After paying out thousands of pounds for a luxury watch, owners are often quite surprised to when they’re advised to keep their watch serviced.
But like a car, things can go wrong if they are left untended for some time. If you don’t get your brake light fixed, you know you’ll soon see flashing blue lights in your rear view and if you don’t change balding tyres, you could pay the price with your life.
However, with a mechanical watch, there’s no obligation to have a service. It’s more of a desire to keep it at its optimum.
Patek Phillipe’s lingering strapline – you never actually own a watch – gets right to the heart of its sentiment – keeping it in beautiful condition for the next generation.
Here we share a little more about watch servicing:
When would you need a service?
Inside a watch is a device called an escapement, which regulates the way a mechanical movement uses power. Its job is to hold a little balance wheel that vibrates about eight times every second – that’s the ticking sound.
So, in short, if you wore your watch every day and kept it wound, that’d be about a quarter of a million ticks annually! With all that jigging, those parts will start to wear down, resulting in the need for a little TLC.
You may notice your beloved Rolex starts changing its beat rate, going slower or faster over time. This certainly means it’s time for a service!
And if water gets into your watch and you’re unsure if it’s waterproof, every minute counts. The watch will need to be opened and dried out, and then serviced – the same goes for dirt and dust.
What will a watchmaker do during a service?
Servicing the movement requires careful precision. The watchmaker shouldn’t leave any marks on anything. The dial and hands are removed will then the miniscule parts – up to 100 in some watches - are cleaned.
This is the point when any faults are corrected and parts replaced as necessary.
The disassembled watch is then cleaned in an ultrasonic machine to do this, with repeated rinses and an air-dry. A watchmaker may also lubricate any parts which aren’t moving as well.
The watch is finally put back together and placed on a special machine to ensure it keeps good time.
Not be confused with polishing and making the watch ‘shiny’ a watchmaker will also refine the case and bracelet. This involves applying the same finishes as the original, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the specifics of those applied.
How often does a luxury watch need to be serviced?
Basically, they need a service quite regularly. Some people would advise to leave it until they start top under-perform but here at Luxe Watches, we’d recommend every 12-24 months to ensure they maintain their tip-top condition.
We specialise in providing Richard Mille repairs. Pricing differs depending on the specific model of Richard Mille watch as well as the extent of service required but all timepieces will come with a fully comprehensive 24-month warranty.
If you’d like us to service your timepiece, do visit our Essex boutique or you can send your watch by special delivery.