WatchGuy Survey – Swiss Watch Industry

You are of course all aware by now that the Swatch Group will not supply parts to the free trade as of 1/1/2016, just as all the other watch brands have done for quite a while. We are not happy here at WatchGuy, as we believe that you, the customer, should choose where you get your watch serviced or repaired. As the Swatch Group has 72% (counting ETA movements as well) of the Swiss watch market, this will have huge impact.

We have put together a little survey for Swiss watch customers, and we would really appreciate if you could take the time to fill that in. If we get enough responses, we will submit the results to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry in Biel for discussion. You can contact the Federation directly at their web site contact form if you would like to ask them to make spare parts for all Swiss watches available to the independent trade to allow you to make your own decision on where you want your watch serviced. Continue reading

Service: Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean 168.1665 / calibre 8500

IMG_3090I’m sure most of our readers are as curious as I was to get my hands on an 8500 movement for the first time. I had of course seen one before, but so far, no service had been required. So I went out and bought myself a 1 1/2 year old Planet Ocean with box and papers in order to have a good look.

Before opening it, I do a bit of testing. I get a 67 hour 50 minutes power reserve, and that is impressive. The two barrels are doing their work it seems. In terms of accuracy, I am disappointed, as the watch gains 4 to 5 seconds per day, and not at a constant rate. I expected much better from a 1.5 year old 8500. Continue reading

Swatch Group parts policy [with addendum]

As most of our readers will know, the Swatch Group has decided to stop selling spare parts for their watches to independent repairers such as us. This will come into force on 1/1/2016.

This will affect the owners of the following watch brands:

  • Longines
  • Omega
  • Rado
  • Union Glashuette
  • Breguet
  • Harry Winston
  • Blancpain
  • Glashuette Original
  • Jaquet Droz
  • Leon Hatot
  • Tissot
  • Balmain
  • Certina
  • Mido
  • Hamilton
  • Calvin Klein
  • Swatch
  • Flik Flak

Continue reading

Service: Omega Speedmaster 105.012-64 / calibre 321

IMG_2591I’m sure this post will raise some controversy… John sent in his Speedmaster for a service, and it didn’t look too good. The hands are bent and have lost their luminous compound and lots of their white paint, and the dial markers have been re-lumed with some dark green gunk, which wasn’t even properly applied. So in our book, nothing original to preserve, but a lot of room for improvement. The paint that’s come off the bezel is fine in our book, as the bezel is original – we will leave it as it is. Continue reading

Service: Longines Nonius Chronograph / calibre 332 / Valjoux 726

IMG_2014On first sight, you wonder what the strange central chronograph second hand is for … On the right of the needle, there is a scale with 9 graduations. After about 5 seconds of thinking, the light went on, and I realized that this was a vernier scale, just like on a caliper. This allows you to read 1/10s of time elapsed… well it would, if the movement beat at 36,000 b.p.h, but this one only does 6 beats a second, so there are in reality on 6 different positions on which the watch can stop to give different 1/10s readings.

Nevertheless a lovely feature, and a pretty rare one. The augmented mass of the central hand isn’t ideal, and it can come off quite easily when the chronograph is reset. Continue reading

Service: Wolna calibre 2809 / Zenith 135 copy

IMG_1271Mitka and I like to surprise each other with the odd watch here and there, and Mitka had something special in stock for me – a Russian Wolna calibre 2809. Probably one of the finest watches made in the USSR.

It’s a copy of the Zenith 135 movement, but with a couple of differences. A communist watches doesn’t need decorations, so those were left out, but it has the added feature of a central second hand instead of a sub-second hand. I’ll trade that any day! Continue reading