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Question
I have a clock that has "Viking" on the face along with "TEMPUS FUGIT" and the movement identification is "HERMLE 1217".  It is a beautiful clock, looks like walnut, and stands about 16 inch tall. The movement is quartz and I found an article that said it, the movement, was introduced about 1981. The article spoke highly of the quality of the movement, supposedly would possibly lose about a minute a year.  It inferred that current movements were definitely inferior to the 1217. It has four different programmable chime choices. However I have lost the article, somewhere in the internet maze and am unable to retrieve.

I am interested in any information about this clock including its worth. The clock is in excellent condition.

Thanks in advance

Answer
Bob, most clocks I have seen with the Viking name on them have been from the now defunct Viking company in Foley, Alabama, moving up the road to Fairhope a few years before they closed.  On most clocks with arch dials at the top without the moving moon dial have a globe with the phrase "Tempus Fugit".  It is Latin for "Time Flies."

I do not remember seeing any quartz bracket clocks made by Viking at that time, but they very well could have.  The Asian companies have "adopted" other clock names, so I'm not sure if it was Viking in Fairhope.  Having the Hermle movement in it, my thinking would be that it was a Viking/Foley Product.  But if there is any identification showing Foley or Fairhope, would you let me know.  I do learn something new every day.

I am rather sure the Hermle 1217 has been discontinued for some years now.  I remember replacing a couple of those units when they were brought in not working.  It was a good movement, but I don't know the reasoning in the article you read that other quartz movements were "inferior." Being programmable, it would have been more costly to manufacturer, but the general offering of quartz movements are about the same as far as timekeeping is concerned.  A few years back, a radio controlled quartz movement was introduced, but there have been some limitations to picking up the controlling signal from Ft. Collins, Colorado.  That and the fact that the standard quartz movements, even the least expensive ones, are very accurate. Quartz movements are considered "throw-away" units, as is with many of today's products.  The manufacturers do not furnish parts or diagnostics, and the labor fees for diagnosing and servicing one rapidly reaches or exceeds the cost of a replacement unit.  In case yours ever goes bad, there is an excellent similar unit called  "Quad" which is programmable for 4 different chime and strike modes, volume control and night off function. And it is much simpler to program.

Your Viking quartz clock would not be an item of interest collectors would go for, so it would not have much more value than the general used quartz movements found today. As outlined in my Allexperts Personal Bio, I am not a certified appraiser and do not give values on the Internet.  Sorry I could not help you more.

John Newman
Vintage Emperor Clock Consultant
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". 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. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 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.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. 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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
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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