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I hope this is the correct forum to post this. I have a Hamilton Khiki auto that was purchased new about 7-8 years ago, I believe it has a ETA 2824. It has never been serviced. It's in my rotation, and thus not worn everyday. I went to wind it and it's was a lot stiffer than usual, and was losing time. I took it to a local watch repair shop. Here are my questions:
1. The repair man said an auto/mechanical needs to be serviced every 4 years, is this true?
2. What should a ball park cost be for a servicing/oiling if no parts need to be replaced?
Thank you in advance
 

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"1. The repair man said an auto/mechanical needs to be serviced every 4 years, is this true?" He is giving you good advice. It does depend on what you expect of your watch. Divers will service their instruments annually or as required to maintain the seals. Others will wear their watch until it stops! Then service tends to get more expensive. The lubricants used on internal moving parts does dry out over time. The four year interval respects this property of the lubricants and address the possible damage due to friction by acting before damage is done and parts have to be replaced. Some let it go for a few years more but they risk higher bills.

The cost, is dependant on the movement and its complications. A quote anywhere from $200-500USD is not unheard of for mechanical movements with a chronograph. You may get out of it for less. Ask for a quote. As you indicated its 7-8yrs and you might be stretching it a bit.
 

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A quote anywhere from $200-500USD is not unheard of for mechanical movements with a chronograph.
Is $200 the minimal expected then? Even for a non-chronograph? I thought it started more around $100 for a regular ETA 2824/2834-2? (I haven't brought one in yet)
 
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Just got my Certina "Town & Country" back from a complete service: 96,-- Euro. But this was appearently the first service after 20 years.
 

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As a former jeweler, I would see estimates for the ETA 2824/2834-2, from local watchmakers, at around $120-$180 for a standard service, ie: cleaning, oil & regulation. Parts replacement may be additional.
 

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Thats a NYC price range folks. Here in the rest of the country you can have it done by a reputable watchmaker for $80-100.

Different watches require different levels of care. My Seiko 7005 has never been serviced, is 30+ years old, was lost in an attic for 20+ years (heat, cold, etc.), runs like a champ and keeps good time. I've read reports from folks with 3 year old Swiss watches that cost them a pretty penny that have ground to a halt in need of service.

If its acting up, get it to a watchmaker.
If you depend on it, like for dives, then service it regularly.
If its precious and you want to baby it then service it regularly.
If its a solid, dependable watch upon which no ones life depends.........
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everybody for your replies. Haven't heard back from the watchmaker yet, but at least I'll know approx. what I should be looking at.
 

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I hope this is the correct forum to post this. I have a Hamilton Khiki auto that was purchased new about 7-8 years ago, I believe it has a ETA 2824. It has never been serviced. It's in my rotation, and thus not worn everyday. I went to wind it and it's was a lot stiffer than usual, and was losing time. I took it to a local watch repair shop. Here are my questions:
1. The repair man said an auto/mechanical needs to be serviced every 4 years, is this true?
2. What should a ball park cost be for a servicing/oiling if no parts need to be replaced?
Thank you in advance
I go on the 5 year plan on COA. When I had to pay to get it done a 2824-2 cost me $60 - $75 + tax if only a cleaning and adjustment. Chrono's were $175 and up. The 4 years recommendation from your repair guy isn't out of live. I do think though with the synthetic oils used today that they can go longer though but every 4 years isn't out of line. I just go every 5 years unless they are running irregular. I COA my own though.

Smurfe :)
 

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Hell none of my watches even cost as much as the servicing would I'll just wear them till they break and then just keep them as non working collectors items :) thus I'll have an excuse to by more watches!
 

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If it ain't broke - Don't fix it :)
My experience is that waiting for a watch to start acting-up does not cost much more than a 4 year service (if at all)
Every time you have a watch maker crack-her-open, you risk additional "accidental" damage....not to mention, you may go far longer without a service than expected. My Rolex DateJust was serviced for the 1st time in nearly 30 years.
 

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If it ain't broke - Don't fix it :)
My experience is that waiting for a watch to start acting-up does not cost much more than a 4 year service (if at all)
Every time you have a watch maker crack-her-open, you risk additional "accidental" damage....not to mention, you may go far longer without a service than expected. My Rolex DateJust was serviced for the 1st time in nearly 30 years.
Good point. I've got an old Waltham that runs pretty good and it was last serviced in 1968 according to the inside of the caseback.
 

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The reason for clean, oil, adjustment isn't to "fix" anything. It is "preventative" maintenance. Keeping the movement clean and lubricated keeps stuff from breaking. I would rather pay to keep it clean than paying a much bigger fee to fix it later. You have to remember to that many vintage watches have no available spare parts so they have to be hand manufactured at an even higher cost.

No different than your car. Will you run the same oil in it until the engine blows? Or will you change the oil and other fluids to keep the engine in top operating condition and clean. I have seen watch repair bills, particularly Rolex cost as much or more than rebuilding a car engine. Of course, I can COA my own so it is easy to say this but I have paid for many. I never serviced any of my Rolex's either.

Smurfe :)
 

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Im thinking if an automatic watch is in rotation it should last longer being used less . I also agree a good oil should delay servicing . Im hoping a basic service be under $150 anything more I source another or wear my others. You can see the positive in quartz for this reason .
 

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The reason for clean, oil, adjustment isn't to "fix" anything. It is "preventative" maintenance. Keeping the movement clean and lubricated keeps stuff from breaking. I would rather pay to keep it clean than paying a much bigger fee to fix it later. You have to remember to that many vintage watches have no available spare parts so they have to be hand manufactured at an even higher cost.

No different than your car. Will you run the same oil in it until the engine blows? Or will you change the oil and other fluids to keep the engine in top operating condition and clean. I have seen watch repair bills, particularly Rolex cost as much or more than rebuilding a car engine. Of course, I can COA my own so it is easy to say this but I have paid for many. I never serviced any of my Rolex's either.

Smurfe :)
i hear about getting service to "keep from breaking". Am I correct that a proper service dismantles every one of the hundreds of tiny parts, looks for wear/breakage and reassembles with fresh oil after cleaning in solvents? Are not the big cost parts things like the case and crystal? Short of a bad seal that rusts/corrodes the case threads, I think the cost of replacing a couple tiny parts in the watch rarely adds up to a service cost. Where I have seen posts of $1K+ service costs they are usually for either crushed new watches or (very) old corroded watches.

I would think if one is on the fence about watch service at 4 or 5 years maybe a smaller investment on a WR pressure test is in order. I less care about the service cost than being without a favored watch for an extended period of time.
 
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