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Overhauling vintage Heuer 1553 S

12919 Views 89 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Bear1845
Does anybody have any experience with TAG Heuer overhauling/repairing vintage watch?

I have a Heuer Carrera 1553 S, which I bought in 1981 in Austria.

After all those years the watch is in rather poor shape, so I decided to fix it and bring it to its former glory. I can see those old Carreras offered for sale for anything between $2500 to $5000, so even if I have to spend 1000 dollars, or so, it will be worth it.

I learned that the only shop which can do the job is located in Switzerland. Info from TAG's own website:

"The challenge for the Vintage Workshop is to restore your old watch or bring it back to life, by giving it all the care it needs to run for many more years. Located in the company's headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerlnd, is the only workshop in the world properly equipped and capable of restoring your Vintage watch" ( Men's Watches by TAG HEUER - Best Watches For Men And For Women )

So far so good. I visited my local authorized TAG dealer in Charlotte, NC area and told them I need to send my watch to that "only workshop in the world" in Switzerland. They told me that the watch has to be sent to the US shop first and in two weeks or so they will tell me how much this repair will be and then I will decide if I want to do it, or I want my watch back. I said OK, paid 30 dollars and waited. And waited. And after five weeks I visited my local authorized TAG dealer and asked him if he has any news about my watch. Well, they actually had, but they (I suppose) forgot to call me. They told me that I had "a very special piece" (duh!) which... has to be sent to Switzerland for repair. Well... Isn't that something?

Sir, I said, I told you guys 5 weeks ago that this watch has to be sent to Switzerland and today you are telling me, that this watch has to be sent there? Do we have some kind of communication problem? Don't you know that all vintage Heuer watches are repaired in Switzerland? Your own website says that...

My sarcasm didn't help things. I just had to approve for it to be sent to Europe. This time the fee was 75 dollars, but they told me that I had to pay only 45 (since I already paid 30) and actually they will add that to final bill. We'll see. So I OK'd that step and my watch is on its way to La Chaux-de-Fonds. It will take them another several weeks, God only knows how many, before I will know how much I need to spend to repair that piece. I asked them if someone from Switzerland will call them directly, they said: "No, but we check their website weekly and on that website we will find all the information". But if they check it as they checked before, I afraid I may never hear from them again. o|

I hope the rest of this experience will be peachy, but for now I am little scared.

Anybody have any experience with TAG's vintage watches repaired in La Chaux-de-Fonds? Or with the American authorized dealers sending their watch to Switzerland? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
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1 - 6 of 90 Posts
let us hope it will NOT include a dial, this would reduce the collector value tremendously, hope they are not replacing the hands ?

and the service costs are at least double what you'd pay to have it serviced by a highly competent independent.

I've never seen restauration work by TAG Heuer, but I've seen many Breitlings butchered by Breitling in Switzerland.
it is your watch, so do as you please. You spoke about market value in your OP.

but be so kind to believe me that you can get highly competent work by cal. 11/12 specialists for the amount I have mentioned, I happen to have quite a lot of experience with these watches . quite surprised by the tone of your response too, I must admit.
thank you. your watch. Your life. Sorry for trying to help.
this is the sloppiest polishing job I have ever seen, would have assumed these were the "before" pics ?
and I'd be mighty pi**ed to have a sparkling brand new chrono second hand and the aged main hands ......
you are being generous with your rating, hope the COA job is competent.
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I find it VERY hard to believe this case was polished by the "Heuer Vintage Workshop", this is just pathetic.
8 months IS fast for vintage service by one of the OEM, 1 year plus is typical, often much longer.
and the prices charged are the lowest I have seen by one of the manufacturers - sadly the quality of the work is even lower, though I assume the movement service was done well.

just make sure the "new hands" you receive are the correct ones for this model, the failure to replace all the hands makes me fear they do not have those hands, otherwise why the partial exchange ?

afraid this isn't over yet and sadly might turn out like predicted - but I hope I'm wrong.
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