If you own a luxury timepiece, getting serviced regularly is important for maintaining its condition and value. Some high end brands recommend a full movement overhaul every three to five years. Before you consider getting your watch serviced, you need to think about how it may impact your warranty. Only certain servicing options will keep your warranty intact. Below I’ll discuss local watch service options, what to expect from a servicing, and how to choose a provider. I’ll also share my experience with the watch service near me.
Find Watch Service Near Me – Watch Service Locator
If you are looking for “watch service near me”, the map below shows your options. Use the controls to fine tune your results…
Who Does Watch Service Near Me
There are three main places that you can get your watch serviced.
Local Watch Repair Shop: These places are great with various manufacturers and models. The more popular the brand and model, the better success you will have. While these folks are often professional technicians, if you bring them certain timepieces, they may actually send it out for work. This means you may pay more because they become the middle man.
Jewelry Shop: This is almost exactly like getting a timepiece serviced at a watch repair shop. They may actually have more experience though with super high end luxury brands if you visit the right place. I wouldn’t qualify these folks as experts either, but still can do pro watch work on the most common makes and models. Like watch repair shops, anything complicated they will send out for work.
Authorized Service Center: These are the master craftsman who will be able to properly service your watch. That is because they specialize in your brand and are certified to work on your make and model. They will be intimately familiar with your watch and have likely seen and worked on one before. If it is a vintage watch, they will no where to look on the second hand market for parts and know more about the history and mechanics of the timepiece.
Can you Do It Yourself?
This is not something I recommend. There is an expert level of skills required and you need the finest watch tools to work with. Servicing often requires disassembling the movement and thoroughly inspecting it. Here is an article explaining why you shouldn’t work on your own watch.
Weighing Your Servicing Options…
Jewelers and repair places are pretty much identical. They can handle popular brands and models. They will however not be covered under your warranty. This is important to note, because servicing involves work on the movement. Unauthorized technicians will void most high end luxury watch warranties. If you don’t have a warranty anymore, you may have less concern. The other thing to note though is most won’t guarantee their work.
What I like about local options is that they do servicing much faster. Typically a few days depending on the shop. You can also talk to a technician directly about the issues you are having.
Conversely, an authorized service center can do the work and keep your warranty in place. The service will not be covered, but the work itself will not void the warranty. These folks will be the most qualified to do the service work on your watch. They will also guarantee the work for a set period of time, typically one year.
The advantage of authorized service centers is expert craftsmanship and folks familiar with your timepiece. The downside is turnaround time could be over a month and you will be a premium price compared to you local options.
Some luxury brands actually state in their warranty that if you don’t send it on schedule to an authorized service center for servicing, your warranty is void.
How to Tell When Your Watch Needs to be Serviced
There are certain signs that tell you it is time for servicing. The watch service near me, recommends you get it done every three to five years regardless of showing signs. Some manufacturers or even movements show different signs for needing attention. For example, a quartz watch with a low battery can stop or lose time. Replacing the battery, doesn’t always fix the issue, if you have let it go one long enough.
Here are 5 common warning signs you should seek a service on your timepiece:
- Watch Has Stopped: On Quartz watch, there are many parts and gears inside that work in tandem for the movement to function. It is possible that you only need a battery swap. If you have changed the battery and still the watch isn’t working, it is likely a movement issue.
- Second Hand Skips at Five Second Intervals: This can be a low battery indicator on a Quartz watch. If you have changed the battery and the issue continues, it is a movement problem. Don’t wait till the battery drains either, it can leak and damage internal components.
- Moisture Under the Crystal: When moisture enters the watch you can see a fog under the crystal. Moisture damages the movement because it can make the metal internal components rust. If you get rust inside, you will need a major very expensive overhaul of the movement. When you notice moisture it is often a sign that the case seal is broken or a gasket has gone bad.
- The Crown is Hard to Turn: The crown and stem are the parts that connect to the internal movement. If it feels like you are having trouble turning the crown to wind or change the time and date or other functions, do not force it. There is either a movement problem or the stem is bent or broken and needs a repair.
- Doesn’t Keep Consistent Time (Fast or Slow: Quartz watches keep accurate time, while mechanical watches lose a few minutes each day. This is even more true in antique and vintage timepieces. If the gain or lose is significant, the movement needs work. If it goes untreated, the problem will grow and may even cause the timepiece to stop all together.
What Does a Typical Watch Service Entail?
It depends on the brand and the issues. Some brands literally consider changing the battery on Quartz watch servicing it. If you love your timepiece, you want a full movement overhaul with disassembly, a professional cleaning with re-oiling (lubrication) of the internal pieces, reassembly, and the most accuracy of the timing.
What If Repairs Are Needed?
When the watch service near me, does this work, they do a full inspection of the timepiece. They are looking for any issues with the parts. This includes identifying broken parts and metal on metal movement that causes wear. If repairs are needed, they will do them, but there will be an extra charge.
At an authorized service center they are very proactive about replacing parts. They may even replace parts that are functioning properly. It is a matter of them executing the required and recommended maintenance.
Some places will have you sign an agreement up front that says you will pay for parts and repair work. Other places will contact you for authorization for any repairs are done.
How Much Will it Cost?
This is dependent on several factors such as where you go, what you need, the brand, and how old your watch is. You can find a local jeweler who does a standard routes service on a mid grade timepiece for about 40 pounds. Now when we get into higher grades of watches it gets more expensive. A high end Seiko will cost about 225 pounds. Even higher end a Cartier, Rolex, or Omega will run about 375 pounds. Those prices are just baselines, expect for more vintage models to cost more.
If repairs are needed the price goes up. If the watch is an antique or vintage the price goes up. For an idea of how much the watch service near me just charged for a 38 year old 1680 Rolex Submariner was 900 pounds. It required some parts, but you can see how work on these is like getting a Mercedes serviced.
Watch Service Near Me – How to Choose
Local options are great and convenient, but you need to shop around. Call a few places, tell them what manufacturer and model you have and get multiple quotes. If you have a really high end watch, a vintage watch, or an antique consider an authorized service center only. If you are going with a local place, you need to read reviews. Also you need to ask about guarantees on their work. If they have a website, look at pictures of their past repairs.