Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service
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  1. #1
    Member Horoticus's Avatar
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    Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    I have read many posts that recommend sending your newly acquired vintage watch to an independent artisan rather than back to the original manufacturer for evaluation and service (restoration is another matter). If price is not an issue (for discussion purposes), why would you not send it "home?"

    And for someone new to the vintage world, what if you do not have a "go to" watch guy and therefore have to choose between a recommendation and the watch's service center? Also, does your answer change based on the make and model?

    Your thoughts are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Horoticus View Post
    I have read many posts that recommend sending your newly acquired vintage watch to an independent artisan rather than back to the original manufacturer for evaluation and service (restoration is another matter). . . . . . . . . . . Your thoughts are appreciated.
    Read more. p
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    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Horoticus View Post
    If price is not an issue (for discussion purposes), why would you not send it "home?"
    If price is not an issue, then why not just throw the watch in the garbage and get a new one? Price is a big factor in not sending it home. And this discussion assumes that there is a "home" to send it to, which isn't the case for 90% of the watches out there in the first place. Of course, if price is not an issue, I can only assume you're talking about big-name watches like Rolex and Omega.

    That said, there are three other major reasons.
    1) Official service centers exist to service new watches. Their ability to understand and service a vintage isn't any greater then anyone elses.
    2) As organizations dedicated to the greater promotion of the brand, they don't necessarily care about things like "originality". They work on volume, so they will toss any part that looks worn and replace it with a new one (if available), regardless of suitability for the watch in question. They want the watch to look as good as new, while many vintage collectors greatly prize the marks of age on their watches.
    3) (and this is the big one), large watch manufacturers have been putting the pressure on independent watchmakers for a while. Much like car companies, they want the consumer to always come back to them. TO that end, it can be difficult for independent watchmakers to get the genuine parts they need to do a proper job on the high end watches. This doesn't necessarily impact vintage repairs, but is more of a overall reason why we should be supporting the independents.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member john*thomas's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    I agree with the above.

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    I have a watchmaker I trust. I trust him more than manufacturer service (which is often located in New Jersey ). If he can handle it, he gets the work. I don't even use manufacturer warranty service. I'd rather pay my watchmaker and get it done right the first time.
    Horoticus and ImitationOfLife like this.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Member Horoticus's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    Quote Originally Posted by pithy View Post
    Read more. p
    Agreed. Do you have anything in particular to suggest?

  8. #7
    Member Tick Talk's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    I share the sentiments expressed regarding Manufacture service but wish for more reliable watchmakers locally to share the business with. Independent watchmakers are an odd bunch (so many of them have confessed) and tend to cultivate a mysterious aura, or downright secretive! As it is now, I have four different persons who I'd entrust only with certain servicing or types of watches, as experience has shown they are either not competent or interested in doing all jobs equally well FWIW, I've also experienced huge inconsistency with the quality of servicing and restorations with even big name aftermarket restorations shops; its literally a crap-shoot as to what you get back! Still, "we the people" who actually lay out the money for mechanical watches must avoid being conned by fancy and expensive brand marketing, while aftersales service is left as an afterthought...
    Tick Talk says, "A watch in the hand is worth two on the wrist"

  9. #8
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    . . . . . . . . . TO that end, it can be difficult for independent watchmakers to get the genuine parts they need to do a proper job on the high end watches. This doesn't necessarily impact vintage repairs, but is more of a overall reason why we should be supporting the independents.
    Sure.

    p
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  10. #9
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    I've built up a good relationship with my watch maker (he has two of my watches as we speak), and he understands the value of vintage. I only collect vintage Gallet watches, and have had a watch restored by them a few years ago. The service was great and I wouldn't have any reservations in recommending them (and have on several occasions). That watch was my grandfathers decimal and it was in poor shape, so I felt that Gallet themselves were the best option - and they didn't dissapoint. That beautiful watch can now be seen on their Galletworld.com website.
    However, when one of my chronos just need a routine service, then I'd rather go to Chronodeco than pay the full retail price of Gallet.
    ~D
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  11. #10
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Mothership vs. Trusted Watchmaker Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Horoticus View Post
    Agreed. Do you have anything in particular to suggest?
    Absolutely. The writings of collectors (or traders) with vast numbers of firsthand experiences with factory service centers and a variety of independent watchmakers should be given special weight. p
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