Whether it’s an antique family heirloom pocket watch or the latest Apple Watch, you’ll want to have it looked after by someone who can handle delicate components and keep your timepiece looking its best. A full-service horologist should be able to diagnose your watch, tell you how much it will cost to fix, and work with you to get the job done quickly and at a fair price.
The AWCI (American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute) recommends that mechanical watches receive a full service every four to five years. But, as anyone who owns a luxury watch knows, it’s not easy to find the right person for the job.
While the majority of horologists specialize in particular brands, there are a few shops that can tackle any repair job and do it well. These places have become known for their quality of work and attention to detail. They can polish away scratches, dents and tarnish on your watch, restoring its original shine. They can also replace a damaged or worn out battery and repair bracelet links. Some even offer a variety of replacement straps.
When choosing a shop for your watch, you’ll want to look for a place that offers free estimates. Then, you can compare the costs with other shops in your area and decide which one is best for you.
Before you bring your watch in for repair, make sure the shop has pictures of their workshop. It’s not uncommon for watchmakers to do repairs in a separate space from where they meet with customers, but they should be willing to show you the space and explain what kind of work they do there.
If you’re in the market for a full-service, be prepared to shell out a fair amount. That’s because a horologist will need to open up your watch, examine the movement and any gaskets, and replace any parts that have gone bad. It’s like servicing a vintage car, says Ben Clymer, the founder of the watch-news site Hodinkee. He brought a 1950s Heuer Camaro into Grand Central Watch, a Brooklyn repair shop, for a full overhaul and got it back in four months.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should only have your watch repaired by a TAG Heuer authorized store or certified workshop. Having your watch serviced by a non-authorized place could damage it and void your warranty. Watch repair near me