Author Topic: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?  (Read 544 times)

slope

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Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« on: September 30, 2020, 11:49:37 am »
The winder on my ancient Omega wristwatch has disengaged :'(

Can anyone recommend a mail order repair service?

There are no watchmakers within cycling distance here in Snowdonia.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 12:01:58 pm »
I've used Alfred E Mutter, based in the Jewellery Quarter, Manchester.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 12:13:40 pm »
You could try watchguy.co.uk.  I have not used him, although I did try when my Omega needed a bit of TLC, but I think it is difficult to get a slot from him as he is so busy.  In the end I took it to my local jeweller/clock repairer, although he only does clocks and not watches.  He arranged for it to go back to Omega in Switzerland who did a full service on it.  It was not cheap...  Alternatively you can contact Omega UK directly and they will do it for you.  Omega will strip it down to the component parts, clean everything and then reassemble using any new parts as required and send you a bag of the replaced bits back as well.  For some reason my jeweller does not like their UK operation, hence him sending it to Switzerland!

There are a few independent repairers around but I can't give you any recommendations and there are very few who can now service and repair any Swiss watches as they are not able to get the parts - there is a blog about this on the watchguy website.  Basically all the Swiss watch brands are owned by Swatch and they will now only provide spares to repairers who are able to give the level of service that Swatch deem acceptable.  This means that you have to buy all the tools and jigs for servicing from them before they will sell you the parts, something that very few of them can afford to do, so Swatch have basically set up a monopoly by setting the bar so high for the independent repairers.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 12:27:45 pm »
You could open an account on https://forum.tz-uk.com/forum.php  & ask there , in the "Watch Talk" section.   There are several reputable independent repairers on there.   



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Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 12:34:41 pm »
The Watch Doctors in Tring.


https://watchdoctors.co.uk/
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Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 01:53:04 pm »
Alternatively you can contact Omega UK directly and they will do it for you.  Omega will strip it down to the component parts, clean everything and then reassemble using any new parts as required and send you a bag of the replaced bits back as well. 
Good call. Do it and the watch won't need servicing for another 10 years. It'll be £300 - £400 (approx)
well spent imo.


Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2020, 02:02:07 pm »
Just send it to https://watchguy.co.uk

Christian lives in my village. He's the cliche of a German engineer...absolutely fastidious, meticulous and utterly honest. Also a supremely decent human being.

Have a read of his blog. He has done 2 watches for me and I cant recommend him highly enough.

Jaded

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Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2020, 02:13:07 pm »
^ agreed. Even if his eyes do go off in different directions.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 04:18:35 pm »
Just send it to https://watchguy.co.uk

Christian lives in my village. He's the cliche of a German engineer...absolutely fastidious, meticulous and utterly honest. Also a supremely decent human being.

Have a read of his blog. He has done 2 watches for me and I cant recommend him highly enough.
Didn't realise he is so local. Have contacted him re my Aristo Vollmer Pilot watch and Traser Automatic.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 04:27:55 pm »
Wish I had seen this earlier.  When we clearing my Dad's stuff we found an Omega from 1972 that must have been my Grandad's retirement present.   I had no idea of its existence.

I went to a local jewellers and it was sent back to Omega in Switzerland.   Actually I'm still waiting for it to come back.

slope

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Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 05:43:01 pm »
Many many thanks for all your very helpful responses :thumbsup:

As a subsequence, I have spent a most enjoyable hour or so trying to identify the particular model of said Omega watch.

It was purchased used (£52 I think?), as a pressie from my late wife, from a wonderful jeweler/watchmakers "Deacons" in Marlborough, Wiltshire circa 1995. I so wish I could recall the name of the main gentle voiced man - the one who stripped and serviced the watch and genuinely guaranteed absolute satisfaction - he was the absolute antithesis of hard salesmanship - he genuinely worried about his customers - it was always such a joy to enter his shop.

Any road up, it seems me broken winder Omega is circa 1968-70? - a stainless steel cased Caliber 613. It's been in my sock and handkerchief drawer for the last 17 years unworn, until a couple of months ago when I decided I'd like to wear it again and wind it up every day. A pleasure that can't be over egged.

Have contacted some of your recommendations and am more than willing to spend way more than I anticipated on its repair and service.

Vive le forum :)


Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2020, 06:28:19 pm »
Mine is also a Genève model and was bought new in 1978.  It does have a slightly different face (silver and single batons) and a slightly different case, but the two are very similar.  Do get it repaired if you can!  Mine is in semi-retirement now but currently in use as my "replacement" watch parted company with the strap last week.  Turns out 21mm wide straps with a curved end are not exactly easy to find.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 06:52:22 pm »
Funnily enough mine is a Geneve as well.  It has a white face and gold case/numbers.  The stamp on the back says 1972 and I’ve got the original case and paperwork.  I think the service is costing about what it’s market value is.  I’m not selling, though.

Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 10:33:36 am »

Push the winder in, before it allows moisture in (that could damage the movement). ;)



slope

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Re: Mechanical watch repair/service mail order recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 05:23:00 pm »

Push the winder in, before it allows moisture in (that could damage the movement). ;)

Alas the winder has become disengaged and won't push back in :(

Have booked it in with https://watchguy.co.uk - and if I decide I can't wait I'll send it off to https://watchdoctors.co.uk/ (which rafletcher OFT suggested upthread)

Unsurprisingly Omega UK indicate a more expensive general service @£450 and of course there's the question of the repair and parts.

Any road up, I am willing and wanting to keep this watch going - for personal and aesthetic reasons. It ain't no collectors' item, but if it can be repaired I'm willing to sell a surplus bicycle frame, or two :o