A few questions about servicing from a novice

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  1. #1
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    A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Hello one and all! I'm new around here and have just a few questions to ask; forgive me if the subject has been covered before.

    Having owned a few mechanical watches from Seiko and Sea-Gull, which I have not had serviced (but which appear to be just fine), I recently acquired my first Swiss mechanical timepiece. The watch has a trusty ETA 2824-2 movement. Since this is a step or two up from Sea-Gull and Seiko mechanical movements, I hope to have it serviced periodically. This is where my dilemma comes in. I have asked for quotes from a few reputable jewellers and watchmakers, and got some extreme variety in both price and service interval. The most extreme were:


    • Service every 3-4 years, $495 Australian Dollars
    • Service every 8-10 years, $200 Australian Dollars


    So, which one is more likely to be closest? Neither? How many years should I expect before I start having issues? What should a general re-oiling, cleaning, overhauling service on an ETA 2824-2 cost?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Member geoffbot's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Totally a matter of opinion - some have never serviced their watches and they run just fine for 20 years (though are probably wearing away inside), others service every 3/5 years to prevent damage. Depends on the cost of the watch I suppose. I'd say somewhere in between those would be about right. Usually cheaper to get it serviced independently as opposed to by the manufacturer, though it depends on the manufacturer and independent.

  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Another approach is to hold off servicing until the accuracy or power reserve changes noticably. My feeling is that method balances cost and risk of damage reasonably well.

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    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    And I choose 5-6 years......We are all right.
    What you choose is the next question......And I ask you this, how many Km. b/4 an oil change on your car?
    And does your watch run 24hrs. a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year?
    How about that car,the same?
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  6. #5
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Opinion is divided between those that say "if it ain't bust don't fix it" and those that say "get it serviced every 5 years" I used to be in the former gang but after seeing photos of expensive watches that had become badly worn through following the "if it ain't bust" rule I changed sides. At the end of the day it is a matter of personal choice because it may or may not be cheaper to get it fixed when it stops performing as it should as opposed to having it serviced regularly.

  7. #6
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    $500 seems like a lot for an ETA 2428, doesn't it? Unless it's been heavily modified or comes in a very expensive watch that has associated liability. But if it's a basic movement direct from ETA, the movement itself costs less than that if you can find one.

  8. #7
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Servicing prices sound scary in Australia. I had my Kobold (ETA 2824) serviced at a local private watchmaker in the US for $150 in June. If someone quoted me $500, I'd almost have a hard time not laughing at them... If it were a chronograph with a pricey proprietary movement, you might pay this, but even then, you could likely could still get that done privately for less than that...

    I intend to service my watches faithfully every 5 years. I cannot see doing this more often because I wear them in rotation and I do not see that the limited wear on them would require servicing any sooner. While I likely could get away with waiting longer, I like the peace of mind of not worrying about my watches.

    I will have my 1963 and my tourbillon serviced in China when the time comes, which will make the costs quite affordable there. I'm not sure what I will do with my 3133, I may have to pay the piper on that one. 2824 will get serviced by a private US watchmaker. When I acquire something with an in-house movement, that may also get done privately, or I might splurge and have it serviced by the manufacturer.
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    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    Totally a matter of opinion - some have never serviced their watches and they run just fine for 20 years (though are probably wearing away inside), others service every 3/5 years to prevent damage. Depends on the cost of the watch I suppose. I'd say somewhere in between those would be about right. Usually cheaper to get it serviced independently as opposed to by the manufacturer, though it depends on the manufacturer and independent.
    Good observation. Some do, some don't. Always better to get into a regular maintenance schedule if you plan to keep a watch for a long period of time.
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    I really appreciate the input, everyone! Is it economically viable to let the movement run until it dies, and then replace with a Sea-Gull ST1730? (Or whichever is their 2824 clone). Has anyone tried this approach?

  11. #10
    Member Raza's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions about servicing from a novice

    I've only had one watch serviced that I've owned from the beginning. It was after 7 years, when the accuracy dropped incredibly (though I have to say the accuracy is not back to where it was...it was gaining 1 second a day, then losing 30-50 a day, now it's gaining 15-20 a day, though I haven't really been paying that much attention to the timing recently, I've just noticed that I need to reset it often). It was a modular chronograph, so it cost me $700. I serviced a watch with a native chronograph movement, a Valjoux 7750, for $400 at the same shop, but that watch is around 20 years old and I don't know when the last service was prior to mine. I was mostly just pissed off that I'd bought it and it stopped like a month later.

    $500 for a three-hand service feels extremely expensive. $200 seems a little low, but closer.
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