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Thread: Rolex St. James Sq open again

  1. #1
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    Rolex St. James Sq open again

    Hi all,

    I popped into St James Square today to drop off a couple of watches for service. The refurb is very nice indeed with a lounge area behind reception where you have your appointment with your watchmaker at a kind of ĎRolex Genius Barí. In addition, windows at the back allow you to see the watchmakers working while you wait. They opened on Monday and the system is either drop in or apointments with a one hour slot. Just a FYI for anyone interested.

    Cheers

    John
    Last edited by JIG67; 15th October 2020 at 21:32. Reason: Typo

  2. #2
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    I've been wondering about this and I'm sure I'm not alone - thanks for the heads-up.

  3. #3

    Rolex St. James Sq open again

    Quote Originally Posted by JIG67 View Post
    The refurb is very nice indeed with a lounge area behind reception where you have your appointment with your watchmaker at a kind of ĎRolex Genius Barí.
    All paid for by service prices which are now getting out of hand for bog standard automatic movements.

    When I started work 30 years ago, a wise fella in the procurement department said if the offices are too posh, youíll be paying too much for their services. It stuck with me.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    All paid for by service prices which are now getting out of hand for bog standard automatic movements.

    When I started work 30 years ago, a wise fella in the procurement department said if the offices are too posh, youíll be paying too much for their services. It stuck with me.
    I suppose they need a bit of theatrics to help to justify the price of the service, white coated technicians in a fancy building with windows to see them at their highly skilled job working on your exclusive timepiece. Iím not saying watchmakers arenít skilled, Iíd just rather spare the BS and knock a couple of hundred quid off the price - but if you pay thousands for a watch I suppose itís almost comforting to spend a big sum of money to keep it Ďin tip top conditioní, even if you know itís probably a rip-off if you really think about it

  5. #5
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    If you don't like Rolex prices, buy something else. Easy peasy really.

  6. #6
    Whatís the current price for a plexi sports service?
    It's just a matter of time...

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    Good news! Thanks for the info.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    If you don't like Rolex prices, buy something else. Easy peasy really.
    Precisely.

    For those complaining, just be thankful you don't own an AP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    What’s the current price for a plexi sports service?
    I recall someone on here saying prices for a GMT service start at £1,350 or something similar. My 1675 is due back from service shortly with an accredited independent and the total bill was just short of £600 for a full movement service, case and bracelet cleaning, but no polishing work.

    That's a lot of money for a green plastic card.

    Maybe a 5513 service might be a bit cheaper, but I doubt it.
    Last edited by Wallasey Runner; 16th October 2020 at 09:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    All paid for by service prices which are now getting out of hand for bog standard automatic movements.

    When I started work 30 years ago, a wise fella in the procurement department said if the offices are too posh, youíll be paying too much for their services. It stuck with me.
    No different to any main dealer who supplies and services cars then ?

    A wise fella told me years ago , you are paying for the skills and knowledge people have, not how long it takes .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    I recall someone on here saying prices for a GMT service start at £1,350 or something similar. My 1675 is due back from service shortly with an accredited independent and the total bill was just short of £600 for a full movement service, case and bracelet cleaning, but no polishing work.

    That's a lot of money for a green plastic card.

    Maybe a 5513 service might be a bit cheaper, but I doubt it.
    That is very toppy but its just the way vintage items go and a way of squeezing any profit you have gained into their pocket, its the same watch/parts its always been.

    Trouble with RSC is on vintage watches you couldn't ask for ageing hands to be stabilised or just polish the plexi, RSC will just replace with a service part, this is where good independents come in..

  12. #12
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Rolex St. James Sq open again

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    I recall someone on here saying prices for a GMT service start at £1,350 or something similar.
    I find that hard to believe - I paid £550 for my 16600 service just before the (last or last but one?) price increase in 2018.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    That is very toppy but its just the way vintage items go and a way of squeezing any profit you have gained into their pocket, its the same watch/parts its always been.

    Trouble with RSC is on vintage watches you couldn't ask for ageing hands to be stabilised or just polish the plexi, RSC will just replace with a service part, this is where good independents come in..
    Exactly. Also an independent will be happy to polish/tidy up an original acrylic crystal and put it back in. They obviously caveat the warranty with no water ingress, but that's fine. Rolex will want the watch to confirm to modern day standards hence their requirement to change anything that moves and a few parts that dont
    Last edited by Wallasey Runner; 16th October 2020 at 09:46.

