Cuckoo clock

millennium bug

Not long ago it was still 1999 and many of us were dealing with the year 2000 problem, or as the nerds of the time called it, the Y2K bug.

For those who were born a little later, just a brief explanation: up to this year it was common practice to only write the year with two digits. And since storage space was not only expensive, but also rare at the time, the program developers from the 1970s to the 1990s took the opportunity and also programmed their annual dates in double digits. In addition, until the end of 1999, the well-known "00" was used as a term for invalid data content.

And so, by the end of 1999 at the latest — which, by the way, heralded the start of a new millennium at the same time — everyone who was already involved with computers and software became a little more active than usual. And this unusual "hyperactivity" of computer professionals was slowly but surely affecting society as a whole. So it was not really surprising that horror scenarios could be read and heard in all the media at the time and that the well-loved Nostradamus was once again unearthed.

I was not entirely spared from this issue either, because we could no longer imagine our NATO missions without a computer and slowly but surely replaced the maps with GPS ourselves. And so it happened that the missions at that time and the millennium bug on a home visit made me a true prepper, to the surprise of my better half — she probably needed the entire noughties to resocialize me again.

And this prepper knew no better way to use his precious family time between assignments than to give the family an analogue watch that should make it easier for them to transition into the new millennium. And since the family had only recently moved to the Black Forest, it made sense that the clock should also be a cuckoo clock.

That was a good 22 years ago, and the said cuckoo clock ran without any problems until yesterday, survived the growth of two boys and a dog as well as several moves with some very robust movers. Also, one or the other climate change did not bother her.

And now she's gone — she just doesn't want to anymore. Maybe the quieter life just got too boring for her. So I probably opened it for the first time and looked at the clockwork. But then I decided against starting the crafting myself. I was able to quickly identify the manufacturer and was happy that they still exist.

Inquiry with a local watchmaker showed that we would probably have to wait two to three years to get the watch repaired — just about the lack of skilled workers.

That's why I'm now fully relying on the service of a renowned watch manufacturer from the Black Forest. Today I wrote to him and told him my problem.

Now I'm curious to see how this matter develops. By the way, the millennium bug wasn't one after all and only led to us all buying brand new computers.


I hadn't finished this post before I got this email:

"Dear Mr. Kümmerle, you are welcome to bring the watch to us. However, we can only make a cost estimate after we have checked the watch carefully. Please call before you come as we are still on short-time work due to the current situation.”

So now I just have to be able to win my better half over for a trip to Titisee-Neustadt. And I'm already excited to see how quickly the Hönes cuckoo clock company fix my cuckoo clock.


"You know what the fellow said - in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man (1949)

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