call, automated moving elements have to be made of parts that have to be of Black Forest origin if technically realizable and economic possible.
  • This rule is also applied on clock housings, carvings, clock faces, hands, weights, whistles, sound elements and other equipment of the clocks.