Ball Watch Repair - Help!
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  1. #1
    Member Entropy89's Avatar
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    Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Hey all, I need some help understanding the repair process for Ball Watches. I have an Engineer II Pioneer that I sent into the Ball Watch repair center that's mentioned on the Ball Watch website, in the second week of September 2018. It needed a tritium tube replaced and the detail in the movement had to be repaired as well (the watch wouldn't wind). I followed the Repair center's procedure prior to sending the watch out and obtained a case number, etc.

    The repair center sent me an email about 2 weeks later stating they had received my watch and were going to take a look at it and provide a repair estimate. I waited another 3 weeks before calling them to find out why I haven't received an estimate and they told me that my watch had been sent to Switzerland for repair because of the tritium tube replacement.

    Well its been almost a month since that phone call and I still haven't seen an estimate or been told the status of my watch and I'm starting to get frustrated and worried that its missing

    All of my other mechanical/auto watches are out of warranty so I just bring them to a local repair shop; but the shop I use said they couldn't do anything about the tubes, so I'd have to send it to the manufacturer.

    Has anyone had this type of issue before with Ball Watch repairs, does it typically take a month or longer just to receive an estimate for repairs?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Member qa_ii's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    When sending a Swiss watch in for repair, whether it gets repaired stateside or is sent off to Switzerland, it is not out of the ordinary for the process to take 12 weeks or more. It is still too early for alarm at this point. However, it wouldn't be improper to call Ball USA and speak to one of their CS representatives and ask them if they will obtain a status update for you. I've reached out to Ball USA on more than one occasion in the past, and I've been happy with their response. I'd speak to them by telephone though as emails can sometimes be overlooked. Lastly, most of the Swiss watch manufacturers close down for all or most of the month of December. You may be experiencing this holiday shutdown period. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member Entropy89's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by qa_ii View Post
    When sending a Swiss watch in for repair, whether it gets repaired stateside or is sent off to Switzerland, it is not out of the ordinary for the process to take 12 weeks or more. It is still too early for alarm at this point. However, it wouldn't be improper to call Ball USA and speak to one of their CS representatives and ask them if they will obtain a status update for you. I've reached out to Ball USA on more than one occasion in the past, and I've been happy with their response. I'd speak to them by telephone though as emails can sometimes be overlooked. Lastly, most of the Swiss watch manufacturers close down for all or most of the month of December. You may be experiencing this holiday shutdown period. Good luck.
    Thank you for replying! I knew it would take a while for the repairs but I thought I'd at least have an estimate by now. I didnt realize that it was common for the manufacturers to close down in December but it makes sense; this does kinda put my mind at ease for the time being. I'm hesitant to call Ball again because when I called they the first time, they told me it was in Switzerland and they couldnt give me more than that. Thanks again!

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  5. #4
    Member Entropy89's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by qa_ii View Post
    When sending a Swiss watch in for repair, whether it gets repaired stateside or is sent off to Switzerland, it is not out of the ordinary for the process to take 12 weeks or more. It is still too early for alarm at this point. However, it wouldn't be improper to call Ball USA and speak to one of their CS representatives and ask them if they will obtain a status update for you. I've reached out to Ball USA on more than one occasion in the past, and I've been happy with their response. I'd speak to them by telephone though as emails can sometimes be overlooked. Lastly, most of the Swiss watch manufacturers close down for all or most of the month of December. You may be experiencing this holiday shutdown period. Good luck.
    Thank you for replying! I knew it would take a while for the repairs but I thought I'd at least have an estimate by now. I didnt realize that it was common for the manufacturers to close down in December but it makes sense; this does kinda put my mind at ease for the time being. I'm hesitant to call Ball again because when I called they the first time, they told me it was in Switzerland and they couldnt give me more than that. Thanks again!

  6. #5
    Member PetrosD's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by qa_ii View Post
    When sending a Swiss watch in for repair, whether it gets repaired stateside or is sent off to Switzerland, it is not out of the ordinary for the process to take 12 weeks or more. It is still too early for alarm at this point. However, it wouldn't be improper to call Ball USA and speak to one of their CS representatives and ask them if they will obtain a status update for you. I've reached out to Ball USA on more than one occasion in the past, and I've been happy with their response. I'd speak to them by telephone though as emails can sometimes be overlooked. Lastly, most of the Swiss watch manufacturers close down for all or most of the month of December. You may be experiencing this holiday shutdown period. Good luck.
    The 12 weeks, or more, is spot on. I send a Ball watch in for warranty repair through local Ball AD (which sent it back to Switzerland through Ball USA). I also stories about how long it was taking and, when I asked, was told it would be 12 weeks.

