The wrist watch.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Wild Root, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Thunderhead19

    Thunderhead19 New in Town

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    After a I saw a couple videos on the web about watch repair I bought a bunch of cheap mechanical watch carcasses and parts off of ebay for a few dollars just to see how complicated things like disassembly, cleaning and rebuilding actually might be. Frankly, it's not looking like a skill that takes a lifetime to learn if you're naturally patient, careful and you have some idea about how they work to start with - I'm already schooled in machine design so maybe I have a tiny head start. They come apart and go back together in an obvious, logical order.

    I have also been taking apart cheap quartz watches (analogue type) and customising them. At work my colleagues still haven't figured out how I got a watch with our corporate logo on the face (and they didn't), or why I keep denying that I own a Cartier Tank watch when there seems to be one on my wrist half of the time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    So I'm going to have to guess. You get the work done for free and he isn't qualified?

    Anyway - most of us have to find a qualified watch smith to pull apart a watch completely and clean and lubricate it every 5 or so years. Generally people pay a fair bit for this work. A Rolex watch might cost $750-$1000 or more to service. I lost interest in mechanical watches because of the service factor. I still have 3 or 4 of them.
     
  3. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    He's a watchmaker friend for many years who has done excellent work for me and
    leave it at that.
    Thank you.
     
  4. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

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    I don't mind paying to service my mechanical watches any more than I mind paying for maintaining my mechanical cars. I enjoy & appreciate these machines & take pride of ownership in them.

    It's not my place to lecture anyone respecting my preference for owning & using mechanical esp. vintage devices.
     
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  5. Colin G

    Colin G Practically Family

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    After 2015, Rolex suggested every 10 years for service.

    Most people who can afford to spend $6000+ on a Rolex would probably not balk at the idea of a service fee every 10 years. Unless it is a gift, then that is different. The recipient may not know or want to deal with a service fee every 10 years or so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  6. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    That's exactly the right view, v, it's just like owning a car and many people don't seem to appreciate this.

    Given this site is dedicated to providing information and advice on vintage items I wouldn't use the word lecture to describe an exploration of this quite interesting subject.

    As to Rolex. Colin raises a good point that they have recommended 10 years between servicing. But it still needs to be done. Watchmakers I have spoken to here have told me if you own an older Rolex it still needs servicing every 3-5 years. Someone may have more information on this.

    I'm still curious what people are paying for watch servicing if they are going to a watchmaker. 2Jakes said the service cost paid here is 'outrageous' I wonder how much cheaper watchmakers are in other countries.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  7. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton Practically Family

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    I used to work around a Rolex shop. I can't tell you how many Rolex watches came through that place that were screwed up by other jewelry shops offering watch repair and maintenance. Some shops didn't even have the tool to properly unscrew the back, but they tried anyway. Be careful out there.
     
  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    I recently located the original box...
    and that is definitely 'rockin' :)
    E50FB73D-61AA-4D1D-B2EC-952C50D77675.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  9. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I've heard these stories too. That's the risk in going to the wrong person. I doubt that a qualified and experienced repair guy would not have the right tool for a Rolex. Sounds more like the work of people out of their depth.
     
  10. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

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    There's nothing more satisfying than locating the original box & papers for a vintage or antique watch, good show man!

    I can't make out the wording contained in the "Directions" sheet but I'm somewhat surprised that the instructions seem so lengthy.
     
  11. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Regretfully the box did not included the
    instructions.
    But that's my next goal!
    The fun for me is in the search.
    I once found a Leica III screw mount camera with Leica filters and leather holders at flea market in mint condition.($45)
     
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  12. Thunderhead19

    Thunderhead19 New in Town

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    From Wikipedia:
    ....However, the vast majority of modern Swiss brands do not sell parts to independent watchmakers, irrespective of the watchmaker's expertise, training or credentials. This industry policy is thought to enable Swiss manufacturers to maintain tighter quality control of the after-sales service for its watch brands, produce high margins on after sales services (two to four times what an independent watchmaker would ask), and to lower second-hand watchmaking parts on the used and fake market.....

    A great deal of it depends, no doubt, on the overhead and how busy the repair place is. A watch repair place in Vancouver, Canada for example would have quite high overhead costs for things like rent, shipping and insurance etc... and if the place saw only a couple customers a day then the chargeout would have to be high just to cover costs.

    It seems like proper training is going to be harder and harder to come by...see the link below
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/new...nadas-last-watchmaking-school/article4899835/
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Yep, overheads and location effect every business and that's just a given of capitalism.

    Access to ETA parts and generic parts has not really been a problem for a decade.

    I contacted seven qualified watchmakers in my city in both humble and wealthy areas. Average cost of a clean and service is $280 - for a standard ETA based movement or uncomplicated vintage model like an Omega caliber 321. And the time it takes them to complete the work per watch is approximately one day.

    All watchmakers advised me a watch needs to be serviced every 5 to 7 years, one explaining that today's lubricants last longer - it used to be 3-5 years. Older watches still need more frequent care. Generally gaskets and small items will need replacing whcih adds to the cost.

    I am not complaining that they charge that kind of money. It's time consuming and fiddly work. My mild annoyance is that, like a car, a mechanical watch needs constant upkeep and $. My Cyma from 1966 - which I have owned for 30 years - has cost me in service and repairs much more than it cost me to buy. Cost me $280; paid in service and repairs $680.... so far. Owning a mechanical watch is a Sisyphean task.

    There is also a group of watch owners who argue that you only service a watch when it starts to slow down or stops. This might take 10 or 20 years - there are many Seikos that run reasonable for 30 years without a service. This is a high risk strategy since a watch that runs without lubrication is creating high stress and wear to the gears, cogs and wheels. Spencer Klein a watchsmith from Colorado, and a vintage Seiko expert, says that this often causes great damage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  14. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Mm is in great condition complete with box.
    It is rare and valuable.
    Also found a 1928 Duofold Parker pen in excellent condition. It's a Senior size in Madarine orange. Love that 1920s color!
    Next on agenda is rectangular watch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  15. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    My friend found a 1950's bubble back Rolex in a thrift ship for $2.
     
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  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Presumably if that checked out, somebody had assumed it was a fake! (Tends to be the default with Rolexes these days in my experience, so many people have bought a fake on holiday to bring home as a novelty).
     
  17. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    I call them Trolex.
    They look real unless you know what to
    look for.
     
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  18. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    One clue it wasn't fake was his watchmaker offered him $2000 for it. I think today it's worth 3 or 4 times this.

    The Rolex bubble back is rarely faked and is a very different look to the usual Rolex. Probably one reason the thrift shop didn't pick it.
     
    Edward likes this.
  19. Colin G

    Colin G Practically Family

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    Seb, I took an old Victorinox pocket watch to a local jewelry shop to change the battery. I found an NOS one on ebay and figured they could handle the battery swap.

    Wrong.

    I have no idea what the guy used to open the back of the watch up but it looked like a blind, drunk person took a hammer and screwdriver to the back of the watch.

    I flipped out and they paid for the watch after bringing the proof of purchase to them.

    What a joke.

    I bought my own bracelet adjust tools so when I bought my wife a little Rolex last year as a gift for her combined 40th b-day/getting a promotion/getting her masters degree, I adjusted the bracelet myself. I trust no one here.

    When the day comes in 9 years to get it serviced, it will go to Rolex Service Canada to be done.
     
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  20. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Grrrr Finding good qualified watchmakers is hard. I have three local jewellers, only one of them has a watchmaker. Mechanicals are often sent to a third party or dodgy self-taught people. Batteries are often changed by incompetent staff who can somehow find a way to screw up a simple process.
     

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