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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a several year search, I was finally able to find and buy one of my grails: the Citizen Campanola CTS57-0701. For those unfamiliar with it, it was manufactured in 2000-2001 and contains the A660 movement.




Due to age and condition, I'd like to have it serviced rather than just getting a battery change. Does anyone have recent experience getting Japanese models like this serviced "through" Citizen's US service department?

I contacted Citizen's global service email and they said I could either
  1. send the watch directly to Japan
  2. contact my local service department to have them send my watch to Japan.

However, when I called Citizen in California, they were bewildered by this request and they stated they don't send watches to Japan. Based on past posts here, this contradicts what they've done for others. When they replied to my email request (forgot I did this before I called them), they advised that I contact Citizen's global email, even though I already did this and included the email in my email...


Any suggestions on my next step? Should I just send my watch to COA and see what they do with it? Or do I need to pony up $100 to send it directly to Japan?
 

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Try [email protected] before you go any further. The Head Office in Japan should be able to clarify the situation with your local service centre. I had my local service centre send mine off to Japan for me, but while the local outfit did do some of the liaison work on my behalf I found that due to their lack of HAQ knowledge I ended up doing a lot of the talking to Japan myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Try [email protected] before you go any further. The Head Office in Japan should be able to clarify the situation with your local service centre. I had my local service centre send mine off to Japan for me, but while the local outfit did do some of the liaison work on my behalf I found that due to their lack of HAQ knowledge I ended up doing a lot of the talking to Japan myself.
Thanks. That's who I started this conversation off with and who told me I had the 2 options I listed. I did reply back to both their global service email and Citizen's US service department trying to clarify what should be done but I haven't heard back from either.

I'll wait for their response before doing anything.
 

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Knowing the Japanese culture aimed at perfection and pleasing others, I'd either send it directly to Japan, or to one of the Japanese dealers who have no problem working with Americans. My $.02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Knowing the Japanese culture aimed at perfection and pleasing others, I'd either send it directly to Japan, or to one of the Japanese dealers who have no problem working with Americans. My $.02.
Do Higuchi and others work with those who didn't purchase from them? I assume if they do, it's for a fee.

I haven't heard back from Citizen's global service email, but got a response from Citizen US service department. Now they're saying they're the only authorized facility to service Campanola models... I'm going to take them up on that and leave them to send it to Japan when they realize they can't service an A660. :-d

EDIT: Citizen's global service group finally got back to me, and they confirmed their original recommendations. I can send it directly to Japan, but it's both faster and easier to send it through the US service department. I already took the latter route and my watch is in California. Now I'm just waiting to hear back about timing and cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I thought this next update was worth a new post rather than an edit.

I surprisingly received a repair estimate from Citizen's US service center. They quoted me the cost for battery change and water resistance check. For the other repairs I requested (calibration if needed and case refinishing) they said it can't be done at their US center.

Naturally, I called them to clarify the situation. The rep (different than previous one I spoke to) was equally bewildered by the idea that their service center would send a watch to Japan. He stated the following:

1. The A660 is a simple quartz movement. In the case it doesn't run within its specification, they replace it. They don't do servicing on quartz nor adjustments for accuracy. He's also under the assumption all Citizen quartz movements have "jewels" and "the good stuff".
2. The US service center is capable of "servicing" any watch that Japan is able to. There's no equipment they lack.
3. The service center has never forward watches on behalf of customers to Japan, since #2, there's no reason to.
4. They don't have the capability to refinish/refurbish watches. They can only clean them.

Despite telling him my information came from their global CS HQ, he says its untrue. He's going to follow up with them, but I don't have high hopes...

I can either take the services they offered, which are relatively expensive to what I could have done locally, or ask for the watch back and eat the cost of the initial shipping.
 

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It sounds as though there is a lot of confusion with your local service centre. I would get back in touch with Citizen Japan and work out how to send it to them directly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It sounds as though there is a lot of confusion with your local service centre. I would get back in touch with Citizen Japan and work out how to send it to them directly.
Yeah, all interactions with their US CS have been a mess. The first time I asked them about my watch, I provided the model and caseback number and they said they couldn't service it because it was a non-US model based. The second time, I called it a Campanola, and they changed their answer: "No one is authorized to service a Campanola other than our Torrance facility."

Citizen's global service email did provide me with instructions. For everyone's knowledge: they actually recommend sending watches to their CS department in their HQ in Japan rather than directly to their service center. Apparently, their HQ is better equipped to handle foreign customers.


My current concern is the money I already spent on shipping it to CA. I opted for overnight and insured, which was not cheap. I'm hoping the Torrance facility will come to a consensus with "Citizen's customer service headquarters" and just send my watch to Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have an exciting update.

