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Old 27 July 2019, 11:14 PM   #1
Craigdwh
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Richemont Service Review - Horrible

About 6 weeks ago i sent in my Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 49150 2nd gen for a full service.

I was quoted $2300 CAD all in for a standard service\polish.

The watch was running fine, but i had just acquired it, the age was a mystery as the warranty card was undated but the seller and I determined it to be anywhere from 9-12 years old based on the data we had. As this was a watch i had been waiting to pop up on the Canadian secondary market and planned to keep a full service was appropriate.

Fast forward 6 weeks, after the watch was sent to their main service centre in Dallas the watch is returned to me.

I was so excited, the light polish brought the watch back to it's former glory and looked amazing.

i went to unscrew the crown and i had to exert more force then normal to accomplish this. i went to wind the watch and nothing. i couldn't turn the crown. it just wouldn't turn without incredible force, (incredible force in terms of winding a crown). I also wasn't able to screw close the crown either, as in order to do that i would have to do be able to turn the crown......

with some force i as able to turn the crown but it made a horrible clicking noise, I knew this was not good.

I immediately got on the phone with Richemont and it's now back in their hands.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I'm also worrying about the watch, it was working fine when i sent it in.

So $2300 spent on what i was believing to be "one of the finest watch makers in the world" got me a watch that was broken.

nice work Richemont.

Oh and to top it off, I'm in Winnipeg, they are in Toronto so I had to ship the watch via parcel pro to them. I requested they call me the moment it's in their hands so that i could have some peace of mind that it was successfully delivered and i received no call, even after leaving a VM.

Tracking says it was delivered so i will have to go with that until i hear from them.
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Old 28 July 2019, 03:01 AM   #2
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I sent my PAM 275 to the Richemont Service Center in Oct 2013. I called to confirm that they had received the watch. I was horrified to learn that they had lost watch and warranty card. The watch was finally found but the warranty card was lost had to be produced in Switzerland. The watch also required parts. It was a nightmare. This took months. The only contact info I have is:

John T Sokol
Director of Technical Services
Richemont Tech Center
Office (817) 785-2293
Cell (646) 660-2330
john.sokol@richemont.com

This was 6 years ago. Maybe this contact information is still valid. I hope this helps.
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Old 28 July 2019, 11:52 PM   #3
Craigdwh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkem View Post
I sent my PAM 275 to the Richemont Service Center in Oct 2013. I called to confirm that they had received the watch. I was horrified to learn that they had lost watch and warranty card. The watch was finally found but the warranty card was lost had to be produced in Switzerland. The watch also required parts. It was a nightmare. This took months. The only contact info I have is:

John T Sokol
Director of Technical Services
Richemont Tech Center
Office (817) 785-2293
Cell (646) 660-2330
john.sokol@richemont.com

This was 6 years ago. Maybe this contact information is still valid. I hope this helps.
Thank you for this
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Old 30 July 2019, 12:15 AM   #4
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These clowns are getting worse. I shipped the watch back to them on Thursday, and no one has contacted me to say they have received the watch. I've left VM's sent emails and nothing.

I get better service from Kijiji.
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Old 10 August 2019, 04:16 PM   #5
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Richemont has some serious, serious problems when it comes to their servicing of their watch brands. I've heard many horror stories, both first and second hand, from Richemont brand owners who have sent their watches in to be serviced and I can only say that this is absolutely true based on my one and only experience.

To avoid this awful service that I was anticipating, I wanted to send my JLC directly to JLC Switzerland. This request was emphatically denied and the JLC boutique explained that only vintage (I was told pre-1970s) pieces would go to Switzerland while anything newer must go to Texas. As Richemont refuses to sell parts to anyone and because I (wrongly) assumed that their technicians had some idea as to what they were doing, I reluctantly sent my watch to be serviced in Texas for nearly $1,000 for a basic service. That was a mistake.

The watch I sent was pristine and only needed the movement to be disassembled, cleaned, oiled, and reassembled. That took over five months (I was quoted two) and when my watch returned to the boutique, the movement was scratched and one of the hands was misaligned. I refused to take possession of the watch and they returned it to Texas to be fixed. It returned a month later, this time with the dial scratched and numerous parts of the movement scratched, as if a five year old had worked on it. I naturally refused it and the JLC boutique said they would try to make it right.