  14. #14
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    I find that hard to believe - I paid £550 for my 16600 service just before the (last or last but one?) price increase in 2018.
    Yep, that's a more modern watch. We are talking 4 digit references from the 60s/70s. I think it was Jim (Hood) who quoted the figure, but apologies if I've got that wrong.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    Precisely.

    For those complaining, just be thankful you don't own an AP.
    For those complaining about this or any other service. Its a none conversation, you make your choices... deal with it.

  16. #16
    Donít dare criticise Rolex watches or anything about them. If you do you are clearly a pauper. Now move along.

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    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Donít dare criticise Rolex watches or anything about them. If you do you are clearly a pauper. Now move along.
    You must be Mick Ps love child and I claim my £5

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    OP - thanks for the info. You have saved me a telephone call :)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    You must be Mick Ps love child and I claim my £5
    There is no question on here, that our Mick doesnít know the answer to. Iíve dedicated a joke to our Mick in GPHT. Hopefully Mick youíll see the funny side :-)

  20. #20
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    I dropped a watch off there this morning, itís certainly a big redesign. Impressively spacious and more tasteful no doubt, though if Iím honest I kind of miss the dated and slightly vulgar decor they used to have, with logos embossed on the green rugs... it had a 70s St James gentlemenís club vibe and was cosy!

  21. #21
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    How do you make a Ďgenius barí appointment? I had a look at the website (where I assumed Iíd be able to make one) but it still says St. James Sq is closed.


    https://www.rolex.com/watch-care-and...edkingdom.html

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    I phoned the St James service centre number and made an appointment. They are accepting walk ins too but you may have to wait a while. By the time theyíd checked my watches and done the paperwork it took up the full hour. I think everyone gets the Ďgenius barí treatment - I suspect itís a COVID measure as it puts a hefty piece of perspex between you and the watchmaker.

  23. #23
    Craftsman Murdoc's Avatar
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    Great, thanks

    👍

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    Good to hear they are back open again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Yep, that's a more modern watch. We are talking 4 digit references from the 60s/70s. I think it was Jim (Hood) who quoted the figure, but apologies if I've got that wrong.
    Ah, gotcha, didn't spot that. Wow, quite a mark-up for a vintage.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    All paid for by service prices which are now getting out of hand for bog standard automatic movements.

    When I started work 30 years ago, a wise fella in the procurement department said if the offices are too posh, youíll be paying too much for their services. It stuck with me.
    I imagine itís more likely paid for by the few watches they sell... the brand has something of a following.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    I suppose they need a bit of theatrics to help to justify the price of the service, white coated technicians in a fancy building with windows to see them at their highly skilled job working on your exclusive timepiece. Iím not saying watchmakers arenít skilled, Iíd just rather spare the BS and knock a couple of hundred quid off the price - but if you pay thousands for a watch I suppose itís almost comforting to spend a big sum of money to keep it Ďin tip top conditioní, even if you know itís probably a rip-off if you really think about it
    HEADLINE NEWS! Luxury watch maker has premises consistent with its product and brand image!

    I really donít understand comments like this at all. You do understand that the white coats and necessary high end working environment would have been present long before a Ďviewing windowí was given to the public?
    The ďtheatricsĒ are not window dressing to justify the price, it is a glimpse into the why these services cost what they do.

    ďSpare the BSĒ? ...would watchmakers in jeans sat at scruffy tired benches do it more for you?
    It a skilled job that not just anybody can do. You might be surprised at how much benches and tools cost. Not to mention the time and investment recruiting and training technical skills. Oh, and parts, and labour.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    If you don't like Rolex prices, buy something else. Easy peasy really.
    What a silly statement.

    Who “likes” Rolex prices?

    I’ve had several and still do, yet I think the servicing costs are grossly over priced.


