Watches are finely tuned machines designed to function to perfection, but as time goes on they can get clogged up with dust, friction, and moisture. Getting a watch serviced on a regular basis helps it stay in top form, prolonging its lifespan and maintaining or even increasing its value. It also means you can wear your wristwatch without worrying about it gaining or losing time and having to constantly wind it up, which can damage the movement and affect its durability.
But finding a good watch repair shop can be a challenge, especially if you’re a newbie in the confusing, esoteric world of watch nerdery. Luckily, there are watch experts who can help you navigate the complex and sometimes intimidating process. They’ll inspect your watch and recommend a suitable course of action to fix it. This can range from a routine oiling and lubrication to a complete overhaul of the entire mechanism, which is called a full service.
A complete service is a complicated process that involves disassembling your watch and meticulously checking each component for signs of wear. It also includes replacing the watch’s gaskets to retain water resistance and re-assembling and testing the timepiece. This type of service can cost anywhere from $250 to $1000 depending on the brand, age, and movement of your watch.
A less expensive option is a “clean and adjust” which covers the basics of an overhaul, but excludes the replacement of worn or damaged parts. During this procedure, the watch is cleaned and oiled, and the bracelet links are polished and re-attached. The watch will be re-assembled and tested for accuracy, and the caseback will be cleaned and polished to remove rust or corrosion.
Changing a watch strap is another maintenance-level service, but this can be more complex depending on the type of watch and the material of its bracelet. Typically, this is a quick and inexpensive fix, but it’s best to visit an expert to ensure you don’t damage the watch and end up having to pay for costly replacements.
When searching for a shop to service your watch, ask whether they’re authorized by the manufacturer to carry out this work. This not only gives you peace of mind but can be beneficial if you ever decide to sell your watch in the future. For example, if you’re looking to sell a Patek Philippe or Rolex that’s been serviced by an authorized dealer or boutique, you may want to keep records of this to prove it’s authentic and valuable. Watchmakers who have this certification will usually provide a warranty to cover your watch for any subsequent problems. They will also be able to perform any warranty repairs at no additional cost. They will also have access to special tools and parts to ensure your watch is fixed properly. If you’re in the market for a luxury watch, make sure it has been serviced by an authorized dealer or boutique before you buy it. watch service near me