Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of watches do you service, do you service other brands?
We specialize in the service and restoration of Breitling Watches. We also service or restore other high-grade mechanical timepieces, including chronographs, pocket watches, aircraft clocks and high-grade clocks. We no longer service Rolex or Swatch Group (Omega) timepieces.
How can I get an estimate of service to my watch?
Our estimates are provided on an individualized basis after thorough examination of the watch. We recommend that you send the watch via US Post Registered Mail, insured for the replacement cost (either the price of a comparable modern watch or sale price of a comparable watch from collectors’ publications or watch sales web sites). We also receive deliveries from all other carriers. Click here to email us for the shipping address.
How much is my watch worth?
This is a very common question, but is a very separate item from the services we provide. Value is unrelated to the cost or parts and labor involved in its service. The answer can vary depending on condition of the watch, demand in the collectors’ market, etc. We are not Certified Appraisers and our involvement with the sale of new and pre-owned timepieces is limited. Further information on your watch may be found in any number of watch publications, but should be considered separate from the labor and parts required for servicing your watch. For shipping purposes, we recommend insuring for the comparable replacement from a current catalog.
How often should my watch be serviced?
Our main concern with most movements is that when the synthetic oils dry up, the watch will continue to run. When running without lubrication there is the probability of damage and wear to parts, resulting in the need for extensive (and more expensive) repair. For older and out of production watches, usually our recommendation is for complete disassembly, cleaning, oiling and adjustment of the movement to start. Subsequent service is completely individualized and depends on usage, type of watch and the environment. Rarely will we do any partial case or movement work unless we were the last to do a complete service. All timepieces are done individually, with the goal to bring the watch back to the best mechanical and aesthetic condition as possible.
For further information regarding your watch servicing, read this article by David Christianson as published in the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) January 1997 Horological Times.
What does it cost to service my watch?
The cost is proportional to the mechanical and aesthetic condition. For vintage timepieces and chronographs, the cost is often comparable to the overhaul cost of a modern watch. For example, the cost of overhaul of a modern Breitling Navitimer will start at $700 – $800. It is not reasonable to expect an older, out of production chronograph to have a service cost less than a modern watch, when there is usually more wear and spare parts are long out of production. All estimates are done individually and itemized showing any optional items.
Is there a charge for the estimate?
We have a standard administration and estimate fee (includes shipping and insurance). This fee is $45 for most vintage watches. This fee applies if the estimate we provide is approved or declined. Occasionally, however, we do have labor involved in providing the estimate due to rust, damage, wear, or compromised past service. If so, we will notify you of the anticipated labor fee in advance. Watches dropped off or picked up will also have an administration and estimate fee.
What kind of warranty is offered with service?
We offer a one-year warranty on labor as long as the timepiece is returned clean and not tampered with or abused. Although our testing phase of service is very thorough and we do not expect to see your watch have any problem, there are occasions when an intermittent problem is not detected and we ask to be notified of any problems right away. Replacement parts or labor for parts fabrication, case parts, dial, hands are not included. Water damage or rust is not covered under warranty.
What about spare parts for vintage/antique timepieces?
We do not sell spare parts outright to anyone. Most of the vintage parts are long out of production and we reserve them for watch owners that are having their watches serviced or restored by us. We are not authorized to sell modern spare parts for any brand. All parts are by exchange only.