Watch Repair Questions

Why is it important to service watches and how often should it be done?

Watch movement is like a fine automobile engine and needs to be regularly lubricated to run smoothly. With time old oil deteriorates, brakes down and dries up, increasing friction between movement’s parts, thus making watch run slow. If left unchanged, old lubricants will turn to fine dust and, like fine sandpaper, will wear out pivots of watch wheels. Mechanical movements should be serviced every 3-5 years, and quartz 4-6 years.


What happens if I don’t service my watch regularly?

Adequate lubrication is required in order for your watch movement to keep time properly. With the passage of time and normal wear the lubrication will evaporate, become contaminated, or become thick and gummy. Once this occurs it is still possible that your watch will run or can be forced to run by manually winding the watch or continuing to wear the watch in the case of an automatic movement. When the movement is running without lubrication the moving parts will begin to wear and will need to be replaced during the next service creating added expense. If you think your watch needs to be serviced/cleaned but you wish to hold off, it is wise to store your watch until the time is right for you.


How often should I have my watch battery changed?

It will depend on the movement caliber in your watch but generally speaking we recommend that you change your battery every year. If a battery is left in the watch for too long it can leak battery acid and cause damage and premature service costs. Always have your watch pressure tested after a battery change if you own a water resistant model. If it does not pass a reseal is due.


What is done when servicing a watch?

While performing a complete maintenance service several critical steps are followed to ensure the highest quality repair possible. Once the estimate has been approved, required replacement parts are pulled from stock or ordered, the movement is removed from the case and completely disassembled. Then the movement will go through a five step ultrasonic cleaning process. The movement is then reassembled, precisely lubricated, timed and tested for factory specified accuracy. Next the case is refinished according to factory standards. Once the case is beautifully restored, all of the seals, crown, pushers etc are replaced with new genuine replacement parts to guaranty specified water resistant standards. The case is pressure tested at this time. Once the movement is installed the watch will begin the quality control process which will check for timing accuracy, power reserve and visual aesthetics.


What type of accuracy should I expect from my mechanical watch?

That a lot of times will depends on pure luck. Sometimes, somewhat inexpensive watch will run perfectly from day one and a very expensive chronometer will need to be adjusted over and over again. But a good rule of thumb, is a freshly lubricated or a brand new mechanical watch should run about “+/-” 10-15 seconds per day and a certified chronometer -2+8 seconds per day. Many factors can affect this rate, for example, how active or inactive a person is during the day, what position the watch is in most of the day, how rough the owner is by subjecting the watch to extreme shocks or jolts, and when was the watch serviced last (that should be done every 3-5 years).


How often should I have my watch tested for water-resistance?

A water-resistant wristwatch should be tested for water-resistance once a year and the seal replaced if necessary.

The constant influence of environmental factors such as perspiration, cosmetics or temperature can have a drastic effect on watch seals, which age with time and lose their sealant properties in the process. Sharp knocks can also adversely affect the water-resistance of your watch.

Significantly enough, professional divers have their watches checked for water-resistance at least once a year and resealed if necessary. We recommend this safety check for all water-resistant watches.

In the case of quartz watches, this test should be carried out after every battery change at the very least.

We recommend that you have your watch tested every year before your summer vacation.


There is condensation on the inner surface of the crystal. What should I do?

Watch with condensation under the crystal needs to be examined by a watchmaker without delay, even if the condensation disappears after a short time.

This is one of the worst things that can happen to a watch. It means that minute particles of water have penetrated the case but the seals are still tight enough to prevent the water from evaporating.

The constant damp atmosphere inside the case is very corrosive and, at worst, can destroy the movement.


What is the difference between a self-winding and a manual-winding movement?

The difference between these two movements is the way in which the watch is wound up.

Manual-winding watches must be wound by hand every day. Self-winding watches are wound by an internal rotor, which responds to wrist movements.

Self-winding watches usually have a power reserve of at least 35 hours and therefore have sufficient energy reserves to maintain a stable rate when the watch is not being worn (e.g. overnight).


What is the warranty on Watch Service repairs?

