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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased the IWC Galapagos Aquatimer in March 2010 and was happy with until approximately 9 months later when the rubber edge of the crown began to become frayed at the edges. The fraying of the rubber has happened all the way around the crown and I therefore decided to have the crown repaired assuming the warranty would cover this. To my astonishment IWC refused to repair the crown under warranty claiming that the rubber was damaged due to the watch having suffered some sort of severe impact. I work in an office environment and have not had the chance to take the watch diving yet. The fraying is taking place all around the crown and the watch has not had any severe impact -- it has only been subject to normal wear and tear.

It is very disappointing that a reputable watch company like IWC will not honor their warranty. As an amateur collector of high end watches it has been an expensive learning experience but I will clearly not buy another IWC watch.
 

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I purchased the IWC Galapagos Aquatimer in March 2010 and was happy with until approximately 9 months later when the rubber edge of the crown began to become frayed at the edges. The fraying of the rubber has happened all the way around the crown and I therefore decided to have the crown repaired assuming the warranty would cover this. To my astonishment IWC refused to repair the crown under warranty claiming that the rubber was damaged due to the watch having suffered some sort of severe impact. I work in an office environment and have not had the chance to take the watch diving yet. The fraying is taking place all around the crown and the watch has not had any severe impact -- it has only been subject to normal wear and tear.

It is very disappointing that a reputable watch company like IWC will not honor their warranty. As an amateur collector of high end watches it has been an expensive learning experience but I will clearly not buy another IWC watch.
I looked at the Galapagos watch at my AD some time ago. Very cool watch. However, I didn't seriously consider buying it because it looked destined to have the exact problem you are describing. My thought was that it probably wouldn't age well.

Did you send the watch to IWC or just make a call? I would think they could tell the difference between a scuff and a coating defect.

In any event, sorry to hear about your trouble. Let us know how things turn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I sent the watch to IWC and it took them 2 months to decide not to cover the repair under warranty. I suspect they know this is a general problem with the watch and they don't want to have to repair all the watches they produce. They offered to repair it at cost for CHF350 but I declined as I suspect it will have to be repaired again in 9 months time.

The rubber looks very cool but clearly can't handle general use -- ironic for a watch marketed as a diving watch/adventure watch....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IWC have removed my post without comment from the forum -- I think that says everything you need to know about the company. I didn't violate the terms of the forum and merely posted my experience with the IWC Aquatimer Galapagos and the company decided to remove the post. I have for the fun of it re-posted my comments -- let's see how long they stay up this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
IWC only likes positive comments on its web site forum....


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correct me if im wrong but the watch is coated with vulcanised rubber right?i feel bad for ya..id feel disappointed too if i were in your shoes..id repair it if possible and sell if off to avoid any further heartache ..just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
correct me if im wrong but the watch is coated with vulcanised rubber right?i feel bad for ya..id feel disappointed too if i were in your shoes..id repair it if possible and sell if off to avoid any further heartache ..just my 2 cents
Thank you for the suggestion -- I have sought about doing this but would feel bad about selling it to someone else knowing about this problem. Clearly IWC doesn't worry about this.
 

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From this pricetag any watch company should stay behind their products. The cars can get a recall, why whatches cannot?

I hear more and more about IWC warranty issues and poor customer support.

Also about Omega. They make millions by selling those overpriced pieces. They Take advantage from our passion and our money.

I would buy only small series from independent watchmakers. There are plenty and customer support and Quality are great.

And you pay much more of the watch value itself, not the marketing budget and huge CEO paycheck and private plane flights.

But unfortunately people does not know where to find them and buy any shiny (or in this case matte) piece from the mall :(

IWC should repair that free of charge instantly. And recall every Galapagos and find a solution for it. That would do a correct multimillion company with only high end jewellerry products. This is simply outrageous and I wander how long this price bubble will last.

But please provide pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
From this pricetag any watch company should stay behind their products. The cars can get a recall, why whatches cannot?

I hear more and more about IWC warranty issues and poor customer support.

Also about Omega. They make millions by selling those overpriced pieces. They Take advantage from our passion and our money.

I would buy only small series from independent watchmakers. There are plenty and customer support and Quality are great.

And you pay much more of the watch value itself, not the marketing budget and huge CEO paycheck and private plane flights.

But unfortunately people does not know where to find them and buy any shiny (or in this case matte) piece from the mall :(

IWC should repair that free of charge instantly. And recall every Galapagos and find a solution for it. That would do a correct multimillion company with only high end jewellerry products. This is simply outrageous and I wander how long this price bubble will last.

But please provide pics!
You are spot on -- a recall would be the correct thing for IWC to do. Instead they have just removed my post from their web site forum for the 2nd time today. What kind of company runs a customer forum where you are supposed to discuss their products and then they remove critical feedback. Unbelievable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
IWC have removed my 2nd posting on their customer forum about the issue relating to the rubber coating of the Aquatimer Galapagos. What kind of company removes critical customer feedback rather than responding with a credible explanation for the problem?

If you find this to be a strange way for a company that produces luxury watches to act then please post your comment on their web site forum:

IWC Schaffhausen | Branch of Richemont International SA | Fine Timepieces From Switzerland | IWC Collectors' Forum
 

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I'm so amused that companies reject such silly things as this. IWC is in the business of selling watches from 5k - 200kish and for the sake of refusing a warranty repair on something that may cost the $20, they are losing customers from purchasing watches that are full of margin in the 10's of thousands of dollars.

Simple repairs such as this go a long way in building life long customer loyalty that could lead to 40-50k worth of profits from a single purchaser over a lifetime.
 

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I feel sorry for your problem, but IWC has strict rules on their own Forum. The moderator posted a message, asking to contact him by mail about your problem.

Personally, I wouldn't have bought the Galapagos, just because of the vulcanized rubber coating. It's obvious that this would wear, even under normal use.

Kind regards,

Cinq
 
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