Watches are delicate precision instruments that rely on tiny moving parts to keep ticking. If yours stop, it’s important to find a good watch repair shop near you. Unlike modern cars, which you can plug into and get diagnostics on, mechanical watches are small enough that mechanics often need to disassemble them in order to figure out what’s wrong. This is called a full service, and it can cost more than you might think — especially if your vintage watch is in rough shape to begin with.
While some shops specialize in certain types of watches (Rolex-accredited shops are a must for your $5,000 Rolex), others take on all manner of timepieces, from the most basic to the ultra-rare. Some shops even polish and restore the external part of your watch, getting rid of scratches and dents and restoring brightness and shine.
If you need a battery replacement, the most common repair that many customers have to make, check out this list of CHANEL boutiques and authorized watch workshops (watches must be in perfect condition before a replacement can be made). If your watch is a bit more of a special piece, though, you’ll need to look for a horologist who is skilled at fixing your particular brand of watch.
With the right watchmaker, a full service for your timepiece shouldn’t be too expensive — or too difficult. “If you’re lucky, it will only need to be fully serviced every 10 years,” says Ben Clymer, founder of watch-news site Hodinkee. That means taking it apart, examining the parts, and replacing the gaskets and oils that make the thing work.
A full service usually runs around $300 or so, Clymer says. It’s more than you might expect to spend, but “if it only has to be done once, then a full service is the only way to go,” he adds.
You can also try the Watchmaking Project, which has a reputation for being friendly, honest and inexpensive. Managing director Henry Ly emails customers photos of their watch’s inner workings laid out, with highlighted notes explaining what needs to be fixed or replaced. He’s worked on Patek Philippes, Rolexes and an Audemars Piguet, and says he can repair most watches while you wait.
This cluttered little shop in midtown gets great reviews from Yelpers for its speed and affordability. Its a little hard to fit more than two people into the place, so be prepared to wait if you’re stopping by for a simple battery change (usually $7 or less). They also offer other repairs and polishing services. Watch repair near me