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  1. #61
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    So I heard back, they are going to swap the watch for another new one. They mentioned that they do their quality control checks at 30cm (12 inches) which could allow for variances due to how their manufacturing works for the dials and hands.

  2. #62
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    Yes, certainly it was worded in a way that was not reflecting the situation in it's entirety. But still to expect anyone who is actually working on your watch to contact you, even if you send a letter specifically requesting this, is simply not realistic. Omega has productivity standards their watchmakers and others need to meet, and for your watch, the entire service is allowed to take about 6 hours, 4.5 for the movement service and 1.5 for the setting if dial, hands, and final casing. Trust me as a watchmaker I can tell you this leaves very little time for anyone who is actually working on your watch to get into conversations back and forth with customers...and that is not the role of the people doing the work, but customer service reps.

    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.

    Cheers, Al
    This is where you and I will possibly respectfully disagree. Or perhaps we are saying similar things in different ways.

    If I am paying full hit retail for a watch at MSRP $8500 at a Boutique, I am looking at a watch of 95%+ condition. I fully understand the limitations of a handmade 3D item. I work with my hands in a precision fashion daily. So I accept certain minor swirls and blemishes as part of the craftsmanship of these watches. Dust beneath the dial - when it's visible, that's something unusual to me. Now, all things being equal, I did not see that in the Boutique, but it was easily visible at home under LED lighting.

    Now, regarding the 30cm rule. I also have hesitation with that for two reasons. One is that all press photography and online imagery is shown illustrating the high level of detail in the close-up images. From Speedmaster to Seamaster and all models in between, Omega shows close images (and rightfully so) of the level of detail with their products. One model in fact comes with a loupe. What is this item intended for? I see it as a way to take a peek at the details we nerds so love in these timepieces. Some have said it's to assist in changing the strap / bracelet and that's fair too. I have 20/10 eyesight and design instrumentation for my day job. Seeing a difference of 1.1mm to 1.2mm with a naked eye is what I do. Seeing misalignment of a marker to the indicator needle stands out to me like a sore thumb - and I see it quickly in order to remedy any issue while meeting a schedule. So if I can discern these errors on the fly, I am quite sure a heralded company like Omega might be able to fit it into their repertoire.

    Some owners don't take to this level of detail and don't display as much care for their wristwatches. That's fair game as well. Though to your point of not defending Omega, that's possible, but perhaps Omega shouldn't be marketing claims of precision they aren't able to back up. But at present they're communicating as a prestige brand offering luxury goods.

    At $8500, this isn't a 'mid tier watch'. What about the Dark Side of the Moon? The Sedna gold offerings, or the limited editions from $12-20k? Those are entering rarified air, and you can get a pretty damn good used sportscar for that money. I don't know anyone who could call an $8500 watch 'mid tier'. Then again, I'm not investing in Berkshire Hathaway enough.

    Now, all these issues aside, and the difference of what you accept as an excellent watch and what I determine an excellent watch is clear. If I'm paying that amount of money, I am asking what my money has purchased. Did it purchase a 'project' which I now have to repair? Is this worth my time and stress in setting things straight? As I get older, my answer is 'no, it's not'. And, when I receive a watch which has four scratches and a ding on the case from an Omega Service Center, again, I ask, 'what did I pay for, and how does this represent the company which serviced this'? Some, on this forum and others, say 'deal with it. You'll bang it up anyway.' I'd hate to see their house or audio equipment if that's their attitude. I don't enter those discussions, since I take care of items long enough to pass them along to others in usable condition when it's appropriate.

    The story of this situation is unfolding in an amicable way, despite the intro to this reply. I have sent the watch to a Service Representative (who has phoned me with a pleasant conversation). He has agreed with my assessment on the watch and we have a plan of action to correct the issues. This was what I expected from the start - that the company would stand behind the product and work with the customer.
    Last edited by watchfisher; 1 Week Ago at 05:29.

  3. #63
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by watchfisher View Post
    This is where you and I will possibly respectfully disagree. Or perhaps we are saying similar things in different ways.