    EDIT:
    Replied to that post before reading the subsequent replies;

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Don’t dare criticise Rolex watches or anything about them. If you do you are clearly a pauper. Now move along.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    You must be Mick Ps love child and I claim my £5
    Glad I’m not the only one who thought exactly the same.
    Last edited by ach5; 17th October 2020 at 08:55.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dent99 View Post
    ďSpare the BSĒ? ...would watchmakers in jeans sat at scruffy tired benches do it more for you?
    It a skilled job that not just anybody can do. You might be surprised at how much benches and tools cost. Not to mention the time and investment recruiting and training technical skills. Oh, and parts, and labour.
    Actually the jeans and tired bench would be my preferred option on a vintage watch, that person would do things a shiny big conglomerate wouldnít do, like tasteful restoration work and probably a more personal service.

    Cracked lume in a handset for example, I doubt St James would bother restoring/strengthening the lume, I maybe wrong but I imagine it would be in the bin and a new bright white hand set installed.

    Or does this double/triple price of vintage servicing include such work?

  29. #29
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    Remarkable that a thread simply highlighting that a service centre has re-opened has 30 replies.

    Only in the world of Rolex, eh?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    I find that hard to believe - I paid £550 for my 16600 service just before the (last or last but one?) price increase in 2018.
    16600 wouldnít count as vintage
    I was given the £1300 figure from Laings Glasgow for 2 four digit models.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Actually the jeans and tired bench would be my preferred option on a vintage watch, that person would do things a shiny big conglomerate wouldn’t do, like tasteful restoration work and probably a more personal service.

    Cracked lume in a handset for example, I doubt St James would bother restoring/strengthening the lume, I maybe wrong but I imagine it would be in the bin and a new bright white hand set installed.

    Or does this double/triple price of vintage servicing include such work?
    It doesn’t matter what a guy in his shed will do for you, particularly where warranties on work are concerned.
    But have you thought of the reasons why a watch company won’t do something like what you suggest?

    If St. James ‘strengthened’ the lume, returned the watch, and a few months later the wearer bumped their watch on something and the lume fell out - do you think the owner would give Rolex grief for it as they worked on it last?

    Or, let’s say it doesn’t even get that far, if damaged lume is in such a state that it fell from the hands during hand removal at service - what happens next?
    Last edited by Dent99; 17th October 2020 at 09:51.

  32. #32
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dent99 View Post
    It doesnít matter what a guy in his shed will do for you, particularly where warranties on work are concerned.
    But have you thought of the reasons why a watch company wonít do something like what you suggest?

    If St. James Ďstrengthenedí the lume, returned the watch, and a few months later the wearer bumped their watch on something and the lume fell out - do you think the owner would give Rolex grief for it as they worked on it last?

    Or, letís say it doesnít even get that far, if damaged lume is in such a state that it fell from the hands during hand removal at service - what happens next?
    The whole point of vintage watch ownership is originality, not warrantees or a pressure test pass. I think we're getting away from the crux of what St James is there to do which is provide a very good service for 90% of Rolex out there, the other 10% probabley needs research before committing to a service.

    If we turn the same conversation to Omega, My 64 Ed White Speedmaster was last serviced by Simon Freese, he knows how to handle these valuable vintage watches, what to do and more importantly what not to do, if I took that watch into an Omega service centre I would have serious concerns on what I would get back.

    I did read somewhere that Rolex will undertake very old valuable vintage work back at the mothership, at what cost and preservation who knows, must be a quote on inspection I imagine.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    The whole point of vintage watch ownership is originality, not warrantees or a pressure test pass. I think we're getting away from the crux of what St James is there to do which is provide a very good service for 90% of Rolex out there, the other 10% probabley needs research before committing to a service.

    I did read somewhere that Rolex will undertake very old valuable vintage work back at the mothership, at what cost and preservation who knows, must be a quote on inspection I imagine.
    So if you get what they are there for, why complain so hard about their reticence to mess about with damaged hands? Neither your average customer, or fanatical collector, will give a brand grace if parts past their prime fail during or after a recent service through nobodyís fault. Taking on such jobs are more trouble than they are worth.

    I agree on the importance of originality on older pieces from an aesthetic point of view, but a service centre selling a service has to warranty their work and thatís where there have to be caveats where damaged parts are concerned.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Dent99 View Post
    So if you get what they are there for, why complain so hard about their reticence to mess about with damaged hands? Neither your average customer, or fanatical collector, will give a brand grace if parts past their prime fail during or after a recent service through nobodyís fault. Taking on such jobs are more trouble than they are worth.

