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Weetabix

Help! Hamilton Watch Repair - not happy

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Hello - We've recently had a vintage Hamilton watch repaired and we're not at all happy.

Originally, it was dropped and hence the movement stopped working and the screen protector had popped out and was cracked.

After being taken for repair, it came back with its innards removed and a quartz movement in its place - which we can live with (although the original movement has not been returned - I'm guessing because it must be worth a few bob as apparently they're becoming more and more difficult to source?)

However - it's the screen protector which we're most unhappy with - it's a large angular plastic one and rises over the face of the watch the same height as the watch itself - it looks *awful*

In speaking with the Horologist, he has said that he had to put such a large one on as a lower domed one would prevent the second hand from moving? 

He's unable to source an appropriate size as 'Hamilton are no longer in existence.'

Can everyone just confirm that this is the case?
The watch's diameter doesn't seem abnormal! Surely it would be easy enough to source a screen protector that doesn't catch on the movement of a second hand?

And should I expect the original movement returned with the watch?

We'd really appreciate any clues/suggestions as this watch has a great deal of sentimentality.

Thanks in advance.

 

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Well there is quite a lot here to digest, I would never accept swapping out of a movement unless this had been expressly requested by yourself, a mechanical movement even a bog standard one, would be more expensive than a quartz movement and I would want to be told why he wasn't able to repair the old movement and then I would 100% want the option of having the old movement back! Have you got any pictures of the watch? As a company Hamilton are still going strong and it would be good to see what era watch we are talking about, I have a Hamilton from 1947 that was broken but I found a new old stock part on eBay which was used to fix it and the chap who repaired it gave me to old broken main spring to take home!

I suspect that the new glass being so raised is due to the difference in stem length Quartz v Mechanical but again this should have been explained BEFORE any work was carried out, I would approach him and ask why the old movement wasnt repairable, and if he wont rectify all your issues then go down the route Ry Ry suggests. 

 

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Thanks for your replies!

Unfortunately, my mother took the watch in - I complained via email and received the following:

"Our Horologist advised that due to the watch being elderly, he could carry out a service to the existing mechanical movement, but would not be able to guarantee any kind of consistent functionality as any worn parts that  needed replacing to make it a reliable timepiece, are now obsolete. The quote for this work to the mechanical mechanism was given as £150.
As an alternative the conversion to quartz, a battery operated module was suggested. The quote and final bill for this was £125 which was duly accepted by your mother. 
 
The quartz conversion is invariably undertaken on watches of an elderly nature and unfortunately parts that fit these watches are getting progressively harder and harder to obtain. 
 
When your watch was brought to us the original glass was missing so the potential of it being re used was not there.
 
We are also unable to source a lens manufactured by Hamilton as they are no longer in existence. 
 
This left our technician with a choice of only two generic styles of lens that would fit the case of your watch. The particular lens that he chose was selected to give the center post which carries the three hands enough room for their free movement. The lower domed lens would catch on the seconds hand resulting in the module becoming jammed.
 
The Horologist suggests that to make the lens look less 'chunky' the removal of the seconds hand maybe possible so that the lower profile lens can be used instead. This would still give you a working time piece with just an hour and minute hand."
 

So - what do you think? I wish I could attach photos so that you could see a) what a beautiful watch is is/was b) how ugly the screen cover (and winding mechanism) are :-(

I would say that the watch itself dates from the 1940s

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I would get the old movement back , as i'm sure it can be repaired , then I would take it to a credible repairer , I wouldn't go anywhere near the chap that did this bodge job for you.
If you can get the movement back Simon2 on this forum comes highly recommended by many here for repairs ,i'm sure he could sort it for you

The most important thing is to get the movement back .

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The watch should not have been butchered in my view. The so-called horologist should have advised restraint and possibly investigation of other avenues. One thing is now sadly possible.... that more than £125 has been taken off the value of the watch.... They perhaps just wanted a quick in-and-out job and are up £125 gross and also now have a movement ( albeit one that does not work ) that may also attract value. Sounds like a sad tale to me....

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Thank you :-(

And what about the screen protector - is the Horologist correct in saying that I'd have to have the second hand removed if I wanted a dome lens?

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8 minutes ago, Weetabix said:

Thank you :-(

And what about the screen protector - is the Horologist correct in saying that I'd have to have the second hand removed if I wanted a dome lens?

