My watch dealer Raffi (who took a link out of my Seiko SUN019 today) explained that he sends automatic watches to an authorized tech who charges about $200 for a basic service on a Swiss ETA. Chronos can cost a lot more, around $350 or so. The waiting time is 3 weeks. These ETA movements sometimes need a service only 3 years but he's seen 8-year periods. In contrast, he says in his experience Japanese movements last longer. He has customers with Seiko 5s, for example, who have never done anything to their watches in over 15 years.
While the cost and incovenience of servicing a automatic watch puts me off somewhat, I own and love my four automatic watches, a Seiko SRP307, Orient Saturation Diver, Benarus Moray Dart, and Seiko Sumo. I feel confident that the movements will last me a long time before I need to service them.
I've been thinking about service costs lately because I love the style of the Zixen Nitrox LS with the stainless steel bezel, the same Zixen Jonny owns. But I'm afraid of that Swiss ETA movement. It's failry ubiquitous. You'll find it on Hamilton, Oris, and many others.
For my next watch fix, I may be looking at a Citizen Attesa or Citizen Promaster Fly. We shall see. And lest I forget, I will be getting a Benarus (with Miyota movement) Megalodon with carbon dial and stainless steel bezel sometime in 2015.