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Independent El Primero Service Recommendations?

  1. bradurani Jan 3, 2021

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking for an independent watchmaker to service my mid-90s El Primero Rainbow Flyback in the USA. I will not pay the the factory service ransom cost. Crazy! If there's someone out there with good recommendations from the forum, let me know!

    Thanks!
     
  2. TexOmega Jan 3, 2021

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    From what part of the US are you hailing?

    Do you mind shipping your watch or do you want local?
     
  3. Dan S Jan 3, 2021

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    I had a modern-ish EP serviced by the factory authorized place once. Can’t remember the cost exactly but it wasn’t outrageous. $750 maybe?

    If you don’t expect to need parts, any good watchmaker should be able to do it. People who service Rolexes will be particularly familiar with them because of the EP Daytonas. Of course if you need parts, and you might, that can be an issue.
     
  4. bradurani Jan 3, 2021

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    California, but I don't mind shipping anywhere in the country. I just don't want to send it overseas.
     
    Thommas likes this.
  5. Medinatalzahra Jan 3, 2021

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    In California, an A385 that I purchased in 2020 was serviced by the seller at LA Watchworks. I know they are very familiar with Zenith El Primeros. For full disclosure, while I have had no issues with my service, I have heard of others with a different experience with LAW.

    As stated by @Dan S above, any experienced watchmaker familiar with Rolex should be able to handle an EP. The issue is just sourcing parts, as Rolex has been cracking down on allowing independents from accessing EP parts through parts accounts. So, they will often have to be sourced through the secondary market, which usually isn’t a big deal. M
     
  6. Medinatalzahra Jan 3, 2021

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    As a follow up, I have not heard of anyone on OF truly recommend an absolute “go-to” watchmaker for Zenith EPs, particularly vintage EPs.

    if other members have recommendations, I would be curious to hear them myself. Best! M
     
  7. bradurani Jan 4, 2021

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    While it is 25 years old, it seems like a simple job. I mean it runs fine, so it's not like I need to send it to a vintage restoration specialist or anything. I just need a routine movement service.
     
  8. chaw6125 Jan 4, 2021

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    I would try and find someone with a TAG Heuer parts account. The El Primero was extensively used by them as a "Caliber 36". They should be able to service it and source movement parts. The question is whether that is in breach of their account T&C's and if they would be willing to. I do hear that getting a TAG parts account is relatively easy compared to Rolex and Omega; and basically if you have either of those accounts LVMH are pretty much going to approve you. Having said all of that I think Zenith is also owned by LVMH so would think if you have an account for one you could get an account for the other. Would it be cheaper than a factory service? Not sure but hopefully it will point you in the right direction.
     
  9. janice&fred Jan 4, 2021

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    Tempvs Fvgit Homepage

    In Manhattan USA. They handle service and repair of complicated watches as well as the basic. Very reasonable prices and guaranteed work. They have unlimited access to hard to find parts for vintage watches. Contact them and see what they can do to help you out. :thumbsup:
     
    Medinatalzahra likes this.
  10. berlin90 Jan 10, 2021

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    Kelly Hunter at "art of the watch"...superb service but not less than Zenith, but really a treasure.
     
  11. georgeszaslavsky Apr 14, 2021

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    Bob Ridley from Watchmakers international