What he's saying is just a bodge job to fix the original bodge job, get the movement back then send it all to @simon2 i'm sure he can sort it out properly from there :thumbsup: 

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Very frustrating but unfortunately little chance of redress if your mother has agreed to the work. See if you can get them to return the old movement and crown, failing that you will have to look for a movement or donor watch on EBay.

A specialist vintage watch repairer like @simon2 might be able to help

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Hmmm - if I ask for the movement back and tell him he can keep the quartz movement and awful screen protector he's used - do you think I should ask for a partial refund?

If so - how much do you think would be acceptable?

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Does it look like this? As your mother agreed to the work I doubt you would get anything back, I also wouldn't let this person touch the watch again, demand the movement back, and if he cant supply it then I would say that he needs to source another one for you as this is your movement broken or fixed not his.

46785151362_655436b52b_b.jpg

 

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What a sad story. Pictures of the watch would be helpful. Converting a watch, like this is not on. He should have made more effort to restore, or returned it to the customer unrepaired. If you can get hold of the original movement or know its Calibre and number, I would love to work on it for you. As for the Glass. I'm sure, with a little digging something more suitable could be found. Hope this helps. Keep us all posted.

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1 hour ago, Weetabix said:

screen protector

It's called the 'crystal' or glass, and they can be made to any spec from any existing material, including acrylic, mineral glass or sapphire crystal. 

The 'horologist' wasn't based in Rye was he? Sounds like the work of the butcher.

As others have said, they should return the old movement, take back the quartz movement and ridiculous crystal, which sounds like a box crystal, and call it a day. Then take it to someone who knows what they're doing.

Oh, and post pics. I want to see this :laugh:

 

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@Weetabix 

26 minutes ago, simon2 said:

What a sad story. Pictures of the watch would be helpful. Converting a watch, like this is not on. He should have made more effort to restore, or returned it to the customer unrepaired. If you can get hold of the original movement or know its Calibre and number, I would love to work on it for you. As for the Glass. I'm sure, with a little digging something more suitable could be found. Hope this helps. Keep us all posted.

@simon2 can be contacted via his web site https://www.essexclockandwatchclinic.com/

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You have just been scammed big time.

Imagine that you take in your BMW and they return it to you a Suzuki engine and also the doors come from a different model and don't really fit.

This is bad on so many levels.

At most, you should have been asked if such operation was OK with you.

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Guys his mother took the watch to the so called “horologist” so the OP can’t reallg be blamed to much except trusting his mum. 

Mask for the old movement back it’s yoirs after all, if they say no or that it’s gone I would threaten small claims or demand they find another working or not. 

Also you should consider naming these charlatans. As it would be nice to know who to avoid. 

Edited by Redwolf

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Thanks for all your really useful replies - I'm happy to post photos if someone can tell me how to?! 
Where it says 'Insert other media' - I only have the option to 'insert existing attachment' or point to a URL...

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I can't believe this. What a terrible mess. Where the hell did he get that glass from. I thought that the glass would be, at least, shaped.  ( not round) it's so simple to find such a glass to fit a case like this. Are you sure the watch was taken to a watchmakers. I agree that this man needs to be exposed. His level of competence is appalling.

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6 hours ago, JoT said:

Very frustrating but unfortunately little chance of redress if your mother has agreed to the work. See if you can get them to return the old movement

I am of the view that the "horologist" had no right to keep or dispose of that movement unless explicitly agreed prior to any work... the movement belongs to the watch owner. 

 

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wow that 2 nd picture makes it look like something a 1000 mtr dive watch would have !! you have my sympathies for the ruin of a nice watch.

deano

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19 minutes ago, simon2 said:

I can't believe this. What a terrible mess. Where the hell did he get that glass from. I thought that the glass would be, at least, shaped.  ( not round) it's so simple to find such a glass to fit a case like this. Are you sure the watch was taken to a watchmakers. I agree that this man needs to be exposed. His level of competence is appalling.

I feel a little uneasy at naming and shaming tbh....as to be fair - the work *was* agreed by my mother.....urgh!

Can I just clarify though - would a 'generic' dome shaped crystal prevent the second hand from moving?
And if so - is this because the quartz movement used has raised the central column?

Thanks again - you've all been amazing.

 

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2 hours ago, Weetabix said:

Thanks I like it! It’s old but gold! He really has made a mess of that! You need to get the original movement back ASAP, and then give it to Simon to sort, he just fixed an old Heuer of mine and sent me the old movement in a lovely little box! I could not recommend him highly enough

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