Watch servicing? Worth it or Magic Beans?

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  • Watch servicing? Worth it or Magic Beans?
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I have a 2006/7 Tag Aquaracer Chrono Auto. Its supposed to be serviced every five years yet I haven’t had it done as it costs £350. Its running fine.

    So, should I?

    Premier Icon rockhopperbike
    Subscriber

    When you consider the number of tiny moving parts in there, I get mine serviced, but usually a bit late- like you are. If the watch has a gentle life- maybe not so critical, but I wear mine for all sorts and I like the assurance.
    Omega had mine recently, came back in a very nice travel case, and watch was fitted with new hands and dial- looks brand new(the glow had died on the hands and hour markers)- they didnt charge extra either- so quite impressed.

    Rockape63
    Member

    So, should I?

    No…save your money until it stops!

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    they didnt charge extra either- so quite impressed.

    extra over the already huge servicing cost !!!

    I think this kind of stuff is a standard part of the omega servicing – had mine done recently for £500 and they replaced stuff like that, and they also got a dent out of the case somehow, which I and the assistant thought was too deep.

    Yesterday I replaced the watch strap for £265 – the wifes fault for preferring the leather over the steel bracelet I tried to get her to go for…

    ScottChegg
    Member

    I sent my Tag Heuer back for a service. It never came back.

    It was nicked in the post and was never seen again. Even when the Post Office guy was arrested.

    I got an insurance replacement, it was brand new but it was not the same watch.

    Just saying, like…

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    but it was not the same watch.

    did you get something decent this time then ? 🙂

    Premier Icon veedubba
    Subscriber

    It’s worth it considering the tiny parts inside and that the lubricant dries out in the course of a few years.

    I do think it’s taking the mick a little in terms of price, but if you’ve spent several hundred (or thousand) quid on a watch, then it seems daft to scrimp on the servicing, especially if it’s a watch that will appreciate if it’s kept in good condition.

    I have mine done every 5 years, so spread yearly the cost isn’t too[/i] bad, but also the servicing is guaranteed for a year. Doesn’t sound too important, but last March when I was changing the date on mine the crown popped out and it was still (just) under service guarantee, so it was a free repair.

    Kryton,

    I’ve just posted on another thread about watch repairs and service.
    I’ll just copy and post my input as it’s valid in this context.

    OP can I recommend Christian at http://watchguy.co.uk

    Take a look at the website and you will see documented repairs of some intricate and very nice watches.
    He will give you a price and stick to it and I can vouch for how meticulous and accurate his work is.

    He will only take on work where he can effect a proper repair and having seen the start and finish conditions of some of the watches he has worked on it’s very impressive.

    I should state I’ve know Christian for quite a few years, he is a friend, a craftsman and passionate about watches.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Thanks – he has photo of the same watch ‘cept mine is silver/white face:

    http://watchguy.co.uk/cgi-bin/library?action=show_photos&wat_id=1053

    Blimey I had no appreciation as to how complicated it is…

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Yesterday I replaced the watch strap for £265 – the wifes fault for preferring the leather over the steel bracelet I tried to get her to go for.

    With my brieting I just remove the clasps and bits and then get a good quality leather strap of ebay.

    Kryton,
    Quite surprising when you see the photos. Also quite reassuring.

    I’ve been in the workshop and seen his work. Just handling those tiny parts precisely is fascinating. There are no shortcuts with a watch like that.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    I have a 1967 Omega Constellation which I have serviced at a local repair specialist. I wear it as my everyday watch and it’s probably out of guarantee now. 🙂 I have it serviced every three or four years, this last time because it needed boost winding, so I guessed the auto winder mechanism needed attention. While it was in they polished a few scratches out of the face and replaced the shoulder pins. It’s an heirloom, so it will never need a resale value, and that last service cost £125. Brewers at Huddersfield need a mention…. they have always done some great work for reasonable money.

    tobsters
    Member

    Not sure if this is the right approach, but I have a vintage Omega, and a newer TAG, and I only ever send them for a service when they stop working.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    A woman at work has a Cartier. They charge her > £200 to change the battery, and the last service was > £1000 😯

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    I sent my Tag for a service, they replaced all the water proofing seals and sent it back with a pressure test certificate. It doesn’t miss a beat, nice piece of kit.

    thatscold
    Member

    Hirsch make straps for most of the major Swiss watch brands, so you can buy an almost identical replacement strap from them at half the cost of the branded replacement. Just keep the clasp from your old strap so it keeps the branding.

    jp-t853
    Member

    FunkyDunc – Member

    A woman at work has a Cartier. They charge her > £200 to change the battery, and the last service was > £1000

    That surprises me as Cartier have the best after sales model of any quality watch maker

    Below is a copy and paste from their website. The same goes for replacement strap and bracelets etc.

