Everyone working with watches knows the problem: spare parts. Especially for older watches, it can be really hard to find the right part. Never mind the right price.
I know that every watchmaker in the world sits on a huge amount of parts. A lot of these never get used, people don’t even know what they have (I am a bit guilty here as well), and when they give up working, the parts often end up on the tip, never to be seen again.
Some people are out there collecting the parts and selling them on Ebay, and I’m forever indebted to their effort. Continue reading
Time waits for no one, and as in the rest of the world, things at WatchGuy move along as well. And I’ve already managed to get a Bowie and a Stones reference in!
Mitka joined me over three years ago as an apprentice, and I am proud to say that he has become a good watch repairer in that time. Those who follow this blog know that he now has a lovely daughter with his fiancee. So it’s no surprise that Mitka wants to do his own thing…
Within the next months, he will move away to the South of England, and start up his own business, which is a very exciting development indeed! His new web site (mitka.co.uk) is already up and running, and once you have given him some time to do up his new workshop, he will accept maintenance and repair work. Expect that to happen around August this year. Our regular readers will have seen his posts, and share my support for the quality of his work. Not that I should entice my own clients away from me, but please feel free to contact him for any work you would like to be carried out on your watches later this year.
But we aren’t done with changes yet!
In March, an old school friend of mine (we did A-Levels together 35 years ago), Johannes, joined the team at watchguy.co.uk. With a strong mechanical background, which includes a career as an airline pilot, Johannes has decided to join us for a little career change. Things are going really well, the first Rolex has been successfully serviced, hands have been re-lumed, hairsprings have been straightened, and I’m very confident that he will have the same success in learning the trade that Mitka had.
As we have a bit of space in the new workshop, we will probably take on another apprentice or a trained watch repairer later in the year. If you are interested, give us a shout!
We finally moved into our new workshop last week, and everything is up and running! Very exciting stuff, with a lot of improvements… Continue reading
Now that’s what we really need!
Jul. 16, 1963 – One can now acquire an alarm or clock on the street in Berlin if you just have the 5 marks on hand. Having been able to buy just about every kind of food, drinks, cosmetics, and other small everyday objects from machines, this clock vending machine should be a help to all Berliners who, after normal shops close, may need a clock. Now that s customer service. If vehicles were not so big it might be possible to buy them out of machines.
Now that Omega dosen’t supply spare parts to the independent trade any more, I can at least let you in on a little secret. The quality of some of their spare parts is outrageously bad…
First, the pusher 086ST0079. It’s a push-fit pusher for the Speedmaster Reduced. 50% of those shear at the bottom of the screw thread when you try to unscrew them. Firstly, please don’t supply them assembled, and secondly, don’t screw them together like there is no tomorrow. The screw will break. At £35 a pop, an expensive pleasure. So changing one costs you an average of £70, as one out of two break. Continue reading
One of our oldest clients, and probably the most prolific contributor to this blog, died last month from a heart attack at his home. We shared lots of emails and Google+ exchanges about anything technical, and of course all sorts of watch related topics.
His sharp and inquisitive mind will be sadly missed by us, and I am sure also by our readers.
Rest in peace, Richard.
As my regular readers know, I don’t really have a lot to do with the world of clocks, but sometimes, there have to be exceptions.
I went to see friends of mine at their workshop in Frome – George deFossard and his wife Cornelia make exceptional clocks, and he is responsible for the movements, whilst his wife designs and makes the cases and dials. So far, they have done some great pieces, but nothing of the magnitude that they are attempting this time around! Sorry, but the photo of the two of them was blurred, so you have to live with just seeing George… a bit of a shame as Cornelia looks a lot better than George, but then again, I’m a bloke 😉 Continue reading
Just to make things easier for my customers, I’ve programmed a little database using perl and postgresql to store all the data about the work I do.
You have already seen parts of that with the new booking system, and I have now extended functionality to allow customers to check on the progress of their watch. Simply to go http://watchguy.co.uk/cgi-bin/mywatch, and enter your email address. You will see all watches that are with me or have been with me in the past (since the introduction of this system last week). All watches currently in my workshop are on the database.
Once your watch has been shipped, this will also give you a direct link to parcel tracking.
This way, you can also check if I have received a watch you have sent, and you can check on your queue position (you will get the number of watches in front of yours in the queue), and to check on the progress of the work. In the next couple of days, I will add a link so that you can access all the photos I have taken of your watch!
My safe is reaching capacity, and I have a good 6 weeks work in the workshop. As I don’t really want to store watches outside the safe, I will stop at this point to accept any new watches until 1/2/2014.
The easiest solution to too much work coming in would be a price rise, but I don’t want to inflict that on my very good existing customers, so I decided to not accept new work for a couple of weeks until the backlog gets smaller, and then to open the doors again for new work.
I also have to come up with a fair way of doing that, and this is what I have in mind:
- on 1/2/2014, I will start accepting work again
- I will accept a set number of watches for repair on a first-come-first-served basis. The number will be determined by the spare capacity in my safe
- once I have handed out the acceptances, I will close down for new work again
- existing customers can book a repair/service slot at any time using the link below. If you try and your email address isn’t recognized, send me a note and I will add it
To book a slot, please go to http://watchguy.co.uk/cgi-bin/book.pl and proceed as indicated.
I hope this is as fair as can be, and that you all understand why I’m doing this. It’s mainly my safe capacity, which I don’t want to exceed, as that would mean leaving your valuable watches accessible over night.
Sorry that there aren’t a lot of new posts at the moment, but I only have limited internet access at the new workshop at the moment (over my mobile phone acting as a hotspot). I should be able to sort it out in a week or two, and then posts will start to show up again.