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Thread: Watch Servicing

  1. #1

    Watch Servicing

    Hi All

    Is there anyone on here who does watch servicing?

    I recently bought a lovely little IWC automatic watch but its losing 3 seconds per minute.... I have spoken to IWC directly and tbh they have been less than helpful plus also quoting me a minimum cost of £840 to service this watch.


    I have also spoken to another place i was recommended to and they have quoted approximately £420


    I was just wondering if there was anyone on here who you guys would recommend?



    Cheers


    Mark

  2. #2
    Master
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    Try Duncan from Genesis Watchmaking. He recently serviced my wifeís watch and did a great job as usual.
    He is a member on here or you could contact him via his website.
    There are others on here but Iíve only personally used Duncan so far.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Try Duncan from Genesis Watchmaking. He recently serviced my wifeís watch and did a great job as usual.
    He is a member on here or you could contact him via his website.
    There are others on here but Iíve only personally used Duncan so far.

    Thankyou mate :)

  4. #4
    Grand Master
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    Welcome to reality, smell the coffee, IWC won't sell parts to the folks who are perfectly capable of servicing their watches.

    Last time I tried to buy a crown for a 70s IWC the person on the phone was totally condescending, there's no way I was going to win that debate, so I ended up salvaging the original crown which was in less than perfect condition. I managed to get it water-resistant again but cosmetically it let the watch down, no-one wins.

    Buy the watches, pay the service costs, I don`t agree with it but at the end of the day no-one makes you own the watch, it's your choice and you're implicitly signing on to the ownership costs when you buy the brand.

    If folks didn`t buy them perhaps manufacturers would have a more realistic attitude to supplying parts, the cost to get watches serviced is crazy and it's all driven by the big brands. Sorry to be harsh but I`ve ripped my hair out over this issue many times, I now accept it for what it is and I think folks who buy the watches need to do the same.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Welcome to reality, smell the coffee, IWC won't sell parts to the folks who are perfectly capable of servicing their watches.

    Last time I tried to buy a crown for a 70s IWC the person on the phone was totally condescending, there's no way I was going to win that debate, so I ended up salvaging the original crown which was in less than perfect condition. I managed to get it water-resistant again but cosmetically it let the watch down, no-one wins.

    Buy the watches, pay the service costs, I don`t agree with it but at the end of the day no-one makes you own the watch, it's your choice and you're implicitly signing on to the ownership costs when you buy the brand.

    If folks didn`t buy them perhaps manufacturers would have a more realistic attitude to supplying parts, the cost to get watches serviced is crazy and it's all driven by the big brands. Sorry to be harsh but I`ve ripped my hair out over this issue many times, I now accept it for what it is and I think folks who buy the watches need to do the same.
    The only way companies like IWC are going to survive is to protect their brand image and one of the best ways of doing this is to ensure that owners only go either to the maker or approved outlets for repairs.

    Therefore it will not matter if the watch is 10 years old or even 50 years old, every part in it will be genuine IWC.

    Some WIS's will not like that, but they are the sort of customer that IWC will want to be rid of.

    If you were running IWC you would adopt the same policy.

  6. #6
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    The only way companies like IWC are going to survive is to protect their brand image and one of the best ways of doing this is to ensure that owners only go either to the maker or approved outlets for repairs.

    Therefore it will not matter if the watch is 10 years old or even 50 years old, every part in it will be genuine IWC.

    Some WIS's will not like that, but they are the sort of customer that IWC will want to be rid of.

    If you were running IWC you would adopt the same policy.
    So you don’t think folks like me are capable of fixing watches?........over 400 jobs and a return rate of 1.2%( despite working mainly on vintage plus a few basket cases) suggests otherwise.

    Let’s be clear, I’m not a bloody genius, I’m simply a guy who takes great care in what what he does, and that applies to most folks who repair watches . If parts were freely available everyone would benefit and repair costs would be reasonable.

    Frankly, you’re such a bloody snob you’ll refuse to accept this.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 23rd July 2021 at 23:25.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    So you donít think folks like me are capable of fixing watches?........over 400 jobs and a return rate of 1.2%( despite working mainly on vintage plus a few basket cases) suggests otherwise.

    Letís be clear, Iím not a bloody genius, Iím simply a guy who takes great care in what what he does, and that applies to most folks who repair watches . If parts were freely available everyone would benefit and repair costs would be reasonable.

    Frankly, youíre such a bloody snob youíll refuse to accept this, It your mindset.
    Look at it from IWC's point of view, what suits you does not suit IWC. I am not being snobby I am just putting myself in IWC's shoes.

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Look at it from IWC's point of view, what suits you does not suit IWC. I am not being snobby I am just putting myself in IWC's shoes.
    No, youíre not, youíre acting like you usually do. There is no logical reason for any watch manufacturer to restrict the supply of parts, owners donít attempt to fix their own watches.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    No, youíre not, youíre acting like you usually do. There is no logical reason for any watch manufacturer to restrict the supply of parts, owners donít attempt to fix their own watches.
    Ok explain what's in it for IWC.

  10. #10
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    I only let Mick P service my watches.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Ok explain what's in it for IWC.
    They make on selling the parts and keep a loyal customer base because they are not extorted when it comes to servicing/repair? Just a thought.

