What Is a Carriage Clock?


A carriage clock is a rectangular clock casing with a handle so that it can be carried in the hand. The clock mechanism has a platform escapement which means that it will work even on an uneven surface and historically this made it more suitable for travelling.  Their unique shape serves a purpose as well as having an incredible allure for its craftsmanship.


Carriage clocks are a piece of history that look fantastic on a shelf or mantelpiece today. Originally stemming from the 19th century, they have an air of nostalgia and stoicism.

They are wonderful as a gift and a brilliant introduction to mechanical clocks. We are proud to supply clocks from the only remaining UK maker of carriage clocks.  Start your collection now.






Why Is a Carriage Clock Called a Carriage Clock?


Carriage clocks were first designed in the 1800s as lighting for horse-drawn carriages. At the time, roads were far from smooth and the constant shaking of the horse meant that the clocks had to be sturdy.


What Is a Carriage Clock Used For?


Carriage clocks are travel clocks, made for 19th century travelers making their passage by horse-drawn carriage. Today, they serve more as decorative clocks.


What Sizes Do Carriage Clocks Come In?


Carriage clocks are available in many different sizes. Initially, they were relatively small so they would be easy to hold in one’s hand but the decorative pieces today can be larger.


What Is an Antique Carriage Clock?


Because they have been around since the early 1800s, there are many carriage clocks over 100 years old. The first carriage clock was made for Napoleon in 1812.


How Do Carriage Clocks Work?


Carriage clocks have a platform escapement instead of a pendulum which makes them uniquely resistant to .


How Do You Set Up a Carriage Clock?


Carriage clocks have an arbour to adjust the hands. Use the given winding key to adjust the clock to the correct hour.  Be careful not to force the carriage clock. Also, if it is a striking clock, it needs to finish the strike before you continue moving the hands forwards.  Also, we recommend not taking the hands back past the hour point on a striking clock.  


How Do You Slow Down or Speed Up a Carriage Clock?


Carriage clocks have a regulator to manage how fast or slow it goes.  This regulator arm is usually made of steel and sits on the top of the platform escapement and usually runs down the back of mechanism .  Make sure you only move the regulator a small amount each time as they are very sensitive.


How Do You Choose a Carriage Clock?


We'd love to help you choose, Carriage clocks make good gifts. They are a stunning timepiece to keep on display.


Why Would You Have a Carriage Clock?


Today, there is no reason to use a carriage clock for its original purpose which was for travelling.   However, they are still beautiful timepieces to look at. Many clock collectors will keep them on display as a decorative piece.  They are also particularly well suited to sit on more modern slimline fireplaces or as a table clock.


Where Is the Best Place to Buy a Carriage Clock from?


Glenbryde has a thorough collection of carriage clocks. Our collection includes both vintage and antique carriage clocks but also more modern interpretations of the historical timepiece.