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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed a few people on this forum have managed to pick up automatic watchs for very little cash - often under £100. In fact, I noticed one below for $35!

My question is, what do you do regarding servicing of automatic watches that you pick up on the cheap? Do you still take them to a jeweller for servicing? Do you do it yourself? Do you not bother getting it serviced at all?

I'm interested to know.
 

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Many here have a watchmaker that they like and use. Others have talked about having had a watch for X years without ever opening the case and that it works just fine.

I have a ~30 year old Seiko 7005 that lay in an attic for 20+- years and which has been running and keeping good time since it was rediscovered a few months ago. No maintenance, no cost, and its working perfectly.

Others have talked about 3 year old watches just stopping and their watchmaker saying that it was oil that had solidified???

So, I think you'll get a lot of answers to this question. My take on it is that unless the watch cost a great deal and/or has great sentimental value its usually cost prohibitive to have it worked on to any great degree.
 

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Yes, its a difficult one to answer and perhaps only you can decide ultimately. If there is personal or monetary value associated with it, then, if it where mine I would get it serviced (actually I've learnt to do this myself but would stop short of servicing my late Fathers Rolex from the 1950's for fear of breaking it).

One things for sure though, oils in a watch degrade over time and running a mechanical watch without healthy lubricant will result in excessive wear and damage necessitating a much large repair bill come the point of failure.
 

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I agree with Robert above.
It's just common sense not to spend 75$ fixing a 50$ watch, unless it's one that you can't easily replace.
 
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Well, a master watchmaker (Balster) listed watches he can´t repair because he´ll not get any parts if needed.
These watches are on his list:

Adee Kaye
Astroavia
Bernadino
Cavadini
Centia
Charles Delon
Claude Valentini
Denacci
Gadison Stern
Jeane Melaine
Jacques Cantani
Jean Jacot
Krug Baümen
Leutwyler & Söhne
Louis Valentino
Maria Giesen
Montres Allison
Nomex
Olivier Witteaux
Oskar Emil
Ottimo
Raschke Glashütte
René Barton
Roebelin & Graef
Röthlin
Rudolph Rüttli
Tom Tuder
Torgeon
Vidar
Wilhelm Rühling

The listed brands can get off the list if they name a service center within Europe where spare parts can be ordered.
source:http://www.uhrmacher-balster.de/welche-uhrenmarken-werden-nicht-repariert.html
 

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I agree with Robert above.
It's just common sense not to spend 75$ fixing a 50$ watch, unless it's one that you can't easily replace.
Gotta agree.........................my philosophy is that servicing is a myth created by watch makers. If it breaks, fix it..........it usually won't be much more expensive that a service. BTW, the lubricants don't break down for decades..........especially the newer synthetics. My 40 + year old Glycine runs fine with hard wear and no service!

And it is ludicrous to spend $100 to $300 servicing an "affordable" ..........simply replace it!

jmho
 

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Personally if it's a watch that's less than $50, I probably wouldn't ever have it serviced. That is, unless it's a watch that had a lot of sentimental value for me. If it was just another of the many watches I have then I'd probably just trash it and buy another. That's my opinion, anyways.
 

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For 7sxx Seiko and Citizen 8xxx autos, I think it would be easier to just order a new movement and have it replaced. Some Chinese autos are nearly identical to some mainstream movements too. If you have a Chinese watch you like and the movement breaks, a Miyota may fit perfectly (like in my Alpha PO homage, even with the movement replacement I still have less than 60$ in the watch). Some of the Chinese chronos have an Asian version of the Val 7750. While that isn't a cheap movement, if you like the watch why not replace it with the real thing? It's only money :-d :-d :-d :-d j/k :-d

I am having a movement swap in an Orient King Diver. I mistakenly trusted a watchmaker (nationally advertised I might add) to clean, oil and adjust it. BIG mistake, he made a mess of it. Now I am just having the cal. 469 movement swapped with a brand new Orient that I got for less than 50 bucks. I should have done that in the first place... o|

I think I remember seeing that Poljot 3133 movements are available too from certain European watchmakers.

Cheers,
Griff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the great responses. I agree with pretty much all points raised. I currently have a 1965 Omega that was recently serviced. I'll service it every 5 or so years unless it starts losing or gaining a dramatic amount of time (at present it's running at an excellent +2 secs per day).

I was thinking about picking up another auto and I probably won't spend all that much on it, hence the question about how you approach servicing for affordable autos. I think I'll go with the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach, unless it turns out to be a watch I love.
 
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