Watch repair services by watch technicians can vary; in difficulty, in cost and in scope. It depends entirely on the brand and the problem identified. There are common watch repairs that come up regardless of brand and model. Before you seek any watch repair, you should always look at your warranty and understand how an unauthorized repair could void your warranty. Here are some of the most common watch repairs.
Common Watch Repairs
The 5 most common watch repairs at any shop or jeweler are strap or band replacement, resizing, battery changes, crystal replacement or repair, and lastly cleaning and polishing. There is a great infographic that depicts the most common watch repairs.
Let’s discuss these 5 common watch repair services and other popular requests in more detail…
Straps, which are typically made of leather, rubber, fabric, and other related materials wear out over time. Since they are in direct contact with your wrist these materials build up dirt and grim that deteriorate the materials. Replacing a strap is pretty simple and can be done with a spring pen on most watch brands.
If you have a strap that needs replacement because it is broken or breaking, you should do it right away. The strap is critical to securing your watch on your wrist, which also prevents it from damage.
Some people change the strap to change the style and look of the watch. Many straps are interchangeable and you can easily switch the color or material of your watch.
Band resizing is when you have links added or removed from a metal band or bracelet. This service is often requested when someone has gained or lost weight or when a watch has been passed down as a family heir loom. This is an inexpensive service and may be free if you take the watch to the place you purchased it.
Getting your watch to a perfect fit on your wrist not only makes it look sharper, but also is important for the security of your watch. A properly fitting band, means your watch won’t fall off or get banged around unnecessarily.
For some bands, you can DIY a band resizing with the use of a spring pen. If you are removing links, you can pop out as many as you need. If you need to add links, you may need to purchase them or check to see if extra links came with your watch.
You should never let a dead battery sit in your watch. It is recommended to replace the battery every one to three years. There are different types of batteries that each manufacturer will use. While you can find these on Amazon and do it yourself, a watch repair shop will know the best size and voltage to use.
Battery replacements can be done in 15 to 20 minutes. This is an inexpensive service. If you take your watch to the place you bought it, many will replace the battery for free.
Crystal Repair or Replacement
The crystal on your watch is what you might think of as the piece of glass on top of the dial. There are 3 types of commonly used crystals: acrylic, mineral glass, and sapphire. The type of crystal you have will determine the cost. Sapphire being the most expensive and typically used on luxury timepieces.
Sapphire doesn’t scratch, but it will shatter. Acrylic and mineral glass don’t shatter, but they will scratch. Depending on the depth or a scratch it’s possible it could be buffed out. If the scratch is deep the crystal will need to be replaced.
Movement Repair and Replacement
The movement, also called the caliber, is the heart of the watch. It is the mechanism and all the internal components inside that make the timepiece function. Movement work can vary in price depending on what you need.
If you watch isn’t keeping time, like it’s running fast or slow, you may need a movement overhaul. If your watch has damage, you may need a movement replacement.
Any work on the movement should be done by a pro technician. This is even more true if you have an old vintage watch. If you are not sure of what type of movement your timepiece has, check here.
Cleaning and Polishing
There is nothing better then a shiny watch. Cleaning and polishing are other common watch repair services that are requested. Not all watches should be cleaned the same way and certainly not all should be polished.
If you have a water resistant watch, it may be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. These devices submerge your watch in a cleaning solution and then apply high frequency to the solution, which vibrates dirt and grim off.
If you have a vintage watch you may not want to get it polished. To some collectors, polishing a vintage watch will diminish it’s value.
Just like you take a car in for service a high end watch requires service to. Each manufacturer recommends a different service schedule which is based on the internal mechanics. A watch servicing typically includes several of the services above. They will inspect the watches exterior , replace the battery, check all the functionality, check the movement and perform scheduled routes, and then clean and polish the watch.
Crown and Stem Repair or Replacement
The crown is the piece that extrudes from the case that allows you to wind the watch or change functions. On a chronograph watch you may have two or three crowns. The stem is the tiny pin inside the crown that connects the crown to the movement.
If you have damage to the crown you can get the crown replaced. Often though damage to the crown results in damage to the stem. The stem can get bent of shoved inside the watch case and may even cause damage to the movement. When the stem is damaged, the repair gets more complicated, because a replacement stem needs to be found and most aren’t a universal fit.
Common Watch Repair Conclusion
There are other common watch repairs to the gasket, the bezel, the clasp and other watch parts. Below is a focus on the most commonly requested repairs that we come across. Before having a watch repair done at a local watch repair shop, you should consider your warranty. For many manufacturers even a common watch repair done by an unauthorized technician can void the warranty.