Luxury watches are built for a lifetime of use—often even longer as they can be enjoyed by several generations. However, this is only possible if a watch is kept in good condition. And one of the most important factors in keeping a watch in topnotch condition is to have it regularly inspected and serviced, and if necessary, repaired.
How Often Should I Service My Watch?
As with any piece of machinery, watch components undergo wear and tear with use, which can hinder its performance. Lubrication in the watch movement can dry up over time, which causes friction and can cause damage to certain movement parts. Watch gaskets can also wear out, which means less protection against water and dust. Watch movements can even become magnetized if exposed to magnetic fields for long periods of time, causing the watch to run fast (or stopped entirely). A watch service (also known as a watch overhaul) can bring a mechanical movement back from the brink.
Aside from internal considerations, the exterior of the watch may look a little tired after a few years. Dirt build-up, scratches, dents, chips, cracks and so on, stand in the way of your watch looking its best. Plus, there’s also bracelet stretching to consider. A watch service can refresh the look of your beloved timepiece so that it looks almost new again.
Depending on the brand and current condition, modern watches should be sent in for service anywhere from every three to seven years. On the other hand, older or vintage watches typically need a more regular maintenance schedule. If your watch is often submerged in water for lengthy periods of time—such as swimming or diving—it is best to service your watch every couple of years to ensure it is still water-resistant.
If a watch gets damaged—whether externally or internally—it should be sent it for repair straightaway to prevent long-term/permanent damage. This is especially important if you see any moisture building up underneath the watch crystal as this indicates that water has infiltrated your watch and the movement is compromised. What’s more, worn out gaskets, cracked crystals, broken winding crowns, or chipped casebacks means that the watch is no longer protected from external elements and should be repaired as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that if a battery of a quartz watch has run out of power, it’s important to have it replaced immediately to avoid any leakage.
If you notice that your watch is running fast or slow, then it is time for a service. The watch movement may need some lubrication, new parts, or may even need to be demagnetized.
What Watches Can Signature Watches Service and Repair?
At Signature Watches, we are proud to have in-house watchmakers who are trained and certified to service a wide range of watches from the world’s best watch brands. At Signature Watches, we use genuine watch parts and cutting-edge machinery in our watch service and repair procedures.
The watch brands we service:
- Patek Philippe
- Audemars Piguet
- Tag Heuer
- Vacheron Constantin
- Ulysse Nardin
- Lange & Söhne
If the brand of the watch you want to service or repair is not listed here, contact us and we will inform you if we service and/or repair that particular brand.
What Happens During a Full Watch Service at Signature Watches?
Barring any extensive repair requirements, a typical full watch service includes the following procedures.
Step 1: Watch Disassembly
The watch is fully dissembled by first removing the bracelet, bezel, crystal, and caseback from the watch. Once the caseback is removed, we can access the movement inside the watch. The watch movement is then carefully dissembled as well.
Step 2: Inspection, Cleaning, and Repair/Replacements
The external watch components, such as the bracelet, case, bezel, crystal, and so on are thoroughly inspected and cleaned using the appropriate machines and solutions.
Every part of the watch movement is carefully inspected, cleaned, and worn out parts are replaced. Magnetized watch movements are demagnetized. Movement components are carefully lubricated using the appropriate oils and materials to minimize friction, prevent wear, and achieve optimal performance. We adhere to the watch industry’s best practices for movement inspection and lubrication. The movement is then meticulously reassembled.
Step 3: Polishing and Reassembly
The watch case and bracelet are expertly polished to remove any scratches and smooth out dents. If applicable, the watch crystal will also be polished to remove scratches or replaced (at an additional cost) if necessary. The movement is placed back into the case and the watch is reassembled with new gaskets to ensure a tight seal.
Step 4: Testing
Once the watch has been cleaned and serviced, it undergoes a series of testing to check its performance. Water pressure tests are conducted to ensure water resistance. The watch’s timekeeping will be tested in a multitude of positions and environments to inspect accuracy rates and functionality.
Step 5: Warranty
Once watch service and testing are complete, the watch will be delivered with a one-year service warranty.
However, we do not guarantee the water resistance of a watch out in the real world since there are too many variables (such as not screwing down the crown or dropping the watch) that can affect this rating. This is especially true of vintage watches that can no longer be considered water resistant due to their age.
Watch Repairs at Signature Watches
Sometimes, a damaged watch requires a more extensive repair job that goes beyond the scope of a routine watch overhaul. At Signature Watches, we can cover a wide range of watch repair requirements. The watch will first be fully inspected to see the extent of the damage and what type of repairs it will need to bring it back to solid working condition.
All repair recommendations, replacement parts, and accompanying quote must be approved by the client before any work is done.
Watch repairs, especially with watches that are significantly damaged (such as water damage) can take an extensive period of time. Furthermore, highly complicated watches also take longer to work on due to their complexity. The work involved is very labor intensive and requires meticulous care to restore the watch. Patience is key when repairing a high-end watch.