Watch Servicing

If your watch runs erratically or doesn’t keep good time, it most likely needs to be cleaned and oiled. One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How often should a watch be serviced?” Most manufacturers recommend having a watch serviced every five years. Batteries are usually replaced in 3-4 weeks, but services take longer. How long depends on the work that needs to be done and the complexity of the watch.

There are different oils used in wristwatches. When oil dries up, parts will wear and timekeeping will suffer. The seals that ensure water resistance are the other main reason to get your watch serviced. As a rule, water and watches don’t mix. Even the smallest amount of water inside your watch can cause major damage – never assume it will just dry out and be fine. Rust can start forming inside a watch within a few days; letting it sit could severely damage your watch. The final cost of the repair will depend on how severe the water damage is. The first sign of water ingress is usually the glass fogging up. The usual watch servicing steps are disassembly, cleaning, reassembly and then testing. Once a watch has passed the testing stage, it can be released back to the owner.

Customers often ask if repairs can be undertaken without committing to a full service – generally, this is not possible. If a bracelet or bezel repair is called for, those jobs can usually be completed without the need for a full service, although as soon as the case has been opened a full service is almost always required. Without disassembly, dirt in the jewels and mainspring barrel stays in place as it has no way to get out. Customers often assume that a quartz watch will require less servicing than a mechanical watch – this is not the case. Most quartz watches contain about 90% mechanical parts and require the same care and attention as any automatic watch. Batteries are always best replaced by the manufacturer; not all batteries are made equal and the gaskets will be replaced at the same time. A full service on a quartz watch includes the cost of the new battery.

We also undertake the servicing of clocks, vintage watches and pocket watches. Sometimes vintage parts have to be sourced or re-manufactured, which can take time, although when it comes to a treasured possession, it is usually worth the wait.