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The Watchmaker specializes in factory-level service on modern Swiss Timepieces. Our facility is superlatively qualified and comprehensively equipped to provide after-sales service for most major Swiss brands and, in addition, serves as an official service center for Oris, Cartier, Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos, Phillip Stein and Victorinox. Below is a description of our basic repairs process. However, this Basic Watch Repair Process may not apply with regards to specialized or obscure brands, or to vintage timepieces.
The Watchmaker Basic Repair Process
When sending your timepiece to The Watchmaker, please pack it securely in bubble wrap or a similarly protective material to prevent damage in transit. Do not include any packing materials that you would like to be returned upon completion of the repair (e.g. a display box or travel pouch). All packing material will be discarded. In addition, please include a copy of our Timepiece Repair Form. High-value items or watches that cannot be replaced should only be shipped via USPS Registered Mail, which is the safest method of shipping a watch.
Upon your package’s delivery to our Stoneham, MA facility, it is signed for and logged by a member of our staff. The parcel will then be opened, and the contents carefully inspected before it is entered into our system and a work order ID generated. You will receive an email containing this unique job number, as well as a copy of our Repair Form, including any intake notes and photographs documenting the watch’s condition upon arrival.
The job will then move into the estimation process. There is typically no cost to generate a service estimate on a relatively modern watch. A trained repair consultant will evaluate the timepiece’s repair needs, and then generate an estimate that reflects the necessary parts and labor. Generally speaking, most repairs fall into one of two categories: comprehensive service, also called a total overhaul, or partial service, also called basic intervention.
Comprehensive service consists of a complete cleaning and servicing of the watch’s mechanism to original factory specifications, a cleaning and refreshing or repair of the case and bracelet, replacement of all necessary parts and sealing components (as available), and a check of the watch’s water-resistance. Comprehensive service includes a 12 month warranty as well as an option to extend the warranty to 36 months.
Partial service seeks to correct a single small issue or set of minor issues in order to return the watch to normal working order. While basic interventions are limited in scope, this limited level of repair is available only on watches that are otherwise in good condition. We do not perform partial repairs on watches that do not pass a general inspection of working order to factory running specifications. In addition, there is no included warranty on partial repairs.
If, during the estimation phase, we discover that the requested issue requires only an extremely limited intervention to resolve, we reserve the right to make repairs as necessary up to $75.00 without generating an estimate in order to expedite the service.
When an Estimate is generated, it will be emailed to you for review. If you decide to approve the estimate, we will require either payment in full or a method of payment on file that can be charged upon completion in order to move the timepiece forward into the servicing phase. If you decide to decline the estimate, the watch will be returned to you after you are billed for return shipping, the cost of which is dependent on the declared value of the item stated on the initial repair request form. If you do not respond to an estimate within 365 days, or one year, from it being generated, The Watchmaker reserves the right to mark the watch “Abandoned” and consider it donated. Watches marked ‘Abandoned’ may not be retrievable.
Upon approval, the watch will have all necessary parts sourced and ordered, and when those all parts have arrived, the timepiece will then be moved into a queue for repair. Upon arriving at the front of the queue, it will be assigned to a watchmaker’s bench for service. The time the watch spends in the servicing phase varies, and depends on a number of factors, including availability of parts, complexity and difficulty of labor, as well as what other jobs are assigned to the watchmaker at that time. Updates are not typically provided until both servicing and testing, see below, have been completed.
While we attempt to complete repairs in as timely a manner as possible, we will not guarantee a return date before the watch has been thoroughly tested and inspected by our quality assurance technicians. Upon their certification that the estimated repair has been satisfactorily completed to a factory standard, the completed repair will be billed in full and shipped, with tracking information being provided via an emailed Paid Invoice.