Forums Latest Members

A WARNING to anyone with a Vintage Longines watch (unfair Longines practices)

  1. ALiEN2108 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    22
    Likes
    17
    Dear Members,

    I have a Vintage Longines Watch from the 40s. Actually a Longines WWW Dirty Dozen Model. Very nice watch.

    My watch was missing a single part. A movement holder ring. An original part that usually costs around couple of EUR. Since I wanted to have my watch properly assembled (watch was otherwise fully functional and in great shape) I have tried to purchase that single part.

    No go #1...Longines only sells parts to their service centres. OK, no problem, I will send my watch there and get me the part.

    No go #2, this is an antique watch we have to send it back to Longines. I said OK, no problem, send it back, get me the part installed and that's it.

    After some time I hear back from the service center. Longines wanted to charge me >2500EUR for a restoration I DID NOT WANT OR NEED. They claimed it is "mandatory". Their original response:

    "Therefore, and as mentioned in our estimate, the required work on the movement is mandatory and essential to restore your timepiece in accordance with our high-quality standards. However, we propose the dial refurbishment and the strap replacement for quality and aesthetic reasons. These interventions are optional, and you are free to choose, if you would like to include them into the complete maintenance service or not."

    I again explained I want NOTHING to be done to the watch, but the missing part installed - the part is installed by opening the case, removing two screws and that's it. Nothing else!

    No go #3. They simply stated, we will "extort" you for whatever price we want, since if you do not comply, we refuse to either install or sell the part. Again their original response:

    "As previously mentioned and due to our policy, we do not sell or deliver individual spare parts directly to customers. Its replacement or repair is included in the restoration but cannot be sold separately."

    This is outrageous and against everything on a free market. I have never ever saw such arrogance and refusal from a company. Yes, I "do understand" they only want to work through "their" service partners and destroy all independent watch repair shops, but even this is not good enough. They simply want to have a privilege to dictate whatever price they feel to to charge thousands of EUR for an actual part worth maybe 20EUR.

    I now sincerely regret to buy a Longines watch and probably never ever will, but I do feel obliged to warn any potential "victim" to do the same mistake.

    Alen
     
    Edited Oct 19, 2022
    Ronstrous likes this.
  2. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    12,529
    Likes
    49,738
    I have three vintage Longines chronographs 1918, 1950s and 1970, in no case have the two watchmakers who have touched them needed to involve the factory. Longines now wants to service your watch properly. It’s what they do. In fact, they are one of the more sensitive/supportive firms when it comes to vintage collectors. We all know the positives and negatives of factory service. Find a watchmaker serving the collector community with a good parts network.
     
    Waltesefalcon, YYTIN, Syrte and 12 others like this.
  3. cristos71 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    7,155
    Likes
    32,935
    Well, whilst I of course appreciate your shock and disappointment, this is pretty common practice across the board with 'high end' watches and nothing not already discussed here many times before.

    Advice: find a independent WM with access to parts and let him sort it out

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. ALiEN2108 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    22
    Likes
    17
    Thank you all for the comments. I just want to warn anyone in my position that was not aware of such business practices.

    If you have any recommendation in EU (to avoid customs hassle) I will be grateful. I need a simple holder:
    longines.jpeg
     
  5. Dan S Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    18,778
    Likes
    43,202
    IMO, this is totally normal and standard, and in fact one might be grateful that Longines is even able to supply a part for an 80 year old watch. The only thing strange or unusual is your expectations.
     
    Fish70, watch3s, morethan1 and 16 others like this.
  6. ALiEN2108 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    22
    Likes
    17
    To be able to purchase a part and have it installed by an authorised service center is probably not deemed as a unusual expectation in my opinion.
     
    felsby, HunterJ, Caesar95 and 4 others like this.
  7. savka Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    363
    Likes
    1,030
    Welcome to the world of vintage watch servicing. As others have said, this is standard practice. Be glad you aren't dealing with Rolex.

    Good luck in your search of a trusted local watchmaker.
     
