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  1. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 1, 2020

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    Curious what people are paying (doesn't matter where, can convert currency as needed) for servicing? I've got a few options where I am (Canada), some higher than others, so just wanting to get a sense of acceptable range out there. Reputation of servicer matters more to me, but always nice to know when you might be getting hosed...
     
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  2. Scarecrow Boat

    Scarecrow Boat Aug 1, 2020

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    If you search the forum with the key word “service cost” and check the box to search titles, you’ll see an overwhelming result
     
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  3. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Aug 1, 2020

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    What watch ? Chrono, date, three handed ? New, old ?

    Makes a big difference.

    I would go by reputation more than cost Or waiting times myself.
     
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  4. Canuck

    Canuck Aug 1, 2020

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    This is an international forum. I can’t believe the prices some people say they are paying in Europe, for servicing what sounds to me like fairly ordinary, simple, time only watches. You say you have several options. If you have a particular watch in mind, get quotes. I am certain you will find prices in Canada tend to be very favourable when compared to what some folks say they are paying. But talk to the technician who will do the job.
     
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  5. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 1, 2020

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    I figure there's a balance between reputation and cost that could in theory get me to where I need to be - some of the costs I've heard are so high that one might as well just buy a new watch and have some left over for the price of a service.

    Fair point on the type of watch - 1968 Omega Seamaster ref. 166.032 cal. 752.
     
  6. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 1, 2020

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    Yeah some of what I'm hearing on international prices makes me choke. I've reached out to a couple where I am (Alberta) but haven't heard back yet. Just doing a bit of digging in the hopes of having a benchmark for when I do hear back.
     
  7. Canuck

    Canuck Aug 1, 2020

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  8. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 1, 2020

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    Fair enough - I should have clarified in the original post - no major restoration or replacement parts necessary. This is just a standard tuning on what is a watch in good condition. As a matter of principle, proportionality should matter at some level (at least for those watches that are in good condition and don't need top to bottom overhaul). Seems a bit crazy to buy a car for $1,000 only to pay $2,000 every few years to keep it on the road...
     
  9. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 1, 2020

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    Obviously there's an element of buyer beware in there.... A person has gotta know what they are getting too.
     
  10. S.H.

    S.H. Aug 2, 2020

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    Yeah, you also wouldn't believe what we pay back to the state in various taxes. That's why it is not really useful to benchmark internationally, without even talking about the precise location (NYC prices are expected to be different from a Texas backwater town) or the work involved.

    Not really... repair work is repair work, regardless of the repaired object value. It is up to the client to determine the real value of his object, be it a car, a watch, ... "Market value" is a very narrow parameter.
     
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  11. Canuck

    Canuck Aug 2, 2020

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    Does @alkearl believe that the mechanic should look at the $1,000 car, prepare an estimate for the repairs required, then adjust his price downward accordingly, because “it is only a $1,000 car”? It just doesn’t work that way! If you want the dam thing fixed, and you’ve found someone who can fix it, do you like the dam thing well enough to pay the price to have him fix it, or no? What is the old saying about “getting off the pot”?
     
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  12. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 2, 2020

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    Perhaps this train has gotten off the rails somewhat. The rather simple point I was getting with my original benchmarking query was basically that if you have a choice of multiple watchmakers, why would you pay one of them 3x the price of another to do the same work. Hence trying to gather a few data points (I figured some domestic owners would weigh in as well and provide some points closer to home). To the point of "getting off the pot", there's something to be said for which pot you sit on in the first place, which is what I was after originally. Best to keep out of the other philosophical rabbit holes when they aren't particularly relevant to what I was looking to figure in the first place
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Aug 2, 2020

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    In my original reply, I said something about getting several quotes on the job you want done, and go with the quote you like. Simple as that! It appears that there are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear.
     
