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marcus fenix

A Cartier, and a much overdue service by Brendan Hoey

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Quote Originally Posted by marcus fenix View Post
About a year ago I picked up a watch I'd been after for a long time, a Cartier Santos 100 in large size. As these only crop up about once or twice a year on SC I'd had to track one down via Chrono24. It was one of the original anniversary models with engraved case back (1904-2004), full set, and while it looked in decent nick outside it was running 10s a day slow. Normally I wouldn't tolerate that but I soon got in to the habit of setting it a minute fast, then by the end of the working week it would still be on the right minute, at which point I'd usually switch to something else. Fast forward 8 or 9 months and it stopped from time to time unless given a few manual winds in the morning. Looking back I guess this was really when I should have got it serviced. Still, hindsight is a wonderful thing

Cartier Santos 100 by Ian Crocker, on Flickr[/IMG]

I didn't really want to send it to Cartier and have it gone for months so I looked at who was available via the forum. A couple of the resident watchmakers don't touch watches they can't get parts for and another had stopped taking on new work as he was too busy. However Brendan Hoey (webwatchmaker) replied to my PM very quickly confirming he could do the work and would probably turn it around in under 2 weeks.

Sat: I posted it to Brendan.

Mon: Brendan whatsapp'ed me to confirm he had the watch and would be starting in a few days.

Wed: Brendan contacted me with some bad news. The watch was pretty much dry (probably never been serviced in 12 years), the stem had a burr on it and there was excessive wear to the main plate. The pictures show swarf around the stem and in the main plate where it rides. While it could back together as was, his recommendation was a new main plate.

New main plate was ordered Wed and arrived Thu.

Thu: Movement reassembled in to new main plate and then checked out without the auto winding bridge in place:

Fri: Watch all reassembled and timed up properly. I was offered the old parts back but declined (not sure why people want these, do they also collect old engine oil and filters after their car is serviced?). Note the old caseback gasket is split too.

Brendan monitored the timekeeping over the weekend and then posted it back to me on the Monday. After a little detour courtesy of the Royal Mail it arrived back safe and sound Wed. How did it look? Exactly the same as when it left me which is a result in my book - I have seen some watches that have been serviced where there is lint under the crystal, or the hands have little marks on them, or the hands are not perfectly aligned. This looked immaculate, even under a loupe. What about accuracy? Well, I've worn it for 7 days straight and it has gained 12 seconds, so average of +1.7s per day. I'll take that

I suppose the moral of this story is don't leave servicing too late. Although that depends on what movement you have - parts are easy to get for this movement but with an in-house movement you'd be a bit stuffed.

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