Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?
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Thread: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

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  1. #1
    Member rdoder's Avatar
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    Question Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    I went in a quartz phase, but reading from WUS members brought my interest back to mechanical watches. As Goin2drt said, this forum is HORRIBLE!


    Have been looking into vintage Grand Seiko, and found these pages:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/gran...ce-904553.html
    PROFESSIONAL WATCHES: EDITORIAL: The Service Dilemma: Vintage Grand Seikos
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f6/eta-...ty-947411.html

    Since Seiko supposedly makes all the watch parts themselves, it surprised the heck out of me that Seiko did not custom make the mainspring to enable the repair of the vintage GS.

    This got me thinking:

    -For your watch brand and movement of choice, do you know that there will be parts available to repair it decades from now? e.g. It'd be interesting to read about people's experience with vintage Rolex and Omega long-term repairability, since these seem to be forum favorites. This is one of the selling points of mechanical watches, that they are repairable and could last forever. But if parts are not available for watches when they become vintage, or the brand in question is not dedicated to custom make the parts necessary to repair vintage watches, then a mechanical watch cannot last through the ages, as some might think it could, and it becomes no different to the longevity of quartz watches.

    -Which watch brand and movement are you sure of that could ensure the watch/movement could be repaired many years from now, if you care about passing watches onto descendants? Patek Philippe is known to advertise that you only take care of Pateks for future generations, so I assume that PP movements are repairable in the long term. What about your brand of choice? Do you know that (insert brand name) keeps stock of watch parts for the long term, and/or are dedicated enough to make watch parts necessary to repair their vintage watches? It really surprises me that Grand Seiko does not seem to do that.

    -Does long-term repairability come into play when you consider purchasing a mechanical watch? For some, watches are flipped even before the first service is required, so in those cases, it doesn't matter. For others who plan to keep certain watches for your kids, how can you be sure that your watches are repairable in the long term?

    -I think about ETA workhorse movements that have been around forever, haven't changed at all (at least that I know of), and might be around for the long term. In that case, these ETA "out-house" movements should have parts available in the long term for repairs? So in a way, are these ETA "out-house" and "generic" movements better than in-house or unique movements (from major or micro brands) that change/improve all the time, for which you can't be sure that parts will be available in the long term? If that's the case, then cheaper watches with ETA movements could trump more expensive luxury watches in the long-term repairability category?

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  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    Finding movement parts is a non-existent problem because the things that usually require replacement are available. Alternatively a donor movement can usually be found. Consider that century plus old pocket watches made by companies long out of business are regularly repaired and kept running. Now finding new cosmetic stuff like a new dial and hands could be more problematic. One of my watches is an Omega acquired in 1971 that I expect will be handed down because it receives regular servicing. So just take care of your watch no matter the brand and don't worry about parts 40 years from now.
    Last edited by John MS; August 26th, 2014 at 20:07.
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  3. #3
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    So many ETA and Rolex, I don't believe there is a problem, others....another story, in the far future on in-house mvmts. from
    Parmigiani, Chopard, Jaquet-Droz(the original) maybe, I own models of those three...
    rdoder and Hayseed Brown like this.
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

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  5. #4
    Member Hayseed Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by little big feather View Post
    So many ETA and Rolex, I don't believe there is a problem, others....another story, in the far future on in-house mvmts. from
    Parmigiani, Chopard, Jaquet-Droz(the original) maybe, I own models of those three...
    I was looking at a J-D watch as a future purchase. Are their movements in-house? The one I was looking at has a Calibre 1169 Automatic. I couldn't find much on the movement.

  6. #5
    Member Domo's Avatar
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    I could go into whole boring diatribe here, but in summation I think too many people here think about the long term (as in, +20 years) serviceability of their watches. You don't know who you will become in that time, what your interests will be, how you tastes will have changed, etc. Take decent care of your watches and enjoy them while they work I say.
    rdoder likes this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    With the amount of Rolex sold annually I don't think I have to worry about finding parts for my 3130 for the next 50 years. My watch has already been discontinued but the movement is still at the heart of the newer models.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Long-term availability of parts for your movements of choice?

    I haven't given it much thought, but the only in house I've ever owned were non Spring Drive non GS Seikos. All Swiss I've had were ETA or at least ETA based, such as the Omega 1120.
    rdoder likes this.

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