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badgersdad

How do people service old watches economically?

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You occasionally see ebay adverts for fifty year old watches which have been recently serviced selling for a hundred quid. Are the sellers servicing them themselves? How are they doing it and not making a loss? Or are they just lying?

 

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1 minute ago, badgersdad said:

Or are they just lying?

In my experience, this. The last three "serviced" watches I bought cheap off the bay all required a proper service, one had the distinct savour of WD 40 about it. Mind you, given the price, I didn't expect anything else.

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Some, perhaps most, are lying. Some people probably service them themselves (usually you should be able to tell this if that person sells a lot of watches/watch related items and if they have a good horology-related vocabulary).

I've sold inexpensive watches that were serviced by myself so the only extra costs in my case might be a gasket, a crystal, maybe some parts and a very small drop of lubricant.

I believe there is also a 3rd type of "servicing" a watch which is just lubricating some wheels that are within reach without removing the movement or even the stem from the movement. Technically it's as good as not being serviced but you can't really check until you have the watch in your hands.

Edited by gimli
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Always always factor in an additional cost for a service...I do!

Although a few of my known sources/suppliers are extremely honourable and would make adjustments if goods were not as described (which happens rarely).

Appreciate acquiring vintage timepieces can be a mine field for the inexperienced, but (for me) it’s certainly more satisfying than acquiring a modern contemporary piece.

Enjoy the hunt!

:thumbsup:

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I've had 50 year old and older watches professionally serviced at a cost I wouldn't expect to get back if I sold them. You wouldn't expect to get servicing costs back on a car, so why expect it on a watch?

Having said that, I'm not trying to make a living buying and selling watches. 

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Lying or DIY. I had a basic movement serviced and it cost £8 to sent it RMSD, £8 return RMSD, £95 for the service with no parts or repair needed.

Total cost £111.

Now with a quartz they may have just changed the battery and called it serviced.

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6 hours ago, Karrusel said:

Always always factor in an additional cost for a service

and don't be taken in by someone saying they will throw in a free service if you pay asking price - I did that once, the 'service' was a dousing in castrol GTX I think, the movement securing screws were not tightened properly, both came loose and cost me a chipped second wheel (on top of another service to undo the 'free' serice that I had, effectively, paid for via the asking price).

2 minutes ago, MSC said:

Lying or DIY. I had a basic movement serviced and it cost £8 to sent it RMSD, £8 return RMSD, £95 for the service with no parts or repair needed.

Total cost £111.

Now with a quartz they may have just changed the battery and called it serviced.

or changed the movement - I have done two quartz movements myself for less than a tenner each, and a decent moonphase movement (which could be my next one) is only £15.00!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MIYOTA-6P80-OOA-Moon-Phase-Quartz-Watch-Movement/173966454389?hash=item2881356e75:g:zsUAAOSwraNdLZBt

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1 hour ago, spinynorman said:

I've had 50 year old and older watches professionally serviced at a cost I wouldn't expect to get back if I sold them. You wouldn't expect to get servicing costs back on a car, so why expect it on a watch?

Having said that, I'm not trying to make a living buying and selling watches. 

The service costs on an older timepiece as per the OPs example could easily cos 50-150 % of the sale value of the watch;  whereas the service cost of a car is only <5%  of the value of the car... Stands to reason.

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1 hour ago, Jonesinamillion said:

The service costs on an older timepiece as per the OPs example could easily cos 50-150 % of the sale value of the watch;  whereas the service cost of a car is only <5%  of the value of the car... Stands to reason.

You spotted the flaw in my analogy. :) I suppose we have to find another way to value an old, not widely appreciated watch. Otherwise, they'll all go in the bin. I just find mine interesting, for one reason or another.

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12 hours ago, spinynorman said:

I've had 50 year old and older watches professionally serviced at a cost I wouldn't expect to get back if I sold them.  

I agree, but I'm struggling with the idea that a £50 watch is going to cost £175 to service. 

Does anyone know where I can get a reasonably priced service for a 60s hand winding citizen?

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55 minutes ago, badgersdad said:

I agree, but I'm struggling with the idea that a £50 watch is going to cost £175 to service. 

Does anyone know where I can get a reasonably priced service for a 60s hand winding citizen?

I struggle with that constantly. The same work has to be done, whether the watch is worth £50 or £250. Simon02 has serviced and repaired several of my old watches and I've never had a bill that high, so might be worth asking him.

My handwinding Citizen says hello. Lovely, aren't they. :yes:

2019-09-03_09-10-46

 

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1 hour ago, badgersdad said:

I'm struggling with the idea that a £50 watch is going to cost £175 to service. 

 

Appreciate your dilemma but (if like me) if the watch holds some particular attraction/memory (?) the service costs are irrelevant.

Over the years I have spent considerable sums indulging in my addiction fascination with horology on service costs, travel, accommodation, books, stationary & consumables, which in the main will not be recoverable.

Our pastimes, leisure activities, or any other indulgence, in most cases come with a none recoverable cost! :)

Two members of our close circle of friends spend exorbitant amounts annually pursuing their hobbies.  One follows his beloved football team both here & abroad (when they qualify :whistle:).  The other travels several times a year to Europe & the USA pursuing his addiction to golf (he’s still carp :yes:)

Both retain nothing tangible for their expenditure!

