There are 2 styles of traditional cuckoo clocks that can most often be seen today – Station House (bahnhausle uhren) and Hunter Piece (Jagdtstuck). All traditional cuckoo clocks are typified by their carvings and dark wood stain.
Station House cuckoo clocks are designed to resemble a guardhouse from an old train station. This look began to be used after a famous clock school in Bavaria sponsored a clock design contest with the idea of making cuckoo clocks more popular. The Station House design won and created a demand for the style. The Station House cuckoos possess an architectural style and tend to be more geometric than the free form Hunter clocks. The Station House models are signified by ivy pattern tracery work along the sides and roof. The carved leaves do not over-hang the eaves of the roof as in a Hunter clock.
Hunter style cuckoo clocks are a staple of the Black Forest. The wood carvings tend to be more ornate than Station House cuckoos in terms of subject matter. Hunter clocks also carry are more artistic design in contrast to the architectural design of the Station House cuckoos clocks. These clocks usually depict nature and subjects such as animals, flowers and leaves are typical. The leaves will often drape over the roof to give it even more of ‘part of the forest’ feel. The Hunter style cuckoo clocks will often, but not always, include more directly hunter centric themes including guns and the prizes of the hunt.