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Watch servicing - who to go with?

  • 13-04-2017 9:44am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    It's about time to service some of my nicer pieces (ranging from plain eta 2824 to more esoteric 1866 chronographs).

    I see some uk repairers with competitive (100-200 pounds) prices but seem to recall there being Irish ones too (Emily?)

    Is there anyone Irish recommended - might need a dial relumed also (see this costs £7 in the UK).


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭ sparrowcar


    I think there was a thread a while back about Emily being non contactable for months and no replies from her? Can anyone recall?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Any suggestions?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭ art


    I've several watches at this point in need of servicing. It's a shame reliable options aren't there bar very expensive shipping abroad. Basically, I've simply started shopping quartz the last year or two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    art wrote: »
    I've several watches at this point in need of servicing. It's a shame reliable options aren't there bar very expensive shipping abroad. Basically, I've simply started shopping quartz the last year or two.

    Well quartz (or high end quartz) eventually needs servicing too.

    Seems like UK is the way to go then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,087 ✭✭✭ Homer


    Have you tried the likes of www.fast-fix.ie? They claim to have a chief horologist in their Dubdrum store that can service the likes of Rolex, breathing et al..
    Also http://www.ichrono.ie/service-repair/ have a service offering for high end brands?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭ art


    Thirdfox wrote: »
    Well quartz (or high end quartz) eventually needs servicing too.
    After 20 years or so! :)

    You service a mechanical to prevent the movement degrading. You service a quartz when there's a problem, there's no need to service them as a routine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,728 ✭✭✭ Pinch Flat


    sparrowcar wrote: »
    I think there was a thread a while back about Emily being non contactable for months and no replies from her? Can anyone recall?

    I emailed and called her mobile a while back - left messages, no reply. I've seen her website is no longer hosted. I'm looking to get an Oris BC3 serviced


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Pinch Flat wrote: »
    I emailed and called her mobile a while back - left messages, no reply. I've seen her website is no longer hosted. I'm looking to get an Oris BC3 serviced

    It's a pity if Irish options are so limited that no-one can give any personal recommendations.

    The UK guy I found via google is this guy:
    http://watchguy.co.uk/price-list/

    He does nice blog posts detailing the movements he services with plenty of photos and interesting insights. That's the kind of guy I would love to find in Ireland - reasonable prices, professional work and seems passionate about watches too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭ art


    The problem is how does it get there, an post won't insure it and a courier, for this type of thing, will cost the price of a nice watch in itself. Perhaps some cheap flights and hand delivery might work? Otherwise it's risk, which might not be worth it if your watch is a bit precious to you. I've two in particular need servicing, I'd risk it with one but not the other.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Well I've started down the road to watch servicing myself (or at least watch tinkering) - tools are flying in as we speak, I'll probably take the Timezone school for a crash course and destroy a few cheap Chinese movements for practise (not intentionally destroy!)

    I've got most of the equipment now to dissect a movement now, just need to finalise a few parts and I'll take the plunge, people will be able to see my process on the forum here.

    Anyone have a ETA 2801 lying around that they would like to donate (after I've practised on a few 9 euro movements off ebay)? I see I can kinda work with a ST2130 and just the remove the autowinding bridge but as of now I'm definitely still in the absolute beginner stage so have no idea if "just" doing anything is easy or hard.

    I did remove (and replace) a Vostok's stem and crown, and regulated it with an improvised timegrapher - but messing with a 100 euro watch is different to messing with a 4000 euro one...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,701 ✭✭✭ pawrick


    Any recommendations for service/repair on a seiko quartz chronograph? Have it 18 years as my go to watch for everyday use but unfortunately it stopped working suddenly (new battery didn't get it running but might try another jeweller first). It's nothing expensive but was a gift so I'd like it working again if possible, otherwise will have to pick up a replacement soon for everyday use as I feel naked without it. thanks for any recomendations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭ art


    I'd just drop that in to one of the fast-fix places, I've gone to the branch in Stephens green several times and found them personable and helpful. What they'll likely do is pop the back off, have a quick look and give you an estimate; if something is seriously wrong likely you'll find it more economical to buy a new one mind!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,701 ✭✭✭ pawrick


    art wrote: »
    I'd just drop that in to one of the fast-fix places, I've gone to the branch in Stephens green several times and found them personable and helpful. What they'll likely do is pop the back off, have a quick look and give you an estimate; if something is seriously wrong likely you'll find it more economical to buy a new one mind!

    thanks for the recommendation, will check it out next time I'm in Dublin so


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭ mailforkev


    I need to get an automatic Seamaster (2531) serviced, it's running a bit fast.

    Fast fix in Dundrum say €350, will try a few other places next week.

    Before I do, any recommendations?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,313 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    I have a (circa) 1965/66 Seiko Sea Horse needing service anywhere around Dublin that would be trustworthy to leave it with.


  • Posts: 17,733 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    art wrote: »
    ........

    You service a mechanical to prevent the movement degrading. You service a quartz when there's a problem.........

    Many folk reckon a mechanical service is only needed when there's a problem too. Parts will invariably wear to an extent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    I guess I've seen too many photos of a watch's insides which hasn't been serviced to believe that only a service is needed when there's a problem. A stitch in time saves nine and all that - sure for the cheap Chinese watches in my collection I could just buy another movement and plop it in for less than the cost of a service but that's against my ecological senses (rightly or wrongly).

    In fact I just sent off a ST2130 for a service at 2 times the cost of buying another ST2130 movement because I'm sentimental(foolish) like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭ art


    Augeo wrote: »
    Many folk reckon a mechanical service is only needed when there's a problem too. Parts will invariably wear to an extent.

