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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    That is a tremendous understatement.

    Let me say that one of the significant benefits of owning watches with more pedestrian movements (ETA and such) is the opportunity to seek out a much wider array of repair / service options.

    When you have proprietary movements and zero outside access to parts, the manufacturers have you by the short hairs, and they know it. And too often they shamelessly exploit it.

    I once had a watch magnetized and took it to the dealer as the watch was still under warranty. The dealer was told by the manufacturer that the warranty did not apply to the watch being magnetized (not surprising) and that a $600 full service would be required one the watch had been demagnetized (say W H A T ???)

    Chuck you Farley, gimmemywatchback. That's like being told that a full transmission rebuild would be required after an oil change.
     
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  2. DLJr

    DLJr Senior member

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    I've been out of country, so I may have missed it, but did you post pics of your collection yet? I'd love to see it. Consider it my birthday wish. :slayer:
     
  3. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    The demagnetization thing is crazy! My wife magnetized her Cartier large auto Tank Francaise twice. Each time brought the watch to our local Cartier boutique and they demagnetized it at no charge.

    Service and parts on watches with proprietary movements often cost more than those using ETA movements, but I think it is to be expected as the overall cost of watches with proprietary movements is generally higher. I don't like that, but I sort of expect expect it the way I'd expect a Rolls Royce to cost more to service than an Acura.

    I think where they sometimes get you isn't the basic service, but its for when they insist that you do other things, like a major service just to get a minor repair done, or if you refuse part of their recommendation then they say they won't warranty the work that you authorize them to do (that happened with my friend's Patek Nautilus).
     
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  4. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    Well, yes and no. While its possible that many fixes are a simple tinker, I would bet that per their standards, every watch that comes in gets opened up and fully checked, and then fixed, and then timed and monitored, and then returned.

    Does that mean that more man hours and costs are expended on certain fixes? Probably, but they have to have a consistent system and they have to cover their behinds.

    Just think in your case, if in 2 weeks the problem returned, which happens often with watches that are not 100% fixed right, you would have shrugged it off as the fix was free. But if you just sent it to PP, paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and waited a few months for it to completed, youd be ranting and raving. To make sure that does not happen, they have to treat each repair as if its a serious issue and give it the full QC rigamarole.

    Lastly, not everyone happens upon George Daniels to fix their PP, or what have you watch, for free.

    I could be biased as I work with watches and jewelry and I see this from the other side of the counter, but I know what goes into a lot these things and the various nuances and potential issues, and all too often I feel people are quick to pull the accusatory trigger, and claim that the manufactures are taking advantage at every step.

    Do they make a lot of money? Sure they do. They are in the business world, not the public service sector. While they all have history and want to make great product, in the end of the day they are all businesses, no different than if they were making airplane components. They employee thousands of people who reply on them for a living, and the higher ups are in major positions that command hefty salaries.

    That being said, I do not feel that in the vast majority cases they are deliberately being dishonest or finding ways to over charge. Are there bad apples? Of course, and even with the good apples some people have a bad experience, but for the great majority they are doing their best to make great product, which is not easy or cheap and the competition is vast and aggressive, service their product as best they can, be as fair as they can, and drive a thriving and profitable business.

    Never forget that very last part. If you think they are there simply to service you out of the kindness of their hearts and for the perpetuity of they prestigious history, you are sorely mistaken, and will likely have something to be angry about. There are two sides to most coins.
     
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  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    @Dino944 - that it should cost more to service an elite in-house movement versus an average ETA piece is not a contentious issue from my perspective. My point is that in the latter category, you generally have more choice in whom you select to service your watch, because independent service centers have wider access to the parts necessary to implement repairs and perform more comprehensive servicing.

    With some manufacturers, they ensure that you must come to them for servicing as they simply don't make parts available to anyone else. They effectively have a monopoly on service and thus can not only charge what they want, but also impose whatever service they deem necessary upon the customer - such as the questionable full servicing to accompany any minor repair, as you have mentioned. You don't like it? Tough. You got no place else to go.

    And yes, the magnetization markup was perhaps the most egregious example of service gouging that I have come personally across (I ultimately took the watch to another dealer with whom I have an established relationship and they demagnetized the watch in about 10 min. at no charge) - but regrettably, not by far the only similar example I have heard of from others in the watch enthusiast community over the past couple years.

    To stitchy's point, I don't believe that the majority are dishonest - but I do think there are FAR more bad apples out there than some would allow. You sure don't have to look far and wide to find one.
     
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  6. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Hi Roger,

    thanks for clarifying your point. I agree when you have a watch with an ETA movement you definitely have many more service options. I know here in the US, Rolex USA cut off most independent watchmakers from obtaining parts, and in many cases won't supply parts or allow AD's that used to have small in house service departments to service Rolex watches. I believe Cartier has moved in that direction also, although there are still some of their watches using ETA bases.

    My Dad had a bad experience many years ago with an independent who didn't properly seal his GMT Master and water got into it, ruining it, so I tend to be shy of going outside the authorized service network these days. I know there are lots of very capable watchmakers, but if there is going to potentially be a problem, I want it to be one that the manufacturer will be responsible for correcting.

    I think trying to charge you for demagnetizing your watch is just greedy and a poor way to treat a client...or what I would presume will soon become a former client!
     
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  7. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    A good watch/jewelry businessperson knows when and who, and what to charge or not charge, for what. It can be a mistake that costs you a heavy hitter if you make a blunder.
     
  8. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    Like when Frilly lost his platinum pusher cap. Watch was sent to PP and his guy didn't charge him though I assume Frilly has bought multiple pieces from said vendor.
     
  9. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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    My Speedmaster with the Piguet movement cost about $650 for a full service. Mind you it had to go back three times (kind of glad I moved on from that watch). I get what you guys are saying though, and not that I am shocked by the amount, it just makes me realize there is an added benefit to having mass produced movement particularly if you are sporting a larger collection.

    In regards to OEM servicing, I would go no other way if I were intending to take the watch anywhere near water.
     
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  10. tricky

    tricky Senior member

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    Was just going through a lot of the older pages and came across this MC Memovox.

    One of my grails and sadly discontinued. Unfortunately I don't find the later models as visually appealing. But this one is perfect, especially on brown leather.
     
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  11. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Merry Christmas / Happy Hannukah / Quality Kwanzaa to all of you!
     
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  12. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    Same to you, Belli, and thanks for all you contribute to this thread. Wether we agree or not, you really to bring a lot to the table here, and if we all were of the same mind about everything it would make for a very boring thread. The differences of opinion step up the level of discourse in a major way and I think we all learn from it. I know I do.
     
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  13. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Awwwww, thanks! Gettin' all sentimental 'n' shit over here...
     
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  14. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    Threw a lined shell strap on the Longines and am very pleased with the results. Big upgrade from the stock strap IMO

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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  16. tifosi

    tifosi Senior member

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    Massive upgrade, Ryden. Nice color choice.
     
  17. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Wow, that looks so much better rydenfan, lovely choice.
     
  18. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Much better indeed!!!
     
  19. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    Thanks guys!! Much appreciated and happy holidays
     
  20. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    +1,000 Stitchy.
    Yup. And I saw that bill. Close to $1,000.
     
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