    If I am paying full hit retail for a watch at MSRP $8500 at a Boutique, I am looking at a watch of 95%+ condition. I fully understand the limitations of a handmade 3D item. I work with my hands in a precision fashion daily. So I accept certain minor swirls and blemishes as part of the craftsmanship of these watches. Dust beneath the dial - when it's visible, that's something unusual to me. Now, all things being equal, I did not see that in the Boutique, but it was easily visible at home under LED lighting.

    Now, regarding the 30cm rule. I also have hesitation with that for two reasons. One is that all press photography and online imagery is shown illustrating the high level of detail in the close-up images. From Speedmaster to Seamaster and all models in between, Omega shows close images (and rightfully so) of the level of detail with their products. One model in fact comes with a loupe. What is this item intended for? I see it as a way to take a peek at the details we nerds so love in these timepieces. Some have said it's to assist in changing the strap / bracelet and that's fair too. I have 20/10 eyesight and design instrumentation for my day job. Seeing a difference of 1.1mm to 1.2mm with a naked eye is what I do. Seeing misalignment of a marker to the indicator needle stands out to me like a sore thumb - and I see it quickly in order to remedy any issue while meeting a schedule. So if I can discern these errors on the fly, I am quite sure a heralded company like Omega might be able to fit it into their repertoire.

    Some owners don't take to this level of detail and don't display as much care for their wristwatches. That's fair game as well. Though to your point of not defending Omega, that's possible, but perhaps Omega shouldn't be marketing claims of precision they aren't able to back up. But at present they're communicating as a prestige brand offering luxury goods.

    At $8500, this isn't a 'mid tier watch'. What about the Dark Side of the Moon? The Sedna gold offerings, or the limited editions from $12-20k? Those are entering rarified air, and you can get a pretty damn good used sportscar for that money. I don't know anyone who could call an $8500 watch 'mid tier'. Then again, I'm not investing in Berkshire Hathaway enough.

    Now, all these issues aside, and the difference of what you accept as an excellent watch and what I determine an excellent watch is clear. If I'm paying that amount of money, I am asking what my money has purchased. Did it purchase a 'project' which I now have to repair? Is this worth my time and stress in setting things straight? As I get older, my answer is 'no, it's not'. And, when I receive a watch which has four scratches and a ding on the case from an Omega Service Center, again, I ask, 'what did I pay for, and how does this represent the company which serviced this'? Some, on this forum and others, say 'deal with it. You'll bang it up anyway.' I'd hate to see their house or audio equipment if that's their attitude. I don't enter those discussions, since I take care of items long enough to pass them along to others in usable condition when it's appropriate.

    The story of this situation is unfolding in an amicable way, despite the intro to this reply. I have sent the watch to a Service Representative (who has phoned me with a pleasant conversation). He has agreed with my assessment on the watch and we have a plan of action to correct the issues. This was what I expected from the start - that the company would stand behind the product and work with the customer.
    Again, I'm not defending Omega - I certainly don't leave dust under the dial when I service a watch, just like I don't allow hands to be misaligned as Omega's tolerances do, or allow the date to change +/- 10 minutes of midnight as Omega does. I spend my days working on these watches, and quite frankly my standards are quite a bit higher than Omega's are when it comes to things like hand alignment, cleanliness, and timekeeping. All of Omega's working standards are far too loose in these areas in my view.

    All I'm doing is telling you the standards by which Omega determines if something is actionable or not for a warranty repair. Note that even if it falls within their standards, they may still repair something if you make enough noise - this is often a courtesy repair, rather than a warranty repair.

    With regards to Omega being a mid-tier brand, that really isn't up for debate. Swatch group places Omega in the middle of their product line. Again perspective is needed here - this isn't about pricing, but about where the brand sits in the world of horology, and it's a massed produced brand like Rolex. Yes they are expensive, but they are no where near the top of the watchmaking world.

    When I was at the Swatch service center in NJ a few years back for training, the watchmakers who were in the area where all the movement were serviced were divided in two sections. One side of the room was all the low to mid-tier brands, so Hamilton, Mido, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Omega, etc.. The other side was Breguet, GO, Blancpain, Jacquet Droz - the high end stuff that costs a lot more than your typical Omega does.