Citizen has sorted this out internally. The US service department has rarely received a request like this, so they didn't remember this was a service they provided or have a set process in place for it. They confirmed that both this watch can only be fully serviced in Japan, and that they will send the watch to Japan.

For anyone curious, I was quoted a repair estimate of $360 for "full service" from Citizen's global service email, which includes shipping back to me. The final cost ended up being a little less. It's more expensive than I expected but I figured it's worth it for the peace of mind. It also allows me to start out fresh with this pre-owned watch and hopefully only have to worry about battery changes for the next decade or two.
 

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For anyone curious, I was quoted a repair estimate of $360 for "full service" from Citizen's global service email, which includes shipping back to me. The final cost ended up being a little less. It's more expensive than I expected but I figured it's worth it for the peace of mind. It also allows me to start out fresh with this pre-owned watch and hopefully only have to worry about battery changes for the next decade or two.
hopefully this won't sound too judgmental, but I'm curious about the "peace of mind" angle on this. You have to go without the watch while they "service" it when its not really broken, so why not just wait until it actually breaks or develops a problem before sending it in for a service? Is there some hidden value to this pre-emptive servicing on a quartz watch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
hopefully this won't sound too judgmental, but I'm curious about the "peace of mind" angle on this. You have to go without the watch while they "service" it when its not really broken, so why not just wait until it actually breaks or develops a problem before sending it in for a service? Is there some hidden value to this pre-emptive servicing on a quartz watch?
No, that's a fair question and in short, I believed there may have been an issue with the movement. At the very least, it could have used a rate adjustment.

I had a much longer reply typed and and deleted since it's not as relevant anymore. I just learned the service that the Japan service center is providing is not as expected, i.e. no case refinish. I'm going to rethink whether it's worth it to send it there. I expected that to be the bulk of the service cost.
 

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CitizenV, other than the rate adjustment (but I won't be so optimistic anyway... ^_^) will the service include a full polish of the case and bracelet ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
CitizenV, other than the rate adjustment (but I won't be so optimistic anyway... ^_^) will the service include a full polish of the case and bracelet ?
I thought it would, but I just learned last night that Citizen's Japan service centet can't/won't refinish my watch.
 

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I thought it would, but I just learned last night that Citizen's Japan service centet can't/won't refinish my watch.
That's a pity, maybe even a shame. These are the things very welcomed for a user that buys such a quartz watch, also considering it would cost not so much. In my opinion a lost opportunity for Citizen to enhance its customer service. May I add that these difficulties with the Citizen customer service made me prefer the purchase of a Grand Seiko; not because I think Seiko customer service could be better but because it doesn't need to be serviced at all (for a 9F the rate is user adjustable, the battery can be replaced by a jeweler and, if it needs to be polished, I can do that at the local Seiko repair center in Rome which already showed great skill with 2 Seiko watches).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That's a pity, maybe even a shame. These are the things very welcomed for a user that buys such a quartz watch, also considering it would cost not so much. In my opinion a lost opportunity for Citizen to enhance its customer service. May I add that these difficulties with the Citizen customer service made me prefer the purchase of a Grand Seiko; not because I think Seiko customer service could be better but because it doesn't need to be serviced at all (for a 9F the rate is user adjustable, the battery can be replaced by a jeweler and, if it needs to be polished, I can do that at the local Seiko repair center in Rome which already showed great skill with 2 Seiko watches).
The lack of factory refurbishing might be due to the fact that it's an old watch, and they might have better support for newer models?
I saw posts here that people got their "The Citizen" Chronomasters refinished before, like like thread.

EDIT: I'm sticking with the basic services through the Torrance facility, and I'll look at case refinishing from a local watchmaker/jeweler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought I was done with the Citizen of America service center, but not yet...

I received the watch back around a month ago. The service itself took much longer than it should have due to paperwork issues and internal miscommunication on their end. It was a little frustrating, but I wasn't in a huge hurry to get the watch back since I have plenty of other ones to wear. They did waive the return shipping cost and upgraded shipping, which ironically is one of the reasons it was delayed.

After I received it back, I looked it over and everything seemed in order, with no scratches or gouges on the case back. I was waiting on a new strap so it sat unworn for a few weeks. I got the strap earlier this week, put on the watch and went through my day. When I looked at the watch under sunlight, I immediately noticed several pieces of dust and lint under the crystal and on the dial. These were definitely not there before the service.

COA agreed it was unacceptable and told me to ship the watch back so they can clean it. That's a nice gesture but now I have to spend another $20 to ship it to California.

Dust(1).jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There were times that I thought about flipping this watch and buying a newer / better condition HAQ. On the other hand, I spent a long time tracking this one down.

I don't know if COA still comes to this forum or their CSR got authorization from management, but they just emailed me and said they'd send a prepaid return label.
 
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