After not hearing from the JLC boutique for five months, I inquired as to the status of my watch and they explained that it had been sent back to Switzerland (like they should have done in the first place, as the Texas service center apparently cannot execute simple servicing that a first year watchmaker should be able to easily do), and that I should expect it soon. A month later (one year since the I initially sent it off for service), the watch returned to me with a new dial, all new hands, and a new movement. Thankfully, everything was made okay after one year, but that's a pretty pathetic journey for a simple service for a fairly simple watch.

This experience has really soured me on Richemont and prior to this I was contemplating purchasing at least four additional pieces from JLC and one or two from Vacheron. Only Lange seems like a immune from the wretched Texas service center, as their US service is handled directly by Alkis in New York, who is superb by all accounts. If Richemont wants to retain collectors, they had better train their Texas service center to be, at least, mildly competent. Expensive, slow, and incompetent is a lethal combination for a business, especially for a luxury company.
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Old 11 August 2019, 12:32 PM   #6
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Sorry for your experience.

I’ve had nothing but top-notch service and results. Doesn’t mean mistakes don’t happen. I’m sure they’ll get it sorted.
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Old 13 August 2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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this thread has convinced me to avoid vacheron. unfortunate.
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Old 14 August 2019, 12:16 AM   #8
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A friend got a JLC chrono for his wedding about 4 years ago.

Since then it has been sent for service here in the US 4 times and it has now broken again.

I think they are now sending it to Switzerland.
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Old 14 August 2019, 12:29 AM   #9
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guess I was lucky.

I sent my VC Overseas in for a full service early this year, I had no problems with communication, service happened in less time than quoted, and I got it back working and looking great.

I got an email once it was diagnosed. I got an email to call and arrange shipping when it was completed (about 2 weeks after diagnosis)

When I called I had no problem getting someone to talk to.
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Old 14 August 2019, 06:27 AM   #10
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Vacheron has a top notch watchmaker, Richard, at their Rodeo Dr. boutique in Beverly Hills. He told me his only direction from Vacheron is to get it right the first time, no time constraints from the company on his work. They don't want any watches returned from unsatisfied customers. Suggest Vacheron owners try Richard.
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Old 14 September 2019, 04:54 PM   #11
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Given the horror stories freely available online I wonder why people are still banging their heads against the wall and buying Richemont watches. Human nature is a strange thing.

I think today's watch market might look vastly different if Richemont were more competent. I suspect that the current crazy demand for Rolex watches would be less and buyers would be more willing to consider other high end watches such as Richemont.

I wonder how much this has cost Richemont. At the end of the day I don't really care. I only buy watches with impeccable pedigrees like Rolex, Grand Seiko and Casio.
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Old 15 September 2019, 04:45 AM   #12
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I bought a new JLC for my wedding last year and it stopped working before my honeymoon (a month later).

I took it to my local boutique, they shipped it to Switzerland (they said) and I got it back a month later. It keeps perfect time now.

I was pretty impressed with it.

Sorry to hear about this experience with VC - it's beyond disappointing.
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Old 7 October 2019, 02:06 AM   #13
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I had a Panerai, bought new. After 1 year it stopped working, sent it in to their US service center. Came back with scratches on the case back. The AD buffed out most of the scratches.
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Old 7 October 2019, 02:10 AM   #14
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I have yet to service my Panerai, but when I do, I plan to take it directly to the service center in Mississauga.

I know that isnít a practical option for you OP ... I truly hope you get this sorted, and that this is an anomaly
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Old 9 October 2019, 01:32 PM   #15
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I had an IWC chronoflieger serviced a few years ago

They did a great job.
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Old 29 November 2019, 12:53 AM   #16
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My Piaget with a caliber 9P2 movement is back again for service for running fast again. This is the third time this year. Hopefully they can get it right this time. I won’t use them again except for warranty work.
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Old 29 November 2019, 01:47 AM   #17
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Sorry to hear this news. Trust all will be well in the end.
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Old 1 December 2019, 07:00 PM   #18
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Terrifying to hear, most of my pieces are still a few years out from needing service but it seems to be such a crapshoot!

Hope it was all resolved.
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Old 18 December 2019, 02:36 PM   #19
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This is why I decided to not buy vacheron and Lange. I will only buy Patek and AP
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Old 24 December 2019, 08:13 PM   #20
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This is not good news as I was planning to buy a JLC Reverso.
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Old 9 January 2020, 02:55 AM   #21
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Hmm really problematic. Was thinking about lining up a duometre that I assume would need service. At 1600 I would build into the price of the purchase. But maybe just get a day date and not worry.
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Old 11 January 2020, 04:05 PM   #22
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Sorry for your experience OP. I only had 1 repair experience with VC and I have to say I had a great experience.

