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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just purchased my first vintage watch, a c1955 Constellation with a 501 movement.

Can anyone recommend a good watchmaker in New York City or nearby to service the watch. I dont think it will require anything more than a regular service, its running and keeping time, etc.

I know there are many watchmakers in the area, but I'd really like to bring it to someone with a recommendation.

I've been searching the archives but havent found any information.

Thanks in advance,
russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Kyle,

I've been to the shop too, nice place, and nice people, but I was a bit hesitant to try them for service without a recommendation, and also because I know they are on the pricey side.

They have some beautiful watches, but due to the fact that they have a 5th Ave address in midtown, they charge accordingly. Also seems like Omega isnt a big part of there sales business.

Maybe their service is reasonable, I'm going to give them a call to find out.

Has anyone out there used them for service?

Thanks
russ
 

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Nope, but I bought a watch from them and they gave me a warranty. They probably are on the pricey side, but you can probably bargain with them
 

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Thanks Kyle,

I've been to the shop too, nice place, and nice people, but I was a bit hesitant to try them for service without a recommendation, and also because I know they are on the pricey side.

They have some beautiful watches, but due to the fact that they have a 5th Ave address in midtown, they charge accordingly. Also seems like Omega isnt a big part of there sales business.

Maybe their service is reasonable, I'm going to give them a call to find out.

Has anyone out there used them for service?

Thanks
russ
Saw some omegas. Some speedmasters, seamaster 300s, 120s and others. Its funny how the watchmaker even has a rolex pepsi according to the picture!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe they just didnt have many Omega's when I was in.

I've been there twice now and they are very nice and helpful. They did have a lot of Cartier, Vacheron, Patek, etc, so I assumed that is their sweet spot.

They have great customer service, they even offered to take my e-mail and look for the watch I wanted. They e-mailed me two days later with two different options.

The catch though... is that as usual you pay for good service. They were asking $2450 (leather) & $2750 (ss bracelet) for two SS Connstellations, 50's- 60's vintage with silver dials. Cant comment on the condition since I thanked him and didnt follow up, but those quotes seemed high even for a pristine watch.

Like I said I'm new to vintage watches, but those quotes seemed a bit too high (definitely too high for me :) )even if you could negotiate down some.

Another reputable NYC dealer mentioned Faber seems to sell at about 2x the price of most others. That was my impression as well. The bottom line is that he has the location and beatiful showroom and I'm sure he frequently gets his asking price. I'm just not in the demographic to spend indiscriminately on watches, but I know lots of folks in NYC can and do.

I'm going to check on service and I'll let you know what they quote.

russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just called Aaron Faber to get a quote on watch service for my 1955 Constellation. They said that service starts at $475 for disassembly, cleaning, etc and will go up depending on what the watch needs.

Does this sound like a reasonable quote for service? This is my first foray into having a watch serviced.

If anyone can offer any additional options for good watchmakers in NYC I would be grateful.

Thanks
russ
 

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Do not go to Rob Gordon in midtown. He butchered a bracelet on a Samurai. No finesse at all.

I would also be interested to know your experiences with Faber. Keep us posted.
 

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I recommend Rafael in a little corner space inside magazine and news stand, downstairs in the subway station on 53rd and 3rd.

He's done a number of jobs for me - great quality and very reasonable. Don't let the unassuming digs fool you - he has more then 10yrs of experience in the service department of Tourneau and knows his vintage watches very well.
 

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Ron Gordon in midtown.

He did 2 Omega(lemania) chronographs for me with good results. Very reasonable and he knows what he is doing. He does have a website that you can visit
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the responses and help.

I've gotten another recommendation for Jack K. at Stanley and Sons Jewelry on 6th Ave. Another forum suggested that he worked at Rolex in NYC for a long time (said it was before Rolex NY service reputation decline). I spoke with them on the phone, seemed reasonable.

Has anyone used him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just posted this over at the watchmake forum, but thought I'd post here as a follow on to the original post.


Hi all,

I just had my first vintage watch serviced by a watchmaker and although I'm hesitant to jump to conclusions I'm a bit upset by the work that was done.

Background...I purchased an Omega Constellation c1955 with a 501 automatic movement. The watch was from a collector (and watchmaker) and very clean, although he could not remember when it was last serviced.

It was keeping good time (within a few seconds per day - I didnt get too crazy about timing it), but I wanted to have it serviced as per many recomendations I have read at WUS and elsewhere. Mainly to ensure it was clean oiled and waterproof.

I was quoted $200 for a complete service inclusive of any parts needing replacement and an additional $35 for waterproofing (changing gasket and testing).

After a week at the watchmaker he called me indicating the watch was finished and he had to change the crown as the old one wouldnt test out for waterproofing. I asked if the replacement crown was an exact replacement ( I wanted the original look of the 10 sided crown preserved). He said it was the correct crown for the watch and it looked the same "If I didnt tell you it was replaced you couldnt tell the difference". He also said he cleaned up the case (not polished - I specifically asked him not to polish it) and polished the crystal. He also said the crown was an additional $35.

I picked it up today - first thing I noticed was that the crown is an origal Omega crown...but it is not the ten sided crown. When I asked him about it he said they dont make the 10 sided crown any longer and this was the correct crown for the watch - ie it fit. I said I thought they did still make them for replacement - he said they didnt and as I wasnt 100% sure I let it go, but asked for my original crown to be returned, which he did.

I asked if he replaced any other parts he said no, they just needed to be cleaned and oiled.

Upon closer inspection the crystal appeared to have a scratch that I didnt think was there when I left the watch with him but I didnt say anything about it, I paid him and left with my watch, somewhat unhappy.

I got home and checked the photo's of my watch before I dropped it off and the scratches were certainly not there, moreover when I looked at the scratches under magnification they appear to be very small cracks in the hesalite crystal.

I also checked otto frei and found the correct ten sided crown by looking up the case number - they charge $24 for it.

Now I'm rather pissed about this whole thing, Apologies for my rant...

So here are my questions:

Does a crown have to be replaced to create a waterproof seal or can a crown gasket be replaced without replacing the whole crown?

Could the crystal have cracked by the waterproof testing?

What should I do next? I'm thinking about ordering the correct crown and bringing it to him to have him replace it while I watch him. I'm afraid to bring the watch back and leave it with him, but at least that way I would get the correct crown back on the watch.

Do I mention the apparent cracks in the crystal or is it too late because I didnt raise the issue before?

Its a snap back case, and I realize that this may be a bit nit picky but the back isnt squarely lined up on the back. ie.. so that the "Constellation" and "Waterproof" engravings arent lined up at 12 and six respectively. Is this something that a watchmaker would be carefull about when closing a watch or am I crazy.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help in advance.

russ
 

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Try starting a new post with your question. Some who may be able to answer your questions won't see it on this thread.
 
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