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Do You Need To Service Your Watch?

It’s the part of watch collecting that makes everyone queasy. “When should I service my watch? What happens during servicing? Why is my watch taking so long to service?” – don’t stress, we’ll aim to answer all of those questions here and more!

Servicing is an essential part of ownership that extends the life of your mechanical and quartz watches. Some may require it more than others, but all watches require a little TLC every so often.

Why Does My Watch Need To Be Serviced?

Just like a car, your watch is make up of hundreds of tiny components, all working together at extremely small tolerances to tell you the time. It’s a marvel of engineering and just like your car, needs to be maintained. Over the years, you may notice that your watch is losing time or simply doesn’t operate as smoothly as it used to.

  • The lubricants inside your watch can degrade over time
  • Your watch may be effected by magnetism
  • There may be internal damage due to shocks or bumps
  • If there is any moisture present inside your watch, the delicate parts may corrode
  • Friction causes wear over time and this can cause your watch to run unreliably

When Should I Get My Watch Serviced?

This depends!

There are two different schools of thought here.

  1. Get it serviced when you notice something wrong.
  2. Get it serviced at the manufacturers recommended intervals.

Both approaches have their merit. Servicing at regular intervals will guarantee that the watch is in tip top condition for as long as possible and safeguards it from any irreversible damage. However, servicing when there is an issue is a far more economical solution as some watches can go years or decades without a hitch. For most mechanical watches, we typically recommend a watch to be serviced somewhere between 3-7 years of ownership. Quartz and other battery powered watches typically have longer service intervals due to their simpler and therefore more resilient constructions, although you will still have to replace their batteries regularly.

Your servicing interval is also dependant on how you’re wearing your watch. The more often you wear your watch, the more frequent the service will need to be.

What Happens During A Watch Service?

The complexity of the service can vary immensely, from something as simple as a battery change for quartz watches to complex procedures like a complete rebuild. Here’s what will happen for a general service.

  • Diagnostic testing - This step helps the watchmaker to determine what the issue is (if any) and what steps to take to rectify it.
  • Disassembly and cleaning - The entire watch is taken apart, down to the last screw. All components are cleaned in an ultrasonic bath.
  • Any components that are worn out will be replaced.
  • The movement is now re-assembled taking special care to make sure all parts are working as they should.
  • New oils are applied during the re-assembly phase. All moving parts are properly lubricated.
  • The movement is then regulated to ensure it’s working within it’t tolerances (timing variation).
  • Once the movement is back in it’s case, a pressure test is done to make sure it’s water tight.

How Long Does A Watch Service Take?

Generally, a complete service for a mechanical watch can take up to 6-8 weeks depending on parts availability.

A common query we get is why does it take so long to get your watch serviced? As watch lovers ourselves, we absolutely get that being apart from your timepiece can be painful. Servicing may take 6-8 weeks for a couple of reasons:

  • Watch repair shouldn’t be rushed! Many watch movements have many delicate parts that require the right tools and a steady hand to properly handle. Making sure the job is done properly and without damage takes time.
  • Watchmakers are very small minority of the population and are highly qualified. It takes years to become a qualified watchmaker, and the ones that do can have a lot of work to get through.
  • After a watch has been serviced or repaired, it will be tested for up to five days to ensure that it is running up to spec before it’s returned to you.

In a world dominated by mass-produced and disposable goods, watches stand as a testament to craftsmanship and enduring quality. Whether it's a vintage mechanical masterpiece or a cutting-edge quartz watch, regular servicing is essential for preserving its precision, extending its longevity, and safeguarding it against damage.

By entrusting your timepiece to skilled professionals for maintenance, you not only ensure its continued performance but also reaffirm your commitment to preserving a piece of horological history for generations to come.

Get in touch with us for more information and advice on how to service your watch.


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