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November 05, 2010

Comments

Ed

Anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Shawn Patrick

My $10 watch works perfect after 10 years. The band itself was replaced and the battery (3 for a $1 at Dollar tree) and that's it.

Funny with watches, the more expensive ones seem to be the ones that are the most inaccurate.

Anyhow, I don't wear a watch for fashion, but to do it's job, tell the time.

Jesse Menn

I know when I was buying my watch through my watch-dealing friend, he gave it to me at what they pay -- roughly 80% off retail. He said any normal store, walk in, ask for 75% off, expect 60%.

DanHL

I wouldn't use any of the establishments you mentioned if they are that unfamiliar with a Seiko Monster (other than the skx007, the Monster is the most iconic Seiko dive watch of all time). I'd suggest asking for a repair shop recommendation on the Watchuseek Seiko forum.

The only repair shop I am familiar with is Nesbit's in Seattle. They are an official Omega repair shop, not sure if they work on Seikos though.

David

Hey Jeff... If I ever need service for my auto, I'll be going to MotorCity WatchWorks. (I've read good things about them on the watch forums.)

http://www.motorcitywatchworks.com/index.html

All their rates are on the service page. The rate for movement service starts at $95, while regulating the movement is just $30.

Jeffrey McMahon

Thanks, Dave. My friend recommends, for those of who live in Torrance, Timex Watch repair, on Artesia and Crenshaw: 310. 324-8692. He says the price is right and the work is also.

Tom Welch

I bought a cheap Casio watch < than $25 last year, runs great.

Angelo

I carry my Blackberry or a cell phone all the time----so my watches are not for me to know the time, they're for fashion. I have a nice Movado and some less expensive watches, including a vintage Seiko. As for mainspring watches----when my wife was alive, I took her Rolex in (a gift from her Dad for finishing law school) and the service was around $1000.00. That included a new crystal, cleaning, adjustments, etc.

Seth

I have a Casio that cost me $35 that keeps perfect time and doesn't require... blah blah blah. Some folks like mechanical watches that don't run on electricity. Such watches have more than a cheap circuit board inside. They have precise gears and rotors with tiny rubies as super hard low friction bearings. And many of these watches have sapphire crystals because sapphire is nearly has hard as diamond and doesn't scratch like mineral glass.

That said, I think some service centers charge a lot because people who buy very expensive watches can afford to have a-list luxurious service for what may become a family heirloom. You can't have just anyone cracking open your multi-thousand dollar watch. Personally, I'm shopping for my first automatic in the $200 range, so these service prices seem really high to me, but I get the appeal of a well made all mechanical time piece.

