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I have a friend who is a chemist and tribologist. I asked her about this sort of thing and her answer is that it depends on the purpose of the application of the lubricant.

It's funny how someone who is neither a chemist or has specific expertise on the subject can be so definite when a person who is/has both wouldn't.
 

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Out of curiosity, but let's say I bought an automatic watch, put it in its original box and just let it sit in my room for 10+ years. Do I still need to service the watch for overhaul and stuff every few years in this case? Do the watch get any kind of damage over time?
I bought such a watch....Jaquet-Droz Tonneau GMT handwind(NOS) from Ashford.com.
As soon as I got it, it was extremely hard to wind, stopped after 2-3 hrs. I had allowed for service when I bought it.
I sent it to Govbergs three days after purchase, never wore it. Came back, winds as smooooth as anything,perfect time keeper.
 

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If you bought a watch and never wore it there would be no need to have it serviced BUT as the lubricants do dry out over time it would need a service every seven years or so if ever you ran the watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Sometimes a "new" watch gets shipped with bad lubricants. Could be the movement was aged, could be a simple dud from the factory, who knows.
Yes, I read that recently from this forum few days ago and I made an educated guess that my watch was having that same problem. Maybe it was your post I read? The watch is new, and that's the reason why I made such guess: much more probable that it was just a new watch was bad lubricants because it sat in factory for too long, than the possibility of it having a huge defect in its mechanism.


Anyways, I've already returned the watch for full refund, which they are processing now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Had a thought. Perhaps since you are asking this question, you should either be doing far more research before purchasing a mechanical watch.. or get a quartz first?

I did weeks of research before i bought my first mechanical, which was my first watch since i was like 5 years old. There's nothing wrong with getting a mechanical first, however.. know your stuff beforehand.
I did like a week of research, and yes it was something like an impulse buy. But today, I have a better understanding of mechanical watches than before when I actually had the watch in hand (right now watch has been returned for full refund), I am still thinking about what to do with the money that might or might not be refunded.

I was thinking of buying 2~3 watches at once, 2 being automatic.
 

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Seals and any rubber parts will dry out and dessicate with time no matter what. Oils will dry up and pool so you should run the watch every now and then. It's like a car. You should turn the engine over every now and then so the parts get lube so when it starts up it isn't metal on metal. Also some of the additives in the oil can settle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
No.

IMO, there is a misconception by many about watch lubricants breaking down or coagulating and fouling the works. I find this to be complete BS.

Just because it works doesn't mean it doesn't need a service.

PROFINITY, I should note that my watch in question indeed worked perfectly without any problem, but because of probable dry lubricant, it made weird wood sanding noise when I turn the crown, not to mention it felt too tight and stuck. Watch worked perfectly but since I've read on WUS forum that this is abnormal, I didn't hesitate but to return the watch.
 

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In recent years, some makers have produced watches that don't use lubricants... Cartier developed a concept watch called the ID One that purportedly shouldn't need service. Now nobody can buy one, so that remains to be seen, but conceptually, what they've done makes sense. (http://indepth.watchprosite.com/show-nblog.post/ti-593181/)

Cartier ID One:
Thank you for this Tony! Never knew about this until you brought it up.

If that concept watch really works and does not need servicing, and if it could be mass produced, I wonder what that would do to traditional mechanical watches. Would metal-based-movement mechanical watches truly become obsolete, replaced by Cartier ID One type of movement, or I wonder if they would still be sold as luxury watches. After all, if quartz didn't make mechanical watches obsolete, maybe a new type of mechanical movement would not make the old type obsolete either. Maybe watches like Cartier ID One would just be really, really expensive!

Also, this makes Cartier look super-cool. Seiko is supposed to be one step ahead of the rest. Looks like Cartier (of all brands, a jewellery brand that doesn't exclusively concentrate on watches!) might be ahead on this type of development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Just think of your mechanical watches as you would any other mechanical devices, and your good judgment and/or common sense will quite likely lead you down the right path. Watches may seem like "a different animal," but in actually they aren't. They are just smaller and we have an emotional connection with them. That connection is more what makes them different than anything else.

All the best.

Thanks Tony, helped me a lot.
 
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PROFINITY, I should note that my watch in question indeed worked perfectly without any problem, but because of probable dry lubricant, it made weird wood sanding noise when I turn the crown, not to mention it felt too tight and stuck. Watch worked perfectly but since I've read on WUS forum that this is abnormal, I didn't hesitate but to return the watch.

You seem to not have that much experience with mechanical watches so I find your "diagnosis" to be of limited value.

The best you can say is that it didn't feel right.
To attribute it to a lubricant issue is erroneous.

What was the watch?
In case you weren't aware, a 2824 for example, does sound pretty rough when you wind it and it does get tighter as it approaches full wind.
 

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This thread is very interesting, because most people recommend have it service every three years, five years or seven years. I have the automatic Sekonda Slava 2427 and was bought in year 1974 by my grandfather. He used it everyday until passed on to me. I been wearing this watch almost everyday for past five years now.

It been 41 years of running now and it has NEVER been open the case yet or been services or any replacement parts. The time of accuracy is till perfect!

Maybe I should get it service now before grinding the gears.
 

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So, in a nutshell:

Running regularly with no servicing done: eventual damage due to dried oil, sometimes requiring replacement of large parts or the entire movement;

Not running regularly, but still no servicing: dried oil, but little to no wear due to not using the watch;

Not running regularly, but getting a service: fresh oil, no damage being done when the watch is finally worn;

Running regularly with regular service: fresh oil, little to no damage occurring.

Maybe it comes down to how much you'd want to pay for service and/or repair, and whether you're concerned that any parts for repair might not exist anymore.
 

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A confession and an anecdote. I was gifted my grandfather's circa 1950 Patek Calatrava. The watch was serviced, worn once on my wedding day, and placed in a safety deposit box for twenty years. I took the watch home last month and debated whether I should service the watch again before winding. I couldn't help myself, skipped the service, and the watch has been running sweetly for three weeks (1minute slow). I will take the advice of the thread consensus and have the watch serviced-- Looks like about $800 shells and a trip to NYC. Thanks for the advice. Terrific thread.
 

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It's not a DIY job. The movement has to be disassembled. They'll charge you their standard service fee. Out of warranty an independent repairer is generally a more cost effective option but it will vary from shop to shop.
Is $200 to service a $1000 watch a reasonable price? That is what I was quoted by a local jeweler. Just curious what others are paying for total disassembly and lub.


Sent from planet earth
 

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Is $200 to service a $1000 watch a reasonable price? That is what I was quoted by a local jeweler. Just curious what others are paying for total disassembly and lub.
That sounds reasonable to me but I would want to know who is doing the work and what exactly is being done ensuring that it includes all replacement seals.
 

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I bought such a watch....Jaquet-Droz Tonneau GMT handwind(NOS) from Ashford.com.
As soon as I got it, it was extremely hard to wind, stopped after 2-3 hrs. I had allowed for service when I bought it.
I sent it to Govbergs three days after purchase, never wore it. Came back, winds as smooooth as anything,perfect time keeper.
A new watch that is hard to wind is often attributed to a 1 or 2 parts out of place or broken.................not because of age or oil condition.
 

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A new watch that is hard to wind is often attributed to a 1 or 2 parts out of place or broken.................not because of age or oil condition.
It was the need of a cleaning and oil, it was NOS 13+ years old.
 
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