Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?
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  1. #1
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    Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Hi all,
    My mother dug this late 1800s 14k Elgin pocket watch out of her dresser the other day and gave it to me. It was apparently assembled by a distant paternal relative of hers.

    I took it to my local AWCI watchmaker (who — see previous post about a recently serviced and fogged Rolex of mine in this forum — has left a bad taste in my mouth) and told me that it had a tangled hairspring and quoted me minimum of $500 to repair. I’ve thought about sending it to Vortic Watches in Colorado for repair: they’re $400, and seem to be well-reputed.

    Historically, what should a repair like this cost, and where would y’all send it to get fixed up?

    Apologies for the pics attached not being super high quality. Best regards to all.




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  2. #2
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Do you have less arty pictures which show the watch movement?
    RCol likes this.


  3. #3
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Check with Jason at "The Tick Tock Shop" in Santa Clara, CA., prices vary due to location.
    RCol likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    Do you have less arty pictures which show the watch movement?
    Best I can do right now.



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  6. #5
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Perfect
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  7. #6
    Member bamadadof3's Avatar
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Hairspring doesn’t look that bad to me. Unless it has LOTS of sentimental value I personally wouldn’t spend a lot of money fixing it. Its a 7-11 jewel low grade movement that you can still find parts movements pretty easily on ebay. If the case is actually 14k solid thats where your value will come from here not the movement itself.


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  8. #7
    Member bamadadof3's Avatar
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    After looking it up is a 6 size 7 jewel movement produced around 1897 . Be very careful sinking any money in it my friend.


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  9. #8
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by bamadadof3 View Post
    After looking it up is a 6 size 7 jewel movement produced around 1897 . Be very careful sinking any money in it my friend.


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    I mean, it’s a piece of family history. Why would putting money into it be potentially inadvisable?


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  10. #9
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    I think the guy who told you $500 minimum was telling you he doesn't want your business. Even $400 seems REALLY steep.

    WRT value, it depends on whether this watch means anything to you. If it's just something you're planning to sell, then you won't get the money back that you put into it. If it means something to you as an heirloom, something an ancestor owned, then the repair price: market value ratio is meaningless.
    RCol likes this.
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  11. #10
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Estimate of Repair Price; Suggestions on Where to Send Watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCol View Post
    . . . . and told me that it had a tangled hairspring and quoted me minimum of $500 to repair. . . . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneJockey View Post
    I think the guy who told you $500 minimum was telling you he doesn't want your business. Even $400 seems REALLY steep. . . . .
    Have you ever vibrated an overcoil hairspring from scratch and then pinned the collet?

    If so, what do you think a professional should be entitled to charge for just that element of the proposed scope of work?
    RCol likes this.
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