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Advice regarding Audemars Piguet service proposal for "not so" Classique watch

  1. fbf Sep 18, 2019

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    sounds like a lot of dough for service/upgrade. Really depending on what you are doing with the watch. If you are planning to use it as a tool watch for a long long time, then i think the service/upgrade is warranted ; if you are keeping it as a "collectible" or hoping it to raise in value, then i would say no.
    btw. I do like the watch and i would want my watch to work regardless the condition.
     
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  2. Evitzee Sep 18, 2019

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    I think part of the balking here is price of repair. Never buy an AP, VC, PP or ALS and expect to pay Omega prices for after sale service. Just like Mercedes, BMW and Lexus repairs are higher than Ford or Toyota. That's how the system works. I think you are setting yourself up for frustration and time wasting by letting your local guy fiddle with it. If it makes you feel better you can always request AP send it to LeBrassus for the service. The best long term solution is to follow APs recommendation. Face the economic consequences and pay the bill.
     
    Edited Sep 18, 2019
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  3. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Sep 18, 2019

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    Pony up and pay the AP service/exchange route. Service of a AP was never going to be cheap ;)

    As you said it’s a beauty and a keeper. ( and a new movement has to be a bonus )
     
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  4. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    Originality is a driving factor and probably the biggest reason against the AP service for this watch more than cost. The rep stated they won't be returning the original caliber back to me. However, I do agree, a significantly upgraded caliber has it's own benefits, especially when the JLC 899 ebauch for the AP 2326 will beat at 28,800 A/h vs 21,600 A/h and has ceramic bearings, free sprung balance, and laser welded hairspring. The hairspring actually "popped out" and got tangled when I dropped this watch. But it was an easy fix though.
     
    Edited Sep 18, 2019
  5. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Sep 18, 2019

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    Are you aware that this is a modular chronograph movement? You mention that your watchmaker should be able to get parts for the JLC base movement, but if the problem is in the DD chronograph module, that may be a very different challenge. Again this is one of the drawbacks of these type of movements.

    Personally I would consider sending this to AP in Switzerland, rather than having it done here. Or at least make contact with AP in Switzerland and ask them if they would service this rather than replace it. Give the brand's history and reputation, then swapping out movements doesn't seem right to me personally.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  6. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    Yes, I am leaning towards your thinking. Even though it's double the cost for repair of the AP 2126/JLC 889 caliber vs the newer AP 2326/JLC 899 caliber, it probably will last twice as long as well. I will definitely be wearing this watch, so it's more function vs. sitting in my watch box for collecting. I agree with a watch from the 1980s that more people will be concerned with the last service history and service documents vs. originality. The 1980s were an interesting time for watchmakers and they churned out interesting timepieces, more for function/value than collectability. However, for an 80s child and many more 80s children becoming more interested in luxury, this AP Huitieme really appealed to me. I actually like a watch in 18k Yellow Gold in 40mm size.
     
  7. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    Nope. AP said I won't be getting the original caliber back.
     
  8. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    I agree. However, I am realizing that cost is no longer a big factor. I should have (and now have) come to terms that I would have needed to spend $1500 for AP Service/Maintenance on this watch sooner than later. Needing a repair was just a motivator to get this AP worked on instead of siting in my watch box wearing another watch. I've decided not to let my local watchmaker attempt a repair, because like Archer stated, it could be the Dubois Depraz module that has issues, as well as the JLC 889. Now I have to decide whether to let Clearwater work on this watch, or wait even longer to have it sent to LeBrassus, with possible additional costs?

    Like another poster stated. I might be getting a brand new upgraded caliber AP 2326 with all the functionality/longevity for only $500 more than the regular maintenance service, but losing the originality of this unique caliber and the history that goes with it.
     
  9. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    Hi Al,

    Thanks for bringing up the option of sending this watch to LeBrassus, I didn't realize this could be a worthwhile possibility. I will attempt to contact AP in Switzerland to see if this caliber is indeed able to be repaired, given the fact that something is broken, not just needing service. The concern was the AP estimate saying the "movement parts were not available anymore" for this caliber. I am even more torn whether or not to have it function as a wearable watch for the long-term or a delicate collectible timepiece that will mainly be sitting in my watch box.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with you that swapping out the movements (AND not being able to keep the original) doesn't feel right. This is one of those decisions where you look back 20 years later and slap yourself for having the dealer switch to new service dial and hands where original patina is what people want.
     
