Should You use an Independent Watchmaker to Repair a Watch?
(Pixabay / wir_sind_klein)

Should You use an Independent Watchmaker to Repair a Watch?

Let’s say, theoretically, you have a beautiful timepiece that speaks volumes about your class and social status. Or maybe it’s just a simple, but meaningful, watch passed down through the generations. Perhaps it’s a loving gift from those you love.  It really doesn’t matter what kind of watch it is. If it means something to you, it deserves to be cared for and treated as the heirloom (or potential heirloom) it is.

But who are the best people to see about getting your timekeeper serviced? You could send it in to the people that made it. They’re pretty reliable, right? Or you could go to the independent repair center. Those folks know just as much as the big names like Rolex and often know how to deal with odd or unusual cases.

Should You use an Independent Watchmaker to Repair a Watch?
(Pixabay / wir_sind_klein)

Here are just a few perks of using an independent watch or clock repair service to keep your timepiece doing what it was designed for.

They get to know you

The larger companies tend to receive watches all day every day. This means they’re seeing hundreds of these timepieces a day, thousands a year. Because of that, they haven’t built a relationship with each and every watch or gotten to know their owners, because they just don’t have the time for that.

However, on the other end of this are the independent caretakers. They tend to get fewer watches in and actually talk to their clients about wants and needs, kind of like a barber or your favorite small-town chocolate shop.  They learn what you like and give it to you. They build long-lasting relationship with those they work with and can serve you in the ways you need, unlike the larger manufacturers.

They stick with what you want

Authorized companies like Omega or Rolex have standard operating procedures. When they get a watch in, they give it the whole shebang: fixing what needs fixing, cleaning, etc. However, if you have an antique that you love, those companies will replace old, broken parts with newer pieces that fit in. That’s assuming they even accept old watches. Many don’t.

So, if you do care about keeping the watch an antique with its original hands, dial, etc. then an independent watchmaker or repair expert is the way to go. These folks will take their time to learn what you want your watch to be like, then will try their hardest to fix the original parts (if that’s what you want) or find replacements that look good and work.

The big companies don’t do this. They rarely talk to you about replacing parts, they just do it.

They’ll work with something different

Sometimes, you just want your watch to look a little different. Maybe you got it bejeweled, maybe colored, maybe you gave it a coating so it looks different. Some people just like to make small aesthetic changes, and that’s okay. However, a lot of the authorized companies won’t work with a watch that’s been modified. Kind of like when your dad tries to fix your car: it’s no longer under warranty because he “made changes.”

However, an independent team will work with almost any watch, no matter the changes made. So, if you want to make changes to your beloved wrist clock, but have been too afraid to do so, fear no longer. Someone will be willing to work on it.

They’re friendlier to the bank account

Getting your watch serviced is a necessity. As with teeth, the longer you go without doing anything, the worse off it gets. However, some people don’t want to spend the big bucks to get their devices worked on, which will then cause the problems to build up and become even more expensive.

A lot of these costs with the larger, authorized centers add up based on how many times it passes from one worker to the next. However, with the independents, it’s typically just one or two people working on the same watch, so not only do they know exactly what’s going on, labor costs will be cheaper. They can also give the same quality work, or even better.

While spending money is a necessity with watch serving, and putting it off makes it even worse, it’ll be a lot easier with an independent than a big company.

They’re faster. Period.

If you’re worried about that big interview coming up, or perhaps that date you’ve been planning for the past month and you want to look your best, you probably won’t get your watch back from the manufacturer in time. There’s a line.  It’s long and winding (no pun intended). As was said earlier, those groups get hundreds of watches a day. If not all of them are finished in the one day they get them, there will be pile up. Sending yours that way will just add to that.

If you send it to a smaller, independent worker, there will be fewer watches waiting in line, and there won’t be gaps of time between so many different people working on it.

Overall, there are several reasons you’d want to send your watches into a smaller, qualified workshop instead of a larger company. If you’re looking for a good watch repair service, whether in the Wasatch Valley or online for mail-in returns, look at Times Ticking. We’re quality professionals with 37+ years of experience and hundreds of glowing 5-star reviews to vouch for our high standard.