One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How often should a watch be serviced?” Most manufacturers recommend having a watch serviced every five years. Batteries can usually be replaced in 3-4 weeks, but services take a little longer. How long will depend on the work that needs to be done and the complexity of the watch.
If your watch isn’t keeping good time or is running erratically, then it is likely that it needs to be cleaned and oiled. There are a number of different oils used in wristwatches and when the oil dries up, the parts begin to wear and timekeeping becomes affected. Another reason for having a watch serviced is for the seals that ensure water resistance. The smallest amount of water inside a watch can cause major damage; the glass fogging up is the first sign of water ingress. Rust can start to form within a few days and can severely damage your watch. The cost to repair will depend on the severity of the water damage. The usual watch servicing steps are disassembly, cleaning, reassembling and finally testing.
We are often asked if repairs can be undertaken without committing to a full service – this is not generally possible. While a bracelet or bezel repair do not usually require a full service, if the case is opened then a full service if almost always required. Any dirt in the jewels or mainspring barrel can only be removed by disassembly.
It is a common misconception that quartz watches require less maintenance than mechanical watches, however, this is not the case. As they contain about 90% mechanical parts they require the same amount of care and attention as any automatic watch. As not all batteries are made equal, these are best replaced by the manufacturer who will also replace the gasket at the same time. The cost of the new battery is included in the cost of a full service.
We also undertake the servicing of clocks, vintage watches and pocket watches. Sometimes vintage parts have to be sourced or re-manufactured which can take time, although when it comes to a treasured possession it is usually worth the wait.