Questions about automatic watches from a newbie
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  1. #1
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    Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Hope this is posted in the right forum...

    Looking to purchase my first nice watch, but had some generic questions about automatic watches. I understand the basics of how they work and how they differ from quartz watches, but particularly curious about maintenance on automatic watches? I've heard that it's recommended to get your watch serviced about every 5 years, absent any other issues that would arise before then, and that this servicing can cost a couple hundred dollars. Does the cost/timing sound about right?

    I'm most likely looking to get a Hamilton watch, possibly the viewmatic or thin o matic. Is spending a couple a hundred dollars on service worthwhile for a watch that costs ~500 to 800 dollars?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member American Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Yes, the service fee is worth it. As you are looking at a Hamilton with either an ETA 2824-2 or ETA 2892-2 (both Elabore grade, which is the middle grade of ETA movements) you should have no issues with either. The middle-grade ETA movements are very accurate and reliable. After 5 years or so, you will need to service your watch. It should not be too expensive. Both those ETA movements are fairly common and the service fees are not outrageous. I doubt a good service (including case polishing) will cost more than around $200. Is the cost worth it? Well, both watches will last a lifetime with proper service, and they will only increase in price over the years. Get them at a good discount, and pocket the cost of service until you need it.
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    For a few hundreds dollars watch. I will not send it to service unless you are a accurate freak who want it to keep COSC time. Even without service, I expect it to run a modest estimAte of at least 10 to 15 years running within 1 min timing.

    Of cos, you run the risk of the gear inside wearing out. But servicing will not be cheap too. It might be the same price of getting a new ETA 2824 movt.
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Triton9 View Post
    For a few hundreds dollars watch. I will not send it to service unless you are a accurate freak who want it to keep COSC time. Even without service, I expect it to run a modest estimAte of at least 10 to 15 years running within 1 min timing.

    Of cos, you run the risk of the gear inside wearing out. But servicing will not be cheap too. It might be the same price of getting a new ETA 2824 movt.
    He is talking about buying a watch now and having to service it in 5 years. It will be worth it to service it then. Of course, the 5 year requirement is only if you wear your watch nonstop for 5 years. But you'll probably get a few more automatics over that period and wear them, so the 5 year service will stretch to 10 years or more, because you will be sharing wrist time between your first automatic and your future watches...so it will not be running nonstop for 5 years. By the time the service on your first automatic finally comes around, you should find the service fee more than worth it.
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    I've been told by at least one independent watchmaker that he will quote the cost of replacing the movement vice repairing it on watches with relatively affordable mechanisms. I had asked about a service on a Seiko with the 7s26 movement. So I wouldn't expect really high service costs on a Hamilton--the movement could be replaced for much less than 400 bucks.

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    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    You've got the approximate cost and recommended service interval about right. You will know after 5 years if you think it's worth it, depending on how you feel about the watch, and its condition.

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    Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by American Eagle View Post
    But you'll probably get a few more automatics over that period and wear them, so the 5 year service will stretch to 10 years or more, because you will be sharing wrist time between your first automatic and your future watches...so it will not be running nonstop for 5 years.
    Incorrect... How much you wear them is irrelevant.

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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Memphis1 View Post
    Incorrect... How much you wear them is irrelevant.
    I'm no expert but I thought the advice differed depending on the age of the watch? Since the advent of synthetic lubricants I thought that if a watch wasn't running then coagulation of the lubricant wasn't such a big deal (meaning that watches that weren't running all the time had no issue with needing new lubricant) and that the movement would have had less wear and tear too? Hence a watch with synthetic lubricants that was wound now and again, but not worn continuously, would not need as many or as regular a service plan?

    No?
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by GETS View Post
    I'm no expert but I thought the advice differed depending on the age of the watch? Since the advent of synthetic lubricants I thought that if a watch wasn't running then coagulation of the lubricant wasn't such a big deal (meaning that watches that weren't running all the time had no issue with needing new lubricant) and that the movement would have had less wear and tear too? Hence a watch with synthetic lubricants that was wound now and again, but not worn continuously, would not need as many or as regular a service plan?

    No?
    I read the opposite around here Tony - Lysanderxii (who appears to know his stuff) confirmed that oils break down regardless of use or not.

  11. #10
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    Re: Questions about automatic watches from a newbie

    That is my understanding as well Gets.

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