WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 107 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After seeing many questions pertaining to servicing for Grand Seiko on Watchuseek, Seiko USA has decided to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Grand Seiko service. Please keep in mind these are strictly from Seiko USA, and certain items, such as price, may differ in other countries.


Q: Can Grand Seiko be serviced in the USA?

A: Yes, All calibers with the exception of the 9R86 and 9R96 Chronograph GMT can be serviced in the US. The 9R86 and 9R96 does require to be sent to Japan for service. Any 9R Chronograph series caliber will have to go to Japan for service.

Spring-Drive-2.jpg

Q: What are the approximate costs of servicing?

A: These are the base prices for an overhaul (includes disassembly, movement components, cleaning, re-lubrication, and adjustment) of Grand Seiko by caliber. These prices do not include any case or band parts, shipping, insurance, or any other costs that may occur. These prices are subject to change at any time. Please also realize that every situation of repair or service can be different. The watch would need to be inspected before a final quote can be provided. Watches that need to be repaired in Japan will incur an additional insurance and customs charge cost. None of these prices include domestic shipping or insurance. The prices for overhauls do include a standard cleaning and polishing for case and bracelet (not Zaratsu).

9F Quartz: $312.50

9F Quartz Battery Change: $52 (including battery, labor, gaskets and water test)

9S Mechanical: $375.00

9R Spring Drive: $437.50

9R86 and 9R96 Spring Drive Chronograph: Priced based on estimate from Japan (in most instances $1,000 or higher).

SII-27.jpg

Q: What is approximate turnaround time on GS servicing?

A: 2-4 weeks if serviced in Mahwah, NJ. 6-8 weeks if serviced in Japan. Please keep in mind that some instances may vary.

Q: How frequently do Grand Seiko's need to be serviced?

A: Per the instruction manuals, Grand Seiko's are recommended to be inspected/serviced every 3 years for 9S mechanical, 3-4 years for 9R Spring Drive. This is recommended to check quality of parts and lubricants to ensure a long life of the movement. However, due to numerous factors, Grand Seiko's are created to run well for a longer duration without servicing. Some of these factors include the following...

9S Mechanical:
·MEMS manufactured components created are lighter weight, more durable, have smoother surfaces and distribute lubricants over a longer course of time (due to an intricate design that holds lubricant at the end of the tooth of the gear) than traditionally machined parts.
·Spron 610 hair spring and 510/530 mainspring are a special cobalt based alloy developed and manufactured in-house by Seiko. This composition allows for a remarkably resilient material capable of retaining its shape under very dramatic stress and distortion. Aside from its high elasticity it is also has high heat and corrosion resistance, great strength, and high shock and magnetic resistance. (Spron 510 mainspring also applicable to Spring Drive)

·Heat treatment to bridges and main plates induced to create a harder material on a hardness vickers scale that is up to 200+ points higher than most manufacturers. (also applicable to Spring Drive)

·Heat and/or plating treatments to gears to create a harder material (also applicable to Spring Drive)

·Polishing between teeth of gears/pinions to create a smoother surface (also applicable to Spring Drive)

9R Spring Drive:

·Spring Drive does not use a traditional lever escapement system, does not have the typical oscillating motion of the balance wheel, and does not have a hairspring, therefore does not have the collision of the escapement, sensitivity of a hairspring and is a completely uni-directional motion. The movement has a smoother operation of the gear train, meaning less wear. The lack of hairspring also means that it is far less sensitive to temperature and not effected by position at all. Also, the fact that the movement is regulated electro-magnetically with timing of the magnetic braking applied in coordination with the frequency of a quartz crystal, time keeping is very consistent over long periods of time.

9F Quartz

· The Super-Sealed cabin prevents air and other items (such as dust/moisture) from entering the most vital components in the movement. This includes the step motor, gear train and also very important, the lubricants. This preserves the lubricants in this movement from deteriorating as fast as they would when exposed to open air, theoretically creating a lifespan of about 50 years.

SII-19.jpg


Q: I have read online that Seiko will only make parts for Grand Seiko for 10 years. Is that true?

