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Five Reasons to Use Vintage Watch Experts

April 7, 2013

A keen collector of antique watches is unlikely to consider anyone other than vintage watch experts to restore or service a watch, but if you’ve inherited an antique watch, or been given one as a gift, you may not understand the importance of taking your watch to a specialist. Here are five reasons why you should look for vintage watch experts to repair or restore your timepiece.

Rolex Daytona 6263

Rolex Daytona 6263

They will respect the original features of your watch

The code of conduct of the British Horological Institute states that vintage watch experts must “Respect the original character and property of all artefacts, especially those of historic, rarity or quality value, and advise the customer accordingly.” If they are asked to make a change that they do not feel is in keeping with the original character of the vintage watch, experts are more likely to question the wisdom of the change and to explain the possible alternatives.

They will keep thorough records of your service or restoration

Vintage watch experts will understand how important your watch is to you. They should provide a receipt when you give them the watch, ask for your authorisation if they need to disassemble it to provide a quote, and keep detailed records of any work done or results of tests carried out.  They may also photograph your watch at various points during the service or restoration to provide a visual record, and are likely to return any broken or replaced parts to you when the work is complete.

Rolex 1803

Rolex 1803

They will have expertise in your particular brand

When you’re looking for experts to service or repair your vintage watch, try to find one that specialises in your particular brand whether that’s Breitling, Omega, Rolex, Heuer, or a less well known make. They will have the specialist knowledge to work on your watch as well as access to the right parts. If you have a Rolex watch consider that only watchmakers with the right accreditation are able to maintain a parts account with Rolex so you will need to visit a Rolex accredited watchmaker to purchase genuine parts.


They will have gained professional accreditation

Vintage watch experts should have gained specific professional accreditations that relate to antique watches. As mentioned earlier, Rolex is one brand that has a strict accreditation process. Rigorous training is required to gain this accreditation, and continuous education in necessary to maintain it so you know your precious watch is in good hands.

They will know how far to take your restoration

A common mistake among watch repairers that don’t have experience with vintage watches is to over-restore them, which in some cases can mean de-valuing them. Vintage watch experts will know which parts to refurbish and which to leave alone. As an example, the dial is the most important part of an antique watch and hold the majority of the value. An expert will do the minimum amount if restoration possible to the dial to avoid losing value.

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe

Choosing vintage watch experts to serve, repair, or restore your antique watch will give you peace of mind. You can be sure that the watchmaker will carry out a thorough job, keeping the necessary records of any work done, and using the right parts, whilst maintaining the original character of the watch and preserving its value.

Graham Simmonds, Rolex Accredited, Superlative Time – London

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