Marcus Cross1

The local watchmaker here in central Iowa charges around $100 for a full service on a mechanical watch. If you like your everyday cheapo $10 quartz that you can pick up at any Wal-Mart, that's up to you, I suppose. Quartzes *are* among the most accurate of watches (the vibrations of a quartz crystal with 1.5 volts running through it are ALWAYS the same - a law of physics - so they're very predictable vs. a mechanical whose timekeeping is minutely affected by heat, humidity, gravity, and other factors) but cheap quartzes aren't worth repairing if they stop working - most cost PENNIES to build in the first place, most don't have jeweled bearing surfaces, and are really only designed to last a limited amount of time. If one lasted more than a decade in your care, you're doing very well. Cleaning it will make it last longer, but it will still wear out eventually. Conversely, a mechanical watch is designed to last a lifetime, and there's a LOAD of engineering that went into their design. A *good* mechanical has jeweled bearing surfaces that never wear out, although even those that don't have them still function well even after more than 1/2 a century of use as long as they're kept in good repair. They get dirty, and need cleaning and oiling every few years - this is called a "servicing" and what I refer to above. On occasion a mechanical will need a bit more work than just cleaning and oiling, and that will cost more. I'm a hobbyist in the horology field and do much of my own servicing, except on those pieces which are extremely valuable - I won't trust my own hands to do those, and am more than happy to trust a watchmaker to service them for me. It costs more, but it's worth it. It's more than possible to accidentally damage a watch while you have it disassembled for servicing (I've done it myself on pieces that I've serviced on my own), or even lose one of the practically microscopic parts - that's what watchmakers have insurance for. Certain high dollar watch brands like Omega, Rolex, Breitling, Patek Phillipe, etc., cost more to service than others. Even though the service is basically the same, the parts cost MUCH more to acquire in the event of an accident, therefore the insurance is higher. That's what you're paying $400 to service a Rolex for - the watchmaker's skill to service such a high dollar watch correctly without damaging things, and in the event of an accident, the expensive insurance that makes sure you get your timepiece back in good working order with the proper parts without paying extra. Quartzes are okay, as long as you don't care about the work that went into them - most that you find cheap at Wal-Mart and places like it are made in China by 12 year olds in a sweatshop with no sense of quality control. Casio, Seiko, Swatch, Timex and a few others make their own quality quartz movements, and plenty of others source their quartz movements from other companies that make quality movements - for example, Citizen/Bulova buys their quartz movements from Miyota, a Japan movement manufacturer known for good quality watch movements - many of these higher quality quartz movements even have some jeweled bearing surfaces in them, but you pay more for those. You get what you pay for. Cheap $10 Wal-Mart watches are never worth fixing - I've seen TONS of them. If I throw one of those in the ultrasonic cleaner and then put a battery in it and it still doesn't work - it's parts fodder. It's not worth my time to tear it apart and find out what's wrong with it. If it's someone else's watch I'm working on, or if it's mine and I like it enough, I'll just buy a new movement for it for a few bucks and change it over. A good mechanical, on the other hand, is like a tank in comparison. There are some less expensive ones out there, but a mechanical is usually worth fixing in the event there's something wrong with it. Properly serviced, a good mechanical timepiece can become an heirloom and last more than a century. There's a reason there are pocket/fob watches from the 1800s still around and in running condition. Good luck achieving that record with a quartz.

erik strada

Let's forget $10 Walmart watches. A decent quartz Seiko costing $100 will last several lifetimes with nothing more than a $3 battery every 5 years. Mechanicals haven't a single monetary or functional advantage over a decent quartz watch. To believe otherwise is fooling kidding yourself.

Angelo

Eric: You're right in what you say. A good Seiko or any premium quartz is more accurate than a mechanical and much less troublesome. But I think people buy watches for other reasons. If you're a collector----sometimes you get into factors that transcend function. There is something about the movement of a mechanical watch that has a "romance" to it that a quartz doesn't have. Don't get me wrong---if I can only pick one type, it would be a good quartz. But if you are a collector, you can have it all.

Jim

Eric, stop being such a troll. Reliability of a Bentley is under question, repair costs are outrageous. Toyota Tacoma is known to run 400,000 with just a good oil change.

People don't own a Bentley for function. The craftsmanship, hand assembled monster of an engine, prestige and uniqueness are its true qualities. And if you happen to own one, you will pass it down. Same can be said of classic cars.

Koimaster

http://www.cwrnh.com/techpages/Watchcleaning.htm

It will cost you at least $100 to have a complete service for any mechanical watch in most places. I had two Seiko 6309 watches serviced recently and the cost per watch was $180.00 but for that I get to have a watch I like act as new for another 5-8 years.

Higher end watches can cost well over $500 to service. I had one of my Maurice Lacroix watches serviced last year at the cost of $600 plus it had to be shipped off to the service center. Same with a couple of other watches I own. You get what you pay for.

Bagpipe Mike

My 1980 Seiko auto dive watch 6309 movement has been running nonstop for 35 years. Only in the last two years or so has it been losing a few mins per week. I think I'll get it lubed & cleaned. Hard to beat. I've had quotes from $70-$250 for a routine clean & lube. I'll go as high as a hundred just for sentimental value. Still love it & it still looks good. A little banged up, like me.

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