A: There has been much confusion in regards to this statement. The Grand Seiko Manual, under the After-Sale Service, states the following:
"·SEIKO makes it a policy to typically keep a stock of replacement parts for Seiko (not Grand Seiko) up to 10 years. Replacement parts are those which are essential to maintaining the functional integrity of the watch.
·Please keep in mind that if original parts are not available, they may be replaced with substitutes whose outward appearance may differ from the original."


Please be advised, for Grand Seiko the spare parts supply period is up to 30 years.

This statement is in reference to keeping stock up to 10 years/30 years after a watch or movement has been discontinued. In some situations, parts can also be manufactured if necessary, but may not always be possible. Grand Seiko is is made with longevity in mind and it is important to know that the parts themselves should easily stand the test of time if taken care of properly. No manufacture can stock parts for all of their watches indefinitely, but some brands do offer the possibility of servicing or manufacturing parts for vintage pieces. This typically comes at a very high cost. Seiko is not currently offering this service.

Q: Can Zaratsu polishing be done in the USA?

A: No. To restore original Zaratsu finishing the watch is required to be sent to Japan. The reason for this is that it takes many years of experience to achieve this level of finishing and very few craftsman actually handle this process.

Q: How much does it cost to have Zaratsu finish restored on my Grand Seiko?

A: Zaratsu finishing estimates are provided below. Please keep in mind these prices are subject to change at any time. Also, please keep in mind that in some instances, prices can very depending on the watch. The watch would have to be inspected before providing a final quote.

Case Only: $388.75
Bracelet Only: $337.50
Case and Bracelet: $591.25

GS-Case-6.jpg


Q: What is Zaratsu polishing and what makes it special?

A: Zaratsu polishing is a form of finishing that requires tremendous skill and experience. This method is done by hand to bring the metal to a distortion-free mirror polish through tin wheel polishing. This method is not something you will commonly see at this price segment. Typically, in Europe, you will only see similar quality finishing on pieces that start at 3-4 times the price of Grand Seiko, typically more. This is commonly known in Europe as black polishing and is done more commonly on movement components, but occasionally found on cases. The craftsmen in Japan who execute this technique have so much experience they determine completion not only visually, but by feel and sound while polishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,876 Posts
Fantastic work Joe. We've been waiting for more transparency for a long time.
Thank you.

Prices appear to be inline with what others have been quoted in the past.

I have a few additional questions:

Do the quoted maintenance fees also include a regular polish by Seiko USA?

Are all necessary movement replacement parts covered by the quoted maintenance fees?

Just to clear things up, am I correct in concluding that Zaratsu refinishing is a separate optional service?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Thanks Joe for putting this together for us.

Do you know if a watch sent in for service from Canada gets shipped to the USA (for similar rates), or does it have to go to Japan?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
Do the quoted maintenance fees also include a regular polish by Seiko USA?
I'll leave it to them to answer, but I get the feeling the answer to this one is no. I think it's a good idea though. Like, we get it that the Zaratsu thing is very difficult and expensive, but couldn't you give it a basic regular brush and polish when it gets serviced? Sure, it won't be the same, but it would be better than nothing and for the most part just as good to the casual observer. Seems like something GS should think about.

[/QUOTE]Are all necessary movement replacement parts covered by the quoted maintenance fees?[/QUOTE]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any company covers replacement parts with a service? The cost is what it cost to service if no replacement parts are needed. If any replacement parts are needed, you will have to pay for them, as well as additional labor.

[/QUOTE]Just to clear things up, am I correct in concluding that Zaratsu refinishing is a separate optional service?[/QUOTE]

That seems pretty clear by the initial post.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoeKirk

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Joe,

Thank you very much, you have cleared up a lot of speculation and doubt.

Does the Zaratsu refinish cost estimate also cover the Titanium watches?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
9F Quartz

· The Super-Sealed cabin prevents air and other items (such as dust/moisture) from entering the most vital components in the movement. This includes the step motor, gear train and also very important, the lubricants. This preserves the lubricants in this movement from deteriorating as fast as they would when exposed to open air, theoretically creating a lifespan of about 50 years.
Awesome. While this (theoretical 50 year servicing) is something that people often say, I've been unable to find an actual confirmation until now. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,876 Posts
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any company covers replacement parts with a service? The cost is what it cost to service if no replacement parts are needed. If any replacement parts are needed, you will have to pay for them, as well as additional labor.
Actually there are several brands that do. The renowned brand with a coronet as their logo being the most obvious of them. Their standard maintenance fee covers all necessary movement replacement parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fantastic work Joe. We've been waiting for more transparency for a long time.
Thank you.