We offers a one year warranty on most complete maintenance service/repairs on  Brands such as Breitling, Omega, Baume & Mercier, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jeager LeCoultre,Tag Heuer,Hamilton, Longines, Tissot, Gucci, Rado.


Clock Repair Questions

How often should a clock be cleaned?

The rule of thumb is once every 5 to 10 years.  Although your clock may be running fine, dirt, dust, old gummy oil and other impurities can begin to cause premature wear of the bearings.  Premature wear of the bearings will shorten the life of your clock.  The clock may be 100 years old, but will it last another 100 years?  How well has it be maintained in the last 100 years?  Good proper maintenance is never too late to start.  Many clock problems can be fixed, but the longer you wait, greater damage can be created within movement.  This will require more extensive repair steps to restore the movement.

Most of the time when you buy an antique clock, is it in need of service.  It is likely that is has not been cleaned or properly serviced for many years.  It is best to service a clock when you buy it.  That way, you know that it is in optimum shape and when it will be time to service the clock in the future.


How often should a clock be oiled?

Every 2 years – Antique clocks run best when using oil that is made exclusively for clocks.  Products  that you should NEVER use to oil a clock:  WD-40, silicone lubricant, kerosene, graphite, sewing machine oil, motor oil, 3 in 1 oil or mineral oil.  Clock oil is highly refined oil and it is engineered specifically for clock use .


My Clock is over wound

It is a common misconception that clocks can be over wound.  When a clock is fully wound either the mainspring is in its’ tightest state or the weight is drawn up to the top.  The clock is in a state of full power.  There is something else that is preventing the clock from running.  The power is not traveling though the gears to run the movement.  It can be dirt, broken wheel, broken wheel teeth, bent or broken arbor, any bent part, excessive wear on the bushings and even something as simple as a hair.   Another possibility is that the mainspring is broken, or the winding arbor has unhooked from the mainspring.


Clock will not run

If your clock will not run, it is time to get it serviced by a clock repair person.  Unless your clock has taken a fall or some other trauma, it is either gummed up with dirt and oil or you have worn pivots and bushings.  It the clock movement is dirty, DO NOT spray anything on it.  The movement will become contaminated with some foreign substance and a clock repair person may refuse to work on your clock.  Spraying just about anything can make the problem worse.  It will not cure the problem.  The underlying issues are still there.


How Do I Adjust My Clock For Accurate Time Keeping?

All pendulum clocks must be regulated for proper timekeeping.  This is accomplished by turning the nut at the bottom of your pendulum.  By turning the nut to the right you will shorten the pendulum and make the clock run faster.  If you turn this nut to the left, you will lengthen the pendulum and your clock will run slower.  One full turn of this nut equals approximately a change of two minutes of time within a 24 hour period.  Set your clock with any accurate timepiece and check for a gain or loss in a 24 hour period.  Repeat each day until clock is keeping the correct time.  It usually takes one week to regulate the clock.


Do you make house calls?

Absolutely. I do make house calls for grandfather and grandmother clocks, and large wall clocks.


Are house calls free?

No, there is a charge for house calls, and the exact cost depends on the type of grandfather clock you have, and distance that you are located from my shop.


How much does a house call cost?

I do not post prices online, because every customer will more than likely have a different style of clock. If you call me or e-mail me, I’d be most happy to present my house call charges to you. The shop phone number and e-mail address are on my home page.

I will describe in detail the services I provide, I will explain what you can expect from my services and from your clock, and will answer any questions you may have. An appointment can be scheduled at that time, if you so choose.


When can you come to my home (or office)?

As soon as we have an opening in our schedule.

House calls are done weekdays and weekends, anytime from 8am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm. In most cases, your appointment will be scheduled for a day and time that is good for you, but I can often come the same week of your request, and sometimes, the very same day.

Sunday appointments are available.


Can I bring my clock to you?

Yes if it’s a wall or mantle type clock. For grandfather clocks it is much more convenient to set up a House Call since they are too large to reasonably transport.


If I remove the clock mechanism myself can I bring it to you?

I am happy to repair your grandfather mechanism if you bring it in, but the completed repair must be delivered and installed by me during a “house call”.