  10. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    So interesting update and insight to how AP Service works (in Clearwater, FL at least).

    I called AP (Clearwater, FL) again this morning in regards to how to contact Le Brassus (per Archer) for another estimate/quote on repair for the original AP 2126/2840 caliber in this AP Huitieme. She stated that she could contact the "master estimator" to breakdown the watch even further to give me a repair quote, which may be higher than the caliber replacement quote. The $1500 is just for regular maintenance on an AP chronograph. Then the AP rep stated that the estimate that was quoted for me, $1962 for replacing and partial service was already a highly preferential price. Caliber replacements can be $6k but AP tries to make it as beneficial as possible for owners to get their watch working again. If I choose to repair this caliber, I run the risk of needing to repair/replace this caliber in the future without the preferential pricing. She also confirmed with a "service director" that they are also going to replace BOTH the JLC 899 ebauche and the Dubois Depraz 2840 modular component.

    In terms of my originality and authenticity concerns; I won't be getting my original 2126/2840 caliber back. AP doesn't want loose movements floating around. However, the new movement serial number will be updated with the case back number for my watch in the AP Registry. She will get back to me whether or not I would be able to receive documents to confirm this or need to pay the cost of an Extract of Archives.

    Seems like AP Service would really rather do a movement swap than repair, even if I wanted to send this watch to Le Brassus. Value for me seems to be obvious, new caliber at a preferential price. Value for AP seems obvious too, use a readily available caliber, instead of investing time in finding parts and disassembling a complicated modular movement. At least there would be a service history and AP Registry history of having my AP Huitieme being retrofitted with a new movement and serial number. Unfortunately, this would be permanent.
     
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  11. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Sep 18, 2019

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    So it sounds like parts may still be available after all then? It now appears that they were giving you misleading information in an attempt to make this swap, and now are adding on more pressure twasctics to convince you.

    To be honest, this whole thing would leave a very bad taste in my mouth as a customer. Here is the contact information for Europe, including Switzerland:

    +41 21 642 32 66

    [email protected]

    I would tell them about this whole experience, and see what they say. All you want is to have the original movement in this watch repaired, and for a company with this history and being part of the big three, they should not be coercing you into swapping movements.

    Note that under the FAQ, they also say this:

    "How can I restore a vintage Audemars Piguet timepiece?

    We invite you to drop off your timepiece to an Audemars Piguet boutique, repair center or authorized retailer. We will then send it to our restoration workshop in Le Brassus."

    My guess is that this would be considered vintage.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  12. lucreative Sep 18, 2019

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    Sigh...I think my current thinking is leaning towards your "watch enthusiast in the modern ear" thinking. I really love this watch, intend on keeping this watch, and wear it often enough. While repairing (which is become more like restoring) this "vintage" piece is the classical and more desirable option, I feel AP Service in Le Brassus will charge me a ridiculous amount over the normal $1,300 maintenance service fee +270 water resistance on this non-ROO chronograph.

    I want to go with AP Service, but even at the same costs for the repair I am still leaning towards retrofitting the watch with the newer movement for future proofing and future AP Service and peace of mind that my watch is running more efficiently with newer technology. I guess I'm not a purist. But then again, this AP Huitieme was never a pure dress watch/sports chrono/classical watch to begin with. It's straight from the 80's era that has a somewhat niche following...
     
    Edited Sep 19, 2019
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  13. lucreative Nov 27, 2019

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    YMMV, but I wanted to give a quick update regarding my AP Service after finally receiving my watch back from APSC Clearwater.

