Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?
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  1. #1
    Member tintasuja's Avatar
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    Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    Well, after a few days of contemplating my "new" Longines, I took it to the AD for a service.
    The first thing that they told me there was that the watch had to go to Switzerland, to Longines, because nobody in Portugal could service that watch. That was a shocker.
    But the biggest shock was when they told me that the BASIC service would cost between €300 and €400 ($395 - $527)! That's without changing the glass or touching the dial, because I wanted to leave it like that.
    It sounds a bit steep... Specially when I payed around $70 for the watch. Any comments? Do you know anybody that could service this model?

    Thanks for your time...
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  2. #2
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    There is nothing special about the movement, and any good independent local watchmaker would service it for their usual rates.

    Obviously I can't recommend anyone local to you - but I would think 50 euros would be about right unless you live somewhere very expensive.

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    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    It reminds me of when I took my '64 rolex into rolex and they told me a basic service w new crystal would cost $800-and this was in the late 80s!! My grandmother hooked me up with a 90yr watchmaker in her building who worked on rlx/iwc/jlc and cleaned/service/gaskets- the GMT for $75 and that is the last time it was serviced and it still runs withing cosc specs-seriously.
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

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  5. #4
    Member tintasuja's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by trim View Post
    There is nothing special about the movement, and any good independent local watchmaker would service it for their usual rates.

    Obviously I can't recommend anyone local to you - but I would think 50 euros would be about right unless you live somewhere very expensive.
    To me, it feels like a rip off! Well, now it's on it's way to CH. They say that the Longines will take 2 to 3 months to have an estimate ready! I'll let it stay there for that long because they identify the watch and make it an ID.

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    You are caught up in the 'one size fits all' form of service that has been adopted by a number of large watch companies. When a watch which was 'fixed' returns to be re-fixed the company incurs substantial costs in both direct and indirect forms. So this is covered by assuming every watch that comes in needs a complete refit... The watch is gone over thoroughly and everything is brought back to spec, even things you might not have known were out of spec. Such a service level mitigates the re-fix problem.

    When looked at as a percentage of new price, such refits are not a substantial expense.

    Personally I collect mostly vintage. I could not do so it I did not know a real watchmaker who will look at a watch and tell you exactly what needs to be done. He does that and, if he discovers repair is necessary, charges for parts. Sometimes he actually does not charge me enough and I argue he should charge more but he never does. What he said it would cost is all he will charge.

    But he sometimes refuses work saying he doesn't like working on those watches. He has never said that about a Longines

    If you are going to collect more vintage you will have to find a watchmaker. You will not be able to afford sending every watch back to the mother ship in Switzerland!!
    67whitegoat likes 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!

  7. #6
    Member tintasuja's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    You are caught up in the 'one size fits all' form of service that has been adopted by a number of large watch companies. When a watch which was 'fixed' returns to be re-fixed the company incurs substantial costs in both direct and indirect forms. So this is covered by assuming every watch that comes in needs a complete refit... The watch is gone over thoroughly and everything is brought back to spec, even things you might not have known were out of spec. Such a service level mitigates the re-fix problem.

    When looked at as a percentage of new price, such refits are not a substantial expense.

    Personally I collect mostly vintage. I could not do so it I did not know a real watchmaker who will look at a watch and tell you exactly what needs to be done. He does that and, if he discovers repair is necessary, charges for parts. Sometimes he actually does not charge me enough and I argue he should charge more but he never does. What he said it would cost is all he will charge.

    But he sometimes refuses work saying he doesn't like working on those watches. He has never said that about a Longines

    If you are going to collect more vintage you will have to find a watchmaker. You will not be able to afford sending every watch back to the mother ship in Switzerland!!
    I see your point. I've to do as you say because I plan on collecting only vintage watches. Since I stared coming here, I bought the Longines, a Raketa, a Poljot (all vintage) and a Chinese cheap (99cts) so I could tear it up :). Lets see if I can make acquaintance with a watchmaker...
    Or maybe you could recomend me yours and I could post him my machines ;)

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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    Oh my...
    It will be very interesting to hear about the quality of official Longines Service for a vintage watch. Omega and JLC's vintage service is legendary, but also extremely expensive (JLC more than Omega). I am sure it is worth the money...
    I have local watchmaker, that I am very happy with. I am sure You would find a serious independent watchmaker in Portugal, too.
    Hey, You should have asked before sending it away...

  9. #8
    Member tintasuja's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    I can always say no to the estimate. I just have to pay 30euros for the shipping...

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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    Then do. Putting a new mainspring into an old Longines and giving it a clean and service is a nice easy and rewarding job for any watchmaker who knows a decent watch. Under £100 for sure and well worth having done, even if you need it sending to England.

  11. #10
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: Servicing a vintage Longines. Any ideas?

    A good watchmaker is a collectors best friend. You need to make one. Go to a one man (or woman of course), local watchmaker - preferably older (more parts), chat to them and build a relationship. The more regular you are, the better the service and prices you should get.

    I tend to find my enthusiasm rubs off on my 2 watchmakers. One of whom was a little brusk at first, but has came around and is now the best and most helpful resource I have. Enthusiasm as they say, can be infectious. I don't like the big watchmakers who has 4 watchmakers and a girl at the counter. It is really hard to see the watchmakers themselves, and you certainly can never just pop by for a chat or drop in to show you latest purchase.

    Best investment I have made in this hobby.

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