  14. Donn Chambers

    Donn Chambers Aug 2, 2020

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    The question is, are you sure all the watchmakers are going to do the same quality of work? I’ve seen examples of watches that were “serviced” recently by a “watchmaker” that looked like they had never been touched — there were still rusty parts, gaskets were old and brittle, parts were worn and should have been replaced. Some service estimates are low because the watchmaker merely makes sure the watch is keeping time and maybe puts some oil in easy to reach places. This is hardly a service.

    At the same time, you may deal with a jeweler who handles the dealing with the watchmaker and adds to the price, jacking the cost up.

    you really have to make sure you know what is being done in the “service” when comparing prices — complete disassembly, cleaning, replacing worn parts and gaskets, then reassembly. Then I’d go by the reputation of the watchmaker. Frankly, I’m willing to pay more for someone who has a stellar reputation than someone who doesn’t.
     
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  15. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Aug 2, 2020

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    The problem with this scenario is it's not very typical that "no" parts are required. For starters, any competent watchmaker is going to replace the mainspring in the watch, and I've paid anywhere from $10 to $100 for a single mainspring. It's rare that a vintage watch crosses my bench and doesn't need at least a few parts replaced, and often many parts replaced. Those parts are getting more expensive all the time, as Omega has been raising prices for parts at an incredibly fast rate over the last 2-3 years. Using mainsprings as an example all Omega mainsprings used to be the same price, whether vintage or modern. Now all vintage springs are about 1/3 more than springs for modern watches, and this just happened within the last year or so. Another recent example is the winding wheel (reversing wheel) on the Omega Cal. 1010 series...these tripled in price in the last year...

    And speaking as a watchmaker, when someone brings me any watch to service, I give them my pricing and what the watch is worth is not a consideration at all on my end. The value of the watch doesn't change the work required to service and repair it.

    I could have two customers bring the same vintage watch to me for service, and one will say it's too much because he just bought it, and the other will not care about the cost since it was his father's or grandfather's watch. It's not up to me to decide if people value the watch enough to pay the prices I charge for service, I just charge what I charge and they decide form there. If they decide it's not worth it, I'm fine with that.

    The most important thing is to speak with the person doing the work, and ask them what they do and don't do. Any price comparisons without a firm understanding of the actual work that will be done, are pretty useless.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  16. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 2, 2020

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    @Canuck and I certainly appreciate the thought in the first reply. Not to worry, a few particularly helpful members and their DMs about what was paid, their experience and some useful other info has given me enough data to situate myself and base some expectations. Thanks all.
     
  17. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 2, 2020

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    Very well said. Context is also a key determinant.
     
  18. Syrte

    Syrte Aug 2, 2020

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    The answer completely depends on which country you are in and whether you’re in a rural area or a big city.
    In the country where I live service costs can range from 100 euros to 350 euros for a time only movement which needs only a plain service - dissassemble, clean, oil and regulate.
    This does not include special repairs, part replacement etc.

    Some people in metropolitan areas of the US seem to consider 350 euros like a baseline cost.

    People in eastern europe can get a watch serviced by a competent watchmaker for 20 euros.

    Since you used the baseball idiom « ballpark » we have to assume you’re american but you should not assume the rest of us is the same.
     
  19. padders

    padders Aug 2, 2020

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    It is in the nature of servicing mechanical watches that for the lower value specimens, the service cost may be a significant proportion of the value of the piece. I have a 166.032, it cost me circa £200 to get it serviced last year*. When running well, these are worth maybe £600 so it cost me a third of its value. What happens when the watch is only worth £200-300, do you just not bother or realise that ongoing service cost is a necessary factor with watches like these?

    *YMMV may vary of course depending on parts needed as already noted above. Were you to take such a vintage piece to Omega I would reckon on spending pretty much the full value of the watch to service it or quite possibly more.
     
  20. alkearl

    alkearl Aug 2, 2020

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    Not American, but will rightfully admit to regularly mixing the Queen's English with a fair amount of American idioms. Allegiance and geography in constant battle