timefactors watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: To service or not to service

  1. #1
    Craftsman Stuart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Co. Down, Ireland
    Posts
    805

    To service or not to service

    Iíd like to ask the opinion of those whoíve owned automatics for very many years.
    I just acquired a Speedbird III from 2009 in wonderful condition, with little sign of much use at all. Itís virtually as-new. Itís never been serviced. It gains 1.5 seconds a day, which is of course brilliant.
    The date wheel may be slightly sticky, as it hesitated a little before clicking fully into position today.
    Do I need to commit £200 plus to servicing the ETA 2824-2 movement to ensure its longevity and accuracy over another 9 years? Is there a cheaper option, eg lube and oil-change service only etc?! Or do I save the money and hope for the best?!

  2. #2
    Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    West Wales
    Posts
    2,556
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    Iíd like to ask the opinion of those whoíve owned automatics for very many years.
    I just acquired a Speedbird III from 2009 in wonderful condition, with little sign of much use at all. Itís virtually as-new. Itís never been serviced. It gains 1.5 seconds a day, which is of course brilliant.
    The date wheel may be slightly sticky, as it hesitated a little before clicking fully into position today.
    Do I need to commit £200 plus to servicing the ETA 2824-2 movement to ensure its longevity and accuracy over another 9 years? Is there a cheaper option, eg lube and oil-change service only etc?! Or do I save the money and hope for the best?!
    If it aint broke, then don't fix it.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    France
    Posts
    381
    Fantastic watch.

    You open a box of worms here with many opinions about to come forth.

    I have owned autos for decades now. I only service when it is needed and find it saves me a lot of money.

    If it worries you then service for piece of mind and happiness, if not then wait and see. Is the date actually sticking? Or is is just they way the mechanism works giving that appearance just before the date drops into place?
    Others with the same movement and watch may well be able to help here.

    Even though I am in the service when needed camp I would have the watch looked at by a watchmaker if it was not usual.

  4. #4
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Wales View Post
    If it aint broke, then don't fix it.
    Absolutely Dave. Just wait until it starts playing up then get it serviced.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TZ-UK mobile app

  5. #5
    Journeyman bagman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    The high Weald, Kent
    Posts
    233
    At +1.5s/day I'd definitely leave it well alone. Fantastic watch, my good lady bought me a second hand one (with a little help of course) for a present a couple of years ago.

  6. #6
    Grand Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Posts
    16,158
    The 'if it ain't broke' fraternity are akin to the flat earth society, I`m not going to waste my time trying to persuade anyone otherwise.

    At some point the lubrication will break down to such an extent where the performance of the watch is affected. Despite the fact that it seems to be keeping good time this may already have happened; I`d be interested to know what the amplitude's like and whether the hand-winding is getting that stuff 'gritty' feeling that happens when the lubrication's poor. It's possible to regulate a watch with poor amplitude to compensate somewhat for the timekeeping, thus creating the illusion that all's well.

    Servicing a watch involves stripping it down to component parts, thoroughly cleaning the parts in cleaning solvents, then reassembling and re-oiling . It isn`t like having your car serviced! Corners can be cut, and a watch can be made to run better by partial stripdown and oiling key points if you know what you're doing, but it doesn`t take a lot longer to do it right. Mechanical watches rely on lubrication to minimise wear, anyone with a basic sense of mechanical empathy will understand that.

    As for paying £200 to get the watch serviced, I`ll gladly service it for £199! Seriously, there are cheaper options for this movement!

    Paul

  7. #7
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    The 'if it ain't broke' fraternity are akin to the flat earth society, I`m not going to waste my time trying to persuade anyone otherwise.

    At some point the lubrication will break down to such an extent where the performance of the watch is affected. Despite the fact that it seems to be keeping good time this may already have happened; I`d be interested to know what the amplitude's like and whether the hand-winding is getting that stuff 'gritty' feeling that happens when the lubrication's poor. It's possible to regulate a watch with poor amplitude to compensate somewhat for the timekeeping, thus creating the illusion that all's well.

    Servicing a watch involves stripping it down to component parts, thoroughly cleaning the parts in cleaning solvents, then reassembling and re-oiling . It isn`t like having your car serviced! Corners can be cut, and a watch can be made to run better by partial stripdown and oiling key points if you know what you're doing, but it doesn`t take a lot longer to do it right. Mechanical watches rely on lubrication to minimise wear, anyone with a basic sense of mechanical empathy will understand that.

    As for paying £200 to get the watch serviced, I`ll gladly service it for £199! Seriously, there are cheaper options for this movement!

    Paul
    That's good advice Paul and from someone with vast experience in these matters there's no question of that. Saying that i'm one of the 'leave it alone' fraternity that thinks a watch with this movement will kind of tell you when it's not happy.

