As well as buying and selling watches, we can also service and repair your timepiece, thanks to our expert in-house technician, Ian.
Ian has worked with us for more than a decade servicing and repairing all of our pre-owned watches that you see in our windows, as well for customers who bring their watch in.
Before joining the David Duggan team, Ian spent many years working for some of the biggest brands, such as Cartier and Patek Philippe. And, he has a wealth of experience servicing and repairing Rolex, Vacheron and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Servicing your watch is an important way to keep it in perfect working order. It also helps maintain its value – accurate and up-to-date documentation is key to a watch’s sale price. We recommend you have your watch serviced every five years or so and that, if it is waterproof, you get its water resistance checked every year. We can also do this for you.
A full service involves a series of checks, all of which are done onsite in our workshop. The first check is purely visual. Ian removes the back and has a little look at what your watch is doing. He can identify a variety of issues this way, such as if your watch’s oil is drying out or if the gaskets are starting to degrade.
After that he cleans it. This involves taking the watch apart and placing all the pieces – an average watch has around 500 separate parts – in a special machine. Ian adds specialist fluid – a form of petrol with added ammonia – that removes all the grease and old oils. The watch parts are then rinsed and dried.
The next step is to reassemble the watch and to begin testing, repairing or replacing any worn parts. This is where Ian’s skill comes to the fore. He works on a miniature scale – some watch screws are no larger than a poppy seed. To help, he sets his chair very low so that he is at eye-level with his work bench. Steady hands and good eyesight are a must and specialist screwdrivers and other tools are essential. Sometimes, though, something as simple as Blu Tack can come in very handy for picking up smaller parts and for cleaning off marks!
Although the repair work is done by hand, Ian has a range of equipment that helps him test a watch’s integrity. For instance, if you find your watch is running a little fast or slow, Ian can run it through a machine that replicates the movement of your wrist in six different positions. The combined data provides an average reading of your watch’s timekeeping ability and gives Ian the information he needs to decide how best to adjust the timepiece’s mechanics.
Once the service and repairs are complete, Ian valets the watch. We clean and polish all the parts, including the strap. This can be fiddly and time-consuming, if, for instance, you have a bracelet made of a combination of satin and polished steel. Ultimately, we want to give your watch back to you at the standard you purchased it.
We have a lot of watches coming into the shop and only one Ian, so we always advise that a service will take six to eight weeks. But you can rest assured that your watch never leaves our premises and that the service or repairs are carried out to exacting manufacturer’s standards. We also promise that the same person will communicate with you at every stage of the process.
To find out more about getting your watch serviced or repaired, take a look at our on-site repairs page.
Ian was also recently invited to share his servicing expertise with Watchuseek. You can read his full article for Watchuseek here.