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Thread: Had a Sub polished by Watch Doctor - here's my feedback

  1. #1

    Had a Sub polished by Watch Doctor - here's my feedback

    Hi,

    First post here! Just thought I share my experience of the Watch Doctor in Tring.

    I had recently bought a 2016 Sub cheap from a jeweller, because the watch was worn with quite a few usage scratches and a few small repairable dings that I preferred to polish. I took it to the Watch Doctor in Tring - I've heard nothing but praise and I am well aware of them for many years as a reputable repairer so I decided to use them for the first time. Having told that the polisher is Rolex accredited and would come back looking like new and that all the large UK chains use them, I handed it over and returned a week later to pick it up.

    To my horror, the case had a mix of polished and brushed finish on the rear of the case edges and near the lugs, they forgot to polish the spare links I handed over with the watch, and the bezel was stuck! The bezel was quickly rectified - a rubber ring/gasket got caught in the mechanism and this was replaced, but I had to argue with the assistant that the case finish should not look like this, and her response was: "It's not going to look all new when in for a polish", despite saying otherwise before I handed it in.

    I asked for the Manager who promptly apologised having looked at my "before photo", and had it rectified within half an hour along with the spare links. I did have to come back again a week or so later, as I noticed an area of the end link suffering the same problem. After quickly claiming that it was "damage", he took the watch to the restorer and this was again quickly rectified without hesitation. The watch is now perfect and gleaming like new!

    I have the impression that "the lady" who does this work wasn't her at all doing the work and perhaps a younger apprentice - she is supposed to have been Rolex trained, and certainly the workmanship didn't reflect the hundreds of testimonials echoed by other forum members over the years and also on their own website. To their credit, they deducted 20% off the fee for my troubles and the customer service was good, though I wished that they would have emphasised more with the customer in the first instance more before defending themselves.

    Has anyone else used Watch Doctor or perhaps experienced other issues when getting their piece polished? They are only 15 mins from me and I like to use them in the future because of the convenience of having an in-house workshop, but my first experience with them wasn't comforting and won't want another watch having these issues.

    Just as another point, they also said that they don't remove any links to polish the bracelet. Is this normal and is it more difficult to polish well with the links on? The end links and the first three links are not removable anyway.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Would be interested to see before and after pictures?

  3. #3
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Ah - the old "I'll show you! I'll plaster bad feedback on lots of forums I will join" routine..........................

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Ah - the old "I'll show you! I'll plaster bad feedback on lots of forums I will join" routine..........................
    I posted my actual experience and I'm sharing this with everyone. If there is a policy that I've broken, please let me know.

  5. #5
    Grand Master
    Join Date
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    Rubber ring under the gasket?!!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    Would be interested to see before and after pictures?
    Here are Before pics

    IMG_0737.JPGIMG_0747.JPG

  7. #7
    And after polish - unfortunately don't have the imperfection as they corrected it when I pointed it out. I do, however, have a shot of the left end link showing the defective polishing, which has now gone.

    IMG_1014.JPG IMG_1021.JPG

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    Rubber ring under the gasket?!!
    I enjoy and wear my watches - I'm not a watchmaker, I don't know what the damn thing is called, but it was white in colour and looked liked it sits under the bezel as it was the same shape and size. Sorry, no photo of this as I was in "Customer Complaining Mode"

  9. #9
    Final two After photos

    I am pleased with the results, but I feel that with such an established company, all of the issues prior to the end result should not have arisen or at least be spotted before signing it off back to the customer, and my complaints could have been better answered/investigated initially without getting the manager involved. Hence my post to see if anyone have had similar experiences with Watch Doctor, or even any other reputable repairer. I'm hoping that this is a one-off, and perhaps an apprentice worked on my watch. This is not a direct "plaster bad feedback" on an individual, company or industry as one might suggest, but to put forward my overall feedback constructively based on what happened - I did point out that their customer service was good, but it could be better on this occasion.


    IMG_1021.JPG IMG_1014.JPG

  10. #10
    From those photos it looks like a nice job to me.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    How did they charge before the discount?

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Estoril-5 View Post
    How did they charge before the discount?

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    They quoted £120 to £150 for a polish, so they quoted me £120 when I presented it to them after an assessment. So £100 in total plus a green service pouch like the Rolex one! So again, I'm happy with the final result and there wasn't too much effort to get this fixed, just that I expected it to be done right first time.

    I forgot to also mention in my original post that they assistant said they don't remove the bezel prior to polishing, but obviously they did, presumably to polish the case just under it. That is when they had issues re-fitting the bezel, when the bezel mech got tangled up with the "white plastic ring".

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Dec 2016
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    That's not a bad price, I think it was someone unfamiliar doing the work but they were quick to rectify.

    Just a case of right place but wrong time.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Estoril-5 View Post
    That's not a bad price, I think it was someone unfamiliar doing the work but they were quick to rectify.

    Just a case of right place but wrong time.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    And that's what I am hoping for, as I do plan to use them again since they are very close to me with a workshop. I'm sure they'll remember me and ensure that the work will be top notch, first time, the next time I use them.

  15. #15
    Grand Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
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    I’ve refinished lots of watches and I wouldn’t attempt to refinish the case on this without removing the bezel and taking the movement out. The fact that the watch came back with obvious visual defects is worrying, even if the person who’s done the work is less experienced they can still see what they’ve done! What’s happened to quality control?........the watch should’ve been inspected thoroughly prior to being given back, this should’ve been picked up by someone. Refitting the bezel wrongly sounds like a training issue, but whoever refitted it should’ve known it was wrong.

    My advice to anyone having a watch refinished is to inspect it very carefully after return, using a magnifier if necessary. Look for sharp definition where polished and brushed surfaces meet, that’s one of the harder things to get 100% right. Also look for faint ‘tramlines’ in polished sections, the polished parts should be highly polished with no evdence of polishing work.

    If a watch has significant dings along the edges it’s sometimes not feasible to completely remove them without taking too much metal away; after refinishing a watch may still show signs of previous damage and owners have to accept that, refinishers can’t work miracles and deep damage will require metal to be added by micro-welding which few people have the facility to do.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the OP reporting this on here, Watch Doctor clearly haven’t covered themselves in glory this time!

    Paul

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    I’ve refinished lots of watches and I wouldn’t attempt to refinish the case on this without removing the bezel and taking the movement out. The fact that the watch came back with obvious visual defects is worrying, even if the person who’s done the work is less experienced they can still see what they’ve done! What’s happened to quality control?........the watch should’ve been inspected thoroughly prior to being given back, this should’ve been picked up by someone. Refitting the bezel wrongly sounds like a training issue, but whoever refitted it should’ve known it was wrong.

    My advice to anyone having a watch refinished is to inspect it very carefully after return, using a magnifier if necessary. Look for sharp definition where polished and brushed surfaces meet, that’s one of the harder things to get 100% right. Also look for faint ‘tramlines’ in polished sections, the polished parts should be highly polished with no evdence of polishing work.

    If a watch has significant dings along the edges it’s sometimes not feasible to completely remove them without taking too much metal away; after refinishing a watch may still show signs of previous damage and owners have to accept that, refinishers can’t work miracles and deep damage will require metal to be added by micro-welding which few people have the facility to do.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the OP reporting this on here, Watch Doctor clearly haven’t covered themselves in glory this time!

    Paul
    Thanks for your valuable input Paul. From here on I'll have to decide myself if I should use them again. I've used Omega accredited workshops before, and when there was a problem (I had two from a service) I've had to wait six weeks each time before I see the watch again. At least with Watch Doctor they can fix the problem on the spot whilst I wait.

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