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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I was talking to my watchmaker and showed him one of my Poljot chronographs.

He was curious about movement and we had interesting conversation about Breitling connection. During our conversation he opened the watch and upon inspecting it advised me to clean the movement. I considered his offer, but when learned about the cost - I politely declined.

The cost to clean a 3133 was $325!!! :oops:

This was a shocker to me :p, as for that amount I can buy new vintage Poljot watch, or even couple from modern production.

Later in the day I was thinking about the conversation and concluded that most of my watches will probably never see service...One of the reason I collect Russian timepieces is their low cost and such high service prices just don't fit into my collecting approach.

Perhaps I need to find another watchmaker with more liberal pricing philosophy?

Do you ever clean your Russian watches? What are the prices you normally pay for service?
 

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My watchmaker charges 45 euros for a 3133 and 60 for a 3017, 20 Euros for an automatic watch, 15 for a manual wind soviet watch and once he asked me 35 for a Slava stopwatch.
 

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I pay between 10EUR and 15EUR for full servicing of manual non-chronometers (15-17 jewels Poljots mainly). 20EUR for Orient Automatic (I suppose they will charge me the same for 2416B, but my automatic Vostoks are too new for servicing). But I suppose the prices will slowly, but securely, climb up...
 

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I just do it myself for the most part, the cleaning/oiling, anyway. Takes longer, but I feel more connected with the watches somehow. Makes them more "mine". Of course, as in my recent Ural restoration, I do screw up sometimes... See https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=370070

It doesn't help that the ONLY watchmaker in my area A. has no experience with Russian watches (and therefore, probably limited access to parts) and B. has a 2-month backlog. *sigh*
 

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pwalsh21,

I went to another repairer this afternoon and got quoted A$80 for a CLA for a Pobeda which is running very slow, even if the lever is pushed all the way to the "fast" end. Looks like I have to consider the Sofia option seriously, as I just know that I haven't got what it takes to do it.
 

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The guy I use was recomended to me by another member here. He was a watchmaker in the ukraine for 20 years or something like that, and has owned his shop in IL for about the last ten. He did an oustanding job on my POLJOT 3133, and also reworked a vostok komandirskie that was a horrible mess. I recomend him highly. If you want to contact him, his info is;

Timekeepers INC.
ATTN: Roman
148 South Northwest Highway
Barrington, IL 60010-4672
(847) 842-0908

Hope that helps!
 

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I will second Roman. Many years ago he was an apprentice of a guy who was one of first watchmakers at 1MWF (Poljot). Roman has over 25 years of experience and graduated a watchmaking college back in USSR in early 80's.

I was an apprentice in his shop some years ago when I was learning watchmaking. So, I know him really well. I only do watchmaking as a hobby and occasionally use his shop for more complicated work, when I don't have enough tools in my home shop.

He's very good master and has a lot of spare parts for Russian watches. And when he needs something he doesn't have, he usually calls me and we search for these parts together :))))

Anyway, he always had my vote and I am glad to see other members used his services and happy with him.
 

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On the other side, because of the ebay and some comrades from imperialist countries who actively use it ;-), the price for most collectible Soviet watches is pretty much the same as on ebay, and chronographs are even more expensive than on ebay. The advanrage is that you can see the watch before paying, which is worth the little extra money.
But I am curious also to learn the general ratio between purchase cost / shipping cost / repair and servicing cost for your Soviet watches.
 

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On the other side, because of the ebay and some comrades from imperialist countries who actively use it ;-), the price for most collectible Soviet watches is pretty much the same as on ebay, and chronographs are even more expensive than on ebay. The advanrage is that you can see the watch before paying, which is worth the little extra money.
But I am curious also to learn the general ratio between purchase cost / shipping cost / repair and servicing cost for your Soviet watches.

Well, it's all about cost of labor and cost of living, really. Watch is a product - once there is an interest for the product across the board, the average price is established. Since Internet rules now days, price is established internationally more or less.

Labor is a whole different game. It takes good, experienced watchmaker couple of hours to carefully service your watch. This time may or may not include interaction with the client, parts ordering, etc. So, realistically a good watchmaker who takes his time can only do 4 watches in one work day. If US based watchmaker was charging a price of 15-20 Euro for a service, as they do in Bulgaria, it would not even cover the cost of rent and bills of his shop. Let alone allow any profits to be made.

However, it needs to be noted that average watch enthusiast based in US probably makes a lot more money than his Bulgarian counterpart. So, it evens out more or less. It's also worth mentioning that due to Internet US and Western European consumers now have access to Easter European and Asian markets for services. So, for an educated US based client it may make sense to ship his watch to Bulgaria for a repair.

But then there are other issues, such as language barrier, inconvenience of International mailing, and questionable quality control and guarantees. Last statement, of course, is very subjective and varies on case by case basis.
 

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Sure. I am curious how much the label 'serviced' weights when a Western collector considers a purchase, and if you prefer to buy several watches at once to reduce shipping costs. Simple curiosity, I am not selling watches. Regarding servicing watches in BG - I would not recommend for anybody outside the EU, because the customs (or rather the customs officers) remain a huge question mark in the prospective balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
... If US based watchmaker was charging a price of 15-20 Euro for a service, as they do in Bulgaria, it would not even cover the cost of rent and bills of his shop. Let alone allow any profits to be made.

However, it needs to be noted that average watch enthusiast based in US probably makes a lot more money than his Bulgarian counterpart. ...
You mentioned that US based watchmaker faces higher expenses, but same applies to collectors.

Yes, in general US based collectors have higher income than our Bulgarian colleagues, but our living expenses are way to much - mortgages, taxes, insurance, college loans.
 
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In a couple of years, Bulgaria will join the Euro zone, then those prices will definitely go up...

Back to the subject: I had a few Russian watches, no watchmaker wanted to work on these (or asking way too much money, in order to avoid this work), so I've learned to clean/adjust/repair them :-d
 
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