I was traveling to Taiwan wearing a Quai de l'ile. With bad luck, something happened to the watch when I was on the plane. It's like the spring somehow released all the energy and the rotor was spinning like a motor until all power was drained. Never experienced that before and I did do anything intentionally to trigger it. Once I arrived, I went to their boutique in Taipei 101 right away and let them know the situation. The in-store watch maker was available and took a look. Then in 3 days he was able to fix it and I picked it up. It's working properly ever since (more than a year now). I don't expect he did full service, but enough to eliminate the problem.

In chatting with the watch maker, he had taken multiple training in Geneva factory over the years. Fortunately mine was a 3 hander with date only and not a chronograph. otherwise it will have to go back to Geneva.

I think it's always a case-by-case scenario. Some people are always more responsible and helpful than others.
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Old 15 January 2020, 02:27 PM   #23
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Never had a bad experience with richemont *knock on wood*


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Old 30 January 2020, 07:55 AM   #24
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Just had my IWC pilot serviced. 9 years old and my daughter was playing with it and put a gauge in case. Figured good time to send even though running fine. Less than 4 week door to door. Mint condition. And pleather IWC case. Not bad at all.
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Old 30 January 2020, 10:59 AM   #25
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I had four watches sent to Richemont: JLCx2, IWC, Vacheron. Vacheron came back fine, the other three all had issues. One JLC took 4 tries to get it running. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
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Old 17 March 2020, 01:58 PM   #26
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It's scary to hear these stories. I find it completely unacceptable when a manufacturer claims to take such pride in quality yet delivers such poor service. That's the true indicator of their quality and customer service. There shouldn't be one bad story yet there are numerous just in this one thread. Shameful.
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Old 26 April 2020, 05:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seibei View Post
Given the horror stories freely available online I wonder why people are still banging their heads against the wall and buying Richemont watches.
The watches are fine, the problem is in the servicing. Omega has the same problem btw.
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Old 5 May 2020, 10:26 AM   #28
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Here's my story. https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=708684 in the end it all worked out but was out of a brand new watch for over 6 months, and they had to ship the watch to Switzerland to issue a new caseback.
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Old 5 May 2020, 10:36 AM   #29
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Sorry to hear of the Disappointing experience.


Patek has been the only consistent service I have had the pleasure to use.

In my experience, they underpromise and overdeliver.
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Old 5 May 2020, 10:38 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigdwh View Post
About 6 weeks ago i sent in my Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 49150 2nd gen for a full service.

I was quoted $2300 CAD all in for a standard service\polish.

The watch was running fine, but i had just acquired it, the age was a mystery as the warranty card was undated but the seller and I determined it to be anywhere from 9-12 years old based on the data we had. As this was a watch i had been waiting to pop up on the Canadian secondary market and planned to keep a full service was appropriate.

Fast forward 6 weeks, after the watch was sent to their main service centre in Dallas the watch is returned to me.

I was so excited, the light polish brought the watch back to it's former glory and looked amazing.

i went to unscrew the crown and i had to exert more force then normal to accomplish this. i went to wind the watch and nothing. i couldn't turn the crown. it just wouldn't turn without incredible force, (incredible force in terms of winding a crown). I also wasn't able to screw close the crown either, as in order to do that i would have to do be able to turn the crown......

with some force i as able to turn the crown but it made a horrible clicking noise, I knew this was not good.

I immediately got on the phone with Richemont and it's now back in their hands.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I'm also worrying about the watch, it was working fine when i sent it in.

So $2300 spent on what i was believing to be "one of the finest watch makers in the world" got me a watch that was broken.

nice work Richemont.

Oh and to top it off, I'm in Winnipeg, they are in Toronto so I had to ship the watch via parcel pro to them. I requested they call me the moment it's in their hands so that i could have some peace of mind that it was successfully delivered and i received no call, even after leaving a VM.

Tracking says it was delivered so i will have to go with that until i hear from them.
Hi Craig, I’m curious as to how things with your service ended up since this thread bump.

I took my Panerai in for service just before things shut down here due to covid and I’m anxiously awaiting to hear back from them.

I thought you might like to know that I contacted Richemont service directly about servicing it, but they told me that they do not deal directly with consumers so I had to go through the Panerai boutique in Toronto.

This was interesting to me as RSC in Toronto is happy to deal directly and I’ve never done a service through a Rolex AD ...

Anyway, I hope your VC has been sorted by now
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