OT: Watch Repair

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brian j
Participant
#

Time to plumb the collective wisdom of this community for something non-bike-related.

Whilst on our road trip, I dropped my watch on the tile floor of a campground shower. While it still runs, the crown just slides out rather than allowing me to change the time. Can anyone recommend a local repair shop? I’ve called a few of the swankier jewelers, and they all said they would just ship the watch back to the maker.


edmonds59
Participant
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@ downtown Macy’s on the 9th or 11th floor (?) there’s a watch place, there’s an older guy (with some kind of heavy accent) who seems to know what he’s doing, might be able to look at it.


Lou M.
Participant
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Alvin’s in the Bank Tower at 307 4th Ave (corner of Wood and 4th).


ejwme
Participant
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I took mine to a jewler in Squ’ill, a little one on Murray, don’t remember what it was called. But it was just some cosmetic stuff that needed repair, not part replacement or actual watch tinkering. Wouldn’t hurt to ask them, I think they’re just called “Squirrel Hill Jewelry”.


brian j
Participant
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ejwme, is that the place near the 61C Cafe? I’ve taken the same watch there before for cosmetic repair and batteries, but wasn’t sure if they did full repairs.


willie p
Participant
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Henne Jewelers in Shadyside has an IN HOUSE WATCHMAKER.

I take my watches there frequently and all work is performed on site.

EDIT: granted, if your watch is quartz (ie, not mechanical) I am not sure if there is much else that can be done. Maybe replace the glass/crystal and replace a battery or do some exterior work, such as fix a lug (where the strap connects). possibly, the reason why a “swanky” jewelry shop might suggest sending back to the OEM is that the jeweler knows that the OEM would likely just give you a replacement watch. then again, I have a TAG and when I have taken it to Orr’s they always want to send it back (even for a battery). but when i take it to Henne, they do the battery replacement on site.


brian j
Participant
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Henne is my go-to site these days for battery replacements. The watch was purchased at Orr’s and, yeah, when they said “we’ll send this back for the next battery,” I went elsewhere. Henne is convenient because it’s essentially on my commute.

I’ll guess I’ll take their watchmaker’s word that the watch should be sent back to Swiss Army.

Thanks, Willie.


scott
Keymaster
#

I inherited a 1947 Rolex with a cracked crystal and stripped crown. I love this watch, but Henne said it would cost $1000+ to fix whereas a random watch shop in State College gave me an estimate of half that. I’m sure Henne is good, but man….


Mick
Participant
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@scott Henne said it would cost $1000+ to fix whereas a random watch shop in State College gave me an estimate of half that.

I don’t know much abo9ut watches, nor anything about the shops involved, but it is believeable to me that Henne’s repairs might be worth twice as much as the State College place.

Consider a top-end race bike and an experienced race mechanic vs. a small LBS that is struggling to keep mechanics.

Not saying this is exactly the same, but …


ejwme
Participant
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bj – that’s the one. I lived around the corner, and it was the only place I knew at the time. They did ok work, but their replacement batteries always run down fast.

Mick don’t forget the rent/cost of living at State College and in Shadyside might be a little different too.


Greasefoot
Participant
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I’m kind of a watch geek…If your watch is rated as “water resistant” most places can pop the back off and replace the battery. If the watch is rated as “water proof” the jeweler opening up the back for anything needs to test the seal after putting it back together. This requires an expensive piece of equipment, it’s kind of a mini hyperbolic chamber. Most repair places don’t own one and they also don’t want the liability of voiding a warrantee if it’s not sealed correctly. It’s kind of a pain in the ars but if you have a nice watch you are better off letting them send it back to the factory.

Good Luck!


willie p
Participant
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yes, the hyperbolic chamber is something not all watch shops mention when quoting. Orr’s are up front in saying this is critical in their repair quote. Whereas Henne has traditionally offered the option of whether you want the watch pressurizeid or not.


reddan
Keymaster
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Hyperbolic chamber? Sounds a bit exaggerated…

;-)


brian j
Participant
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For the record, I took it Henne. They can’t do the work in house (though they did explain the issue), so the watch is off to Swiss Army.

Thanks, everyone.


Greasefoot
Participant
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@Reddan – The pressure test is kind of extreme but this is the only way to test the seal. Waterproof watches are rated by how deep they can go under water and stay sealed. Depending on the watch it can range from 50 to 500 meters.


Steven
Participant
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Hyperbolic means “something related to or in shape of hyperbola (a type of curve), or to something employing the literary device of hyperbole (overstatement or plausible exaggeration)”.

Hyperbaric means “of or involving a gas at a pressure greater than normal”, or “the state or condition that results when the Ranger has an especially tasty pic-a-nic basket“.


Kordite
Participant
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I had my great-grandmother’s pocket watch. Manufactured 1881. Took it to Alvin’s downtown and they were completely clueless. Had it for months and I don’t think they were ever able to even diagnose the problem. Took it to Henne’s in Shadyside. They said it was a broken hair spring and that it would cost $1200-1500 for them to manufacture a replacement. Took it to Kirk Dial in the Clark Building downtown. He found an original replacement spring and charged me $225.

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