    Again, just trying to put things in a larger perspective here.

    Cheers, Al

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  5. #64
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    Again, I'm not defending Omega - I certainly don't leave dust under the dial when I service a watch, just like I don't allow hands to be misaligned as Omega's tolerances do, or allow the date to change +/- 10 minutes of midnight as Omega does. I spend my days working on these watches, and quite frankly my standards are quite a bit higher than Omega's are when it comes to things like hand alignment, cleanliness, and timekeeping. All of Omega's working standards are far too loose in these areas in my view.

    All I'm doing is telling you the standards by which Omega determines if something is actionable or not for a warranty repair. Note that even if it falls within their standards, they may still repair something if you make enough noise - this is often a courtesy repair, rather than a warranty repair.

    With regards to Omega being a mid-tier brand, that really isn't up for debate. Swatch group places Omega in the middle of their product line. Again perspective is needed here - this isn't about pricing, but about where the brand sits in the world of horology, and it's a massed produced brand like Rolex. Yes they are expensive, but they are no where near the top of the watchmaking world.

    When I was at the Swatch service center in NJ a few years back for training, the watchmakers who were in the area where all the movement were serviced were divided in two sections. One side of the room was all the low to mid-tier brands, so Hamilton, Mido, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Omega, etc.. The other side was Breguet, GO, Blancpain, Jacquet Droz - the high end stuff that costs a lot more than your typical Omega does.

    Again, just trying to put things in a larger perspective here.

    Cheers, Al
    not disagreeing on whether omega is or not a midtier brand,
    it is, and solidly placed there,
    but isn't the debate whether or not omega's QC/ service standards are in line with that?

    these are not only very expensive items, they are also inherently items that are closely inspected, checked for performance, and have intangible value,
    be it emotional or other.
    plus, midtier, by itself, does not define what is expected from a make,
    these are not midtier private jets, but aren't midtier plastic toys either,
    and that means something regardless of brand positioning.
    omega, by commanding those prices for acquisition and maintenance both,
    and, legitimately, flaunting it's place in not only watchmaking history,
    can't very well, in my opinion, say 'hey, we're just a midtier brand' when something goes wrong.

    regarding company's standards,
    be it omega's or any other company's,
    there is also a measure of how many individual products reach the market at the lower/ higher end of those set standards's spectrum, or even plainly defective,
    which extends to repairing.
    by this measure, I, as a client, am convinced omega, as a brand, is sadly lagging behind it's own product's potential.
    the watches themselves are outstanding,
    performance wise, second to none in the market,
    but, as is our custom to disagree on,
    something isn't right with the brand itself.
    Last edited by hugof3C; 1 Week Ago at 19:18.

  6. #65
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by hugof3C View Post
    not disagreeing on whether omega is or not a midtier brand,
    it is, and solidly placed there,
    but isn't the debate whether or not omega's QC/ service standards are in line with that?
    I've been perfectly clear that I don't agree with their standards, but that doesn't change the fact that these are their standards. Wishing they were different isn't going to change them. They are what they are.


    Quote Originally Posted by hugof3C View Post
    these are not only very expensive items, they are also inherently items that are closely inspected, checked for performance, and have intangible value,
    be it emotional or other.
    They are closely checked, but to Omega's standards, which are clearly not what everyone expects them to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by hugof3C View Post
    plus, midtier, by itself, does not define what is expected from a make,
    But it does. Omega is not a company that produces watches in very small quantities, with great attention being paid to the finest detail - this is the part people appear to be missing. They make close to a million watches a year...that's somewhere on the order of 4,000 watches per working day...

    If people are expecting the level of quality of a brand that makes say 50,000 watches a year at the prices Omega charges, that's just not going to happen. Unfortunately the marketing Omega does, like a lot of marketing, doesn't reflect the reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by hugof3C View Post
    can't very well, in my opinion, say 'hey, we're just a midtier brand' when something goes wrong.
    Well, they don't say that - they simply say the watch is within their specs when someone points out that the hands don't line up, or there's a spec of dust under the glass...