    That said i just had my PRS-82 fully serviced and i was told that due to lack of servicing / attention the third wheel needed replacing (see attached) and if i had had it serviced sooner this may not have been the case so that kind of craps on my theory. Also the third wheel was hard to find so i was lucky as the NOS ETA 2783 parts are hard to come by but my watch man sourced one on eBay from somewhere in Spain (Phew!).









    Last edited by WillHarris2306; Yesterday at 09:23.

  8. #8
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    9
    I look at it this way. Would you wait for your car to break down or wear out before you get it serviced or have to get it repaired?

  9. #9
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    3,360
    This thread shows why you have to be so careful when buying a used watch. I wouldn't consider a watch that has gone many years without a skilled service. It's just neglect, no matter what spin is put on it.

  10. #10
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Milton Keynes
    Posts
    13
    I assume this is not your only watch, if itís a part of a rotation I donít think +2 a day matters right?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Journeyman Mathif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Bishop's stortford
    Posts
    193
    +2 is pretty amazing... more likely to come back losing more time


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  12. #12
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Zagreb
    Posts
    895
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert189598 View Post
    I look at it this way. Would you wait for your car to break down or wear out before you get it serviced or have to get it repaired?
    A big difference in impact to my life/getting stuff done if my watch stops vs if my car stops. As such preventative maintenance for the car becomes relevant.

  13. #13
    Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ' EXEMPLO DUCEMUS '
    Posts
    4,428
    £200 for the sake of 1.5 seconds, I would leave it be.

  14. #14
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Bath,UK
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert189598 View Post
    I look at it this way. Would you wait for your car to break down or wear out before you get it serviced or have to get it repaired?
    I would say cost of service in relation to cost of replacement parts (movement) is a factor in the decision - same with cars...some are happy to wait until they break down (or just hope they donít) because the financial penalty of doing so isnít prohibitive.

  15. #15
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by JP28 View Post
    A big difference in impact to my life/getting stuff done if my watch stops vs if my car stops. As such preventative maintenance for the car becomes relevant.
    Surely if you own any machine you want to look after it and get a good service life from it. Whether it's a watch, car, lawn mower or washing machine. Otherwise you'd wait till it broke down then pay many times the amount of a service to get it repaired or throw it away and buy a new one. I

  16. #16
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    4,944
    I don't think the OP is questioning if he should get it serviced because it's running at 1.5 secs per day. He's asking because it's 9 years old.

    Personally, I'd feel more comfortable getting it done Ė 9 years is a long time and you could save in the long run while the parts are still whole and not ground to dust.

  17. #17
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    I don't think the OP is questioning if he should get it serviced because it's running at 1.5 secs per day. He's asking because it's 9 years old.

    Personally, I'd feel more comfortable getting it done Ė 9 years is a long time and you could save in the long run while the parts are still whole and not ground to dust.
    This ↑

  18. #18
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Zagreb
    Posts
    895
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert189598 View Post
    Surely if you own any machine you want to look after it and get a good service life from it. Whether it's a watch, car, lawn mower or washing machine. Otherwise you'd wait till it broke down then pay many times the amount of a service to get it repaired or throw it away and buy a new one. I
    But you donít pay many more times to service a watch when it has stopped/broken vs when it has not and in many cases you pay the same.

    The only relevant point for me made further down the thread is that for hard to source parts/mechanisms then it probably does make sense to be more proactive in servicing.

  19. #19
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    1,481
    At 9 years old it's due a service, so if I liked the watch, I would accept the cost.

    This is why I'm reluctant to buy cheaper automatic watches, as the service is quite a high proportion of the value. I must have paid £80 last year for a Seiko worth not a lot more than that, but it's just the cost of ownership. They need looking after, so planned servicing is essential.

    Dave

  20. #20
    Craftsman Stuart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Co. Down, Ireland
    Posts
    805
    A helpful discussion. Thanks for all the comments. On the whole i think I will get it serviced as Iíd like it to last many years. I am not confident though that the timekeeping wonít be worse when it returns. Itís current performance is fantastic and certainly not a reason to service.
    If anyone feels able to recommend where/to whom to send it for servicing, for excellent work and reasonable cost, I shall be grateful.

  21. #21
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Warwickshire
    Posts
    1,515
    I’m in the service regularly camp here.

    I cannot tell whether a watch needs a service or not if it appears to be running ok so tend to stick to 5 year intervals for my automatics.

    I may be spending money I don’t need to but err on the better safe than sorry side.

    I look on it as a cost of ownership expense, hence I only have two regularly worn automatics.
    Last edited by JeremyO; Yesterday at 16:29.

  22. #22
    Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Brussel land.
    Posts
    8,108
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    A helpful discussion. Thanks for all the comments. On the whole i think I will get it serviced as Iíd like it to last many years. I am not confident though that the timekeeping wonít be worse when it returns. Itís current performance is fantastic and certainly not a reason to service.
    If anyone feels able to recommend where/to whom to send it for servicing, for excellent work and reasonable cost, I shall be grateful.
    I can recommend Brendan. https://webwatchmaker.com

    No connection other than a satisfied customer.

