When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?
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  1. #1
    PJR
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    When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    Several years ago I purchased a low-end Bulova GMT ETA 2836-2 as a travel watch. It was an on-line purchase and a disappointment when I saw it in person. It works for the intended purpose but I don't particularly like it.

    It is past the point of needing a service but the cost will be more than I paid for the watch and certainly more than it's worth. To proceed would seem to be throwing good money after bad that could be better spent going toward a quartz watch more suitable for my purposes.

    Has anyone else faced the same dilemma? What is the point where servicing a mechanical doesn't make sense? Have you ever reached the point where the cost of servicing is higher than value of the watch?

  2. #2
    Member fish70's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    I am having my oldest watch serviced for the second time in the years I've owned it. I also had a new crystal installed in between servicing and have bought quite a few straps for it. This service will be $200, so including the straps I have put at least $550-$600 into a basic 2824-2 wristwatch that cost me $180 new. It has been around the world with me and has sentimental value otherwise I would have tried to get $100 on eBay for it.

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    Member Slm643's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    OP, every one of the reasons you stated are the answer to your question. Sell, trade or give away. Get something you like. Move on.

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    Member Ron521's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    If the watch has no sentimental or emotional value to you, then it's not worth repairing, but might be worth something to someone else.
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    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    I don't understand your dilemma. Just throw it out.

    If you don't care for the watch what is there to ask? It happens. No need to spend money servicing a watch you don't like.

    But be aware that, at least over time, servicing costs can easily approach or exceed the cost of the watch. If you like the watch, then roll with it, its part of the cost of ownership. Or you can also do like some here and dispense with preventative maintenance and only service when there is a problem - not a nice thing to do to a watch, the wrong thing to do with a fine watch, but understandable if funds are limited, if watch is not worth more than a few hundred dollars, if you don't wear the watch much, or you don't care about taking care of your watch.
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    Member NC_Hager626's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    If you particularly don't like for you the watch, then don't repair it. However, the ETA 2836-2 may be of use to someone. So, find a means of transferring the movement to someone who may have use for it.

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    Member xring33's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    I cracked the crystal on an everyday self winding watch. To keep moisture out I superglued the crack till I could get it repaired. Jeweler wanted more to replace the crystal than the watch was worth. I gave it to a homeless guy who was happy to get it.


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  9. #8
    Member Time Exposure's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    I decide whether or not I want to be troubled with the cost and the waiting for service, then either get it serviced or move it on. If I list a watch in need of service, I will detail the fact in the listing so a buyer knows what to expect.
    Usually I just get bored with a perfectly functional watch and sell it. There have been times I have decided to sell a freshly serviced watch, and I’ll provide service records with the watch. At the moment I am waiting for one to return from service, and a few others are awaiting their “fate.”

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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PJR View Post
    Several years ago I purchased a low-end Bulova GMT ETA 2836-2 as a travel watch. It was an on-line purchase and a disappointment when I saw it in person. It works for the intended purpose but I don't particularly like it.

    It is past the point of needing a service but the cost will be more than I paid for the watch and certainly more than it's worth. To proceed would seem to be throwing good money after bad that could be better spent going toward a quartz watch more suitable for my purposes.

    Has anyone else faced the same dilemma? What is the point where servicing a mechanical doesn't make sense? Have you ever reached the point where the cost of servicing is higher than value of the watch?
    I think you pretty much know that this piece has not connection to you so let it go to someone that may like it either sell trade or pay it forward. I am sure there are other folks that may love that style.



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  11. #10
    Member Rosarito's Avatar
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    Re: When is servicing a mechanical watch not worth it?

    Yes. I had this dilemma with a Seiko 5 that meant nothing to me sentimentally. I just got rid of it.
    Last edited by Rosarito; May 5th, 2019 at 07:22.

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