Servicing ETA movement questions
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  1. #1
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    Servicing ETA movement questions

    I am new to mechanical watches and want to purchase a watch with ETA movement (2893-2).
    The ETA movements seem to very popular so I am guessing that it should be straight forward to have the watch serviced and it shouldn't be a problem to find someone who could service it?
    Anybody could give me rought idea what the expense for servicing is (I am in the UK) and how often it should be done?
    Should anything go wrong with the movement, are they expensive to repair? Are the parts readily available?

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan_G View Post
    I am new to mechanical watches and want to purchase a watch with ETA movement (2893-2).
    The ETA movements seem to very popular so I am guessing that it should be straight forward to have the watch serviced and it shouldn't be a problem to find someone who could service it?
    Anybody could give me rought idea what the expense for servicing is (I am in the UK) and how often it should be done?
    Should anything go wrong with the movement, are they expensive to repair? Are the parts readily available?
    Generally, yes, ETA movements are easy to service with high parts availability. Any competent watchmaker should be able to service one.

    But the movement isn't the only thing in a watch that gets serviced. For example, the case gasket may be special, and made only by (or for) the watch company. These don't always have to be replaced, but eventually they do. If the watch needs other parts, such as a stem or a crown, those have to be provided by the watch company, who might not be prepared to do so except through their factory service centers.

    I don't know about in the UKoGBaNI, but in the USA, independent watchmakers charge between $150 and $300 to service a watch with a movement like a 2893 (maybe a bit higher because of the GMT complication, but that isn't much of a complication). Factory service centers charge more, but they also usually refurbish the watch at the same time.

    How often? Some say every 3-5 years, some say every decade. It depends on your usage pattern. Towards the shorter end of that period, you'll have less likelihood of having to replace worn parts.

    Rick "suspecting prices in the UK are higher than the exchange rate would suggest, compared to the USA" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; July 2nd, 2015 at 02:17.
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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    Provided that your watch is brand new, it could go for 5-7 years between services.

    I guess that most of people change their watches before the very first service.
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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    The GMT complication on the ETA 2893-A2 is a simple modification of the date functionality, so it shouldn't affect the cost of service by more than a token amount.


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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    Thank you for taking your time to respond!

    Not so cheap then. The watch I'm looking at is around USD 600-700. Considering that the service could be as much as half the amount paid for the watch...

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan_G View Post
    Thank you for taking your time to respond!

    Not so cheap then. The watch I'm looking at is around USD 600-700. Considering that the service could be as much as half the amount paid for the watch...
    Yes, mechanical watch ownership is a money pit. Guess that's the price of immortality. I always thought that if parts are readily available for some common movements in perpetuity, and the whole movement might only cost ~$200-300 to buy (meaning each particular part cannot be that expensive), if it'd be more economical to just use a watch with such a movement until it breaks and forego servicing every 5-7 years, and either have a watchmaker replace the whole movement or replace the broken part(s) when the watch breaks, maybe many years down the road.
    Last edited by rdoder; July 3rd, 2015 at 15:36.

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    One more question...
    If I wear the watch on roation, and it is worn only half the time over the time (including the time for the watch to stop while not worn), does it mean that the service will be fine every 4-6 years instead of every 2-3 years?

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan_G View Post
    One more question...
    If I wear the watch on roation, and it is worn only half the time over the time (including the time for the watch to stop while not worn), does it mean that the service will be fine every 4-6 years instead of every 2-3 years?
    It probably doesn't need every 2-3 years in any case.

    Wearing it less doesn't do anything about the oils drying up, but it does minimize the wear that occurs when running dry.

    I have some vintage watches that run fine with good power reserve and amplitude. Unsure they are dry, but I wear them rarely--maybe once or twice a month or less. At once a month, it takes five years to be equivalent to two months of continuous wear. I've a watch can run dry for only a year without damage, then at once a month, I'm probably good for the rest of my life.

    I would have it serviced after seven years with an independent watchmaker, and get him to tell you if he noted any wear.

    As to the cost of maintenance, this is a problem in the industry, for two reasons: lack of qualified watchmakers, and attempts by the industry to force owners to use their overpriced service.

    Rick "hoping the market forces watch companies to open up their service" Denney
    Zenith: Captain Chronograph 03.2110.400*; Cartier: Santos 100 XL Concord: Mariner, C1 Big-Date, C1 v.2 Chronograph; Ebel: Chronosport 1134901, Tekton 9137L83*, Type E 9137C41* (*=COSC)
    Ebel: 1911 BTR 9137L73* and 9139L71*, 1911 1120L41*, 1911 Senior 9080241, Brasilias 9120M41 (2), Aquatica 500 9120K61, Classic Hexagon GMT 9301F61, Classic 100 LE 9120R41; Baume & Mercier: Capeland World-Timer
    Heuer: Carrera 1964 Re-Edition CS3110; Maurice Lacroix: Masterpiece MP6439; "Seagull": 1963 Reissue cal. ST19; Seiko: Black Monster SRP307; Poljot: Sturmanskie cal. 3133; Tissot: T-Touch Lew and Huey: Acciona
    Vintage: JLC: ref. 2953, ca. 1946; Longines: Flagship cal 285; Zodiac: SST cal. 86, Aerospace GMT cal. 72; Favre-Leuba: cal. 253; Tianjin: Dong Feng cal. ST5; Elgin: Gr. 152 (1898), Gr. 384 (1919); Ebel: ca. 1962 ref. 9214955
    WUS: ST5 Project Watches (Black and Blue), F72.2014.DG3804 (Gray and Cream); Swatch: Sistem 51 Blue; TNT: Rattrapante cal. Rochat 7750+RAT-1

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    I would have an auto serviced about every 7 years whether it ran all the time or not.

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    Re: Servicing ETA movement questions

    I think the cost of servicing might not be so bad. I just googled 'mechanical watch service' instead of trying to find ETA service and I found 'mechanical automatic' £40 - £120, which is acceptable.
    I would have found it difficult to justify paying for a service that would cost a half or more the price of the watch that is not really that expensive, but that's not the case. Hence the watch has been ordered.
    Thank you for your help gents.

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