  7. #66
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post

    But it does. Omega is not a company that produces watches in very small quantities, with great attention being paid to the finest detail - this is the part people appear to be missing. They make close to a million watches a year...that's somewhere on the order of 4,000 watches per working day...
    I expect the level of quality I'm charged for, if a company produces more than it's structure can handle, it's their responsibility, not the client's to 'factor in' the purchase.
    I understand your points completely, and this one in particular is what I think is mostly to blame,
    omega is trying to flood the market and crush the competition by sheer volume and ubiquitous presence,
    but has gone way over their capacity to control and maintain their products according to client's legitimate expectations.

    I don't think we're saying different things, from what I surmise,
    it's the brand's having gone or not over the edge of what's acceptable in some points we won't agree on.
    still, I'd like to clarify I have no doubt the majority of watches marketed are perfectly made and repairs properly addressed,
    problem is, when a million is being made, the % of those that aren't becomes too vast a number even if the % itself is no greater in proportion from a brand making thousands.

  8. #67
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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    Again, I'm not defending Omega - I certainly don't leave dust under the dial when I service a watch, just like I don't allow hands to be misaligned as Omega's tolerances do, or allow the date to change +/- 10 minutes of midnight as Omega does. I spend my days working on these watches, and quite frankly my standards are quite a bit higher than Omega's are when it comes to things like hand alignment, cleanliness, and timekeeping. All of Omega's working standards are far too loose in these areas in my view.

    All I'm doing is telling you the standards by which Omega determines if something is actionable or not for a warranty repair. Note that even if it falls within their standards, they may still repair something if you make enough noise - this is often a courtesy repair, rather than a warranty repair.

    With regards to Omega being a mid-tier brand, that really isn't up for debate. Swatch group places Omega in the middle of their product line. Again perspective is needed here - this isn't about pricing, but about where the brand sits in the world of horology, and it's a massed produced brand like Rolex. Yes they are expensive, but they are no where near the top of the watchmaking world.

    When I was at the Swatch service center in NJ a few years back for training, the watchmakers who were in the area where all the movement were serviced were divided in two sections. One side of the room was all the low to mid-tier brands, so Hamilton, Mido, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Omega, etc.. The other side was Breguet, GO, Blancpain, Jacquet Droz - the high end stuff that costs a lot more than your typical Omega does.

    Again, just trying to put things in a larger perspective here.

    Cheers, Al
    Al-
    I see what you mean, and regarding a few topics we are saying the same thing. I also wanted to extend that I certainly respect your input.

    The servicing you noted in the past replies might be analogous to a car dealership service department vs a local enthusiast shop. One will likely spend a bit more time tweaking the details, while the dealership has booked cars (and regular services like oil changes) to address during their workweek.

    I also see your point about mid-tier. To me, the price isn't mid-tier, but then again, I'm not in a certain income bracket to entertain a Breguet purchase. I thought some of my earlier acquisitions were expensive!

    I am glad the service and communication this time around seems very informative and helpful. This might not be 'normal' for Omega service, but it is welcome after the first unfortunate service. I will be sure to post the good aspects of this experience as well.
    Archer likes this.

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    Re: Omega Service Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by hugof3C View Post
    I expect the level of quality I'm charged for, if a company produces more than it's structure can handle, it's their responsibility, not the client's to 'factor in' the purchase.
    I understand your points completely, and this one in particular is what I think is mostly to blame,
    omega is trying to flood the market and crush the competition by sheer volume and ubiquitous presence,
    but has gone way over their capacity to control and maintain their products according to client's legitimate expectations.

    I don't think we're saying different things, from what I surmise,
    it's the brand's having gone or not over the edge of what's acceptable in some points we won't agree on.
    still, I'd like to clarify I have no doubt the majority of watches marketed are perfectly made and repairs properly addressed,
    problem is, when a million is being made, the % of those that aren't becomes too vast a number even if the % itself is no greater in proportion from a brand making thousands.
    Also true. I wonder if the brand perception and marketing matches the reality of the precision and build quality. I'm not saying Omega doesn't offer excellent items, but to your point, there might be an increased % of watches that need servicing etc after the fact. Unfortunately, the workload to remedy those becomes the concern of the service departments - and an addition to their workweek quotas.

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