    Do wonder alright the extent of paying several thousand euros for something that is too fragile to last five years without getting a look at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Well I don't think it's about too fragile to last that long - but rather it's about keeping it in top mechanical shape. A car can probably(?) last for 100km without an oil change but you might need to trash the engine afterwards.

    It's the price of paying into buying mechanical machines which are less accurate than cheap electronic counterparts. We say it's not purely jewellery - so we need to keep it well lubricated so we can say it's not just jewellery but functions as a timekeeping piece as well.

    Someone else said it well I think - nowadays middleclass people generally can't see craftsmanship in front of their eyes anymore. But a mechanical watch can still be a good example of the art of a craft without paying x for a high end chair or crystal chandelier etc.

    And I'm reading the novel Longitude by David Sobel right now - highly recommended read about the history of timekeeping and the number of lives it helped save during the age of exploration.

    Anyway, deviating off course - no, I don't want to pay thousands to keep my watch collection in good mechanical shape - so I'll pay some for my Chinese stuff and learn a little about watchmaking myself and start to oil and clean my own stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Here's a good thread on this: they take the opposite view - I quite like it when it says a watch shouldn't be compared to that of a car - if a car goes wrong then people could die, if a watch goes wrong get it fixed...instead of going for regular servicing.

    Will still get my watches pressure tested for diving watches. But you can see that plenty of watches can survive many decades without servicing:
    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f23/rolex-never-serviced-4284346-4.html


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    And finally one from Archer a WUS forumer who does nice teardowns and provides watch servicing in the US:
    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f20/how-often-service-watch-watchmakers-view-789280.html

    He says if the watch is new and uses a common movement then wearing until it breaks down makes ok sense i.e. ETA2824 and its derivatives. But if it's a vintage piece then you're trying to keep as much as the mechanisms working for as long as possible as it can be almost impossible to find replacement parts.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 59,390 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    TBH beyond the fast rising prices of vintage mechanicals I'd want, servicing, more the lack of local servicing for vintage mechanicals was one of the primary drivers of my collecting veering towards the early quartz/electronic era. They were cheaper to buy, had far fewer moving parts and less torque through same, so once they worked they kinda kept on working. Plus because they were cheaper I had less of a worry posting them to a couple of lads who work on them in the UK. Some were simple enough so that I could delve into fiddling with them myself(and when they were cheap I got spare movements).

    Of my mechanicals I became more concerned about wear and tear. The rising prices, many if not most far above what I originally paid, make me extremely nervous about posting them. EG I have a Heuer BUND in dire need of fettling, but they're now selling for anything between three and four thousand quid. No way is that going in the post to Germany. Too risky. I've been very lucky so far and haven't suffered losses in the post, but at that price point I don't want my luck to run out.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭ Winterlong


    I have a (circa) 1965/66 Seiko Sea Horse needing service anywhere around Dublin that would be trustworthy to leave it with.

    I get my vintages serviced by Michael Swift in scotland. Very reasonable prices and it is clear that he loves his trade.
    But, his lead times are very long. Expect to be without the watch for 2-3 months. And he does not accept online payment or credit card so you need to post him a sterling bankdraft (available from the postoffice or bank) once he has completed the work and advised you of the final price + postage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 673 CarltonBrowne


    Winterlong wrote: »
    But, his lead times are very long. Expect to be without the watch for 2-3 months.

    You hear a fair bit of whinging elsewhere about long lead times for servicing and I have some sympathy if you're talking about big outfits like Rolex or Breitling. With a one man band I, more often than not, find myself saying "I think I should be able to manage; let me have a look but I think I have one or two other watches I could be wearing".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭ Winterlong


    I have one or two other watches I could be wearing".

    Just one or two!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,313 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Got quote €180 for full overhaul of movement ultrasonic clean from watchfix D2. What are they like haven't looked into anyone else yet.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭ Winterlong


    Got quote €180 for full overhaul of movement ultrasonic clean from watchfix D2. What are they like haven't looked into anyone else yet.

    Expensive! All watch servicers should use ultrasonic cleaning so dont be too impressed by that.
    My local guy did a service on my 1962 day/date manual wind seamaster for €110.
    Michael Swift does it for STG£60 odd with another few quid for postage.
    Chronos are more expensive, as are watches or automatic movements.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 alexw


    My husband & I both have Cartier watches and we get them serviced in Dawson Jewellers in D2. Excellent service, nice staff, good value & no delays. Last time I dropped in they told me watch only needed a new battery. Weirs on Grafton street had insisted on sending them to Switzerland & it took 8-10 weeks. That's why we switched following a recommendation from a friend.
    Couldn't speak highly enough of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,313 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Winterlong wrote: »
    Expensive! All watch servicers should use ultrasonic cleaning so dont be too impressed by that.
    My local guy did a service on my 1962 day/date manual wind seamaster for €110.
    Michael Swift does it for STG£60 odd with another few quid for postage.
    Chronos are more expensive, as are watches or automatic movements.

    When did you get that done who did it for you. Will be shopping around so to speak.

    I haven't got a clue what is expensive would be the first time getting a timepiece serviced. Don't think I'd have the balls to post it anywhere.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭ Winterlong


    When did you get that done who did it for you. Will be shopping around so to speak.

    I haven't got a clue what is expensive would be the first time getting a watch serviced. Don't think I'd have the balls to post it anywhere.

    The 'local' guy is a fella in nutgrove shopping centre. He sells watches from a small shop there but takes watches in for servicing too. He does not service them himself but sends them out to some other person to do the servicing.
    Takes a week. Seemed to do a good job on what is a relatively inexpensive watch.
    I last used him in 2014 and have used Swift since then due to lower cost and reputation.
    https://www.michaelswift.co.uk/

    None of my vintage watches are worth much more than 500 though.


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