  8. RevZMan123 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    1,813
    Likes
    3,819
    They are just trying to maintain quality, though this is something that in the USA we are fighting with "Right to Repair" laws as companies like VW and John Deere have locked maintenance behind software that can only be factory accessed. There were also rumblings about companies not keeping parts around as long but then fighting 3rd parties trying to replicate said discontinued items.

    That being said, how many companies offer up for sale their own antique watches that they have meticulously repaired while using hand-written ledgers (if what they claim is true) to record these things? I mean, it does sort of explain why none of them are cheaper than the amount you stated.

    https://www.longines.com/en-us/watches/collectors-corner
     
    Edited Oct 19, 2022
    Waltesefalcon, krogerfoot and Larry S like this.
  9. S.H. Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    1,515
    Likes
    3,514
    That's (unfortunately but somewhat understandably) SOP for any watch repair centre.

    What is problematic IMHO is the flat out refusal to sell spare parts to anybody needing them. But most watch brands do this these days. I always think it is marginally illegal, but it is difficult to control and the general public don't even realize a service is regularly needed anyway. So, who cares in the real world?

    Find an independent willing to search for this kind of holder and adapt something but you may want to be really nice with him: rummaging around for parts is not fun and don't pay much.
     
    krogerfoot likes this.
  10. Dan S Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    18,778
    Likes
    43,202
    Actually, I have never heard of such a thing, where a factory service center will do piecemeal work like that. Can you tell us which factory service center has done something similar for you in the past, i.e. installed internal parts without doing a full service?
     
  11. bananapeanut Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    645
    Likes
    719
    I get your point in the sense that the holder is not exactly part of the movement and it's your choice if you don't want the movement serviced. Perhaps you can find a used holder if you can't buy a new one.
     
  12. krogerfoot Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    1,008
    Likes
    3,432
    This is good advice. Not to pile on, since I can sympathize with the OP’s disappointment and surprise, but my experience in creative fields makes me touchy about assertions about how much a part or a service “should” cost.
     
    Larry S likes this.
  13. watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    5,146
    Likes
    8,657
    Look, find an older Watchmaker and let him find that springloaded ring. It is actually not a movement holder , but a springloaded ring beetween the Mvmt and the Case with a cutout for the stem. Many other WWW watches used the same. And it is not Longines specific. I have somewhere maybe 30 of these rings for military watches.
     
  14. Deafboy His Holiness Puer Surdus Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    2,181
    Likes
    6,142
    What's the purpose of the ring? Push the movement towards the crystal?
     
  15. ALiEN2108 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    22
    Likes
    17
    I will of course look for alternative holder as suggested. Without the holder ring the movement can move around the watch itself, so it has to be there.
     
  16. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    2,680
    Likes
    4,609
    I wonder if the part you need is the same as those found in more common sei tacche references? If so, you could try buying a cheap example (see one from eBay below) and swapping the part into your watch. Good luck!

    upload_2022-10-19_14-57-41.png
     
  17. ALiEN2108 Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    22
    Likes
    17
    Thank you, actually I did that in the first place (before the whole Longines HQ saga).

    Found a Sei Tacche, bought it. Looks perfect...but....the outside diameter did not fit. The inside diameter was perfect, as it is the same movement 12.68z indeed, but it was too "thick" for the slot in the watch case. So it seems there were some kind of differences...What would really help is a measurement of a holder from an actual Longines WWW.

    Thank you for the hint!
     
    watchyouwant likes this.
  18. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    12,529
    Likes
    49,738
    Here is another point. A good vintage watchmaker does not need or very rarely needs your help sourcing/ purchasing parts. To me you are raising your cortisol levels for no reason.
     
    watch3s, aap, wagudc and 3 others like this.
  19. watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    5,146
    Likes
    8,657
    Allen, make it easier for yourself: with a good metal caliper, measure exactly your inner case diameter. And your movement outer diameter without the lip, balance side up. Let us know. Register at MWR and ask for help. These are your best chances, to get help for Peanuts. Good luck.
     
  20. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Oct 19, 2022

    Posts
    2,680
    Likes
    4,609
    Thank you for sharing this information.