    Reading that other thread, best wishes to Sue for a speedy recovery.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    The only way companies like IWC are going to survive is to protect their brand image and one of the best ways of doing this is to ensure that owners only go either to the maker or approved outlets for repairs.

    Therefore it will not matter if the watch is 10 years old or even 50 years old, every part in it will be genuine IWC.
    Lol, I can't be arsed checking but I'll bet you that the majority of IWC's currently listed on C24 have third party movements.
    Last edited by Dynam0humm; 24th July 2021 at 01:12.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    No, youíre not, youíre acting like you usually do. There is no logical reason for any watch manufacturer to restrict the supply of parts, owners donít attempt to fix their own watches.
    Unfortunately Paul, there are some less than scrupulous watchmakers (The butcher of Rye for example) who donít take the care that you do. The large brands donít wonít to be associated with people like this and watchmakers like yourself are just collateral damage.

    Thereís also the hugely profitable income stream for them to consider given the prices they charge.

  14. #14
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Thereís also the hugely profitable income stream for them to consider given the prices they charge.
    This is the key thing I think - the industry has become increasingly driven by profit margins, look at the prices of watches that are not significantly different to ones from 20
    years ago but are now 4 times the RRP.

    For me itís the same as taking your car to a main stealer for a service - the manufacturers can claim that using only their own people and tools ensure higher quality, and that might be true to some extent, but itís not guaranteed. There are horror stories on both sides - using authorised and non-authorised repairers.


    T.G.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynam0humm View Post
    Lol, I can't be arsed checking but I'll bet you that the majority of IWC's currently listed on C24 have third party movements.
    Aye, I don’t know how IWC can be so high-falutin’ about parts supply when they’re just stuffing Sellita movements in that tripe.

  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    Aye, I donít know how IWC can be so high-falutiní about parts supply when theyíre just stuffing Sellita movements in that tripe.
    I know nothing about IWC but if the public perception is that the brand is "tripe" then they have a major problem on their hands. Watches are a competitive market and the Swiss mechanical watch industry has to sell itself as a quality product, it cannot compete on price against quartz.

    Therefore the steps they will take are similar to those done by other successful watchmakers. That is up the brand image, make more components inhouse, create a waiting list, be fussy on outlets and keep repairs and servicing in the hands of approved agents. Some customers will be pleased and some may even be horrified but that is they way they are beginning to go.

    The writing is on the wall and to be honest it is a good thing.

  17. #17
    Master
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    I do agree that it's a bummer that part supply is restrictive, but am I the only person who finds it surprising that some servicing is ONLY the price it is, whether manufacturer or quality independent.

    When you consider the hours it takes, the training/skill required, the tools/machines, quality assurance/warranty, share of premises/other fixed costs, parts, logistics, taxes and a profit margin/contribution to central costs/brand costs I find it amazing that a watch with the following movement (328 components) costs under £600 for full service. I just paid £300 for a SMART repair to my car bumper and about to pay £375 for a decorator to fill a few cracks and touch up afterwards...

    Brief video of movement https://youtu.be/RsbpJ7qat_A

    Service steps https://www.panerai.com/gb/en/servic.../services.html

    About the movement https://www.panerai.com/gb/en/know-h.../p-9100-r.html

    A Watchfinder video on the watch repairers craft https://youtu.be/-7rWZvPuQHk

    Last edited by ASW1; 24th July 2021 at 10:42.

  18. #18
    Several indoor dents Iíve used have been less than perfect, so if I was IWC Iíd keep it all in house. Either that or use approved watchmakers who I can trust, but the former is probably a lot simpler for my supply chain among other things

  19. #19
    Grand Master
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    Historically, when watches weren't so well sealed and lubricants weren't as good, watches needed servicing far more often. Ever wondered why many old watches show dial deterioration around the 3 o clock position?......it's where the dirt and moisture get in around the crown which wasn`t designed to seal in most examples. Stripping, cleaning and reassembling a simple 3 hand pocket watch or wrist watch with no complications could be done fairly quickly by someone skilled and most towns had at least one watch repairer on the high street. In 1994 I paid under £20 to get a watch serviced or £35 for an automatic, the guy I used wasn`t the best but prices were reasonable. As recently as 2010 I paid £173 for William Rice to service a 1986 Rolex Datejust, that was the going rate for a Rolex accredited indy to service a watch to Rolex standards.

    Since then it's gone crazy, prices charged have almost trebled and most brands now restrict parts availability so the owner of a modern watch is signing up to high service charges when they buy the watch.

    Independent repairers are in decline, the 1 man band model barely works an more and it would be difficult for someone starting up from scratch. As I`ve said many times it's OK on a hobby/part time basis in later life but the start-up costs are still significant and will put people off.

    The restriction on supplying parts is killing the repair trade, but that's what the manufacturers want.

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    Cousins vs Swatch Group should be concluded soon and there's talk that a different proceeding where manufacturers of domestic appliances are being forced to supply parts could influence the result.

    There was an article on Watchpro about it last week but I can't seem to find it now.

  21. #21
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    Aye, I donít know how IWC can be so high-falutiní about parts supply when theyíre just stuffing Sellita movements in that tripe.
    Harsh but fair.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

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