Clocks, Watches/chimes won"t work


The chimes quit working after I pulled the weights up. Now the only weight that moves is the center weight.The 2 on the ends won"t "release". It"s a viking clock approx. 37 years old. I still have the instructions ,but they don"t show much. Thanks Joe

Joe, the general cause of a clock not chiming is due to old and gummy lubricant and/or worn parts (the strike is dependent on the chime completing the hour chime and that is why it is not working and their weights are not dropping). This is if the clock hasn't been serviced in the last 7 to 10 years.  However, if it happened after winding, it could be that the clock had run down and the chime was in the middle of the action and it jammed.  Look in the back of the clock and see if the chime hammers are all in alignment at rest, about 1/8" from the rods.  If not, turn the minute hand until it reaches the hour and you hear a faint click.  Gently lift all the chime hammers back about an inch and see if the chime starts running.  You might have to gently rock the chime drum (the part that rotates to lift the chime hammers) to get it started.  Let me know how it goes.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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