Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?

Thread: Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?

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  1. #1
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    Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?

    I’m not a watch expert but I wanted a nice-ish watch to wear (in addition to my Seiko 5 beater). So about a year ago I bought a 1983 Seamaster. I realize it’s an older watch but I thought, perhaps naively, that it’s not ancient so that if I got it serviced by someone competent and took reasonably good care, it’d serve me well… but that has not been the case and I’m looking for some insight regarding what’s wrong, how it got messed up and what to do.

    As soon as I got the watch I sent it away to a guy who is very highly recommended both here and on Timezone. Lots of positive reviews and I’ve never seen a negative word said about his work. Six or seven months later the watch was returned to me. I wore the watch for three or four months before it was so messed up as that it wasn’t functioning. I’m not a watch expert but I think I took pretty good care of it during the couple of months I wore it (with the exception of #2 below)… never got it wet, never wore it during sports, didn’t drop it, etc.

    The issues:
    (1) Power Reserve: only holds 6-8 hours. This was the case from day one when the watch was returned to me after servicing. I didn’t do anything about this because I was anxious to wear it after waiting months for it to be serviced and decided that this was something I could live with. In retrospect, maybe I should have done something about this.
    (2) Mis-Aligned Hour/Minute Hands: Because of the power reserve problem described above I was setting the time on the watch pretty much every morning. One morning I was setting the time and (based on what was explained to me here) believe I adjusted the time backwards while the date function was engaged. There was a small pop sound and the hands became misaligned (i.e. when the hour hand is at 12 the minute hand is not).
    (3) Movement/Dial Move when Crown is Moved: No event seems to have triggered this. One day it was working as usual. The next day the movement and dial seemed to be floating around the case (I’ve included a video that shows this in the event that the description is not clear).

    I was frustrated by the ordeal so it’s been sitting in a drawer unused for a few months but now I’ve decided to finally deal with the issues. So I took it to the local Omega authorized repair shop to find out why the movement/dial move when I push/pull on the crown (forgot to mention the power reserve issue) and get a quote. They tell me that the movement ring is broken and they can do a partial service for $135 (includes new movement ring, crown and gasket… not sure why I’d need a new crown) but that I should really have a full service/cleaning for $380.




    My questions are:
    • How does one break a movement ring?
    • Any ideas why the power reserve is so limited?
    • Are any of the problems I’m experiencing issues I should bring to the attention of the guy who serviced my watch or are these problems to be expected from an older watch?
    • Is the price the local shop quoted reasonable? I’m skeptical of their pricing/advice for several reasons. First, their price for cleaning/servicing was 3x higher than the guy I sent it to. Second, when I went in last week they told me it really should be fully cleaned/serviced when I had had this done only six months ago.
    Thanks in advance!

    Last edited by tjc4golf; March 29th, 2010 at 20:41.

  2. #2
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    Re: Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?

    A watch that comes back from a complete service that only has a 6-8 hour power reserve is totally unacceptable. This is an automatic watch, correct? If so, you should be able to wear the watch during the day, take it off at night and it'll still be running in the morning - that's an absolute minimum. I believe most watches should have 35 hour or more power reserves, although I could certainly tolerate one with only 12-18 hours or so - just so I wouldn't have to reset it every morning. You should have taken it back to the original repair person when you noticed it always stopped overnight.

    (I'm assuming an automatic watch - if it's a manual wind one are you winding it enough?)

    The $380 for a complete service may be a bit high, but it's certainly in the ball park for what some are charging. Does the place that quoted that amount actually do the service on site, or are they just sending it out to have it done? Personally, I would rather find a local watchmaker who does the repairs on site. No fears of getting the watch lost or damaged during shipping and you can talk to the person who's actually doing the work. You can also inspect the watch when you pick it up. Hopefully you wouldn't notice any problems, but if you do you can point them out right away.

  3. #3
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    Re: Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?


    While a local watchmaker should be able to handle your problems, for that kinda money I’d send it to Bienne. There was a problem ww/the original repair. You should have howled and sent it back, but you did the same thing lots of us have done and now I doubt he’ll honor any warranty request(but you COULD ask).

    Been there, done that.You learned a lesson.

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  5. #4
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Watch Issues... What's wrong? How'd it happen? What to do?

    HilltopMichael and molarface, thanks for the input!

    Based on your feedback I've decided to contact the guy who I had service the watch. The service came with a one year warranty... we'll see if that does me any good. I'll update the thread once I hear back.

    Thanks again!

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