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russelk

Is Breitling service worth it?

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I recently took my Breitling Colt Chrono quartz in to my local Breitling boutique for a battery change. It's over 10 years old but I've only had it for a year. I had assumed they would simply charge me somewhere around £25 to £50 to change the battery - the very slightly pompous member of staff informed me that they do not simply change the battery. The watch would need to be sent to their horologist to be inspected, after which they would email me with a repair quote. Low and behold, the quote arrived today and it says that due to its age it will require a full service costing £395.

I can of course decline and have the watch sent back to the boutique. I can get the battery replaced somewhere else at a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, the watch will come back looking new, with the added peace of mind that it's had a full service and should give me many more years of trouble free service. But £395 is a heck of a lot of money for a service. Is it worth it? I was also under the impression that quartz mechanisms did not need expensive servicing. Was I wrong?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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hi

I can not speak for quartz watches, as I had my breitling superocean auto serviced and it cost £500 @ breitling , it was worth it for me as I bought it at the right money used, I had always intended to own the watch for the next 5 years anyway so it was money well spent as you say it came back as new it still is , you may not get that money back if you sell the watch in a year, but it will add some value and desirability for the next owner . so if you intend to keep it I would say yes, although I would want to check exactly what's been done for  that £400.00 on a quartz? as it does seem a lot . I seem to recall there is a online price list for servicing breitlings ?

deano

Edited by deano1956
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Roughly about 2 years ago I had a 38mm Colt Ocean (3 hander not chrono admittedly), and a it had a breitling service which consisted of battery change, movement parameter check, case clean, reseal and pressure test which was £108. So add a bit for the complications of the chrono, and an actual movement service rather than parameter check and its probably not too far off. But if its running fine (before the battery died), and you don't take it in water, you can save yourself the price of a nice watch. 

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Breitling Auto services are worth the money for sure... Battery ones only if you care about your watch coming back looking brand new ( which is what they do )

 

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its about half what rolex charge so if i had a rolex id be sending it to breitling. 

1 hour ago, russelk said:

But £395 is a heck of a lot of money for a service

 

you ask @BondandBigM i think he got diddled as my gran would say. Should have gone to B bling. 

1 hour ago, russelk said:

I recently took my Breitling Colt Chrono quartz in to my local Breitling boutique for a battery change. It's over 10 years old but I've only had it for a year. I had assumed they would simply charge me somewhere around £25 to £50 to change the battery - the very slightly pompous member of staff informed me that they do not simply change the battery. The watch would need to be sent to their horologist to be inspected, after which they would email me with a repair quote. Low and behold, the quote arrived today and it says that due to its age it will require a full service costing £395.

I can of course decline and have the watch sent back to the boutique. I can get the battery replaced somewhere else at a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, the watch will come back looking new, with the added peace of mind that it's had a full service and should give me many more years of trouble free service. But £395 is a heck of a lot of money for a service. Is it worth it? I was also under the impression that quartz mechanisms did not need expensive servicing. Was I wrong?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

if its a quartz id have thought its a bin it job like a seiko? And pop another in for 30 quid?

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Oh my god. What a complete waste of money. If it just needs a new battery then any decent jeweller could do it for you. Damn, I could do it for you and I am an accountant.

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I don't know if quartz movements need lubricating but if its just a battery change all I'm missing is this. Might buy a pot before I change the batteries next.

 

Edited by wrenny1969
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Thanks everybody for the replies. I'll need to have a think before I decide what to do. I'm leaning toward not having the service done because -

a) The watch is running fine and is easily the best timekeeper I own (even when compared to my other other quartz watches)

b) Although the idea of it coming back shiny and new does have its attraction, the light scuffs and marks it does currently have adds some character to it. 

On the other hand, I did buy it at a steal of a price and always had it in mind that I would get it serviced by Breitling at some point as it's never had a service before.

 

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Do you know if it has been serviced before you acquired it? If not I would say at 10 years old a service would be a good idea especially as the watch is a chronograph. A full service should mean that the movement is disassembled and cleaned, oiled, new pushers, new crown, gaskets, seals refinish the case and bracelet and possibly new crystal. As has been said it will also come back looking like new.

I have always dealt directly with Breitling service centre and always had good service from them.

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11 hours ago, GASHEAD said:

Oh my god. What a complete waste of money. If it just needs a new battery then any decent jeweller could do it for you. Damn, I could do it for you and I am an accountant.

CIPFA, CIMA, ACA or ACCA? ;-) blimey that takes me back to my early days in NHS audit, they had me do CIMA and im a Lawyer, but Accountants are better paid so i was edging my bets. Its bloody boring though in't it, double entry t accounts, blimey. ;-)

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2 hours ago, JoT said:

I would say at 10 years old a service would be a good idea especially as the watch is a chronograph. A full service should mean that the movement is disassembled and cleaned, oiled, new pushers

This hits a nail on the head... The way Breitling Quartz chronographs are specifically designed means that one of the first things to need attention on them is usually the chronograph pushers... The more I think about this thread and the watch in question, I would say that the £395 is a decent spend to be honest.

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Compared to service costs of other makes,£395.00 seems reasonable.I won’t hesitate to send mine in when the time comes.

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21 hours ago, GASHEAD said:

Oh my god. What a complete waste of money. If it just needs a new battery then any decent jeweller could do it for you. Damn, I could do it for you and I am an accountant.