    I agree on the importance of originality on older pieces from an aesthetic point of view, but a service centre selling a service has to warranty their work and thatís where there have to be caveats where damaged parts are concerned.
    Itís so easy to wind up a Rolex fanboy!
    In all seriousness, Iíve owned over 20 different Rolex watches back when they were less expensive, and paid for 6 or 7 services. I worked around the corner from St James so always took them in there directly. In that time I had a Seadweller with a wonky date they Ďcouldnít fixí - and had to wait for a replacement from the AD I bought it from (they canít fix a wonky date?) and when I picked up my LV from a service, the white coated lady wound and set the watch without noticing the crown was somehow wonky and caught every time you turned the crown (I had to get home to notice that myself) then return again and wait a few more weeks for them to sort it out. I really wanted to think they do an amazing job but I was let down a few times and subsequently found the Rolex service experience annoying not special. In that time a service on eg a Sub date went from £240 which seemed to include things like a new crown etc to £540 with every part extra. On reflection the service experience is probably the main reason I no longer own a Rolex or hanker after one. It made me realise itís just a watch - thereís no point in paying thousands for something thatís just as fallible as a cheaper option, kind of an Ďemperors new clothesí moment. I was under the spell for years so Iím not criticising anyone who still buys all the marketing and the Ďeverything about it is expensive and exclusive so it must be amazingí hype. And I guess if £8k+ on a watch is small change to you it really doesnít matter, which is fine. But this is old technology which has remained largely unchanged for years, and whilst I have no doubt their watchmakers are highly skilled they donít get it right every time, and at the price they charge thatís disappointing. Other opinions may vary of course!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Itís so easy to wind up a Rolex fanboy!
    Arenít they all automatic? Youíd expect so for the noise they make!

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Itís so easy to wind up a Rolex fanboy!
    In all seriousness, Iíve owned over 20 different Rolex watches back when they were less expensive, and paid for 6 or 7 services. I worked around the corner from St James so always took them in there directly. In that time I had a Seadweller with a wonky date they Ďcouldnít fixí - and had to wait for a replacement from the AD I bought it from (they canít fix a wonky date?) and when I picked up my LV from a service, the white coated lady wound and set the watch without noticing the crown was somehow wonky and caught every time you turned the crown (I had to get home to notice that myself) then return again and wait a few more weeks for them to sort it out. I really wanted to think they do an amazing job but I was let down a few times and subsequently found the Rolex service experience annoying not special. In that time a service on eg a Sub date went from £240 which seemed to include things like a new crown etc to £540 with every part extra. On reflection the service experience is probably the main reason I no longer own a Rolex or hanker after one. It made me realise itís just a watch - thereís no point in paying thousands for something thatís just as fallible as a cheaper option, kind of an Ďemperors new clothesí moment. I was under the spell for years so Iím not criticising anyone who still buys all the marketing and the Ďeverything about it is expensive and exclusive so it must be amazingí hype. And I guess if £8k+ on a watch is small change to you it really doesnít matter, which is fine. But this is old technology which has remained largely unchanged for years, and whilst I have no doubt their watchmakers are highly skilled they donít get it right every time, and at the price they charge thatís disappointing. Other opinions may vary of course!
    Amazingly narrow minded to call someone a fanboy simply for having legitimate points.

    Iím not questioning or invalidating your opinions or experiences, just saying there are risks in performing work on knackered old watches some donít seem to grasp.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    I recall someone on here saying prices for a GMT service start at £1,350 or something similar. My 1675 is due back from service shortly with an accredited independent and the total bill was just short of £600 for a full movement service, case and bracelet cleaning, but no polishing work.

    That's a lot of money for a green plastic card.

    Maybe a 5513 service might be a bit cheaper, but I doubt it.
    Good grief! I had my 16710 serviced at St James, i think 2018 and from memory it was about £575 including the crystal.
    That's some rapid price inflation!


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by berin View Post
    Good grief! I had my 16710 serviced at St James, i think 2018 and from memory it was about £575 including the crystal.
    That's some rapid price inflation
    This price is for a 1960s/70s acrylic crystal 4 digit reference. I think the later 5 digit versions would be a lot cheaper.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by berin View Post
    Good grief! I had my 16710 serviced at St James, i think 2018 and from memory it was about £575 including the crystal.
    That's some rapid price inflation!


