Watch repair is one of the most frustrating and important topics that is rarely discussed in the excitement of announcing new watches and reviewing existing ones. Watch repair is not thrilling, but it is important. Moreover, many consumers eventually learn that watch repair is expensive and fraught with headaches. It also happens to be a major means by which watch brands and a host of third-party watch repair professionals make money.
Watches are small machines that you wear, and by nature they will break from time to time. A timepiece in need of repair is a depressing site, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get any number of watches fixed. Most watch repair locations around the world are unfortunately not set up to repair more exotic timepieces or even mechanical ones. To some people, “watch repair” means a battery change or a strap swap. In the context of fixing mechanical watches, a primary goal for consumers is to find the right person to fix their watch, and that isn’t always easy.
Discussing watch repair is a long, and often drawn-out topic because one must take into consideration a host of factors including the brand, the type of movement inside of the watch, any remaining warranty, where you live, what problem the watch has, and how old the watch is. Depending on these factors, your watch repair experience will vary greatly.
Then, there is the unfortunate reality that not all watch repair goes right. Watches, like cars, come with a degree of risk when getting them repaired. While most watch repair experiences are positive, there are situations when timepieces return simply not fixed after a repair, or with cosmetic damage. This can happen from time to time depending, again, on a variety of factors such as the watch being repaired, who is working on it, and what is wrong with the watch. Having a bad experience with repair can easily funnel watch owners away or to specific watch repair practices given past repair experiences that they do not wish to repeat.
Perhaps the biggest reason why people may have various different types of places to rely on for watch repair is price. An easy choice for watch repair might be to take the watch back to the original manufacturer, but a lot of the time that is the most expensive option. Don’t forget that “after sale service” is a major money maker for many brands, and that means the service is part of the business rather than a convenience for customers. Even basic watch repair can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a basic “tune up.” Often, this is because official watch repair service providers include various types of cosmetic treatments such as case polishing, cleaning, and even replacement of some parts.
Watch repair is a necessary but sometimes frustrating and overly expensive experience for many people. I personally have been deeply involved with watches for almost a decade and still don’t have a trusted watch repair professional that I go to. I’d like to ask the aBlogtoWatch audience the basic question of where they tend to take their watches for repair, and if you’d like to elaborate more on the topic, please do so in the comments below. Again, I am asking where you prefer to get your watches repaired based on your experience, versus what you strictly do all the time, as various watches need various types of attention.