This ^^ if there’s nowt wrong with it don’t bother with the full monty..... 

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1 hour ago, relaxer7 said:

This ^^ if there’s nowt wrong with it don’t bother with the full monty..... 

Breitling watches after full service look brand new ... add to that the fact that chrono seals only last so long, I would say unless the watch is never going to see water then that £400 is money very well spent.... The owner will have full confidence in its resilience and the watch will look shop-new.  Sometimes "you only know there was something wrong with it" after its gone wrong.... :thumbsup:

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My Tag Heuer Aquaracer got a free service with a bracelet and battery change in 2014.  I paid top bucks for my Rolex sub to be serviced. 

Personally I wouldn't pay for quartz servicing as the movements are either cheap enough to be replaced or quality enough to last longer than a mechanical. My wife has had a Citizen quartz since 1990 and it still keeps good time.  

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The old adage 

You get what you pay for

As some have already alluded to it will come back looking like a new watch. Can you buy a new Brightbling these days for four hundred notes. 

Alternatively you could just go to Timpsons for £25.

I never understand people that buy a quality bit of kit and then whinge about the cost of keeping it tip top as it should be. 

Maybe you should just have stuck to a Timex. 

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2 hours ago, BondandBigM said:

I never understand people that buy a quality bit of kit and then whinge about the cost of keeping it tip top as it should be. 

Maybe you should just have stuck to a Timex. 

Well that's the point, it is tip top. It simply needs a new battery. I have no objection to paying for a full service if it needed one. I'm happy to cough up the cash to service my Omega, because I can see that the timekeeping is not as it should be and needs a service. What I don't like is going in for a battery change and being told that it'll cost £495. That's taking the mickey.

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My wife’s Tag ran for over twenty years with only battery changes and pressure testing.It gave up the ghost a couple of months back,it went to an independent shop with the instruction service the movement and replace battery ,that’s exactly what happened it came back in perfect working order£75.00 .Your money your call,pm me if you want the contact details.

Edited by Bonzodog
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9 hours ago, russelk said:

Well that's the point, it is tip top. It simply needs a new battery. I have no objection to paying for a full service if it needed one. I'm happy to cough up the cash to service my Omega, because I can see that the timekeeping is not as it should be and needs a service. What I don't like is going in for a battery change and being told that it'll cost £495. That's taking the mickey.

but you are not being charged £495 for a battery change.... the £495 is for the full service... !?

if you just want a battery change , you could even do that yourself with a couple of inexpensive tools..... 

The point is that if the watch does genuinely need smaller seals replacing because the current ones are near the end of their life ( possible ) then the first you may know about that is when the dial fogs up and the watch stops working... then your bill to repair would possibly exceed the value of the watch.

I think what may be missing here , is the appreciation that chronograph waterproof watches that do not have screw down pushers really do need those smaller gaskets/seals replaced when recommended as by design of the watch.

If the watch is always going to be dry and it works then just buy a battery and a couple of tools from cousins and swap it over your self.....:thumbsup:

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4 hours ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

but you are not being charged £495 for a battery change.... the £495 is for the full service... !?

I get that, but at the boutique I wasn't even given the option of a simple battery change. So the customer who wanted a battery change is told that they will need to pay for a full service. 

However, I am seeing things from both sides now. That the seals may need replacing before potential damage ensues is not something I'd considered. In Breitling's defence, the written quote did include the option of a cheaper maintenance service, but since this is not the recommended option they will not guarantee the correct functioning of the watch until a full service is done. I will most likely take this option for now and get a full service done in a year or two.

I am grateful for the input from everyone,  it's been very helpful.

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1 hour ago, russelk said:

I get that, but at the boutique I wasn't even given the option of a simple battery change.

Yes I see your frustration over this may be due to the fact that they need to do a bit more that the usual with those watches when the battery is changed. I know a lot of independents won't replace a Breilting battery ( whilst they will an Omega, Longines etc etc ). Maybe someone else can shed a bit of light on this one ... I would be interested since my lad has a Breilting colt quartz that is 2 years old now so will need a battery change in the next 12 months probably....

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2 hours ago, russelk said:

I get that, but at the boutique I wasn't even given the option of a simple battery change. So the customer who wanted a battery change is told that they will need to pay for a full service. 

However, I am seeing things from both sides now. That the seals may need replacing before potential damage ensues is not something I'd considered. In Breitling's defence, the written quote did include the option of a cheaper maintenance service, but since this is not the recommended option they will not guarantee the correct functioning of the watch until a full service is done. I will most likely take this option for now and get a full service done in a year or two.

I am grateful for the input from everyone,  it's been very helpful.

Apologies if my earlier reply sounded a bit harsh.

Recently I was tempted by an M3 and looked at a few, plenty with nice shiny paint which looked good but by the same token once you looked a bit further most were dogs, cheap services at back street garages, cheap Nangchuck far east ditchfinder tyres and so on. It's not just all about looks. 

We have became a nation of cheapskates expecting quality for buttons but despite what a lot of people seem to think these days within reason you do get what you pay for. A full service might sound expensive but as already said it will also give the unseen internals a once over and last another ten years and on top of that most likely come with some sort of warranty. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BondandBigM said:

and on top of that most likely come with some sort of warranty. 

 

 

Yes this is a decent point .... its like a watch "renewal" of sorts .... 

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