I'm sorry to hear that people are having trouble with getting their watches serviced. I have had Omegas serviced at both Nesbit's (Aqua Terra), and the Seattle service center for Omega (Planet Ocean Chronograph) and have had really great customer service and the watches came back looking and functioning like new. I was very satisfied to say the least. Nesbit's even recommended that I take my chronograph to the Seattle service center because they could do the work at a better price due to the cost of the pusher assembly being less expensive for the service center to acquire.
It was also at my expense, shipping as well.
Why is that difficult to believe?
(Edit to add)
When my Sinn 900 required a new dial, I was also in direct contact with that watchmaker.
IWC Portugesier, same thing. Nomos, it was the previous movement to their Alpha in house movement, requiring attention when winding the watch.
In each case, I included a brief letter asking that I be contacted.
Last edited by watchfisher; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:17.
"At the risk of being redundant, having other brand's watches serviced, I was contacted by the watchmaker who would be undertaking the repair directly, consulted and confirmed prior to work being performed. That had not occurred with my watch, which was shall we say, off-putting."
You didn't state that you had requested specifically to be contacted, which of course is an important detail that changes the situation significantly. Watch companies don't start up conversations with customers like this without a reason (request) to do so, which is what it seemed you were saying. It also appeared that you were just expecting Omega's watchmaker to contact you directly as a normal part of getting the watch serviced - this is not normal at all.
In a service center setting, the actual watchmakers doing the work are working on watches, not conversing with customers. There are customer service people who do that typically, and of course you will get a scope of work in the form of a quote with typically mandatory work and possibly optional work - that is perfectly normal.
Keep in mind that in most cases, there isn't one person working on your watch, but many. This is particularly true of larger brands. So at a small brand like Sinn, they may actually have one person do the entire service start to finish, but this is the exception rather than the norm. For example at Swatch group service center in NJ there will be workers (non-watchmakers) who do the initial disassembling of the watch, so they remove the strap/bracelet, open the case, remove the movement, and remove the dial and hands. The case and bracelet are then sent to other workers who do nothing but case work - refinishing, replacing case tubes, HEV's, pushers, etc. Again not watchmakers, but people who have had on the job training.
The only work done by an actual trained watchmaker is the service of the movement. In NJ the Swatch service center has a large area for watchmakers that is in two parts. One side of the room the watchmakers service Omega and below on the Swatch brand hierarchy, and the other side side the watchmakers work on everything "above" Omega.
Once the watchmaker has serviced the movement, it is sent back to the same group of people who initially disassembled it, and they put the dial and hands on, and do the final casing of the movement. There could be half a dozen people involved in the servicing of a specific watch. This is the way most larger service centers work.
In some cases the movement service is not even done by watchmakers, but using "sequential assembly" people are trained to assemble just one part of the movement before it moves to the next person, like in a car assembly plant. The watchmaker only does the final fine tuning and checks.
This is the way watch servicing is going in the future, so expecting to be contacted by "the" watchmaker is not really a realistic thing, because there could be 10 or 12 people involved in the work...
So I heard back, again, they're sending me box, again, so that I can send it back to them, again, so that they can take a look at the issues with this new watch. Since I've had some time to observe the watch it appears as if the minute chronograph hand is off the mark on some but not all of the marks. Last time this happened with my old watch they said it was a defective dial. Interestingly enough when they sent the watch back that time they sent it with 3 dials in a bag labeled "Defective Dials". It makes me wonder if those were all new dials and they tried to use them on my watch but it turned out they were all defective. Is there any quality control over at Omega anymore?
Since this watch was new and has these issues, it makes me wonder if there are any internal issues or issues I can't see with my new Seamaster that I bought back in March.
I understand, I could have been clearer in my earlier post.
What I did do in this case with regard to the Omega service was include the letter (which I often do), asking to be contacted. I was not contacted, though per your post above, I understand the workflow and volume of repairs at a Swatch facility. I'm certain they are receiving other brands and have a set amount of time for each service.
Having spoken directly with the service manager, I (perhaps naively) assumed I would receive some 'heads up' as to what was going to happen. Receiving a watch and being surprised with its condition was what I was reflecting on.
So on one hand I understand the workflow of a multinational watch company (which is what Omega / SwatchGroup now is). On the other hand, Omega and the price of their goods, should warrant better customer service. Maybe it's a transition, maybe there's some corporate management issues. Most of not all Omega personnel I speak to are the most informative, helpful people. It's the result that's the concern.
I did reach out to both the service manager as well as Omega NA Service. Both have kindly offered to have me send the watch in for a second service. Unsure which location would be more detail oriented or appropriate.
It is standard practice with Omega warranty service that they fix the watch and return it without giving back parts replaced (although sometimes I've seen that happen) or giving any specifics of what was done to correct whatever the fault was. It's very different with paid service, which is when you are likely to get a full quote and details of what was done.
Regarding these quality problems, I think the issue is partly people's expectations. People are seeing Omega as a premium brand, but along with brands like Rolex, Omega is a mid-tier brand. Just like in the thread with the PO hand alignment, everything has a tolerance, even dust on the dial. From your original thread on your watch:
"The pics below show the dust, and the dealer is in contact to either repair or replace the watch, which has been set aside and unused since that initial inspection. Yesterday as I was examining the watch for return shipping, I noticed a slight mark on the crystal from the 11:00 marker to the right edge of the left subdial."
Looking at the photos in that thread, I'm guessing that this dust is likely within Omega's tolerances. Keep in mind that your photos were magnified and seen on a large monitor, but that's not how watches are checked at the factory. Omega checks watches with the naked eye, under the lamp at 30 cm away (with a lamp-timepiece distance of 40 cm). The lamp has a specific brightness spec and colour temperature (2000 LUX luminosity and 5500 KELVIN colour), but no magnification is used. If you can't see it with the naked eye under these conditions, it passes.
Look I'm not defending Omega here, just trying to explain the reality rather than what the marketing tells people. In that respect the brands don't do themselves any favours, talking about how good they are all the time and in some cases selling watches with a loupe included, that people are obviously going to look at their watches with and see things that Omega considers "okay" and then complain about. But the reality these are massed produced products made in a factory full of workers, and having been through many different watch factories in Switzerland I can tell you they are just like any other factory. The only difference is these factories make watches instead of clock radios, washing machines, or some other widget.
Could the service centers do better? Yes absolutely, but in the end I think you have to keep in mind that the vast majority of watches sent for repairs get done right, and people don't come on watch forums to tell everyone that service went great - they come on here to complain. This skews the anecdotal "data" heavily towards the service centers all being very bad, when I suspect that not the reality.
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