    It took every bit of that, and perhaps longer, but sure enough I got it back in working order a bit more than 3 months later (may have been closer to 4 months).

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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    (Swiss) Industry standard for turn around time for repairs under warranty is about 3 months--there ARE exceptions of course, but when you add all the numbers up, 3 months is a safe bet. JFYI, if your watch is off warranty, other companies beside Ball can replace tritium tubes. And, be forewarned, Ball usually requires a complete service (as do many companies) since they are going to have to open up the watch, remove the movement, remove the hands, the dial and so forth, just to repair even a single tube. The complete Ball service, on your dime, is often around $300, assuming no other work is necessary....
    Last edited by timefleas; December 21st, 2018 at 08:37.

  8. #7
    Member Entropy89's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrosD View Post
    The 12 weeks, or more, is spot on. I send a Ball watch in for warranty repair through local Ball AD (which sent it back to Switzerland through Ball USA). I also stories about how long it was taking and, when I asked, was told it would be 12 weeks.

    It took every bit of that, and perhaps longer, but sure enough I got it back in working order a bit more than 3 months later (may have been closer to 4 months).
    Thanks for replying, I'm just glad this is still along the norm for the turnaround time...its a little frustrating but at least its in the right hands to be fixed. I'd rather wait longer to have it fixed properly than an quick fix and have to send it back again.
    PetrosD likes this.

  9. #8
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by timefleas View Post
    (Swiss) Industry standard for turn around time for repairs under warranty is about 3 months--there ARE exceptions of course, but when you add all the numbers up, 3 months is a safe bet. JFYI, if your watch is off warranty, other companies beside Ball can replace tritium tubes. And, be forewarned, Ball usually requires a complete service (as do many companies) since they are going to have to open up the watch, remove the movement, remove the hands, the dial and so forth, just to repair even a single tube. The complete Ball service, on your dime, is often around $300, assuming no other work is necessary....
    Other companies can replace the tubes?? I went to two repair shops, one I've used several times, and both told me it was nearly impossible to get the tubes shipped to the US because of the tritium. Do you have a recommendation of who can replace them? And yea I was told the repairs could be up to $1100 if its out of warranty, no where near what I want to spend but I just want my watch working and looking like new again...could buy a brand new watch for that.

  10. #9
    Member waruilewi's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Let us know how this turns out.

  11. #10
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Watch Repair - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy89 View Post
    Other companies can replace the tubes?? I went to two repair shops, one I've used several times, and both told me it was nearly impossible to get the tubes shipped to the US because of the tritium. Do you have a recommendation of who can replace them? And yea I was told the repairs could be up to $1100 if its out of warranty, no where near what I want to spend but I just want my watch working and looking like new again...could buy a brand new watch for that.
    Sorry I missed this--you will have to ship your watch out of the US to do it--I sent mine to "Bonding Company Ltd", (google and you will get the contact info) in Hong Kong (Raymond Li is in charge)--he has done replacements for other forum members around the world. Basically figure on average $20 per replaced tube, plus a few bucks to open the watch up. He did a great job with my Flying Scotsman (retail on this watch was $14K, so this was not your average repair--came out better than the original, and no issues with international shipment)--really great on communication, updates, other issues with the watch, and so forth.

    The only way a tritium replacement will cost $1100 is if you had Ball or anyone do a complete replacement of the 75 or so tubes on the Night Train, and in that case, I would just buy a new one--but, there is no way that you should have to replace all of them--I still have the original tubes in my Ball Fireman, wearing it last night, and it still beats any traditional lume--all night long, some 13 years down the road (I bought it in 2006).

    Really, the only tubes that make a difference are the ones on the hands--the weak link in Ball's schema, as they are always single thin tubes, which sometimes are quite indistinct when contrasted with the hour and minutes markers on many of their watches--unless totally defective, I would simply get the hands re-tubed--those are the only ones that make a difference for telling the time--the others will still show bright enough, or possibly the hands AND the hour markers (all together, $200 to $300)--if your watch has tubes at the minutes as well, those really don't need to be replaced unless truly defective.
    Last edited by timefleas; January 25th, 2019 at 14:38.
    jkn1946, Big Daddy J and dwczinmb like this.

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