Watch repair near meYou might be asking the question “can I do my own watch repair?”. You sure can – you can also repair your own transmission, re-weld your water heater and fly your own plane. All of these things including watch repair require a certain amount of education and mechanical “know-how”. Realistically, any watch can be repaired. But it will all boil down to how it’s been taken care of and if it’s a watch worth repairing. Low-cost watches and a quartz watch many times can not be repaired for a lower cost than replacement, or if your watch is very badly damaged or rusted on the interior of the watch body. Now, if the watch has sentimental value or it was gifted by a grandparent or family member or has been in the family for a very long time, then the cost of repair is always worth it. Higher-cost watches like Rolex, Omega, Franck Muller, or the like absolutely are worth fixing because of the retail cost. Also, the resale value of these watches is extremely high. Years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, watches were considered heirlooms. Grandparents and Great Grandparents would hand them down to children in the family when they were old enough to hold on to it because a new purchase was simply too expensive. Check your bedside drawer; you know you’ve got one… Well, hang on to it. Watches from generations ago are hard to come by and even more difficult to repair in some cases. You should hang on to your unique watches and service them to ensure they survive the next generation.
How often should I service my watch?It really depends on what kind of person you are. If you live by the credo “It’s not broke, so don’t fix it”, then you’re likely not a willing recipient of what we have to say. But look at it this way, if you waited for a tooth to rot out of your mouth because it wasn’t broke then you’ll be faced with extraordinary pain and expensive maneuvers to keep a tooth. The same goes for your physicals at the doctor or oil changes in your automobile or water craft. You probably wouldn’t run your engine until it’s smoking, just to be faced with replacing an engine block (or the car for that matter). Watches are no different, so finding a jeweler you can trust for watch and jewelry repair near you is key.
So what’s involved in maintenance?Other than the usual clean, polish, and re-oil, you will always have wear in a watch where metal is creating an action on metal. You’ll need to take it apart, re-oil it, and clean it where necessary to prevent parts from wearing. Worn parts can damage others, but it all costs money, and you’re probably only going to need to replace a part or two. You can always expect that some parts will need to be changed. This can mean damage to the case, bracelet, or crown too. I suppose you could ask the question of whether or not the cost of that part outweighs the cost of regular services. If you intend to keep the watch for years to come, we suggest the answer is “yes” – it’s worth it to keep the watch in tip-top shape.
How often should I clean my watch?Your watch needs to be cleaned whenever the oil has broken down or when the gears have too much dust and dirt on them. The quality of the oil that is used on watches has improved over the years, as it has with cars so cleaning them every year is not necessary, but every two years is a good idea. Dust will act as an abrasive and grinds away the metal, just like it does on pistons. This increases friction in the movement and changes the shape and position of the gears. The gears are designed so that the teeth roll onto each other, instead of sliding around. Once the right shape is worn from its original state, it will always have a tendency to malfunction. Vintage – the older the watch, the tougher it will be for the case to keep dust out. If you’re going to wear a vintage watch on the regular, you should get your watch serviced when you first get and then every couple of years afterward. Watches that are water resistant can usually go 3-5 years, but if want to count on it being water resistant, you should have the seals checked or replaced, every year. You shouldn’t wait for your watch to stop working before servicing it.
If you’re a collector and you aren’t going to wear the vintage watch, you should definitely have it inspected to make sure that what you bought is what you expected. When cleaning a vintage watch, you do run the risk of potentially dulling the finish on the parts, or lettering on the movement. On the other hand, a cleaned and oiled watch is less likely to rust or have corrosion from gunk on the metal. Parts are not being manufactured for vintage watches anymore, so if your watch needs parts you should do it now. The future will hold more expense and potentially fewer options. If the inside of your watch ever gets wet, you should have it cleaned right away, even if you don’t moisture forming inside the crystal. It’s probably there and will cause further damage that you don’t see right away. We don’t recommend trusting the “water proofing” on vintage wrist watches – treat them like normal non-water resistant wrist watches.