Prices appear to be inline with what others have been quoted in the past.

I have a few additional questions:

Do the quoted maintenance fees also include a regular polish by Seiko USA?

Are all necessary movement replacement parts covered by the quoted maintenance fees?

Just to clear things up, am I correct in concluding that Zaratsu refinishing is a separate optional service?
My pleasure. I agree that transparency is a good thing.

As far as I know, there is not an included polishing from Seiko USA. I believe this would have to be requested.

Parts would be at a separate cost. However, I briefly explained the manufacturing of components and their benefits in terms of longevity. I will further elaborate when I get back to the Understanding Grand Seiko segments, but as long as well taken care of, parts should not need to be replaced (at least potentially and for a very long time). Just as a side note: I have heard some watchmakers recommend replacing the mainspring for every service on other watches in order to maintain it's advertised power reserve. They tend to loose the ability to fully expand after being tight for so long. For GS, however, the resilience of Spron makes it to where you should see no deterioration of the power reserve for a long, long time. I have a 9 year old Spring Drive (the moon phase), never serviced, still keeps 72 hours easy. It's remarkable stuff. Most of my other watches I have/had collected had signs of diminishing power reserve after 2-3 years of ownership.

Zaratsu is indeed a separate service and is optional, also would have to be requested.

Hope this is some help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Joe for putting this together for us.

Do you know if a watch sent in for service from Canada gets shipped to the USA (for similar rates), or does it have to go to Japan?
Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to that question. You may be able to find out by contacting the distributor in Canada. Sorry I couldn't be more help on the question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Joe,

Thank you very much, you have cleared up a lot of speculation and doubt.

Does the Zaratsu refinish cost estimate also cover the Titanium watches?
My pleasure and glad to be some help!

Zaratsu quote is for steel and titanium. I have not checked, but may also be applicable for gold/pt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Actually there are several brands that do. The renowned brand with a coronet as their logo being the most obvious of them. Their standard maintenance fee covers all necessary movement replacement parts.
I would really have to verify with the service department to confirm, but I also believe it would depend on the part. They may include some of the internal components, but realistically, should not need to be replaced. I can tell you that there would be charges additional for anything outside of the movement such as crown, case, dial (if something breaks, etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
That's nice. Maybe that's industry standard? I have sent watches to service, and it only cost the standard service cost, but I don't know if any parts had to be replaced. As far as I know they didn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,421 Posts
Lots of good info.

If I was to need my SBGH029 diver serviced do I need to send it in thru an AD or can I contact GS service myself and send it in directly?..... USA based watch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Lots of good info.

If I was to need my SBGH029 diver serviced do I need to send it in thru an AD or can I contact GS service myself and send it in directly?..... USA based watch?
You can use your AD or send it in directly to the NJ repair center yourself. It is typically easier to monitor status through the direct send in method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,421 Posts
You can use your AD or send it in directly to the NJ repair center yourself. It is typically easier to monitor status through the direct send in method.
Thanks. That's what I was hoping to hear.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
Per the instruction manuals, Grand Seiko's are recommended to be inspected/serviced every 3 years for 9S mechanical, 3-4 years for 9R Spring Drive. This is recommended to check quality of parts and lubricants to ensure a long life of the movement. However, due to numerous factors, Grand Seiko's are created to run well for a longer duration without servicing.
If only GS would actually show this kind of confidence in their watches by increasing their recommended service intervals, even to five years, they might get a few more converts. Three years seems very low indeed when compared to the nearest competitors. It's really quite odd when you consider how much GS mentions MEMS in their literature. What's the point in saying MEMS reduces wear and tear if they go on to say that you need to have it serviced every three years (actually I believe the manuals say "2-3 years")?

It must be a little frustrating for sales staff when a customer asks how long the service interval is. "Well the manual says..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Thanks Joe for putting this together for us.

Do you know if a watch sent in for service from Canada gets shipped to the USA (for similar rates), or does it have to go to Japan?
The response I got from the service department in Japan says it gets sent back to Japan if you drop it off at the national office & service centre in Canada.
 
1 - 20 of 107 Posts
Top