I want you to repair/service my watch – what do I have to do?
As demand is higher than supply, I’m afraid I can only give out limited amounts of booking slots at a time. I make slots available at least once a month, if not more often. I have an automatic booking system that will allow you to book your watch in – please go to our booking page to reserve a slot.
I am an existing customer – do I get preferential treatment?
Yes, you do. Existing customers will be able to book their watch(es) in for repair or service exactly one week before slots are given out to new customers. We usually give out more slots to existing customers, and it tends to take a couple of days before they go. So if you keep an eye on the booking page, and go back a week before we release slots for new customers, you will be able to grab a slot for your watch.
What’s the best way to send you my watch?
Please pack your watch carefully – think of someone playing football with the parcel, that will give you an idea of what’s good packaging. Also, best not to include any valuable or original watch cases etc. as I have to keep track of those in the workshop and send them back, so I prefer if you don’t include anything else but the watch. Think bubble wrap. Don’t use rubber bands on silver watch cases as they stain. Also, it’s best to first wrap the watch in some tissue paper, and then in cling film.
You might also spare a thought for me having to unwrap. So 20 layers of sellotape aren’t that easy to remove, and, as I will have to use a blade, not entirely without danger for your watch 😉
If you ship a watch to me from the UK, first class recorded does the trick nicely. It’s trackable, and I haven’t lost a watch yet.
Please use USPS Priority Mail International Small Box Flat Rate. When filling in your customs form, please declare the value as $ 20 – this is not a commercial transaction with your watch, I’m sending it back to you. So I’m not telling you to cheat, but if you declare a higher value, I will have to pay 20%VAT + £8 processing charge, which I will have to pass on to you. What you declare on the customs form has nothing to do with the value you can insure.
Please note on the customs form “watch for repair, will be returned to US owner”.
Same rules apply – don’t declare a value over USD 20, as the watch will be returned. I’m not buying it from you. Note on the customs form “watch for repair, will be returned to owner”.
Always use parcel tracking.
If you enclose parts with your watch (fallen off crown, etc.), please put them in a little plastic bag, and stick the bag with sellotape to an A4 sheet of paper, on which you state that there is a part attached. I’ve already thrown away a crown, so let’s not let that happen again.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes, I do. If I service your watch, I give you a one year warranty on my work. This of course won’t apply if you drop your watch and break the balance staff. The warranty is at my discretion, but I’m a generous person and will fix your watch within the year if it wasn’t broken by a shock or water ingress.
How long will it take to fix my watch?
This depends on how much work I have. I try to keep my queue down to 4 weeks or so, and that’s what the booking system is for.
I just want my crystal changed and not a complete service, do you do that?
Yes I do. I don’t force a service on you if you don’t want one. I also repair single-issue problems (such as a broken off crown) without a service if you wish so. My warranty will then only stretch to that particular bit of work carried out. It is often advisable to have your watch fully serviced, but I won’t force your hand in the matter. Especially if you just want a new crystal 😉
Can I supply my own parts?
Of course you can – saves me the work of hunting down the parts.
Do you scratch a service date into the watch back?
No, I don’t. You get an invoice showing you what I did. If you would like your watch back scratched, let me know and I will put a service date in there.
Should I take the bracelet / strap off?
If you are able to do that, please do. If not, no problem either.
How do you invoice and how can I pay?
Once work is completed, I will send you a PayPal invoice. You can then either pay through PayPal, or transfer the money into my bank account (BACS in the UK, and I supply IBAN and BIC for international customers). It’s probably the most convenient for you to pay using PayPal, and I don’t mind paying the 2.5% for your convenience.
I can also take card payments in person or over the phone.
Can you restore my watch dial?
I personally don’t restore dials, but use David Bill & Sons. I’m more than happy to take your dial out, send it to them and put it back in. I only charge you what they charge me.
Do you repair watch cases?
No, but I outsource that sort of work. As above, I only charge you what I’ve been charged for the work and I’m happy to organise everything to you and make sure it’s carried out correctly.
Will my 50 year old chronometer work to COSC specifications after a service?
Probably not. With luck, it will, but considering the wear and tear of 50 years of use, it’s not very likely. Your watch will keep good time, but not to COSC specifications. I will try my best to adjust the watch properly, but you can’t expect miracles.
Will my vintage watch still be water resistant?
Most likely, no. There are several ways water can get into a case. The case back, and that’s quite easy to sort out with a new case back gasket, which I normally fit (if I can get hold of one that fits). Trickier is the crystal. Some crystals have gaskets, and you can’t get hold of all of them. The worst culprit is the crown/winding stem. On most crowns, you can’t change the gasket, so with time, they won’t be water resistant any more. Also, the pendant tube surface wears, and you can get grooves in the tube that will also allow water to get in.
In general, vintage watches aren’t waterproof, and they still won’t be when they come back from a service. If this is really important to you, let me know, and I can try my best. But there is cost involved – a new crown for a watch can easily cost £25, never mind getting hold of a new pendant tube.
Do you have a price list?
Yes, I do, and it’s here.