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FAQs

Why do watches need to be serviced?

Quite simply, because of friction. All mechanical things slowly wear out over time. Parts rub against parts and slowly change shape until they can't perform efficiently any more. My job is to delay that process as long as possible. And I do that with careful cleaning and correct lubrication. The problem with lubricants, especially if you don’t service your watch for long periods, is that over the years tiny particles of the movement erode and mix with the oil turning it into grinding paste. This runaway erosion effect makes the situation worse and can be detrimental to the precision and longevity of the watch. And it can also lead to very expensive repairs further down the line.

 

People often invest in expensive watches not thinking about the maintenance costs. It’s really important to take this into consideration when buying a watch. You will need to look after it forever if you want it to last and stay precise.

 

How often should I service my mechanical watch?

Every 3 to 5 years.

 

How often should I service my quartz watch?

Every 8 to 10 years. Sometimes they can't be serviced but the movement can be replaced.

 

How much will it cost to service my watch?

Please see the prices page to get an overview of costs.

What does a service involve?

During a service the watch is completely taken apart. Every single piece is dissembled, turning it into a kit of parts. Every screw, every spring, every wheel. 

All the parts are put in an ultrasonic cleaner and meticulously cleaned using a couple of different chemicals. I will often use things like fixodrop on escape wheels and pallet stones to prevent oil migrating from them. Precision parts like the hairspring and balance jewels will need extra cleaning in degreasing fluids. Often jewels will be “pegged out” to get rid of hardened oil deposits. Or balance staffs, often on vintage watches, will be polished and pallet forks burnished. The mainspring will usually be replaced. I'm a perfectionist and I will often do a lot of things other watchmakers don’t always bother with.

 

Then everything is put back together and oiled using sometimes as many as five or six different types of lubricant depending on what the manufacturer recommends. Oiling is an art form. You have to get the amounts exactly right. Too much and it migrates and the watch will need servicing again. Too little and the watch won’t run well. I’m always amazed when I service watches how they are often so poorly oiled!

 

When everything is back together the movement will be electronically regulated to make sure the balance is swinging with a good amplitude and the watch is keeping good time in all positions.

 

The case is given a good clean and a gentle buff. If requested I can do other restoration work at this stage like polishing, re-plating and re-luming hands. I can also restore certain kinds of dials and re-paint enamel paint on bezels. And all the usual odd jobs such as replacing straps, putting in a new crystal and replacing spring bars.

 

Finally all the gaskets are checked and replaced if necessary. And a pressure test is performed to make sure the watch is waterproof. Please note that vintage watches often can not be made waterproof.

 

The process takes half a day to a day depending on the complexity of the watch. But there is usually a queue of a a few weeks depending on how busy I am.

 

Do you use original parts and where do they come from?

Original parts are used if they're available. If parts are no longer made, I will often use quality Swiss made alternatives or make parts myself. I have a large inventory of new old stock in my workshop and can usually find what I need.

Is my watch safe when it's with you?

Yes. I take a huge amount of care with watches and everything is kept in a secure premises. I am also protected by professional indemnity insurance and goods in trust insurance. If you are posting watches to me, please always make sure you buy insurance and that watches are covered. Secursus provide specialist insurance for posting watches.

How do I pay you?

All payment is in advance. Once the work is confirmed, I'll send you an invoice and you can pay by bank transfer. If you wish to pay by card please let me know.

Is there a warranty on your repairs and servicing?

Yes, the warranty is for two years. Providing it’s not been damaged, for instance due to impact, I will amend the issue free of charge. Also, if there is a part failure for a part I’ve provided within 2 years, I will replace it free of charge, so long as it's not failed due to being damaged from impact, liquid or negligence. From time to time the warranty may differ on certain parts, but I will discuss this with you before purchasing the part.

If a watch has tested successfully as waterproof and is subsequently damaged by water ingress, I am unable to offer compensation. Please make sure your watch is insured.

Can you remove a link from my strap?

These kinds of “odd jobs” are difficult for me to fit in unless it’s part of a full service. Otherwise, high-street jewellers can often help.

 

Can you fix my digital watch or smart watch?

Sorry, I'm unable to help with digital watches.

 

Can you value my watch?

Sorry, you will need to contact and appraiser to have your watch valued.

Do you buy or sell watches?

I'm afraid not.

 

Do you offer discounts for trade, collectors and regular customers?

Not really. I have many loyal customers I've known for years and whilst I do sometimes help them out with bits and pieces, it's very important as business to always be forging new relationships. So I try to keep things as fair as possible.

How do I contact you?

Click here!

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