    It took just over a month to get my timepiece back after the retrofit to the new caliber AP 2326/2840. But I have to say it's running well and overall I am pleased with AP Service. However, there were a few hiccups along the way. AP had to send me THREE different Extract of Archives to correct mistakes regarding matching the case back serial with the new movement serial with the new caliber number. The first two times some of the info was incorrect so they had to send me a new Extract of Archives (each time with next day FedEx). Finally, a representative called me to explain how AP Registry recorded previous data and how they resolved this issue with the correct Extract. This was actually very concerning since having the correct AP Registry info was vital when replacing the caliber/movement serial in my timepiece for future service/historical accuracy. Second, the person assigned to send my timepiece back stated by phone I would be receiving a new AP strap and 18k buckle (even though I never ordered one). However, she was incorrect and this was not the case. Another representative had to call me back to explain that the person who had my watch mistook my original strap and old buckle as new AP parts. This was a bigger issue than it seems because I thought AP would replace these parts as part of the service cost quote. Third, when I did order a new AP 18k 18mm Gold Buckle (the clientcare representative was able to offer a 10% discount) they failed to check their parts inventory beforehand and the piece was backordered from Le Brassus. I actually fully paid for the buckle, expecting it to arrive next day, however the part was still in production and AP Clearwater didn't know when it would be sent. After another month, I finally asked AP for a refund for the buckle since I didn't like the idea of +$550 floating without knowing when I would receive a simple item (especially when I was told the part was available and I would receive it in a few days).

    Finally, the same representative (Adam, who was extremely professional and courteous) called me to say that they were apologetic about all the mishaps, incorrect information, and being patient with requests and this was out of the ordinary for AP Service. He was able to escalate all my issues with upper management at AP and he was able to "gift" me the AP 18k !8mm Gold Buckle that I had originally purchased (+550 swag). I know my AP Service experience could be "out of the ordinary", but I also know that many faced some similar frustrations. However, through all this I must admit AP in Clearwater has communicated very professionally and courteously (at least Adam and Norma) and they attempted to make up for the issues that I faced.
     
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  14. alphabeta81 Nov 30, 2019

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    That is quite the journey. Sorry to hear it was a mess but glad to hear it all ended well.

    What speaks volumes, though, is AP replying quickly and handling it as they did to make sure in the end they got it right. I have had great experiences with Clearwater, both in terms of communication and turnaround time.
     
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  15. narun Jul 7, 2023

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    It's been a while since OP has his huitieme chronograph serviced at AP Clearwater. If it is possible, may I please ask how has the watch been since then? I am contemplating getting the exact same model but at a price considerably higher than what you paid. I am quoted around $9,900, no box or paper (saying a lot about the post-Covid inflated watch market). I am interested in the watch for exact same reason as I was also born in the 80s. Do you think the watch is worth it? If you think the quote is out of line, please do let me know. That'd be really appreciated. Thank you very much!
     
  16. YY77 Jul 7, 2023

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    You might not get an answer, OP hasn't been around in over 1 year:

    Screenshot_20230707-171823~2.png
     
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  17. lucreative Oct 2, 2023

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    I'm back! Been way over a year since I purchased another timepiece, also a testament to post-covid prices, but now I'm starting to look around markets to see how things have been.
     
  18. lucreative Oct 2, 2023

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    It's been a great watch so far after the service by AP. It's a strong movement before and after the retrofit. The value really depends on whether or not you want to risk a movement that is no longer serviced by AP or you want to collect it for originality. You have to factor in that AP charged me around $2k to replace the movement instead of servicing it. HOWEVER, the best reasons I love this AP Huitieme is that you are getting a Royal Oak Offshore movement in a smaller dress watch size package and if you want, in heavy solid gold. It's very classy and I can wear to special occasions (thin and fits underneath a cuff), or even casually since it's a larger sportier 40mm size. The quoted price isn't unreasonable, since if this Hutieme is working, then you have to add $2k on top of the price I paid for mine.
     
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  19. 80H-d Nov 10, 2023

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    I just got a tantalum example of this same model a couple months ago. Now probably facing the same decision.

    - it is running out of power quickly
    - running the chrono will stop the whole movement after a few minutes
    - half the time the quick-set date position of the crown just lets it spin freely
    - setting the time forwards feels a twisty resistance like I'm going to snap the crown
    - setting the time backwards does not move the hands but instead produces a clicky grindy feeling

    Would you still choose the upgraded movement if you had it to do over?
     
    AP Chronograph 2.jpg
  20. lucreative Nov 10, 2023

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    Maybe, maybe not for historical purposes. But this is a modern watch by vintage standards. So keeping the actual original movement may not be an issue. I was able to have AP send me a new archive of records that showed my watch has the newer movement with the retrofit. Maybe a watchmaker can fix those issues. However, the movement is hard to fix since it's an JLC movement with a DP chrono. If you send it to AP to service, then they may not service it if they need to fix a part. Instead, they will offer to replace the movement with the upgraded one that they can fix later.