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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious how much you guys pay for servicing of watches?
I ask this because a Seiko Monster watch I've had from creationwatches was losing time and so happened I wanted to change my crystal to the Dagaz bubble dome as well, so I brought it in for service to an official seiko watch servicer.

After the job was done they wanted to charge me 200AUD! Luckily I had the warranty intact so it didn't cost me anything.
Other watch shops in Brisbane fared no better, the worst of all being Wallace Bishop (a famous retail jeweller/cheap watch seller in Australia) which wanted to charge me 595AUD! I could buy about 4 seiko monsters for that price!

Seriously, WTF?

Anyway I'd love to hear your experiences with pricing for services (particularly ppl from Australia/Brisbane) and am I perhaps expecting too much for servicing to NOT cost MORE than the price of the watch itself?

Cheers.
Julian.

Ps: here's a pic of my awesome bubble domed seiko monster on a hodinkee horween shell NATO.



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Those prices are ludicrous.

It definitely pays to shop around. The most I've ever paid to get any watch serviced was $110, and that was for a vintage hand-wind chronograph.

You're going to have to put in a bit of work, but I suspect that if you look hard enough, you're going to be able to find one or two guys in your city who do a lot of the service work for watch stores and jewelers. I know a lot of smaller watch retailers and jewelry stores will not do their own repairs and instead will send their watches out to someone else for repair. You need to try to find that someone else. If he's willing to work with members of the public instead of just watch and jewelry stores directly, and I'm assuming he will, then you should be able to get a much better price.
 

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$200 sounds like a good deal to me if it was for a full service rather than just regulating. I paid just over $600 AUD recently to have an ETA 7750 serviced. That was at an authorised service centre and included all seals and new pushers. It may have been possible to have it done cheaper by an independent watchmaker but I'm yet to find one that I trust to do the job properly.
 

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Hi MrChan.

I'm in Hobart and my small independent charges about $100 for a regular automatic - assuming no parts are needed - and around $150 for an automatic chrono - I have a thing for vintage Seiko chronos.

What's included may play a part in your quoted service costs though - some authorised service centres may replace the mainspring and all seals and gaskets as part of the deal, and your dive watch may also be pressure tested. My guy would charge extra if those things were necessary or requested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all your replies guys. I guess that when it comes to seiko monsters that it is probably cheaper to buy a new one than to service them eh? :/ a new one every 5 years doesn't sound like that bad an idea so..
Btw this was done by a guy who is working officially for seiko..I presented warranty card and stuff..


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Those prices are ludicrous.

It definitely pays to shop around. The most I've ever paid to get any watch serviced was $110, and that was for a vintage hand-wind chronograph.

You're going to have to put in a bit of work, but I suspect that if you look hard enough, you're going to be able to find one or two guys in your city who do a lot of the service work for watch stores and jewelers. I know a lot of smaller watch retailers and jewelry stores will not do their own repairs and instead will send their watches out to someone else for repair. You need to try to find that someone else. If he's willing to work with members of the public instead of just watch and jewelry stores directly, and I'm assuming he will, then you should be able to get a much better price.
This is the key. Taking your watch to an AD or a jeweler is like leaving your wallet on the counter and telling them to help themselves! Dig around and find the local watchmakers, or find one outside of your town that you can send your watches to. I have a guy that does work for a lot of the local jewelers. I don't know what they charge, but he rarely charges me over $100 for a complete clean/oil and adjust. By contrast, I didn't trust him (don't know why) with my prized Speedmaster, so I had another local place do it for $500. This was compared to the $700+ that Omega wanted for the service. My local guy is servicing an old Seiko chronograph for me and he apologized because the price was going to $85. I added a new crystal for $65. So, I get a vintage chronograph fully serviced with a new crystal for $150. Great deal in my book.
 

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This is the key. Taking your watch to an AD or a jeweler is like leaving your wallet on the counter and telling them to help themselves! Dig around and find the local watchmakers, or find one outside of your town that you can send your watches to. I have a guy that does work for a lot of the local jewelers. I don't know what they charge, but he rarely charges me over $100 for a complete clean/oil and adjust. By contrast, I didn't trust him (don't know why) with my prized Speedmaster, so I had another local place do it for $500. This was compared to the $700+ that Omega wanted for the service. My local guy is servicing an old Seiko chronograph for me and he apologized because the price was going to $85. I added a new crystal for $65. So, I get a vintage chronograph fully serviced with a new crystal for $150. Great deal in my book.

Directly quoting John Ruskin:
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”
Pedro D
 

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Directly quoting John Ruskin:
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”



Pedro D
Yeah but if we all followed that rule this forum would lose half its threads.
 

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I am also in Brisbane and had not so good experiences with that Jeweller years ago in regard to servicing a swiss auto.
I get the impression they subcontract servicing out and just markup the cost.Never again. After much research I recently took an old Accurex delux with a 21 jewell eta movement to Harold watchmakers in Toowong. Turns out it needs a rotor bearing replaced and long overdue service . 270AUD . They were straight forward with me about another quartz watch I had and told me not to waste my money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It was harrold's at toowong that did my watch too. They r honest n nice seeming people but I was just aghast at the price. I mean luckily I didn't have to pay it but still, why does service cost more than the watch itself? It is a basic cheap simple seiko movement. I am not asking them to service a Rolex or omega or a chronograph..


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The problem is that a seiko takes just as long to service as a Rolex.

Some of the experienced watch guys here might be able to tell you how long it takes, but let's say it takes 3 hours to dismantle, clean, oil, reassemble and regulate your watch. If they charge $200, then you've been charged $67 per hour. Out if this $67 per hour comes consumables, the cost of expensive tools, rent, electricity, GST, company tax etc. chances are that the actual watch guy takes home $40 per hour before income tax. He's highly skilled, and because it's a (relatively) dying art his skills are in high demand. Good luck finding an electrician or plumber willing to work for those $s.

What I don't like is that manufacturers' service centres charge so much more for the same service, and more the more your watch costs, when they're doing the same thing as the small independent. Oh, and they're restricting parts so your small guy can't do the work if parts are needed, thus restricting competition so they can charge you even more.
 

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The problem is that a seiko takes just as long to service as a Rolex.

Some of the experienced watch guys here might be able to tell you how long it takes, but let's say it takes 3 hours to dismantle, clean, oil, reassemble and regulate your watch. If they charge $200, then you've been charged $67 per hour. Out if this $67 per hour comes consumables, the cost of expensive tools, rent, electricity, GST, company tax etc. chances are that the actual watch guy takes home $40 per hour before income tax. He's highly skilled, and because it's a (relatively) dying art his skills are in high demand. Good luck finding an electrician or plumber willing to work for those $s.

What I don't like is that manufacturers' service centres charge so much more for the same service, and more the more your watch costs, when they're doing the same thing as the small independent. Oh, and they're restricting parts so your small guy can't do the work if parts are needed, thus restricting competition so they can charge you even more.
Yes, the cost of the watch has nothing to do with the time it takes to do a proper service job. Well actually that's not 100% correct - a cheap watch will often take MORE time to get it adjusted/regulated than a good quality watch will.

But generally speaking they tend to average out to about the same labour, if it's a Seiko 6105, Rolex 3135, Omega 1120 - they are all about the same time to service.

And with servicing, you often get what you pay for.

Cheers, Al
 

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Directly quoting John Ruskin:
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”



Pedro D
My experience has shown his services have all been good. The only repair that had to go back was to another (more expense) watchmaker in the fancy part of town.

But yeah, shopping on price alone doesn't make sense. At either end of the price spectrum. So my original advice still stands. Shop around and educate yourself.
 
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