    Prices

    Recommended Retail prices in Pound sterling, incl. VAT (excluding spare parts and stones).

    SERVICES

    PRICES

    Rapid Service

    35 GBP

    Maintenance Service

    from 70 GBP

    Complete Service

    from 170 GBP

    Polishing

    from 55 GBP

    Rhodium Plating

    from 260 GBP

    (*) Polishing:
    Maintenance is the minimum requirement for polishing
    Included with Complete Service

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    With my brieting I just remove the clasps and bits and then get a good quality leather strap of ebay.

    I could do that, but the omega boutique is across the road from work !

    biglee1
    Member

    I’ve had cars that cost less to service!
    IMO wait until it stops then get it fixed, you`ll probably save hundreds by that time.
    Or sell it and buy a good quality Seiko etc. My mate has an Omega and it doesn’t enrich his life any more than my Seiko Diver does mine that cost 10x less.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Thatscold speaks the truth.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Or sell it and buy a good quality Seiko etc. My mate has an Omega and it doesn’t enrich his life any more than my Seiko Diver does mine that cost 10x less.

    strange my best watch enriches my life more than any of the cheap wtches I own, I always prefer wearing it. Much like some people prefer expensive bike to equaly fucntional cheap ones

    wrightyson
    Member

    It’s nice to have nice things, seiko and it’d just be a watch to me and I’d end up wearing it to work etc, my actual watch, I look after and would like to hand down to laddo one day.
    I do believe some models have to go back to the original manufacturer so check first.

    rob2
    Member

    Interested in this thread. Had my rado 8 years and never serviced. Works every day. Keeps excellent time. Concerned a service might actually make it worse – ain’t broke don’t fix it etc. my wife’s rado went off for a battery change and they changed seals and sorts we didn’t ask for and £250. Actually came back not working as well.

    Tricky one

    boblo
    Member

    kilo – Member
    Yesterday I replaced the watch strap for £265 – the wifes fault for preferring the leather over the steel bracelet I tried to get her to go for.
    With my brieting I just remove the clasps and bits and then get a good quality leather strap of eBay.

    Could just go the whole hog and get a ‘Breitling’ off eBay, they’re about £1000 1000 save you a fortune…

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Are we doing pics yet?

    Best I can afford right now (and thinking about it, foreseeable future!)

    CountZero
    Member

    kilo – Member
    Or sell it and buy a good quality Seiko etc. My mate has an Omega and it doesn’t enrich his life any more than my Seiko Diver does mine that cost 10x less.
    strange my best watch enriches my life more than any of the cheap wtches I own, I always prefer wearing it. Much like some people prefer expensive bike to equaly fucntional cheap ones

    This, absolutely.

    wrightyson – Member
    It’s nice to have nice things, seiko and it’d just be a watch to me and I’d end up wearing it to work etc, my actual watch, I look after and would like to hand down to laddo one day.
    I do believe some models have to go back to the original manufacturer so check first.