    Ian

  23. #23
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    A helpful discussion. Thanks for all the comments. On the whole i think I will get it serviced as I’d like it to last many years. I am not confident though that the timekeeping won’t be worse when it returns. It’s current performance is fantastic and certainly not a reason to service.
    If anyone feels able to recommend where/to whom to send it for servicing, for excellent work and reasonable cost, I shall be grateful.
    I recommend Olivier at http://onatelier.co.uk/

    He fully serviced my PRS-82 to perfection for around £190.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; Yesterday at 16:45.

  24. #24
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    England and Spain
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    Iíd like to ask the opinion of those whoíve owned automatics for very many years.
    I just acquired a Speedbird III from 2009 in wonderful condition, with little sign of much use at all. Itís virtually as-new. Itís never been serviced. It gains 1.5 seconds a day, which is of course brilliant.
    The date wheel may be slightly sticky, as it hesitated a little before clicking fully into position today.
    Do I need to commit £200 plus to servicing the ETA 2824-2 movement to ensure its longevity and accuracy over another 9 years? Is there a cheaper option, eg lube and oil-change service only etc?! Or do I save the money and hope for the best?!
    As in all walks of life, those who skint on servicing tend to get bitten on the bum. You may be lucky or maybe not, but for the cost of a service, why take the chance.

  25. #25
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Warwickshire
    Posts
    18
    You should check out this short article. He also does servicing. I've not used him but seems well regarded.

    http://watchguy.co.uk/how-often-does...eed-a-service/

  26. #26
    Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    West Wales
    Posts
    2,556

    I rest my case......

    A service, from experience, seems to be around £200 even for watches worth a fraction of that price.

    I have paid it and more for a beloved thirteen year old Zenith with a broken rotor bearing, it was carried out by Genesis and was worth every penny.

    My son had one recently tended to for me in Poland....serviced, lightly restored with new calf strap...all for 50 Zloty, about £35, but I add this just for interest purposes.
    I was quoted £200+ in the UK, not Genisis, for the same job.

    The watch below was my fathers who died in 1971, bought I should guess in the 1960's...so it's at least 50 years old.

    It has NEVER even had the back off, let alone a service, It's accuracy is marvellous for a watch of this age.

    I did, for the purposes of this thread try to get the back off but it looks like a front-loader.

    In my watch box there are a couple of 'old' watches, one a 38 year old Seiko that have never been touched and just seem to go on-and-on.

    I'm sure we all have such watches in an old box or at the back of a drawer.

    I rest my case, 'if it aint broke then don't fix it', especially on watches of no value.

    50+ years old and NEVER touched.
    PA150627-RS by Dave in Wales, on Flickr
    Last edited by Dave in Wales; Today at 10:12.

  27. #27
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    3,360
    What exactly is that supposed to prove? Of course mechanical things will often stagger on when neglected. It is like claiming you never have any maintenance on your house, so not maintaining a house must be a good idea.
    Watches are precision instruments, designed to be maintained by servicing. No manufacturer would ever suggest neglecting them, and they might know a bit about the subject.

  28. #28
    Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    West Wales
    Posts
    2,556
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    What exactly is that supposed to prove? Of course mechanical things will often stagger on when neglected. It is like claiming you never have any maintenance on your house, so not maintaining a house must be a good idea.
    Watches are precision instruments, designed to be maintained by servicing. No manufacturer would ever suggest neglecting them, and they might know a bit about the subject.
    From over 50 years experience, MY practice where watches is concerned remains the same..."If it aint broke.......!

  29. #29
    Craftsman Nigeyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    912
    Difficult one, but i guess its a bit like a small car engine relying on lubrication? Only difference is no real heat or un-burnt fuel is involved to choke it, score the bores and lead to cracked rings and piston slap...etc etc etc.

    I'd still be inclined to have the watch serviced to ensure the lubrication viscosity or indeed lubrication at all is still present...those little gears meshing metal to metal...? Just like I wouldn't wait for the scored bores, piston slap in my car before changing the oil. I'd at least book the watch in for an oil change.

    I guess you can apply any analogy you like, similarly i wouldn't wait while i was dehydrated to have a glass of water...

    Any machine needs maintenance, while it is running ok and then repair and rebuild when it isn't. So its a choice really. Perform the former or wait for the latter. In the grand scheme of things no big deal. Its only a watch rather than a 1958 Ferrari Testarossa. No on second thoughts i'd just get your fun out of the watch and then when it stops running because it hasnt been properly lubricated for years, just get all the cogs and gears replaced in a rebuild, broad as long really...? Up to you. I'm off out to play now its sunny.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •