How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?
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  1. #1
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    How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    In mid May, I bought a Christopher Ward Trident C60 GMT watch. (This is a GMT watch that is waterproof to 300 meters and can also be used as a diver watch). The watch was new in the box, but I didn't buy it directly from Christopher Ward, but from a British guy on eBay. I'm very pleased with the watch (and the price I paid), but Christopher Ward includes a five-year warranty on their watches, and the seller said it could be transferred to me.

    But I've been unable to get the warranty transferred because of various screw-ups. My seller didn't buy the watch from Christopher Ward directly, but from someone else, and Christopher Ward has no record of ever selling a watch to him. He then sent me the name of the guy who sold HIM the watch, and it turns out that wasn't the original buyer either. (And there may have been more -- the watch was new and the plastic on the back of the watch case had not been removed, so it was never worn by anyone for any length of time, but it may have been bought and sold many times).

    I tried to get
    Christopher Ward to look up the original buyer by the watch's serial number to ask him if he sold his watch (partly to make sure it wasn't stolen). But their head of customer service told me they can't do that because they don't keep a record of the serial numbers of watches, just of names and addresses of the buyers, and the warranty can't be transferred without this information. (If you're going to PUT serial numbers on your watches, not keeping track of WHICH serial number goes to which buyer seems utterly daft to me, but that's the way they run their company).

    It's been getting more and more difficult getting responses from my seller or from CW. American Express, the card I used, offered to cancel the sale, but I LIKE this watch and don't want to return it. So another option occurred to me -- if I can't get the warranty transferred, I could figure out how much a five-year warranty on a high-end watch is worth and get the seller to reduce the price by that amount. The case of this watch is constructed like a bank vault and the bracelet looks indestructible. The movement is an ETA 2893-2 that was gaining 15 seconds or so per day when I got it but has now settled down to much less.

    So has anyone here needed repairs on a high-end ETA-powered sports watch in the first five years? And if you had a chance to buy the same watch with or without a five-year warranty, how much more would you pay for the warranty?


    Mike Taglieri

  2. #2
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    You bought a "grey market" watch, which means it didn't come directly through an authorized dealer and therefore you get no warranty. That's pretty standard. It's also pretty standard to get a meaningful discount off the MSRP. If you did, then I wouldn't sweat it. Watches do break inside the warranty period, but it's certainly not common, and the movement in that thing can be repaired relatively inexpensively by any competent watchmaker.

    Everyone feels differently about what they think a manufacturer's warranty is worth. However, a general rule of thumb is that if you give up the warranty you should save at least as much as a repair is likely to cost. On an inexpensive watch like a CW, I'd personally be fine with it if I saved $100. Note, however, that CW has frequent sales on their watches, so you really shouldn't be using MSRP to decide. Because they have sales so often, I personally wouldn't pay more than 75% of MSRP even straight from CW with a warranty. That's just me, though -- I'm sure some folks buy at full price and are very happy with their purchase.
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    Considering the going rate to have a comparable movement serviced (not including actual parts if they are any broken) is going to run you anywhere from $100-$300 depending on your location and who you use, a 5 yr warranty could be rather valuable. The odds of one of these movements crapping out in 10 let alone 5 years is extremely slim. Hence why the warranties are offered in the first place.

    From reading your post maybe I missed your true issue. I see you mention initially 15secs a day (well within spec for a non-cosc mvmnt) but that has settled in to an even lesser variance.

    As I buy a lot of vintage and used watches I see a warranty as a nice bonus but carries little weight in my buying decision and what I am willing to pay.

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  5. #4
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    A watch company (or any company who produces serialized products) that doesn't keep a database of where it's watches are going by SN is either extremely backward or is lying to you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. #5
    Member mui.richard's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    The ETA 2893-2 movement is a good workhorse, but far from "high end". A "Top grade" movement is available in the ballpark of USD480...so spending anywhere north of USD200 for a service would not make any sense. Not in my book anyways. Plus I doubt C.Ward would use a Top grade movement in their watches anyways....probably Elabore but I'm just guessing here.

    In your case OP I'd probably count the warranty as ~USD150 as a movement service plus replacing WR seals should be around that ballpark.



    a watch is meant to be worn

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    Member Stoshman's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by watch_hor View Post
    A watch company (or any company who produces serialized products) that doesn't keep a database of where it's watches are going by SN is either extremely backward or is lying to you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Unless a customer sends back a registration card (rarely, if ever, supplied - or sent back), a company has no idea who purchased its product, or from where. At best, it may have a record of which retailer it was shipped to, but in CW's case, since they sell direct they would have no need to know who bought any individually serial-numbered watch.

    I think you're being unrealistic here in calling them backward or lying.
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  8. #7
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    CW will probably be able to trace the original buyer but to avoid running foul of U.K. data protection laws thay are unable to identify that person to third parties.

  9. #8
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoshman View Post
    Unless a customer sends back a registration card (rarely, if ever, supplied - or sent back), a company has no idea who purchased its product, or from where. At best, it may have a record of which retailer it was shipped to, but in CW's case, since they sell direct they would have no need to know who bought any individually serial-numbered watch.

    I think you're being unrealistic here in calling them backward or lying.
    Most watch companies may not know who purchases their product, but CW sells all their watches in their own showroom or online, without dealers. Therefore they know, even if they won't tell.

  10. #9
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    The only warranty you have is that provided by the credit card you charged it to, if any. Otherwise you are on your own, which should not be an issue as the ETA2893 is a very reliable movement.

    A lawyer I know calls a warranty "a license to fight" and not worth the paper they are printed on, in most cases.

    Enjoy your watch, I know I will.


  11. #10
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: How much is the Christopher Ward five-year warranty worth?

    That's a mid level well made watch with a reliable movement. You should have no problems unless it is dropped. In my experience the manufacturers warranty is worth little because it never gets used. Your seller should have given you the information. He didn't so why don't you ask him to provide it.

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