    I have three watches I consider my ‘special’ watches, a Yema Rallygraf I bought back in the early 70’s, my first watch that I bought with my own money; probably cost around £20-30:
    A Series 1000 Tag Heuer with black case and bracelet, and luminous face, like the one worn by William Petersen in Manhunter, (as I later found out), cost me £250, around ’81/82:
    and my Seiko SP045RK, which cost me £350.
    The Yema hadn’t been worn since I bought the TAG, had some issues since a jewellers tried to fix another problem, then I had it serviced properly around 18 months ago for £140, I’ve seen a rather rough example for sale in France for nearly €1000.
    My Seiko is far and away my favourite watch, I wouldnt swap it for a watch costing ten times the original cost, it’s a beautiful looking time-piece, it’s accuracy is as good as I could possibly want from a mechanical auto.
    It rarely gets worn to work, I usually wear a $70 Casio G-100, the Yema gets worn fairly often, again not to work, it’s worth too much, now, and the TAG?
    It’s sitting in a box with a dead battery, hasn’t been worn for four or five years, and that’s a watch that would now cost well north of £1000-1500 to replace.
    It’s not what any of them cost that’s important, the Yema has tremendous sentimental value, as much as anything, and it’s a great looking watch for its time, and the Seiko is absolutely my perfect watch, the nearest I’ve seen to it is the Tudor diver, that’s featured in some advert or other recently, and as above, it’s ten times what the Seiko cost, and it’s impossible to justify that expense.
    The last time I had a battery fitted in the TAG it cost me £30, plus another £90 to replace the face after the locating pins broke off, and I can’t really justify the expense of having another battery fitted, unless I can get it done a lot cheaper.
    My Seiko also sports a stainless mesh bracelet that would cost £600 if it had Breitling stamped on the clasp, cost me $18 from eBay, who would possibly want to pay more than that?

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Straps aside, I totally get the expensive watch business

    Irrational and overly functional, yes. I feel ashamed typing this, but for me there is something about an exquisite and beautifully crafted watch that gives me a semi.

    I can drive in any car and don’t give a toss what coffee I drink at home, but show me the omega AT with the blue face and I’ll pass out with desire.

    Silly isn’t it? Just my thing, and apparently a few others.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Pics you say? The tag:

    And I already have a seiko:

    mitsumonkey
    Member

    With modern Omega’s the service consists of if anything needs doing, throw the old movement away and put a new one in. That’s about it and that’s why it’s £500. They can put a new movement in and still make a profit.
    Easy!

    mitsumonkey
    Member

    I’m not anti Omega by the way I’ve got one.

    wrightyson
    Member

    It’s not 500 to service an omega. Where did that figure come from? It varies from watch to watch.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Love that Cartier price list how it states proces ‘from’. You just know it’s going to cost you 10 times more. I’ve got a bottom of the range Britling which has now stopped. It’s about £125 for a battery replacement and about £500 for a service, so I’m pondering a service. A guy at work who collects very expensive watches advocates servicing as these things are appreciating assets so worthwhile maintaining the investment in them. Mine was £1k when new 10 yrs ago and judging by ebay prices I could get anywhere from £1500 to £2000 for it now, if it was fully serviced.

    I guess it’s like cars, the purchase price is only half of it and if you don’t want to pay the ongoing costs then just stick with your cheaper watches. I must admit, the service cost is a sting but my wife bought me the watch for a wedding present so I should keep on top of its maintenance.

    h1jjy
    Member

    My dad had his Tag serviced the other month, the watch was gone for over 3 weeks.
    Since he got it back its stopped working twice

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Jp – to be honest that wouldn’t surprise me. She has a hang up about how rich she is, and has to tell you on a daily basis, didn’t think she was in to bull spreading though 😆

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Getting the feeling that my 20 or so year old omega sea master might be due a service!

    bigrich
    Member

    if you are going to wear an item of conspicuous consumption on your wrist as a status symbol, then the costs of service will also be a demonstration of your projected wealth.

    get over it, brag about it down the golf club, or sell it and wear a casio and buy carbon wheels.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    get over it, brag about it down the golf club, or sell it and wear a casio and buy carbon wheels.

    That’s the thing ………. you either ‘get’ and appreciate watches or you don’t!

    My last watch, which I would class as expensive, was a Breitling chrono which I bought from a jeweller mate. It was unique and made for him as he had sold so many. I loved wearing it around the house but only ever wore it to go out once, where it remained out of sight. Eventually sold it back to him but loved owning it.

    Never kept one long enough to need servicing until now but thanks for the link as I have a nice Zeno and a Seiko that are long overdue some tlc.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    My Omega wasn’t expensive, it only cost £70. And in terms of conspicuous consumption, that’s £1.50 a year. 😀

    boblo
    Member

    A house was £4000 in 1970… 🙂

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    Based on the Bank of England Inflation calculator, that price today would be about £1000. It’s hard to compare new for old as they don’t do 14K gold cap any more, but new constellations cost between £1750 and two or three times that. Dad bought it from a Birmingham jeweller he knew, so probably got a decent discount. It looks pretty good considering it spent about 18 months under a hedge.

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