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    You don't have a vintage watch.
    The quote was for 4 digit acrylic glass stuff

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dent99 View Post
    It doesnít matter what a guy in his shed will do for you, particularly where warranties on work are concerned.
    But have you thought of the reasons why a watch company wonít do something like what you suggest?

    If St. James Ďstrengthenedí the lume, returned the watch, and a few months later the wearer bumped their watch on something and the lume fell out - do you think the owner would give Rolex grief for it as they worked on it last?

    Or, letís say it doesnít even get that far, if damaged lume is in such a state that it fell from the hands during hand removal at service - what happens next?
    I'd be more than happy for Rolex to not warranty the parts of the watches they deemed would be better with service replacements.
    It's a fact that any service parts substantially devalue a vintage watch so you would have thoughtthe mothership would recognise this and offer it's enthusiasts a viable solution under the Rolex banner,

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    This price is for a 1960s/70s acrylic crystal 4 digit reference. I think the later 5 digit versions would be a lot cheaper.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    You don't have a vintage watch.
    The quote was for 4 digit acrylic glass stuff
    So if the 16710 is about £650 to service whats the extra £700 used for in the older tech 4 digit watch?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    So if the 16710 is about £650 to service whats the extra £700 used for in the older tech 4 digit watch?
    You'd need to ask Rolex that.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    So if the 16710 is about £650 to service whats the extra £700 used for in the older tech 4 digit watch?
    That would be the extra faff factor with dealing with fussy weirdo vintage watch collectors and their odd service conditions.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dent99 View Post

    ďSpare the BSĒ? ...would watchmakers in jeans sat at scruffy tired benches do it more for you?
    It a skilled job that not just anybody can do. You might be surprised at how much benches and tools cost. Not to mention the time and investment recruiting and training technical skills. Oh, and parts, and labour.

    You've clearly never been to Russell Talerman's workshop. They manage to do excellent, reasonably priced work without white coats.

  45. #45
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    For a number of years Rolex St James have recommended Steven Hale in London for their vintage watch clients and more recently about two years ago they opened a vintage division in Geneva, of course not cheap.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonM View Post
    That would be the extra faff factor with dealing with fussy weirdo vintage watch collectors and their odd service conditions.
    Guilty as charged.

    Here were my conditions, laid down to St James in late 2017; they sent my 1.7m serial Explorer to Kingís Hill. My limited experience is that Rolex does respect requests to leave things alone.




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    Last edited by NickRed71; 18th October 2020 at 11:03.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    You've clearly never been to Russell Talerman's workshop. They manage to do excellent, reasonably priced work without white coats.
    And?

    Rolex will do things however they want to do things. As they do with literally everything else.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickRed71 View Post
    Guilty as charged.

    Here were my conditions, laid down to St James in late 2017; they sent my 1.7m serial Explorer to Kingís Hill. My limited experience is that Rolex does respect requests to leave things alone.




    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Exactly, there is an urban legend that some guy took his comex sub in and they replaced the dial without his consent or knowledge, I mean firstly they charge an arm and a leg for a new dial, so they will consult the owner before they replace it, because they will charge them ££££ for the privilege!

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    My experience is the same (mostly). I specified no case, bracelet or dial refurbishment on the watches I took in last week and, as usual, my wishes are accurately reflected on the quotations they emailed through, none of which are horrific. I wonder whether some of the historical problems have been caused by ADs not properly specifying the wishes of customers? I know not everyone can get to London or Kent to do the in person handover but if you can, I always think itís the best way, especially given the value of these things now.

    I learned my lesson the hard way when I took my now long gone Explorer II for its first service via an AD. I just didnít know I could ask for what I wanted and it came back so shiny Iím surprised I wasnít mugged by a magpie. The case shape was fine but it looked chromed. Iíve always done the legwork myself since then.

  50. #50
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,196
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    This price is for a 1960s/70s acrylic crystal 4 digit reference. I think the later 5 digit versions would be a lot cheaper.
    Sorry, I'd missed it was for 4 digit. As you were....


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