Watches - Tune-Up & Service

Your Watch: When To Send it in for a Tune-Up

A modern mechanical timepiece is an amazing micro-mechanic marvel that typically beats at a rate of more than 20,000 pulses in a single hour. Multiply that by 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, day in and day out for 3 years and your watch may well have ticked a staggering 571,334,400 times barely missing a beat!

Call me crazy, but after ticking nearly 572 million times with only a tiny drop of oil for lubrication your watch deserves a little TLC.

Not so long ago a typical watch was not particularly accurate and required service at least one time a year. Today, despite the high best rate, a watch should keep excellent time for many years. But just like a car driven every day; at some point the oils dry up, the regulation requires adjustment and the general performance will show signs of being simply tired.

Give your watch to a qualified watchmaker who is familiar with your type of movement or send it back to the manufacturer for peace of mind. Your watch will feel like you would after taking time off work to take a vacation with some spa treatments! It will be ready to return to loyal, ongoing service.

You should expect this for any watch you own. One thing to bear in mind is that you may not know how long your watch was sitting in a vault at the manufacturer waiting to be cased up and shipped out. How long until the distributor sent it out to a retailer? How long did it sit under blasting halogen lights in a retailers showcase before finding its way onto your grateful wrist?

Any watch will require service every 3-5 years to ensure continued performance for a great many years. You should budget appropriately. An expensive watch, like a luxury car, demands higher quality parts, finer scrutiny and tighter tolerances. The watchmaker is likely more skilled and experienced. This all adds up to a higher price that you can expect to pay. The more complicated the mechanism the more costly the service will be.

Service: What's Included

"Overhaul" is the term usually used. A complete overhaul involves total disassembly of the movement and ultrasonic cleaning of every tiny part. Each component is then carefully checked and worn parts are replaced with the correct new parts. Factory specs will dictate exact quantities and type of oil to be used for lubrication as well as exact location of oil.

Once correctly assembly is complete the watch must be re-regulated which means adjusting the time-keeping to be as accurate as possible taking into account the different positions the watch is likely to be subjected to on the wrist. Finally, the watch needs to be monitored for a period of time sufficient to determine that the watch is meeting the standards that you have come to count on and will continue to do so for the next few years.

Video Tutorial: How to Wind Your Watch

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