 

I still have my timepieces!!!

Rest my case, M’lud.

:biggrin:

 

Edited by Karrusel
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50 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

I struggle with that constantly. The same work has to be done, whether the watch is worth £50 or £250. Simon02 has serviced and repaired several of my old watches and I've never had a bill that high, so might be worth asking him.

My handwinding Citizen says hello. Lovely, aren't they. :yes:

2019-09-03_09-10-46

 

Hello back!  Yes, they are.

Such a rubbish picture. Got to get a new phone.

_20200122_121304.JPG

Edited by badgersdad
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11 hours ago, spinynorman said:

You spotted the flaw in my analogy. :) I suppose we have to find another way to value an old, not widely appreciated watch. Otherwise, they'll all go in the bin. I just find mine interesting, for one reason or another.

I have 4 watches that fall into that category, but the worth is in their sentimental value. Last one was nearly £100 for something that would make £5 at a boot sale.

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21 hours ago, badgersdad said:

You occasionally see ebay adverts for fifty year old watches which have been recently serviced selling for a hundred quid. Are the sellers servicing them themselves? How are they doing it and not making a loss? Or are they just lying?

 

It used to involve a dish of lighter fluid and was known as 'Duncan Swish'........:laughing2dw:

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1 hour ago, Karrusel said:

 

Appreciate your dilemma but (if like me) if the watch holds some particular attraction/memory (?) the service costs are irrelevant.

Over the years I have spent considerable sums indulging in my addiction fascination with horology on service costs, travel, accommodation, books, stationary & consumables, which in the main will not be recoverable.

Our pastimes, leisure activities, or any other indulgence, in most cases come with a none recoverable cost! :)

Two members of our close circle of friends spend exorbitant amounts annually pursuing their hobbies.  One follows his beloved football team both here & abroad (when they qualify :whistle:).  The other travels several times a year to Europe & the USA pursuing his addiction to golf (he’s still carp :yes:)

Both retain nothing tangible for their expenditure!

 

I still have my timepieces!!!

Rest my case, M’lud.

:biggrin:

 

I sympathize... I shoot* clays.

The hardware isn't cheap, clays aren't cheap, cartridges aren't cheap and I have essentially nothing to show for it... every press of the trigger must cost me 50p; but bloody hell it makes me smile!

 

 

 

 

*Miss!

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27 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

I have 4 watches that fall into that category, but the worth is in their sentimental value. Last one was nearly £100 for something that would make £5 at a boot sale.

If I could find someone to service it for that I'd be pleased. My google trawl is throwing up much higher prices.

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2 hours ago, badgersdad said:

If I could find someone to service it for that I'd be pleased. My google trawl is throwing up much higher prices.

Seriously, ask Simon.

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Generally I use my independant watchmaker... Since I use him directly the prices are half what they would be in a shop. 

Service is in the region of £40-£50 for most watches (even an AP, though the real high end watches I use Russel Tallerman for - still not unreasonable but much more expensive) 

I have never stood behind him and watched him service a watch from start to finish.   I believe he partially strips the watch (without complete disassembly) and essentially ultrasonics pieces of it.   He lubricates what needs doing, regulates and tests.   He draws to my attention if parts are worn need replacing, some of which he will undertake and some not. 

Generally I tend to be in the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" camp.   

Edited by Daveyboyz
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With some exceptions it's actually not the value of the watch but the work that needs to be done.

Whether a watch is 50$ or 500$ both require the same servicing methods, technique, time, consumables, etc. (we're talking here about two watches with similar movements not a manual wind vs chronograph, etc.)

There are people that charge approximately the same for working on these two watches, there are people that will charge more for the expensive one. The bottom line is that you will have to strip down the 40-50-60 parts of each of the 2 movements and the effort can be similar, hence the fact that, in the end, servicing cheap watches can be seen as too much.

I guess it would be nice to have a close friend that can do this and offer a discount or something. :biggrin:

Edited by gimli

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I found that there were services and SERVICES when I bought an Oysterquartz from Singapore on ebay. It had a minor fault, didn't do what it should have when the crown was pulled right out. The seller told me that it needed a minor adjustment and agreed to contribute. So phoned a couple of local official Rolex service people. One said no the other the same but told me why. They had to offer a 2 year guarantee when they serviced a watch so wouldn't touch it due to the cost of a replacement movement if that happened to fail so he told me the best option was to send it to Rolex which I did. :) The seller wasn't too pleased but refunded me 1/3 of the cost. I thought that was fair so that is what I asked for. The watch came back in slightly better condition than it was when I sent it. It was pretty good anyway. Some servicing may include a bit of refinishing.

So in real terms if some one does have a watch serviced it should include a guarantee. Watches with this do crop up on ebay and from one I bought cost was not much more than the run of the mill stuff in decent condition. Cheaper in the long run as no need to fork out for a service. I've only bought one watch like this, an Omega and it came with a 2 year guarantee. Quartz but the cost of the movement is probably peanuts compared with a Rolex. They may have even fitted a new one.

:) I'm wondering why Ebay automatics always loose time.

John

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