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Thread: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

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  1. #1
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    Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    Hello.

    My parents both have 2 older Rolexes purchased in the 80's and are both in need of a service. Their financial situation now isn’t what it used to be so servicing their Rolex at ROLEX is a little out of their price range.

    If they go to a local qualified watch maker they can get a movement service done (its all that is needed) for a fraction of what it would costs for ROLEX base price for a 'overhaul'.

    What are you paying for when you send it to ROLEX for the service? how come it is so much more expensive?

    - Does ROLEX re-COSC certify it after the movement is cleaned and is that where the added cost comes in?
    - Does a cleaning drastically change the precision of the movement to justify getting it recertified?

    thanks.
    Last edited by tpd80; November 14th, 2011 at 05:00.

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    Member Taswell's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by tpd80 View Post
    What are you paying for when you send it to ROLEX for the service? how come it is so much more expensive?
    Does your local watchmaker have a multi-million dollar sponsorship program for golf, tennis, motor racing , skiing, equestrian sports and offshore yachting?
    Do they also heavily sponsor expeditions and the arts?
    Do they have a muti-million dollar annual marketing budget?
    My watchmaker doesn't and I suspect that's a contributing factor in his ability to provide reasonably priced service.
    Doug507 and Darwin like this.

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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taswell View Post
    Does your local watchmaker have a multi-million dollar sponsorship program for golf, tennis, motor racing , skiing, equestrian sports and offshore yachting?
    Do they also heavily sponsor expeditions and the arts?
    Do they have a muti-million dollar annual marketing budget?
    My watchmaker doesn't and I suspect that's a contributing factor in his ability to provide reasonably priced service.
    So basically your saying the added cost the customer pays is nothing the consumer can reap?

    Does the ROLEX service center recertify the movement after its been overhauled?
    Is certification necessary?

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    Member allaction's Avatar
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    The main reason to go direct to Rolex I would think is parts as not all independants will have access to official parts. My local uk Rolex dealer is certified to service them on site. Far cheaper and quicker turnaround. Also he gives s two year warranty.

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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    Rolex service = Rolex parts and Rolex 2 year warranty. If you're planning to sell the watch on, potential buyers like to see the Rolex warranty card and you can charge a small premium for having it
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    Rolex Submariner 114060, Rolex Explorer II 216570, Omega Speedmaster Pro 3570.50
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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    Good information.

    I think ill recommend my parents not to send to Rolex because they just need a cleaning.

    Lastly, no one has confirmed if Rolex gets the watch re-certified (COSC) after the overhaul... does anyone know if they do this? that could account for part of the price difference.

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    Member Dr. Robert's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    I don't think the corp. RSC's have the equipment to COSC the watches they service & the watch wouldn't be sent back to Switz.
    If you can find an independent watchmaker w/ Rolex certification & a Rolex parts account, you're good to go....the Rolex movts. are not impossible to service.
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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    They don't re-COSC the mov'ts, but they will regulate them and they will keep great time. If you can get the name of a good independent watchmaker, and you trust them I hope it works out to be cheaper for you.
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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    It will be less expensive to use an independent, but I concur with the recommendation that you find one with a Rolex parts ac..... At least in the USA, a watchmaker with permission to buy parts from Rolex has been inspected by Rolex to assure more than a minimal amount of technical expertise and facility maintance in order to represent the Rolex line, at least insofar as repairs are concerned.

    If indeed it's just time for a 'routine' service, then expect the same outcome, but with lesser cost. In the USA, a watch sent to Rolex repair gets passed off from one technician to another on task specific work with the 'senior' watchmaker finally looking at the watch at the end of the process and seeing if it passes muster. When you work with an individual, then you are likely to have the same person working start to finish who has to assure expertise and customer satisfaction. If I needed authentication or a dial or bracelet, then the Rolex RSC is my choice...but for routine service, I have and use an independent.

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    Re: Rolex service center vs independents - how do they differ and what are you really paying for?

    I have used Rolex service center in NYC about five times and my local AD who has a Rolex certified watchmaker one time. The service was excellent at both places and the cost was not significantly different. Rolex gives a one year warranty following service and so does my local AD. If your watch does not come back looking better than the day tou bought it then you should have used Rolex. Whoever you send the watch to you should be sure that they will be using 100% new Rolex parts.

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